Specifications according to Afreey's manual/website:
- CD read speeds of 2700-8400 KB/sec
- Digital audio extraction speeds "up to 40X"
- 128 KB buffer (unspecified, but reported by software)
- 80 ms average random access time
- ATAPI interface (UDMA33)
For more information, click here
to see Afreey's online product page.
The box contents:
- The drive
- Installation floppy for DOS drivers
- Four mounting screws
- Analog 3-pin audio cable
- Fold-out user guide (10 page, multi-language)
Missing is an IDE cable. Considering the low street price of the drive and the fact that most computer enthusiasts have plenty of spares, this is a minor oversight, but something to consider nonetheless.
The rest of the drive's vitals: The back of the unit holds what's becoming a fairly standard digital audio output along with the regular analog out. The rest of the vitals are standard fare for an ATAPI optical drive.
The drive arrived with firmware revision 23. After some problems related to initial spin-up speed, Afreey sent us firmware revision 22. Apparently revision 23 is an internal testing version that was accidentally sent.
Given that a 56X drive spins at about 12,000 RPM, above-average noise levels are a given. Although Afreey does advertise low noise, subjectively the drive is still among the louder units we've used during sequential reads (though it is a definite notch below Digital Research's 56X screamer). During random reads, however, noise levels do drop significantly, so perhaps Afreey's engineers tweaked the firmware to reduce spindle speed (and thus, noise levels) in certain situations. This may explain the drive's performance in our Disc Copy test below.
As for heat levels, the drive never reaches temperatures that would be described as "hot." Subjectively, we'd say that the drive could get very warm if pushed hard. Otherwise, the drive remains relatively cool.
Current online pricing for the retail box is about $35 on Pricewatch.
Next we examine drive performance.
CD-ROM Performance Results...