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This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
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Appeared on: Tuesday, February 19, 2002
Yamaha CRW3200E CD-RW

1. New Features

Yamaha CRW3200E IDE CDR-W - Page 1

- Introduction:
is the first manufacturer that ever used P-CAV as the main recording technology to achieve higher recording speeds than 12x. The 2200E was Yamaha's first recorder that included both P-CAV and SafeBurn technologies and was able to face the competition at equal terms. In the meantime competition has moved ahead and 24x writing speed solutions are offered by June of 2001. Yamaha stayed loyal to the P-CAV principal and finally their 24x writing proposal has arrived! The drive not only supports 24x writing speed but also includes several new technologies that the competition misses. Let's find out what's new first...

- Yamaha's 18-24x P-CAV

The Yamaha 3200x series support 24x writing (P-CAV), 10x re-writing (CLV) and 40x reading (CAV). The drive uses OAK's OTI-9797 controller which is capable of 24X CD-R and 24X CD-RW writing speeds as well as 40X CD-ROM read speeds, and it provides an upgrade path to 32X recording speeds. The OAK's chipset is also the first to implement support for the pending Mt. Rainier standard in hardware for best packet writing performance. The OTI-9797 employs partial and full Constant Angular Velocity (CAV) writing technologies.

The rest of the manufacturers use Zone-CLV to achieve 24x writing speed. P-CAV technology keeps disc rotation constant in the inner portion of the disc as writing speed smoothly accelerates outwards until it reaches top speed. After that, writing speed is kept constant (CLV) until the end of the writing.

The 3200E starts writing at 18x in the lead-in area and gradually accelerates towards to 24x writing speed until 14mins. Afterwards the 24x writing speed is kept constant till the end of the disc. No links are performed during the acceleration from 18x to 24x.

In the P-CAV method, the rotation speed is kept moderated (8200 rpm) in the inner portion of the disc, compared with CLV method (over 9000 rpm at the beginning of the disc at 20X CLV). That helps the quality improvement of writing in the inner portion of the disc, because by moderating the disc rotation reduces the vibration that corrupts quality. Also since the rotation speeds are low the life of the laser diode and the drive's pickup will be extended.

- New Features

>> "Audio Master Quality Recording"

Yamaha has developed a new writing mode for recording AudioCD that promises to reduce jitter during playback in CD players. When Audio Master Quality Recording mode is enabled, CRW3200 writes PITs (and LANDs) relatively longer than normal writing mode. As a result, CD players can read the Audio Master Quality Recorded discs at linier velocity 1.4m/s speed. As a result, jitter becomes small giving a 30% improvement over conventional recording mode. When you are using "Audio Master Quality Recording" System since pits have longer, lenght the total maximum recording space is reduced down to 63 and 68mins for 74 and 80min CDs respectively. Also the "Audio Master Quality Recording" is applied only at 4x writing speed.

>> CD-RW Audio Track Edit mode

CRW3200 provides a unique new feature that allows users to edit recorded audio track on CD-RW disc without erasing the entire disc. Users can add audio tracks to or erase audio tracks off any audio CD-RW.

>> CD-MRW (CD Mount Rainier ReWrite)

CD-MRW (CD Mount Rainier ReWrite) allows CD-RW to be used as a drag-and-drop device, like a floppy. Yamaha's CRW3200 series is the first CD-RW recorder that supports such feature. Read more about Mt. Rainier format over here.

- Other features

is the concept for error-proof CD recording, which includes Buffer Underrun Protection, 8MB buffer and Optimum Write Power Control. That means triple security with 8 MB Buffer, Buffer underrun protection and Optimum Write Speed Control. When data transfer is delayed and memory in the buffer drops to a critical level, recording is suspended until the buffer has regained the sufficient memory. After the recording restarts virtually seamlessly from the point that was suspended. The recording procedure is resumed at the same speed.

>> Optimum Write Speed Control

The Optimum Write Speed Control function that automatically adjusts writing speed to the optimum level for each kind of disc. Simply by setting the writing speed at 24X, the CRW3200 checks the characteristics and the condition of the inserted disc and automatically selects the maximum optimum writing speed to ensure data reliability when the disc is read back by CD-ROM drives or CD players.

Plextor, Sanyo and Ricoh have similar systems which can drop down writing speed. Due to the lack of P-CAV technology other drives can only reduce the speed from 24x to 20x or 16X (all speeds are CLV) while Yamaha's Optimum Write Speed Control can set the maximum writing speed more flexibly, at 24x-22x- 20x-18x-16x.

