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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > Combo

Thursday, December 05, 2002
INcoder GH32U-A1 DVD/CD-RW

1. Introduction

INcoder GH32U-A1 CD-RW - Page 1

- Introduction

is a new company that aims to ship optical storage solutions for the portable users. External USB2.0 is the latest trend of the optical storage industry. Many manufacturers ship external drives, mostly based on the USB2.0 connection interface, since it offers increased portability among with easy installation. The GH32U-A1 supports both CD/DVD formats in one package.

- Specifications

The INcoder GH32U-A1 supports the Z-CLV recording technology and the CAV reading technology. The drive's features according to Nero Info Tool are the following:

The drive supports 40X (CD) and 8X (DVD) maximum reading, 32X writing, and 12X re-writing speeds. Buffer underrun protection is present and the drive has an RPCII protection. The cache buffer is 2MB and reading of CD-Text and CD+G is supported. Nero Info Tool reports that C2 error information is also supported but its accuracy will be examined later. The drive has RPCII region protection. Lastly the Mt. Rainier format is not present.

- Recording/Re-writing speeds

The drive reaches 32X speed with the use of Z-CLV recording technology. Below is the Nero CD Speed writing graph that illustrates the implementation of Zone-CLV:

The 32x writing speed range is divided in 3 zones: The drive starts writing at 16X from the lead-in area till 16mins, shifts up to 24X at 17mins, and lastly shifts to 32X at 42mins and stays there until the end. The average recording speed is 25.82X, as Nero CD Speed shows. The speed is slower than with other internal 32X writers.

- The package

We got the retail version that includes: the drive, 32X CD-R media, 12X HS-RW media, a DC adapter and the USB2.0/1.1 cable. The attached software comes from Ahead (Nero Burning Rom, InCD) and InterVideo (WinDVD software). A printed manual that explains the basic installation and a diskette with device driver for Win98SE are also bundled.

Looking at the front panel, we can see the "INcoder", "HS-RW", "DVD-ROM" and "32X/10X/40X" logos printed on the tray. The eject button is placed in the top right corner and is backlighted with a blue electric colour. Two leds can be found in the front (orange/green), which indicate the drive's operation status.

The futuristic design of the drive is clearly defined in the following picture.

The exact same drive comes also in a white bezel

On the rear panel we will find the DC-in power connector and the USB2.0/1.1 compatible connection interface. Note that the drive is also available with a FireWire interface also.

On the bottom of the drive we can see the model's codename:

- Installation

The INcoder GH32U-A1 was connected with the included USB2.0 cable. The drive was recognized as an "HL-DT-ST RW/DVD GCC-4320B". We used Nero v5.5.9.17, CloneCD v4.1.0.1 and Ahead InCD v3.51.61 for the recording tests. The drive came with v1.00 firmware revision, which is the latest version available.




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