Specifications according to Artec:
- CD read speeds of 3450-7800 KB/sec
- Digital audio extraction speeds not specified
- 128 KB buffer
- <100 ms average random access time
- ATAPI/ATA-33 interface
- 1-year warranty
For more information, click here
to see Artec's online product page.
The retail box contents:
- The drive
- A floppy disc containing DOS device drivers and the drive manual in .txt format
- One analog audio cable
- Four mounting screws
- Quick installation diagram on the side of the box
The obvious missing item is an IDE cable. Sparse accoutrements likely help keep the drive's selling price competitive.
Physically, the drive looks fairly typical. The main standout on the front faceplate is a 2nd button for advancing audio tracks. The rear of the drive includes a digital audio out in addition to standard optical drive connectors. Finally, the disc recess on the tray is very shallow, making it difficult to grab the edges of a CD when the tray opens.
The drive arrived with firmware revision 1.10. No updates were available from Artec's site.
52X CAV CD-ROM drives are generally pretty noisy. Though the Artec is fairly loud at full spindle speed, it's less so than we expected. Interestingly, the drive spins up in discrete steps, as opposed to most drives spinning up smoothly. Audibly, this sounds similar to a car's shifting gears. Our hypothesis is that the drive is programmed to run at certain spindle speeds depending on the type of media in the drive as well as the quality of the media. Perhaps discretely separating these RPM zones allows for less motor wear or more accurate speed changes. The drive became only lukewarm during extended stress tests.
Current online pricing is $39 from Artec's online web store. More online resellers are starting to carry the Artec line and we've seen this drive for as low as $25 on Pricewatch.
CD-ROM Performance Results...