The Optimum Write Speed Control is enabled by default but can be turned off within the recording software. With the Nero software you can notice the speed dropdown since a warning message appears.

- Universal design of interface variation

All CRW3200 series models are based on the same ATAPI drive. Using interface bridge adapters specially engineered by Yamaha, the 3200 series can be connected to several different interfaces (SCSI, FireWire, USB 2.0) making all users happy:

The CRW3200 series features four models to meet users' needs: CRW3200E (internal ATAPI), CRW3200SX (external SCSI-3/SCSI-2), CRW3200IX (external IEEE1394), and CRW3200UX (external USB1.1/2.0).

2. Installation

Yamaha CRW3200E IDE CDR-W - Page 2

- The Package

The package supplied was a pre-release version with final firmware/hardware and included only the drive itself and the necessary CDR software: Nero OEM, Ahead InCD v2.32 and NeroMIX v1.227. The retail package will include a well printed manual, among with Yamaha's 80min 24x CDR media, one piece of Yamaha's 4-10x (HS-RW) media, mounting screws and IDE cable. The retail package for European Audience will include 2 years of warranty. The estimated retail price is around $200.

Let's take a look at the drive itself. The drive has a different front design than previous Yamaha models giving a rather futuristic look with the special "intense blue" LED that lights up when recording. The LED will change to a purple-white (fluorescent) color when the drives are idle. The logos of "Yamaha", "SafeBurn", "HighSpeedRW" and "24/10/40" give right away the drive capabilities:

The drive has only one LED (electric blue) and the usual controls: eject button, headphone input jack and volume potentiometer. On the back of the drive we find the usual connectors (IDE interface and Power), the jumpers for setting the drive to Master/Slave option, analogue and digital audio output connectors and a hole (to be used with the optional internal SCSI connector):

- Installation

The Yamaha CRW3200E was installed as Master in the secondary IDE BUS. The drive worked in UDMA-2 mode and after boot up, it identified itself as the "Yamaha CRW3200E". We unchecked the Auto Insert notification, checked DMA and rebooted. The drive was a September 2001 model with firmware revision v1.00 installed. After our first test, Yamaha supplied us a second sample unit which corrected most of the problems we had with the first sample unit. The second drive had vT.3a firmware revision. For most of our tests we used: Nero, Ahead InCD v3.12b, Padus DJ v3.50.799 and CloneCD v3.1.0.0.

Below are the full specifications of the Yamaha CRW3200E:

Model Name
Enhanced IDE (E-IDE) ATAPI
Data Capacity
650MB (74min) 700MB (79min)
Writing Speed CD - R
1X, 2X, 4X, 8X, 12X (CLV), 16X, 18 - 24X (Partial CAV)
Writing Speed CD - RW
2X, 4X, 8X, 10X (CLV), 10X (4X-10X Full CAV), 12X (Virgin Disc Format)
Reading Speed
40x (max.) Full CAV
Data Buffer Size
8MB (3,224sectors)
Average Random Access Time
130msec. (reading)
Disc Loading Type
Front auto-loading tray loading
Writing Methods
Disc-at-Once, Session-at-Once, Track-at-Once, Packet Writing
Writing Formats
CD-DA, CD-G, CD TEXT, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, Photo CD, Video CD, CD-I, CD EXTRA, CD-MRW, Audio Master
Audio Master mode
Linier Velocity: 1.4m/s
63 min. (650MB disc)
68 min. (700MB disc)
Blank CD-R
Blank CD-RW
ATAPI Flat Cable
Fastening Screws
Owners Manual
Software Guide
Ahead: Nero 5.5, InCD, NeroMIX, Nero Wave Editor ,Nero Toolkit

- Test Machine
Soyo 7VCA
Celeron II 566 over clocked to 850 MHz
128MB SDRAM PC 133
Quantum Fireball EX 6.4 GB UDMA 33
DAWI 2975 - PCI (ULTRA) SCSI Host Adapter
PleXWriter PX-W2410A firmware v1.02
AOpen CRW2440 firmware v0.95
LiteOn LTR-24102B firmware v5S0F
Yamaha CRW3200E firmware v1.00/vT.3a

3. Data Tests

Yamaha CRW3200E IDE CDR-W- Page 3

Data Tests

- Test Method

* SCSI Mechanic v3.0x: This was used to compare the drive's I/O performance against other various CDR-W drives (see charts). We used a pressed CD containing PlexTools v1.08 for all tests.
* Nero CD Speed v0.84b was also used to check the drive's performance with pressed CDs. For that test, we also used the PlexTools v1.08 pressed CD.

