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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > 40x CD-RW

Wednesday, April 03, 2002

2. Introduction - Page 2

TEAC CD-W540E IDE CDR-W - Page 2

- TEAC's 40x writing speed

TEAC CD-W540E reaches maximum 40x writing speed in two ways: 16x-24-32-40x or 20-24-32-40x. The first strategy is used for CD-ROM Mode 1 discs, while the second in CD-DA, CD-ROM XA Mode 2 Form 1 and Form 2 discs. Also the 20x (CLV) is only applied to CD-ROM Mode 1 tasks.

TEAC officially supports only two media manufacturers for the maximum recording speed - Mitsubishi Chemicals and Hitachi-Maxell 40x certified media. If you use other media, the drive will write them at 20x(16x) - 32x. Future firmware updates will add more media in the supported list for the 40x writing speed.

TEAC CD-W540E supports the 40x writing speed and uses the Z-CLV writing technology. Below is the Nero CD Speed writing graph, which illustrates the use of Zone-CLV writing technology.

The 20x-40x writing speed range is divided into four zones: The drive starts writing at 20x from the lead-in till the 4mins, then shifts up to 24x at 8min until 22mins, shifts to 32x at 26mins, shifts to the 40x at 50mins and stays there until the end of the burning process. The average recording speed is 31.25X making it currently the faster recorder available:

With CD-DA, CD-ROM XA Mode 2 Form1 and Form2 tasks, the 16x-40x writing speed range is divided into four zones. The only change compared to the 16x-40x is that the drive starts writing at 16x instead of the 20x. The rest of the shift points are exactly the same. At this mode, the average recording speed is 30.86X making it almost as fast as the rest 40x recorders.

With some media, we noticed something weird at the end of the recording process. The drive lowers its recording speed at 76mins. This was noticed with Ricoh's 80min 24x media:

There are cases, in which the drive will start writing at 20x, shift up to 24x/32x but afterwards, reduces speed down to 24x! TEAC drive really can adjust its recording strategy according to the quality of the inserted media:

- The package

The supplied package is the retail Europe version and contains: TEAC CD-W540E, one Mitsui 80min 40x certified blank, one TEAC 74min 4-10x HS-RW blank, a printed operation manual in 7 languages, mounting screws and audio/IDE cables. The main software is Nero, and InCD v3.2.3. The drive has a 2-year warranty (only for Europe) and can be found at the retail price of 169 Euros.

For the first time we saw a 40x certified media from Mitsui Chemicals:

The European package doesn't include a 12x certified HS-RW media, TEAC has included a coupon card for buyers in order to receive a TEAC 8-12x HS-RW media for free around May:

The front of the drive looks like as all previous TEAC CD-RW drives. You can see the usual eject button, the headphone input jack/volume selector and two leds:

The TEAC CD-W540E leds blink as follows:

At 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 and a hole, which is called "Frame Ground". The frame of the CD-RW drive is electrically connected to 0VDC.

- Installation

TEAC CD-W540E was installed as Master in the secondary IDE BUS. The drive worked in UDMA-2 mode and after boot up, it identified itself as the "TEAC CD-W540E". Under WinXP, DMA was automatically activated

The drive is a March 2002 model with firmware revision v1.0B installed. For the most of our tests we used the Nero v5.5.7.9 among with Ahead InCD v3.24.3 (for packet writing tests) and CloneCD

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