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

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

3. Mitsumi CR-485C

40x Roundup Vol. 2 - Page 3

- Mitsumi CR-485C TE

The drive supports 40x writing (Z-CLV), 12x re-writing, 2MB Buffer and "ExacLink" as the main buffer underrun technology. The maximum reading speed is 48x (CAV). The exact writing speeds are 4x, 8x, 16x CLV), 24x, 32x and 40x (Z-CLV). The re-writing speeds are 4x, 10x and 12x. There will be a limited amount of drives with increased buffer (up to 16MB), but the major amount of drives will include 2MB buffer.

The CR-485CTE supports Mitsumi's AEGIS WRITE technology with the following features:

- Automatically check media quality and set limit to writing speed.
- Automatically optimize to OPC method and select the optimum write strategy from the large capacity database.
- Monitor writing condition and optimize writing speed to achieve the safe speed automatically.
- Monitor the writing condition and compensate for optimum write laser power by Mitsumi WPC (Write Power Compensation) technology.

Additional and essential knowledge is required for successful high-speed CD recording sessions.

· Understanding of CD media characteristics
· Knowledge of various types of CD media
· Identifying and determining the best recording speed for the media
· Identifying and determining the best recording method
· Understanding of CD recording conditions

AEGIS WRITE is designed with CD recording intelligence so the user can focus on what to record onto CD, while AEGIS WRITE focuses on providing a successful CD recording session each time.

Below you can find a presentation of Mitsumi's "AEGISWRITE" system. In Greek mythology, AEGIS is the name of the shield Zeus gave to his daughter Athena. AEGIS means “The shield that protects from all evil.”. To provide users with the best in recording speed and quality, Mitsumi combined it’s already popular high-quality recorders with Mitsumi’s original safe and easy recording technology, and created AEGIS WRITE.

A nti-coaster: AEGIS WRITE is equipped with Exac-Link buffer under-run protection technology; enabling successful CD recording sessions and eliminating CD “coasters.”. Buffer under-runs occur when the data transfer speed from the PC cannot keep up with the recording speed of the CD recorder. The CD recording session fails thus creating a “coaster.” AEGIS WRITE can temporarily stop data transfer BEFORE the buffer under-run occurs, protecting the CD recording session.

E asy: AEGIS WRITE makes CD recording easier with its ability to detect disc quality. Insert the disc into the CD recorder and AEGIS WRITE does the rest.

G uard: AEGIS WRITE monitors the CD recording session with its Write Condition Monitoring System. This enables AEGIS WRITE to adjust the recording speed based on the changing conditions of the recording process, thus providing additional protection to guard against CD recording failure.

I ntelligent: AEGIS WRITE has an extensive database of CD media profiles based on Mitsumi’s research and studies of media recording characteristics. AEGIS WRITE refers to the database to select the most suitable laser shape and power to insure a high quality CD recording.

S ystem

- Mt. Rainier

The drive does support the Mt. Rainier format, and Mitsumi says that it is the only drive compatible according to Philip's EasyWrite testing suite. The following test results come from the last Mt. Rainier Plugfest.

- 40x CD-R writing speed

The Mitsumi drive supports the 40x writing speed with the use of the Z-CLV writing technology. Below it's the Nero CD Speed writing graph that illustrates the use of Zone-CLV:

The 40x writing speed range is divided in 4 zones: The drive starts writing at 20x from the lead-in area till 6mins, shifts up to 24x at 10mins, up to 32x at 32mins and lastly shifts to 40x at 60mins and stays there until the end. The average recording speed is 29.63X, as Nero CD Speed shows. The average writing speed of the Mitsumi drive makes it slower than what the competition offers. According to CDR software the drive doesn't seem to lower its maximum recording speed but judging from the final recording time, you can understand if the drive dropped its recording speed during the write process.

- 20x HS-RW writing speed

The CR-485C TE is the first ever recorder that supports 20x writing speed with blank HS-RW media. Keep the last sentence in your mind. The 20x (CLV) writing speed is only valid with brand new HS-RW media. If you insert already used HS-RW media, the maximum writing speed will be 12x. Even if you perform a full erase you cannot have the 20x recording speed. Again the 20x (CLV) speed is not described at the Orange Book, but Mitsumi engineers felt it can be accomplished with current media/technology. Mitsumi calls this mode "SSW" (Super Speed Write). For writing a full 74min task at this speed you will need 4:21mins:

Below it's the Nero CD Speed writing graph that illustrates the 20x Re-writing speed:

The drive starts writing at 20x (CLV) the whole disc. Mitsumi CR-485E TE with current firmware (1.0B) supports the following media for 12x and 20x. As you can see almost all HS-RW media can be written at 20x, at least once:

Inside Nero, when a brand new blank HS-RW media is inserted, you will see the 20x recording speed under the writing tab:

- The package

The package supplied was the not the final European retail kit, but a special test version. This included: the drive, a printed supported media list for CD-R/RW media, 2 pieces of Verbatim's 4-10x HS-RW media and one piece of Hitachi-Maxell 80min 40x CD-R blank. The software supplied with the drive was Nero v5.5.8.2D, InCD v3.82, EasyWrite and some additional utilities. The retail kit includes 2 years of warranty (only for Europe) and will cost €... including 16% VAT. (s.r.p.).

The front of the drive changed from previous drives and now contains only the "HS-RW" logo and drive's features - "40x/20x/48x". You will also find only one led, the eject buttons and the headphone input jack/volume selector. Mitsumi has placed the 20x re-writing spec in the front of the drive, which may be kind of confusing, since it works only with brand new HS-RW media:

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 Mitsumi CR-485C TE was installed as Master in the secondary IDE Bus, worked under UDMA33 mode and DMA was activated automatically under WinXP. The drive is a May 2002 model with firmware revision v1.0B installed.

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