- SCSI Mechanic v3.0x results

The Yamaha CRW3200E gave the lower score in "Average Sequential I/O" tests results and came 3rd in the "Average Random I/O" test. In the "Average Same Sector I/O" tests, the drive showed a good performance and got the third place. The PleXWriter PX-W2410A strongly holds the first place.

- Nero CD Speed v0.84 results: (Click to see the CD Speed Graph)

The Nero CD Speed results confirmed our previous tests results. The Yamaha drive seems to be the slower among the 4 tested drives. It starts reading at lower speed than the other drives in start (18.31X) and also ends at lower speed. Yamaha should tweak drive's performance in order to compete to other manufacturers.

The seek times for Yamaha CRW2200E were among the best in our test results. The drive has the lower "Random Seek" time (84ms) and stays into the competition in the 1/3 and the full stroke test results.

- PSX Pressed Media

For this test we used the PSX game 'NBA Jam Extreme' and we ripped the image to HD with CloneCD. We measured the reading time of the Yamaha CRW3200E, which is the highest:

- CDR Media: (Click to see the CD Speed graph)

Things are better ,while testing CD-R media, for the Yamaha CRW2200E. The drive's average reading speed is now 31.21X, but again the competition is faster.

4. RW reading tests
Yamaha CRW3200E IDE CDR-W - Page 4

RW reading tests

- Nero CD Speed v0.84 Results: (Click to see the graph)

For the RW tests we used the Ricoh's HS-RW media written at 10x speed. The Yamaha 3200E performed very well and could possibly had the first place if AOpen's CRW2440 wasn't in this comparison:

CloneCD Tests

- Procedure

We used CloneCD (v3.1.0.0) and 5 original CDs - Euro 2000 (SafeDisc 1), No One Lives For Ever (SafeDisc 2), Rally Masters (LaserLock 1), Desperados (LaserLock 2) and V-Rally 2 Expert (SecuROM 2) - in order to test the reading times of Yamaha CRW3200E. We also tested the reading performance with backups of the original CDs, since the reading speed varies between original and backup media. For comparison reasons we added the results of the already tested PleXWriter PX-W2410A, LiteOn LTR-24102B and AOpen CRW2440. The following picture shows the Yamaha's CRW3200E reading/writing capabilities as CloneCD reports:

- SafeDisc 1/2 Results

The Yamaha CRW3200E performs very good with SD1 protected CDs and gives the highest reading performance. The competition is close but Yamaha 3200E leads the race.

With SafeDisc2 protected CDs, things are different. The Yamaha CRW3200E gave back a rather slow reading speed with the original CD, but with the backup media follows closely follows the PleXWriter PX-W2410A.

- LaserLock 1/2 Results

In the LaserLock 1 protected CDs test, the Yamaha drive has a rather average performance with the original CD. Performance is better with backup CD, but the competition is faster.

The Yamaha CRW3200E performed much better with LaserLock 2 protected CDs. The drive, even slow, finished the tasks in an adequate amount of time. The LiteOn LTR-24102B holds the first place and is AOpen follows in the second place.

- SecuROM Results

The Yamaha CRW3200E does support reading SubChannel from Data/Audio Tracks and reads them quite fast!

5. DAE Tests
Yamaha CRW3200E IDE CDR-W - Page 5

DAE Tests

- Test Method

We used CD DAE 99 v0.21 beta and EAC v0.9 prebeta 11 software in order to check the DAE performance of the Yamaha CRW3200E with various AudioCDs (both pressed and CDR). The posted DAE results are the average of both applications, but the CPU usage was only taken from CD DAE 99, since EAC occupies the system a lot more. As a last note, we used the "BURST" reading mode of EAC. We made a full CD Rip starting from the first to the last track of the CD. The Average DAE reported speed along with the CPU Usage is displayed in the test graphs.

- DAE features

We used EAC v0.9 prebeta 11 to examine the drive's features. As the program reported, the drive does "Caching" data, supports "Accurate Stream" and can't utilise "C2" error info. All 4 tested drives support up to 40x DAE speed.

