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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > 52x CD-RW

Thursday, December 05, 2002
CyberDrive CW099D CD-RW

1. Introduction

CyberDrive CW099D IDE CD-RW - Page 1

- Introduction

enters the 52X recording market with the CW099D. The drive supports the CAV recording technology for the CD-R format and the P-CAV for the US-RW format, making the drive an attractive proposal for the end users who wish the top and faster available recorder. We have already tested three other 52X recorders from ASUS, AOpen and SONY and the comparison is expected to be at least interesting.

- Specifications

The CyberDrive CW099D supports the CAV recording technology for reading/re-writing and recording. The drive's features according to Nero Info Tool are the following:

The drive supports 52X maximum reading / writing and 24X re-writing speeds. The buffer is only 2MB and the reading of CD-Text and CD+G is supported. Nero Info Tool also reports that retrieving of C2 error information is supported but its accuracy would be examined later. The drive doesn't (currently?) support Mt. Rainier. SuperLink is the main buffer underrun protection technology. The following picture shows the supported writing speeds:

The official specifications taken from CyberDrive website are posted below:


CW099D CD-RW Drive

Read Speed

52x for closed sessions.
16x for open sessions.
Maximum 52x for audio extraction

Write Speed

4x, 8x,12x, 16x, 20x (CLV) and 20x, 24x, 28x, 32x, 36x, 40x, 48x, 52x (ZCLV) for CD-R media.
4x, 8x, 12x, 16x and 24x CLV for CD-RW media

Access Time

90 ms typical for random access, 100 ms typical for 1/3 stroke access

Buffer Memory

2 MB

Error Rate

10 -9 soft read error, 10 -12 hard read error

Audio Interface

2 Channels (stereo)
Sampling frequency 44.1 KHz
Analog audio line out: Output 0.7 Vrms typical
Frequency response 20 Hz ~ 20 KHz (+0.5 dB, -3.0 dB)
Signal to noise ratio > 65 dB (f = 1 KHz)
Distortion < 0.1% (LPF 20 KHz, f = 1 KHz)
Channel Separation > 65 dB (LPF 20 KHz, f = 1 KHz)
Digital audio out: Format EBU (conforms to IEC-958 EIAJ CP-1201)
Output 4.0 Vp-p


> 100,000 POH (25% duty, seek and read)

Front Panel

EJECT button
Green LED

Rear Panel

Power connector (+5V & +12V, 4P), IDE interface connector (40P), Device configuration jumper (Master, Slave, CSEL), Analog audio line out (4P), Digital audio out (2P)


Supports both horizontal and vertical tray loading

Power Supply

DC +5V ?5%, DC +12V ?10%

Bezel Color



148.5 x 42.5 x 206.5 mm(WHD) with bezel


1025 g


User Manual
CD-Audio Cable
(1) CD-R Disk
(1) CD-RW Disk
Nero 5.5 Burning Software
(4) Mounting Screws

- Recording/Re-writing speeds

The drive supports 52X with the use of CAV recording technology. As Nero CD Speed revealed, the drive starts writing at 23.56X and gradually ends at the 53.13X, giving an average speed of 40.54X! This result indicates that the CyberDrive CW099D could be the faster recorder but the actual recording tests were slightly different...

With Mitsubishi Chemicals the results were even higher to 40.79X average writing speed:

The CAV recording technology is also used for the 48X speed:

However, for the 40X recording speed the P-CAV is implemented.

With specific media (CibaPlasmon 48X), the drive showed a strange behaviour dropping the writing speed at specific points down to 2X!

With US-RW media, the CW099D starts burning at 16.58X and gradually reaches the 24X at 20mins. The burning speed is kept at 24X until the end of the disc. That gives an average of 22.94X, which is slower than other P-CAV US-RW writers (Plextor PX-W4824A, YAMAHA CRW-F1 and ASUS CRW5224).

- The package

We got the retail package that includes: the drive, a quick installation guide, an audio cable, mounting screws, one piece of CyberDrive 52X CD-R (real manufacturer RITEK) and one piece of CyberDrive 24X US-RW. The recording software comes from Ahead (Nero v5.5.x/InCD 3.3x).. The drive will hit the market really soon at the retail price of less than Euro 99.

On the front of the drive there are the "CD-RW" and the "52x24x52" logos. Despite the fact that the drive supports the 24X writing speed, the "US-RW" log is not present on the bezel. You can also find one led, the eject/play buttons and the headphone input jack/volume selector:

On the rear panel there are the Power and IDE interface connectors, the Device configuration jumper (Master, Slave, and CSEL), the Analogue audio line out (4P), and the Digital audio out (2P)

Our drive is an engineering sample (final hardware) with a serial number 10!

- Inside the drive

After removing the bottom screws we can see the internal of the drive. CyberDrive uses MediaTek chipsets for the CW099D series:

Click to enlarge!

- Installation

The CyberDrive CW099D was installed as a Master in the primary IDE BUS. The drive worked in UDMA-33 mode. After booting, it identified itself as a"CyberDrv CW099D CD-R/RW". We used Nero v5.5.9.17, CloneCD v4.1.0.1 and Ahead InCD v3.51.61 for the recording tests. The drive is a November 2002 model with firmware revision v1.00M installed. After all tests finished, CyberDrive sent us a newer firmware revision (v1.10M) that fixed some of the problems we had noticed. The new firmware (v1.10M) was used to re-test all the "negative" issues.

CyberDrive CW099D will automatically reduce the maximum writing speed (52x) when it detects lower quality media for burning. There is no software way to disable this function. Other manufacturers (Plextor, Yamaha, and Sony) offer the option to write all media at the maximum speed by disabling the media check quality system. CyberDrive doesn't support this, but offers a "safer" way to burn media. The pictures below come from Nero when non-52X certified blank media was inserted.

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