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

Sunday, June 23, 2002
40x CD-RW Roundup Vol. 3

1. Introduction - Philips PCRW4012P

40x CD-RW Roundup Vol 3 - Page 1

Which one is the faster?

- Introduction

After testing the majority of the drives in the 40x-recording platform, two new drives from CyQve and Philips came in our labs. Both drives have the same specs as many other drives in this category. We mainly focus on the writing quality and the media compatibility the drives offer in the maximum speed, and of course the overall performance against the competition.

- CyQve 4048

The drive supports 40x writing (Z-CLV), 12x re-writing, has 2MB Buffer and includes "JustLink" and "JustSpeed" technologies.

The exact writing speeds are 4x, 8x, 12x, 16x (CLV), 20x, 24x, 32x and 40x (16-40x) (Z-CLV). The re-writing speeds are 4x, 10x and 12x (CLV). The maximum reading speed is 48x (CAV). The drive supports all the known writing modes (DAO, SAO, TAO and RAW), among with packet write/overburning option. There is no support of the Mt. Rainier format.

- 40x writing speed

CyQve 4048 supports 40x writing speed using the Z-CLV writing technology. Below is the Nero CD Speed writing graph which illustrates the use of Zone-CLV writing technology:

The 40x writing speed range is divided into five zones: The drive starts writing at 16x from lead-in till the 4mins, then shifts up to 20x until 10mins, shifts to 24x at 14mins, jumps to 32x at 34mins and lastly shifts up to 40x at 56mins and stays there until the end of the burning process. The theoretical average recording speed is 29.24X with 80min discs, making it one of the slowest 40x recorders.

- The package

The package supplied contained: the drive, 1 piece of RICOH 80min 32x CD-R blank, 1 piece of CyQve 80min 4-12x HS-RW blank (unknown manufacturer 97m10s00f code), audio cable and mounting screws. The software supplied with the drive was Nero Burning ROM v5.5.8.2 and Ahead InCD v3.27 (for packet writing use). The package also contains a printed manual for the drive and for Nero software. We must also note the attractive design of the retail package! The retail package costs around Euro 100.

On the front of the drive there are the "CyQve", "40x12x48", "JustLink" and "High-Speed RW" logos. You will also find one led, the eject button and the headphone input jack/volume selector:

In the rear panel of the drive we will find the usual connectors (IDE interface, power), the jumpers for making the drive Master/Slave, the SPDIF output connector, the analog/digital output connectors and 3 jumpers which are used to setup the drive's working mode (UDMA33 or PIO-4Mode):

- Installation

CyQve 4048 was installed as a Master in the secondary IDE BUS. The drive worked in UDMA33 mode and after booting, identified itself as "CQ4048". We used WinXP for the recording, reading tests and the DMA was automatically enabled.

The drive is a May 2002 model with firmware revision v1.01 installed. We used the latest build of Nero (5.5.8.2), InCD (3.31), and CloneCD (4.0.1.6) for our recording tests. The drive supports the 40x writing speed with all media when you disable "JustSpeed". If you have this option enabled, the drive will limit its maximum recording speed when the drive detects low quality media.

- Perfect Write Suite

MET offers a recording software with the "Perfect Write" name that can be used only with CyQve 3248/4048 recorders to fine tuning the writing with unknown media. It can test variable kinds of CD-R discs to figure out writing parameters suit your drive such as optimal burning speed, laser power and so on. Then user can save all the parameter settings for next time using.

Usually, the supported media list is stored in the drive's firmware. If the disc you use is not on the list, the CD-RW drive will burn it with the default parameters. This may cause writing error or writing break. If you want your drive to extend its media supporting list, you must wait for new firmware to upgrade. Right now "Perfect Write" can let you burn much more kinds of media with your burner. However, this function only can go with special designed hardware and firmware. Only the CD-RW drives, which support "Perfect Write", can use this technology.

CyQve CQ 3248/4048 users can download this utility at ftp://ftp.met.com.tw/PW.In order to use the "Perfect Write" software, you need the latest firmware.

After we finished the reading/recording tests, MET send us a newer firmware version (v1.06) to demonstrate the use of "Perfect Write" Suite.

After we start the application, we choose the target drive (CyQve) in which the adjustments will be applied.

We insert the media in the drive. The software informs us that the specific disc is not supported, and allows us to start the adjusting process in order to write the disc in the maximum allowed speed. We choose to proceed and the media testing starts.

The application tests the ability of the drive to write/read in various speeds. It starts writing a small region of the disc at 12x, reads it back at 12x, continues the same test at 16x, and incrementally tests the 20x, 24x 32x and finally 40x speeds. If the inserted media are determined for writing in a lower speed than the maximum supported by the drive, the "PerfectWrite" will stop the testing process in the maximum allowed writing speed. Have in mind that the software does not simulate writing and reading, so the test disc cannot be used more than once.

After the media testing, users should restart the PC and after restarting the application, the software will prompt for applying the settings to the drive.

Our tests showed that after we applied the settings to the CyQve recorder, we could select writing to the specific media brand in the highest speed indicated by the "PerfectWrite", having the "JustSpeed" feature enabled.




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