- Pressed AudioCD results - (Click to see the Nero CD Speed graph)

The Yamaha CRW3200E performed very good with our pressed CD test discs. Its average DAE ripping speed is 29.0X and gets the third place since competition is slightly faster:

- CDR AudioCD results - (Click to see the Nero CD Speed graph)

The Yamaha CRW3200E performed very good also with CDR media. This time the performance was slight slower than with pressed CDs and gets the last place:

- EAC Secure Extract Ripping mode

After many requests from numerous visitors we have added the EAC's secure extract ripping mode results, which ensures maximum produced WAV quality. Note that for each drive we used the build-in detection function:

Tested Drives
Average DAE Speed (X)
Yamaha CRW3200E
PleXWriter PX-W2410A
AOpen CRW2040
LiteOn LTR-24102B

- Advanced DAE Quality

The Yamaha 3200E got a 100 score (out of 100 - best) in the Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test. The drive's average reading speed was 29.22x and didn't produced any errors. As the test confirmed, the drive can read SubChannel Data:

- Bad CDR Media results

Despite the fact that CD Speed 99 Advanced DAE test stretches drive's mechanism to the max, we decided to do real life tests with a scratched disc. The disc was dirty, and with some light scratches, enough in order cause problems to most of the tested drives. We used CD DAE 99 software to rip the whole disc (756539616 sectors) and the results were very interesting:

Average Speed (X)
Errors Of Total Disc (%)
PleXWriter PX-W2410A
LiteOn LTR-24102B
AOpen CRW2440
Yamaha CRW3200E

The Yamaha CRW3200E read the test disc with 5.2X and the final % percentage of errors is higher than PleXWriter and LiteOn drives.

- Ripping 90 and 99mins AudioCDs
The Yamaha CRW3200E recognized both 90/99 minute AudioCDs. The drive stops reading at 94mins:

Reading 90minutes AudioCD

Reading 99minutes AudioCD

- Ripping Audio Protected CDs

Several new AudioCDs contain copy protection in order to prevent users from creating personnal backups. For that test we used an Audio pressed CD ,Internation Artist: "Natasha Theodoridou - Yp Euthini Mou", with "KeyAudio" protection (?). The drive will take sometime, but finally it managed to read the disc contents:

6. CDR Tests
Yamaha CRW3200E IDE CD-RW - Page 6

CDR Tests

The Yamaha CRW3200E is the first recorder that support 18-24x (P-CAV) writing speeds. This new approach of 24x writing speed is faster than traditional 24x Z-CLV. Let's see a comparison chart between various recording technologies:

Click To Enlarge!

The Yamaha drive starts writing at 18x (0 minutes) and continues increasing the writing speed up to 24x (around 14mins) and writes at 24x till the end of the disc. The competitor drives use Zone-CLV and as you can see are slightly slower. In the following table we can see the average writing speed of the Yamaha 3200E, PleXWriter PX-W2410A, LiteOn LTR-24102B and AOpen CRW2440, according to the Nero CD Speed:

CDR-W drives
Average Writing Speed with 80min CD (X)
Yamaha CRW3200
PleXWriter PX-W2410A
LiteOn LTR-24102B
AOpen CRW2440

Yamaha CRW3200E has an average writing speed of 23.61X, very close to 24x (CLV). The Zone CLV recorder are slower with 0.84X-1.55X. We will see later the differences in time.

Click To Enlarge!

Yamaha CRW 3200E starts writing at a very high rotation speed (9000rpm) which is gradualy reduced towards 14mins. After than the drive has the same rotation speeds with PleXWriter PX-W2410A. The higher rotation speeds produces more noise but also give higher recording speeds.

- Procedure

We tested the Yamaha CRW3200E with Nero v5.5.5.1/4/6, Ahead InCD v2.32/3.12, CloneCD v3.1.0.0 and, Padus DJ v3.50.799 software. We used various of media for performing our tests: Mitsubishi Chemicals 74/80min 24x certified, Mitsui 74min 24x certified, Taiyo Yuden 74/80min 24x certified, Ricoh 74min 24x certified and Ricoh's 74min HS-RW.

- 74min CD-R Tests
We created a "DataCD" job with data slightly more than 74mins (74:03:65). We burned the same job with all 4 CDR-W drives:

As you can see, the Yamaha CRW3200E has the lowest burning time, despite the fact that Yamaha says 16x writing speed is P-CAV. As the test results show, 16x recording speed must be CLV. The drive needs only 310 secs to end the task and simply beats the competition.

