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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > CD-RW External

Thursday, September 19, 2002

1. Installation/Package


- Introduction

After having tested the internal IDE drive (CRW-F1E), we were very excited to see the CRW-F1DX arrived in our labs. The new model from the CRW-F1 series is actual the external version of its twin brother CRW-F1E (already tested) and comes with an attractive look and two different connection interface. We compare both Yamaha drives to see their performance differences, due to different firmware revision.

- Embedded Technologies

The CRWF1 series contain several new technologies. We have already discussed most of them in our CRW-F1E review but we will sum it up one more time.

The CRW-F1 is the first drive to offer a Laser Labelling System with the name DiscT@2. The full CAV technology and precise control of the key elements of recording, (specifically: tracking, rotation, and laser intensity and positioning) allows text and graphic data to be tattooed to the media's data surface after the writing stage is complete.

Under this mode, the system widens the lands and pits during recording. This significantly reduces jitter and improves audio and music recording quality. The new Advanced Audio Master Quality mode now supports 1x and 8x writing speeds as well as the original 4x speed mode. You can select proper writing speed for the media in use, or use the Best mode allowing the CRW-F1 to determine the best writing speed.

The F1 series maintains a constant rotation speed from the beginning of the recording process, on the inner tracks of the disc, all the way to the tracks at the outer edge. The spindle motor of the CD-R unit maintains a constant disc rotation speed of 8700 rpm throughout the entire writing process, while the actual writing speed smoothly increases from 19x to 44x.

Ultra Speed sets the new standard for CD-RW Rewriting at 24x and gives you two high-speed rewriting options depending on the type of rewriting that you need to do. Full CAV mode offers 24x rewriting for random access packet data rewriting, while High-Quality Partial CAV mode does the same for conventional data rewriting.

CD-MRW offers packet-writing capabilities that have not been available until now. Specifically, it has made writing and re-writing files on a CD-RW as easy as to and from a floppy disc while reducing disc-formatting time from 10 minutes down to about 2 and vastly improving management capabilities for damaged disc sectors.

CD-RW Audio Track Edit makes editing a finished CD-RW as easy as editing an MD. Erase the final track or add new songs directly to the CD, without first having to save WAVE files to your hard drive and erasing the entire CD-RW disc, and then play it on your CD player.

Yamaha's original technology - SafeBurn features an 8MB memory buffer, Buffer Underrun Protection, and Optimum Write Speed Control. These three resources combine to provide the best possible writing environment and further optimize reliability.

- The package

The US retail package will include Ahead Nero, InCD 3.81, NeroMIX, Nero Toolkit, Nero Cover Designer, MusicMatch Jukebox (PC and Mac), Dantz Retrospect Express, Adobe PhotoDeluxe and Activeshare (PC), Adobe Photoshop LE (Mac), 1 blank CD-R, 1 blank CD-RW (24x), a Quick Start Guide, a FireWire cable, a USB 2.0 cable, the CRW-F1ZDX drive, and power supply.

The price of the CRW-F1ZDX is $279.99 in the US market. The actual retail price probably would be even lower.

There are also two more external versions of the CRW-F1 series with different connection interface:

  • CRW-F1UX (External USB2.0/1.1)
  • CRW-F1SX (External Ultra SCSI)

The external case is impressive and looks solid and stable. The colour is silver with a pair of black plastic stripes on the sides of the drive. The Yamaha logo is embossed on the top of the drive.

The front panel of the YAMAHA CRW-F1DX is silver, not white, with a grey "YAMAHA" logo. In addition you will find, the headphone jack, the volume selector and the eject button. The drive has a special "intense blue" LED that lights up when recording. Above the tray, there is another LED that lights to purple-white (fluorescent) colour when the drive is idle. Lastly the drive has a black tray, as first introduced with the CRW3200 series:

In rear panel, you will find the power connector, the power button, audio output connectors and the interface connectors. The Yamaha F1-DX offers two IEEE1394 and one USB 2.0 connectors. User is free to choose the desired interface, and plug the drive to his PC easily and fast. According to the interface choice, user should move the interface switcher on the right or left, for IEEE1994 or USB2.0.

- Installation

The YAMAHA F1-DX was installed either with the IEEE1394 (Firewire) and with the USB2.0 connection interfaces. Under WinXP, the drive will be detected automatically. Win98SE users will have to install additional drivers that are included in the attached software disc. The drive with the Firewire cable was recognized as:

, while with the USB2.0 as:

In both cases, the drive is identified as a "YAMAHA CRW-F1E" under the CD-R software. The drive is a July 2002 model and came with initial firmware revision v1.0C. Lastly, we used the latest Nero v5.5.9.9, CloneCD v4.0.1.10 and Ahead InCD v3.37 for the recording tests.

- Specifications

Nero info tool reports that the drive supports 44X reading and writing, the firmware installed is the v1.0C and buffer underrun protection is available. The "SafeBurn" features an 8MB memory buffer, buffer underrun protection and Optimum Write Speed Control. The drive also supports the following writing modes: Track-at-Once, Disc-at-Once, Session-at-Once, Multisession, packet writing and Mount Rainier.

Support Format CD-DA, CD-TEXT, CD-ROM, Mixed Mode CD-ROM (CD-ROM+CD-DA), CD-ROM XA, Photo CD, Video CD, CD-EXTRA, CD-MRW (Mount Rainier)
Writing Modes Disc at once (DAO), Session at once (SAO) Track at once (TAO), Packet Writing, Advanced Audio Master Quality Recording
Writing Speeds (CD-R) 1X, 4X, 8X, 16X (CLV), Max.44X (Full CAV)
Writing Speeds (CD-RW) 2X, 4X, 8X, 10X, 12X, 16X (CLV), 24X (Partial CAV), 10X, 24X (Full CAV)
Reading Speed Max.44X (Full CAV)
Advanced Audio Master Quality Recording Writing Modes: 1x, 4x, 8x, BEST Data Capacity: 650MB disc (63 min) 700MB disc (68 min)
Mount Rainier YES
DiscT@2 YES
Burst Transfer Rate MAX 480Mbps (USB2.0)
MAX 12Mbps (USB1.1)
MAX 400Mbps (IEEE1394)
Data Buffer Size 8MB
Buffer Under Run Protection SafeBurn?
Drive Placement Horizontal
Disc Loading Front Auto Loading Tray
Audio Output (Analog) Frequency range: 20Hz 20,000Hz Output Level: 700mVrms
Power Consumption 22W (Write/Read)
9W (Stand-by)
Power Supply AC100V-240V 50/60Hz
Dimensions 181W x 57.3H x 275Dmm
Weight Drive Weight: 1.7kg (not including accessories) AC Adapter: 0.25kg (not including cable)

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