2. Introduction - Mitsumi CR-487ETE
3. Introduction - Teac CD-W552E
4. Introduction - Waitec STORM 52/2
5. Data Reading tests
6. Error Correction Tests page 1
7. Error Correction Tests page 2
8. CloneCD Reading Tests
9. DAE Tests
10. CD-R Writing Tests
11. Writing Quality Tests page 1 - AOpen CRW5224
12. Writing Quality Tests page 2 - AOpen CRW5224
13. Writing Quality Tests page 1 - Mitsumi CR-487ETE
14. Writing Quality Tests page 2 - Mitsumi CR-487ETE
15. Writing Quality Tests page 1 - Teac CD-W552E
16. Writing Quality Tests page 2- Teac CD-W552E
17. Writing Quality Tests page 1 - Waitec STORM 52/2
18. Writing Quality Tests page 2- Waitec STORM 52/2
19. RW Writing Tests
52X IDE CD-RW Recorder Roundup Vol 2 - Page 20
All the drives support 52X CAV reading speed for CD-ROM and CD-R media. The data reading tests results showed that the actual performance differences in this area are not very important, since the drives gave the expected results and behaved in a similar way. However, a slight lead could be mentioned for Mitsumi and Teac drives for both transfer rates and seek times. On the other hand, when it comes to reading of rewritable media, the Mitsumi and Teac drives limit their maximum speed to 32X CAV allowing the AOpen and Waitec drives to be faster with 52X CAV (50X actually).
Digital Audio Extraction is also an important issue for the recorders. Starting from the maximum extraction speed, the Teac, AOpen and Waitec drives support 52X and are faster from Mitsumi, which allows ripping at 40X maximum. The average speed for the first drives is 35-36X while Mitsumi stays at 30X. However, Teac and Waitec drives gave back a few read errors with the recorded audio test disc. As for the 99min audio discs, all the drives are capable of ripping them with not particular problems. Audio protected discs are also not fully supported by the drives. None of them can "handle" the Key2Audio titles and the Cactus Data Shield 200 discs will not be a problem for only Waitec STORM 52/2 and AOpen CRW5224.
The error correction tests gave Teac CD-W552E a small lead over the Mitsumi CR-487ETE. Although these drives did not gave impressive performance, they behaved better than the AOpen CRW5224 and Waitec STORM 52/2, which seems to have trouble with ripping of defected/scratched audio discs. Teac CD-W552E also gave the highest C2 accuracy in the test but again the performance is not perfect. The rest of the drives failed to retrieve all the expected C2 errors with the ABEX test discs.
Regarding the writing speed, the drives gave almost the same recording times at the maximum supported 52X CAV speed. The average time is 2:30min approximately. No problems were noted during writing and the extra features of each drive (buffer underun protections, JustLink e.t.c) seem to work fine. What we can add is that the AOpen CRW5224 and Waitec STORM 52/2 support writing at 52X in an adequate number of media, followed by Mitsumi CR-487ETE, while the Teac drive managed to write in the maximum speed only on three types of discs. Of course this situation could be different if we had more media to test. Staying in the writing part, we should consider as a low of the AOpen and Waitec drives the fact that they wrote the US-RW discs using CAV technology and not the supposed P-CAV, resulting to higher writing times.
The jitter results for all the drives seem to make us reconsider writing our favorite audio discs at high speeds. Especially the 52X speed could be very risky regarding the produced quality. The AOpen and Waitec drives gave the best results with specific media. These media are Taiyo Yuden 40X, Samsung 48X and Fuji 40X. The rest of the discs we tested produced higher jitter values after the 40min approximately of the tested disc. The Mitsumi CRW-487ETE performed better with Mitsubishi Chemicals 48X media, although some problems by the end of the disc, and introduced jitter higher than 35nsec with all the rest of the discs we tried. Last, the Teac CD-W552E disappointed us since we did not get high quality results with any disc we tested. In addition, the high jitter was introduced even from the first minutes of the discs, where the speed (CAV) was still low.
Last, we note that all the drives are SecuROM v.2 and SafeDisc v2.x ready, while the reading performance with these discs is fast enough. The Mount Rainier implementation also seems to need improvement since none of the drives managed to pass the Philips EasyWrite test Suite.
As you can realize the choice is hard as always since none of the drives can make the difference in all the tests. It seems that the competition in the 52X recording market has pushed the manufacturers to launch new drives and this may have influenced the product quality. The main problem seems to be detected in the writing quality offered at such high speeds. However, the idea of retiring our old recorder very attractive, so do weight your needs and decide on the way to your local computer stores. The drives are available in prices of Euro 100.