Things at the 24x writing speed are much more interesting. Yamaha promised shorter recording times than Z-CLV recording technology and has kept its promise. The 3200E is currently the faster ever CD-RW drive, until of course 32x recorders arrive. Its best recording performance was with MitsuBishi Chemicals 24x certified media , only when OWC (Optimum Write Control) was disabled. The competition is slower closest second performance is Plexriter's - 5sec. In the case of both LiteOn/AOpen 24x recorders, the Yamaha drive is 18-19secs faster! The CPU Usage also seems less than the competition.

- 80min CD-R Tests:
In our normal burning tests the 80min CD contains slightly more than 80min data (80:01:47):

Again the Yamaha CRW3200E is the faster drive at the 16x writing speed.

The time differences at the 80min CDs are higher between the Yamaha and competitor drives. PleXWriter/LiteOn drives are 9 secs and AOpen CRW2440 19secs slower! Yamaha CRW3200E takes a clear victory!

- Overburning Tests

Using Nero CD Speed, we saw that the drive can overburn up to 93:54minutes. However the drive denied writing 99min media, since we had "Power Calibration Errors" even we selected 8x writing speed and OWC disabled. Yamaha did said that from their tests, drive can write up to 94mins with Ritek's 99min CDs.

- CD-Text Results

We created several AudioCDs with CD-Text enabled. The Yamaha CRW3200E can read/write CD-Text AudioCDs without any problems.

- CloneCD Writing Tests

The CloneCD v3.1.0.0 reports that the drive supports the DAO-RAW feature. We performed our usual tests and we confirmed that the drive fully supports DAO-RAW writing mode (Safedisc 1.0, LaserLock 1/2 and SecuROM 2).

- SD2 Support
For the SD2 test we used the "No One Lives For Ever", "Max Payne" and "Emperor Battle of Dune" game titles. We used the Yamaha CRW3200E both as reader/writer. The produced backup did played at the CRW3200E but failed in most other drives we tested. Therefore the new Yamaha model creates partial SD2 working backups.

- 8cm mini CDs

The Yamaha supports 8cm CDs both in reading/writing. As Yamaha said the drive will not support business cards or weird shape CDs at 4x or 8x.

- Buffer Underrun tests

Yamaha 3200E supports"SafeBURN" anti-coaster technology. This system will protect users from buffer underrun and from what our test results showed worked very good. We made several on-the-fly copies with CloneCD v3.0x series without any problems and we also stopped PC (with ctrl+shift+del) several times. In all cases the drive continued writing!

7. Writing Quality Tests
Yamaha CRW3200E IDE CD-RW - Page 7

Writing Quality Tests

We used Ricoh's 74min 24x CD-R media. All CDs were burned at 24x writing speed for each drive with Nero and were Audio CDs with 74:51:27 in size. The produced CDs, were measured from DigitalDrives and results are illustrated in the following tables:

Ricoh 74min 24x media
Average Burning Time (secs)
Yamaha CRW3200E (OWC on)
Yamaha CRW3200E (OWC off)
LiteOn LTR-24102B
AOpen CRW2440 (JustSpeed on)
AOpen CRW2440 (JustSpeed off)
Plextor PX-W2410A

The Yamaha CRW3200E as was expected has the lower recording times among the competition. The drive needs only 3:47mins to end the task. PleXWriter PX-W2410A needs 7 more second to finish but managed to produce better quality CDs. Since Yamaha drive is still in 1.00 firmware, future updates will further improve media compatibilty and writing quality. The AOpen CRW2440 comes third with 246secs and LiteOn LTR-24102B last with 252secs.

The following graphs comes from the Ricoh 74min (24x) media with OWC (Optimum Write Control) enabled/disabled:

Click To Enlarge!

Click To Enlarge!

- More Writing Quality Results

Mitsui 74min 24x media
Average Burning Time (secs)
Yamaha CRW3200E (OWC on)
Yamaha CRW3200E (OWC off)
LiteOn LTR-24102B
AOpen CRW2440 (JustSpeed on)
AOpen CRW2440 (JustSpeed off)
Plextor PX-W2410A

With Mitsui 74min 24x certified media, the Yamaha CRW3200E keeps the lowest recording time among with the best writing quality.

Taiyo Yuden 74min 24x media
Average Burning Time (secs)
Yamaha CRW3200E (OWC on)
Yamaha CRW3200E (OWC off)
LiteOn LTR-24102B
AOpen CRW2440 (JustSpeed on)
AOpen CRW2440 (JustSpeed off)
Plextor PX-W2410A

With Taiyo Yuden 74min 24x certified media, LiteOn LTR-24102B made the suprise and produced very good quality written CDs. The AOpen CRW2440 comes second with 0.5 C1 average error rates.

