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

Monday, June 03, 2002
40x CD-RW Roundup Vol. 2

2. LG GCE-8400B

40x Roundup Vol. 2 - Page 2

- LG GCE-8400B

The LG GCE-8400B is one of the few drives that support the P-CAV 40x writing technology. The drive supports 40x writing, 12x re-writing, 8MB Buffer and "SuperLink" as the main buffer underrun technology. The maximum reading speed of the drive is 40x (CAV), making it slower than its competitors. The exact supported writing speeds are 8x, 12, 16x (CLV), 24x, 32x, and 40x (P-CAV). The re-writing speeds are 4x, 10x and 12x. The drive doesn't support the Mt. Rainier format with current firmware, but LG mentioned that a firmware upgrade should support it. There are two versions of the same drive. One comes with a 8MB buffer and one with a 2MB buffer. There has been lot of talk about this, and the bottom line is that lower buffer means less cost for each manufacturer. The drive supports RAW reading/writing with hardware EFM correction.

- 40x CD-R writing speed

The LG GCE-8400 supports the 40x writing speed with the use of the Partial-CAV writing technology. Below it's the Nero CD Speed writing graph that illustrates the use of P-CAV:

The drive starts writing at 20.30X and gradually increases its writing speed, reaching the 40x (CLV) speed at 54mins. The use of P-CAV technology gives higher average writing speeds and lower noticeable noise compared to Zone-CLV solutions. The average theoretical recording speed is 33.41X, making it the faster 40x recorder around, according to the Nero CD Speed test. Real life recording tests, showed slightly different results with various media.

With the use of some media, the drive lowers its initial recording speed, coming to lower average writing speed (33.34X):

Lastly if you use Imation 80min 32x certified media you will notice a dropdown in the recording speed as the following graph illustrates:

The LG GCE-8400B starts writing at 20.28X and increases the speed up to 32X. At 66minutes detects problem and lowers its recording speed down to 24x to avoid recording errors.

- The package

The package supplied was the retail European version that includes: the drive itself, a quick installation guide for Nero/InCD, a printed manual, a printed warranty card in 5 languages, audio cable and mounting screws. The software supplied with the drive was Nero v5.5.7.6 and InCD v3.23. The drive includes two years of warranty for the European territory. The complete package is available at €.... including 16% VAT. (s.r.p.). Notice anything missing? The retail package doesn't include any CD-R or HS-RW media. LG's answer was that users could easily find CD-R/RW media now days at low prices. Even this is correct; we still feel that retail packages should come complete, including at least HS-RW media.

The front of the drive includes LG, 'HS-RW' logos and the drive's features - "40x/12x/40x". You will also find two leds (Read/Write), the eject button and the headphone input jack/volume selector:

At the back of the drive we will find the usual connectors (IDE interface, power), the jumpers for setting the drive as a Master/Slave, the SPDIF output connector and the analog/digital output connectors:

- Installation

The LG GCE-8400B was installed as Master in the secondary IDE Bus, worked at PIO-Mode4 and under WinXP, DMA was activated automatically.

The drive is an April 2002 model with firmware revision v1.00 installed. A newer firmware revision is already available (v1.01) and was installed for all the recording/reading tests.

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