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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > 24x CD-RW

Tuesday, February 19, 2002
Sony CRX175A CD-RW

1. Introduction


- Introduction

This is the Sony's turn to present a ambitious proposal for optical recording at 24x. The new drive is the "Sony CRX175A". As it is well known, the competition level is very high and is established by TEAC, Yamaha, Plextor, Sanyo, Liteon and many other manufacturers. To obtain the performance required, Sony uses the 24x-16x Z-CLV writing technology, 40x max CAV for reading and 2MB buffer memory, among with the "PowerBurn" anti-coaster technology. We will try to examine the drive's capabilities in writing and reading tasks and of course the quality of the given performance.

- New Technologies

is the technology designed to prevent errors in writing data onto a CD-R/RW disk in a CD-R/RW drive by automatically setting up the optimum recording conditions for the media while automatically adjusting to the delay in data transmission from a host PC. Even if data writing onto a CD-R/RW disk is interrupted due to delays in data transmission from the host PC (buffer under-run), Power-Burn technology instantly controls and accurately connects the interruption and resumption points of the data recording to give continuous writing indispensable for CD-R/RW playback compatibility.

In addition Power-Burn automatically optimizes recording conditions for the CD-R/RW drive such as the writing speed and the strength of recording laser light,analyzing the disk quality by reading pre-recorded information like the recommended recording speed and the conditions of a recordable side of the disk. In general, the acceleration of writing speed of CD-R/RW drives increases the possibility of delay in the data transmission from the host PC, which causes buffer under-run. Because CRX175A stops its data transmission when buffer under-run occurs and resumes writing only after a sufficient amount of data has been transmitted from the host PC, it avoids writing errors.

With high performance in both of the timing of when to resume writing and the location of where to resume writing, CRX175A allows recorded data to be read out smoothly during playback. In addition, the CRX175A tests data writing in order to automatically set the optimal recording conditions for each recording media as it reads out the maker's pre-recorded information on the disk. When a large gap is detected between the center core of a recording media and the rotation axis of a drive, CRX175A automatically changes its recording conditions to a recordable writing speed.

- The package

The supplied package is the retail Europe version and contains: the drive , an operation manual, audio and the necessary IDE cables. The package also contains an application software CD-ROM by Sony, which includes the "B's Recorder Gold" as a main writing software, the "B'sClip" software for packet writing, the "Retrospect Express" software for file backup. Also in the same CD-ROM you can find the "Photo Base" application by Arcsoft, a digital album photo software which includes Photo Studio for editing, the "ArcSoft's "Video Impression" as a video software and the "MusicMatch jukebox" for playing and creating music CDs. The software CD-ROM comes with a quick start guide for all the provided software. Lastly, the retail box also contains a useful cd marker pen.

The front of the drive contains the "Sony", "HS-RW", "24/10/40" and the "Power-Burn" logoes. You will also find the usual eject button, the headphone input jack/volume selector and one led:

In the back of the drive you will find the usual connectors (IDE interface, power), the jumpers for setting the drive to Master/Slave option, the analogue and the digital audio output connectors:

- Installation

Sony CRX175A was installed as Master in the secondary IDE BUS. The drive worked in PIO-Mode4 mode and after boot up, it identified itself as the "SONY CD-RW CRX175A". We unchecked the Auto Insert notification, checked DMA and rebooted.

The drive was a September 2001 model with firmware revision v1.0h installed. For most of our tests we used the Nero v5.5.5.7 among with Ahead InCD v3.14 (for packet writing tests), CloneCD and Padus DJ 3.50.799.

- Test Machine
WinMe OS
Soyo 7VCA
Celeron II 566 over clocked to 850 MHz
128MB SDRAM PC 133
Quantum Fireball EX 6.4 GB UDMA 33
DAWI 2975 - PCI (ULTRA) SCSI Host Adapter
Sony CD-RW CRX175A firmware v1.0h
TEAC CD-W524E firmware v1.0A
PleXWriter PX-W2410A firmware v1.02
Yamaha CRW3200 firmware v1.00

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