Mitsubishi Chemicals 74min 24x media
Average Burning Time (secs)
Yamaha CRW3200E (OWC on)
Yamaha CRW3200E (OWC off)
LiteOn LTR-24102B
AOpen CRW2440 (JustSpeed on)
AOpen CRW2440 (JustSpeed off)
Plextor PX-W2410A

Lastly non of the tested drives seem to produce very good quality CDs when Mitsubishi Chemicals (Verbatim) 74min 24x certified media used. Actually Yamaha noted that their tests indicate the same level of performance, so they have dropped Mitsubishi Chemical's 24x media out of their reccomended suppored media list.

8. RW Writing Tests
Yamaha CRW3200E IDE CDR-W - Page 8

RW Writing Tests

We used Nero for writing CDs at the maximum RW speed for all the tested drives. Yamaha supports fully the HS-RW format:

The Yamaha CRW3200E overall performance was very good. The drive gave back the lower recording time (483sec) but the competition is very close. The erase time stays below 60secs and the CPU usage keeps up the level as with competition.

Packet Writing Tests

The Yamaha CRW3200E supports both 10x CLV and 4-10x CAV packet writing options. We used InCD v3.12beta and v3.14 for most of our packet writing tests. The 2 packet-writing modes can be selected within drive's InCD properties tab:

The InCD v3.14 adds support Mt. Rainier format that should be combined with firmware 1.0b for the Yamaha CRW 3200E.

We used a TDK HS-RW media and we formatted it. The formatting procedure takes around 11 minutes. The formatted disc had 534mbs of free space. We copied a 403 MB file (403.147 kbs) from a Hard Disk (on the same PC as the writers) to the formatted RW media using Windows Explorer (we dragged and dropped) and we completed the test twice to eliminate any possible time measurement faults and user errors:

The Yamaha 3200E gave the fastest packet reading performance among the four tested drives. The writing speed is slightly lower than what competition offers but hopefully performance will be upgraded with future firmware updates.

9. CD-MRW (Mt. Rainier Format)
Yamaha CRW3200E IDE CDR-W - Page 9

CD-MRW (Mt. Rainier Format)

As we said earlier Mt. Rainier format added in the InCD v3.14. The Mt. Rainier format promises shorten format time among with data defect management (on the drive) and several other improvements. So far no Os (including WinXP) supports the Mt. Rainier format but that will change by the end of this year...Note that the CD-RW/ROM drives that do not support CD-MRW format cannot read the CD-MRW formatted disc for now, because of lack of read driver that supports CD-MRW format. Ahead plans to provide the special read driver for legacy CD-RW/ROM drives in near future.

After installing InCD v3.14 we can see the option to format a HS-RW disc to the CD-MRW format. Just mark the 'Format disc to CD-MRW' option in the InCD Page Settings in the Properties to enable formatting as CD-MRW format before starting formatting a CD-RW disc:

Then we proceed with the formatting of the disc:

We leave the default settings:

Formatting started. It takes just 2 minutes:

After formatting has ended our disc has the same empty space as with the normal packet writing method:

Lets proceed to the actual testing now...Or we should wait? As you may know the 2minutes format is what the users must do in order activate the CD-MRW format. Afterwards the drive automatically continues the background formatting until it ends. Of course you can use the formatted disc to write data but this way the total writing time increases since the drive have to format-write-read the same at the same time. So its advised to leave the drive finish the background formatting.

How you will know it? Simple. Wait about 10mins or when you see the drive stop working. There's no LED indication on the drive to show this neither any warning from the software (InCD).

According to the Yamaha engineers "...CD-MRW requires 1.5x or 2x time to write a data than normal packet writing if the background formatting is not finished. Also the writing time on CD-MRW is very much depending on the quality of media.

a) After the initial format (1 - 2 min), a user can write a data on CD-RW media with Verification mode activated. Verification mode is automatically enabled in order to provide against defect part on un-formatted area of CD-RW media. When the background format (actual format) is finished, a user can select whether verification is on or off. The background format (actual format) requires same time as UDF1.5 format time.

b) When the writing and the verification are activated, continuous packet writing is impossible. It means that large data writing requires a lot of accesses. If the writing data is less than 2MB, the drive can write a data without many accesses because the data can be stored on the buffer..."

