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

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

4. WAITEC Storm40

40x Roundup Vol. 2 - Page 4

- WAITEC STORM 40

The drive supports 40x writing (Z-CLV), 12x re-writing, 4MB Buffer and "SafeLink" as the main anti-buffer underrun technology. The maximum reading speed of the drive is 48x (CAV). The exact supported writing speeds are 4x, 8x, 16x, 20x (CLV) and 24, 32x and 40x (Zone-CLV). The re-writing speeds are 4x, 10x and 12x.

Even WAITEC advertises the compliance with "EasyWrite" format, the drive doesn't support the Mt. Rainier format, with current firmware. A firmware upgrade that will add Mt. Rainier compatiblity is on its way and hopefully next month , after the next PlugFest, will be available. The drive includes C2 error reporting and supports all the known writing modes (DAO, SAO, TAO and RAW).

- Embedded Technologies

Apart from SafeLink, the drive supports:

FlexSS-BP technology, which automatically selects the optimum recording speed for each disc.

Click for more information! technology which detects shock and prevents a writing mistake.

Click for more information! which detects recording error due to irregular mechanical characteristics. "Safe-BP" is the function which stops the recording at the occurrence of disarrangement making error of recording performance, and restarts the recording with changing the recording speed with monitoring pickup servo in real time. You can enjoy the comfortable high-speed recording without being concerned about deterioration of recording quality and interrupt of recording.

There is also an utility that can enable/disable the 'Safe-BP checking' for each media. This way you can be sure that the drive will write at the maximum speed all inserted media. You can also set the polling interval timer of the Safe-BP from 1, 5 and 10 secs or of course disable polling. By default, Safe-BP is ALWAYS turned on every time a CD-R media is inserted:

The following graph comes from Nero CD Speed with Servo Detection Control enabled. The average writing speed is 30.17X:

With the special utility you can de-activate the "Servo Detection Control" and gain small increase in the recording speed:

This time the drive wrote a little faster and the average writing speed is 30.24x. The gain with 'Servo Detection Control' would be around 4-6secs with specific media.

- 40x writing speed

The WAITEC Storm40 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 32x writing speed range is divided in 4 zones: The drive starts writing at 20x from the lead-in area till 12mins, shifts up to 24x at 10mins, up to 32x at 30mins and lastly shifts to 40x at 56mins and stays there until the end. The average recording speed is 30.13X, which makes slower than the competition in this category.

With some media, the drive will avoid writing at the maximum recording speed and will lower its writing speed down to 32x, producing higher quality discs:

- The package

The package supplied was the retail European version. This included: the drive itself, an installation guide, audio cable, mounting screws, one piece of WAITEC 80min 40x CD-R blank (actual manufacturer Plasmon Data Systems) and one WAITEC HS-RW media. The supplied software comes from Ahead, Nero v5.5.8.1 and InCD v3.27. The drive has a 2-year warranty (only in Europe). The price of the retail kit is expected around 140Euro plus 16% VAT.

The front panel of the drive includes 2 leds (busy, write), the manual eject hole, the headphone jack/volume control and the logo of "WAITEC" among with the codename of the drive (STORM40):

At the back of the drive we will find the usual connectors (IDE interface, power), the jumpers for making the drive Master/Slave, the SPDIF output connector and the analog / digital output connectors. There are 3 jumpers at the left of the back. The 2 jumpers on the left are not used (factory reserved), and the third is being used for making the drive working at UDMA33 mode. If you remove the third jumper, the drive works at PIO-Mode4 mode.

- Installation

The drive was installed as a Master in the secondary IDE Bus. The drive worked in UDMA33 mode and after booting, identified itself as "WAITEC STORM".

We used WinXP for the recording tests. WinXP activated automatically the DMA for the drive; however we noticed some problems during the test process, especially with VIA chipset system. Even WinXP activated DMA, after some tests; the drive lost the DMA function, epsecially after reading LaserLock 2 discs.

Installing latest VIA 4in1 drivers didn't help much and after some research we found out that there is a registry key that must be deleted in order to re-gain the DMA option. Open the Regegit software and search for the: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E96A-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}\0001 (or 0002 if you have installed the drive in secondary IDE channel). Now delete the MasterIdDataCheckSum string, reboot and now DMA should be re-enabled ;-)

The drive is a March 2002 model with firmware revision v1.00 installed. We upgraded the drive with a newer firmware (v1.01 + firmware upgrade utility) and used Nero (5.5.8.2), InCD (3.28) and CloneCD (4.0.1.3) for the recording tests.

The following media are suggested for maximum writing quality:

Company
R/RW
Product No.
CMC
CD-R

CDR80LH (40x media use.)

DAXON
CD-R
ACER40R80, DAXON40R80 (40x media use.)
HITACHI-MAXELL
CD-R
CDR74MIX-1P10S, CDR74MIX-1P20S, CDR80MIX-1P10S (The disc is specified as 32x supported media on the package.)
MBI
CD-R
CDR-80MBI (40x media use.)
MITSUI CHEMICAL
CD-R
CDRV80MG-10P, CDRV80US-10P, CDRV74MG-10P, CDRV74US-10P00040379, 00040383, 00041118, 00041130, 00040882, 00041202, 00041133, 00041044, 00041035, 00041117, 00041232, 00041018
RITEK
CD-R
CD-R80JS (40x media use.)
TAIYO YUDEN
CD-R
CDR-80TY10PR, CDR-80WPY10PR, CDR-80AC5Y10SR




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