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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > 32x CD-RW

Sunday, June 23, 2002
32x CD-RW Roundup Vol. 4

2. Introduction - LG GCE-8320B

32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 3- Page 2

- LG GCE-8320B

The drive supports 32x writing, 12x re-writing, 8MB Buffer and "SuperLink" as the main buffer underrun technology. The maximum reading speed of the drive is 40x (CAV).

The exact supported writing speeds are 8x, 12, 16x (CLV), 24x and 32x (Z-CLV). The re-writing speeds are 4x, 10x and 12x. The drive doesn't support the Mt. Rainier format.

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.

- 32x writing speed

LG GCE-8320B supports the 32x 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 this technology:

The 32x writing speed range is divided in 4 zones: The drive starts writing at 16x from the lead-in area till 2mins, shifts up to 20x at 6mins, up to 24x at 16mins and lastly shifts to 32x at 42mins and stays there until the end. The theoretical average recording speed is 25.98X, which makes it slower than other 32x recorders.

- The package

The package supplied was a bare drive among with Ez CD Creator CD-R software. The drive has a 2-year warranty for the European territory and can be found at the price of $ 63.

The front of the drive includes the "LG" / 'HS-RW' logos and the drive's features - "32x/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-8320B was installed as Master in the secondary IDE Bus, it worked at PIO-Mode4 and under WinXP, DMA was activated automatically.

The drive is a March 2002 model with firmware revision v1.02 installed. A newer firmware revision is already available (v1.04) and was installed for all the recording/reading tests. The drive lowers its recording speed when low quality media is detected. Recording software will allow users to write at any media at max speed, however the final recording time will show that the writing speed was internally reduced during process.

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