In case you wondering which UDF version should be used:

UDF 2.01 is format for video recording onto rewritable media, such as DVD+RW.
UDF 1.5 is format for packet writing with defect management by host PC.
UDF 1.02 is format for packet writing.

- The test

We used the same procedure as with normal packet writing. We copied a 403 MB file (403.147 kbs) from a Hard Disk (on the same PC as the writers) to the formatted CD-MRW media using Windows Explorer (we dragged and dropped) and we completed the test twice to eliminate any possible time measurement faults and user errors. We performed our tests after 30mins of the initial format of the media to make sure that background formatting has ended. The results are interesting:

Packet Writing Mode
Writing (X)
Reading (X)

As we can see writing at a CD-MRW formatted HS-RW takes double the time to end the task than with the normal packet writing format. That is happening since the drive not only writes, but also monitors the quality of the written data to avoid problems. Yamaha promised that both reading/writing performance would be increased with future firmware updates. Lets hope it will...

10. Audio Master Quality Recording
Yamaha CRW3200E IDE CDR-W - Page 10

Audio Master Quality Recording

The new series of recording drives from Yamaha feature a "new" recording mode named "Audio Master Quality Recording", according to the Yamaha marketing department. It's main purpose, as claimed by Yamaha itself, is the offering of superior recording quality for disks intended to be used for the seer reproduction of audio on regular home CD and car players. This new recording mode of audio disks is expected to offer reproduction of music with reduced jitter on devises whose power supply subsystem is sensitive to electric current fluctuations due to abrupt motor/pick-up movements in those cases where the reading of a disk is problematic.

- Nero Audio Master Q.R. writing mode

Nero is the only software ,for now, that supports fully Yamaha's Audio Master Q.R mode. At the 'Write' Tab you will find 3 writing methods (DAO/TAO/Audio Master Q.R) and when "Audio Master Q.R." is selected the writing speed drop down menu dissapears. The writing speed is fixed at 4x for all burns now:

Also since the useable empty capacity is reduced down to 66minutes, the 'Disc-Info' function is also shows accordinaly:

The theory behind this entire "new" recording mode is relatively simple. According to the original red-book standard, the linear velocity of the laser beam, at 1x reading speed, over the CD's surface is allowed to vary between 1.2 and 1.4 meters per second. Anything between these extreme values is acceptable and all CD players, even the most archaic ones, are expected to be compliant when a disk is recorded at such a speed. This speed might even be non-constant for a single disk, as long as its variation is limited within certain bounds prescribed by the above standard.

As some of the older among this audience might remember, the first recordable disks where of a lower capacity, in the area of 63 minutes. Remember this, as we will move on to our technical explanation below.

First, let us explain somewhat intuitively what is supposed to be "jitter" when it comes to the reproduction of an audio disk. Some of the material below although well understood by an electrical engineer, might seem chinese to a regular CD recorder user. But don't panic, all you will have to understand here is some simple elementary arithmetic arguments.

The 0's and 1's of a data or a WAV file are transformed when written to a recordable disk. The final series of 0's and 1's that are actually recorded as "pits" and "lands" on the surface of a CD contain additional error correcting bits. The length of a recorded "pit" depends partly on the recording strategy employed by the particular firmware of a specific recorder and mainly on the linear velocity of a disk at the exact point where recording takes place. This is exactly the same as the reading speed, because the same amount of bits needs to be read from the disk in the same amount of time!

Consequently, when recording takes place at a higher linear speed, the length of the pits is proportionally greater. In particular, at 1.4m/s, this length is about 15% greater than the length of the same pit at 1.2m/s.

In real life, the pit length depends on several factors and matches the theoretical figure within a certain amount of uncertainty (error). During a disk reproduction, this type of errors is reported as "jitter". In "digital" terms, these errors are reported as C1/C2 errors.

Using a photodetector on the analog signal that passes through the laser diode on the pickup mechanism of a drive, increased jitter is seen as more "blurring" in the following pictures taken from a Yamaha white paper:

Audio Master Quality Recording
Conventional Recording
Audio Master Quality Recording
Conventional Recording

It has been found by laboratory experiments that this uncertainty is mostly irrelevant to the pit length. So a 15% longer pit contains about 15% less pit-length uncertainty! This is the crucial point in all of our discussion here. That is: a 15% recording/reading speed increase results to about 15% less errors in the pit-length.

A somewhat simplistic argument might suggest an analogous decrease in jitter. In fact, the Yamaha marketing department seems to take into account the uncertainty on both sides of a pit and claims (an erroneous according to our opinion) 30% jitter decrease when recording at a 15% increased linear speed. Overall, this new Yamaha "discovery" seems to make use of an old recording mode that was presumably in use several years ago during the initial market introduction of commercial recorders.

