by July 4, 2002 0 comments



This external CD-ReWriter from Yamaha has a FireWire (IEEE 1394) interface, which makes it a unique product since there aren’t many players with the same offering. It supports the original FireWire interface that allows transfer rates of up to 400 Mbps, and supports daisy-chaining of FireWire devices. Most CD-ReWriters now support the new USB 2.0 interface, that allows a slightly faster transfer rate of up to 480 Mbps with similar features. Not only that, USB cards are much cheaper than their FireWire counterparts. These are needed to connect the devices to a PC. 

Its
8 MB buffer is large compared to other CD-ReWriters

YAMAHA
CRW 32001X-VK
Price: Rs 25,000
Features: FireWire interface, 24x Write, 10x ReWrite, 40x Read, 8MB
buffer, Nero 5.5.5.1, supports Win 98 SE/Me/2000 Pro/XP, Mac OS
8.6/9/9.1/9.2, supports CD-MRW packet-writing format
Pros: Good performance on Yamaha media
Cons: Expensive, burnt Imation and Amkette 32x media at 16x
Contact: Neoteric Infomatique, Mumbai. Tel: 022-4172600.

One impressive spec of the drive is its 8 MB buffer, which is used to store data before it’s actually burnt. This is relatively large compared to other CD-RWs, and is supposed to ensure better performance and fewer errors. The drive also supports CD-MRW (CD Mount Rainer ReWriting), which is a new standard for packet writing on a CD-RW disc. Other specs are ordinary, with 24x write, 10x ReWrite, and 40x read speeds. The drive also supports SafeBurn, which prevents the dreaded buffer underrun error being burnt. On the software front, it comes with Nero for burning CD-Rs and InCd for
CDRWs.

Installing the drive was a breeze and plug-n-play, just like USB drives. If your system doesn’t have a FireWire port, then you’ll have to buy a FireWire card, which will put you back by about Rs 2,500. To check out the drive we first burnt 650 MB of data on to it. Unfortunately, we faced some compatibility issues using different media on this drive. It refused to burn at 24x on Imation and Amkette 24x media. It would only burn at 16x, and took around 5:20 mins. We then used the single Yamaha CD-R media that came with this drive and, sure enough, it burnt at 24x taking only 4:01mins. On this media, it was the best time we got among all the 24x drives we’ve tested so far. The fastest was 4:13 for the Iomega Predator tested last month. It worked fine with CD-RW media, and took just 10:30 mins to fully format the disc, which was a whole 2 mins ahead of competition. It also managed to give a throughput of 1.25MB/sec, which was quite fast. 

The Bottom Line. While this drive has good features and gives excellent performance, the high price of Rs 25,000 might put you off. Plus, you’ll have to spend extra on a FireWire card if you don’t already have one. Also check for media
compatibility. 

Sachin Makhija at PCQ Labs

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