The end-user should be aware of the fact that using this recording mode disk space on a disk is wasted! As more space is devoted for each pit, a smaller number of pits can be recorded on the same disk surface; consequently you will be able to "put" less music on the same disk.

You will be able to record just 63 minutes of music on a disk instead of 74 minutes that are available when recording takes place at a speed of 1.2m/s. Expect analogous (disappointing) results for 80min disks. We intend to thoroughly test this new "Audio Mastering" recording mode in a couple of weeks. Come back soon to read the test results. We promise you a highly interesting technical review :-)

11. CD-RW Audio Track Edit mode
Yamaha CRW3200E IDE CD-RW - Page 11

CD-RW Audio Track Edit mode

CRW3200 provides a unique new feature that allows users to edit recorded audio track on CD-RW disc without erasing the entire disc. Users can add audio tracks to or erase audio tracks off any audio CD-RW. Nero support the this feature - can be found under AudioCD Project at "RW Edit Disc":

Nero offers 3 options: A) to Create a new Audio compilation, B) to create an editable Audio CD-RW disc and C) to edit an existing Audio CD-RW disc. Lets select "Create a new Audio compilation". After selecting few mp3 files we are ready to burn our project, using TAO mode:

After our burn is finished, lets try to edit our AudioCD. Select "Modify an existing Audio CD-RW disc" and after Nero loads the Audio tracks you can simply delete some of them:

In order to remove a track (in our case Track07) just press right-click and select delete. Correct? Nope. Nero warning message gives the right procedure:

In order to delete Track07 you must also delete Tracks 8 and 9... After deleting Tracks 6 to 9 we add more Mp3 files inside:

and we are ready to burn the new complilation. Nero will erase the tracks before writing the new one:

Last lets see our final project:

12. Conclusion
Yamaha CRW3200E IDE CD-RW - Page 12


Positive (+)

Negative (-)

- Faster recorder around at 24x writing speed!
- Uses link-less writing technology
- "SafeBURN" anti-coaster system
- "Audio Master Quality Recording" feature
- "CD-RW Audio Track Edit mode" feature
- "Mt. Rainier" format support
- 8MB Buffer
- Recording/Re-writing performance is best ever measured
- Low seek times
- Very good DAE speed
- Supports HS-RW standard
- Supports DAO-RAW
- Good CloneCD reading speeds
- Can read some Audio Protected CDs
- Supports CD-Text (read/write)
- Supports reading of SubChannel data
- Best packet writing' reading performance
- Supports UDMA-33
- 2 years of warranty (applies only for Europe)

- Slower reading performance than competition
- Low DAE quality with scratched AudioCDRs
- Creates partial working SD2 backups
- Failed to write our 99min CDs
- Low PSX reading speed
- High spin-up time
- Announced retail price ($199) is higher than competition

The Yamaha 3200E is the first drive that supports 24x writing speed with a different technological approach than competition. The 18x-24x P-CAV writing technology is faster than the 16x-24x Z-CLV that competition uses. The real time differences however are not high, at least with the PleXWriter PX-W2410A, but are present and can give Yamaha as the faster writer ever until the next generation of recorders apear in less than 2 months.

The main gain of P-CAV technology is the theoretical better quality because of its link-less design, which however didn't confirmed fully from our tests results. The Yamaha CRW3200E also includes "Mt. Rainier" and "Audio Master Q.R.", features that competition also misses. The drive's embedded 8MB of buffer and "SafeBURN" will reduce buffer underruns while the low seek times will help you reading faster the contents of your written media. The DAE ripping speed is very good but cannot reach the top.

Let's now pass over the other side and list the drive's negatives. The biggest problem is the lack of full support of SD2 backups, which competition offers. The high spin-up time will also trouble you and DAE quality with scratched CDs isn't as good as competitor drives offer. Last the announced drive's price ($199) is a drawback since some competitor drives (LiteOn/AOpen) have almost the half price...

Yamaha's biggest problem is again the very late arrival of a new recorder at the market. Other 24x recorders have been shipped from June and have established their presence at user's mind. In addition ,the next generation of 32x recorders, based again upon Z-CLV, will be appeared at early December making the decision difficult. The Yamaha CRW3200E gets our "Editors Choice Award" for its fastest 24x writing speed around, among with impressive unique features.

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