The Yamaha CRW2200E offers a mixed bag of performance.
In summary, its strengths include:
- Reduced drive noise over previous generation
- Consistent read performance with a variety of pressed discs
- Excellent read speeds with CD-RW media
- Inclusion of coaster prevention technology
- 8 MB buffer considerably reduces the chance of coaster prevention tech coming into play
- P-CAV writes keep drive RPMs low and eliminate forced gaps that Zone-CLV creates
- 10X CLV rewrite and packet-writing speeds are a big improvement over Yamaha's previous burner
The drive's weak areas are:
- Read speeds are still mediocre compared to Teac and Ricoh
- DAE easily slows down with scratched audio discs
- Poor CD-DA playback error correction
- Spotty read performance with some brands of CD-R media
- 20X write performance less than 10% faster than 16X CLV competition due to P-CAV strategy
Overall, the CRW2200E is a significant improvement over its predecessor. Rewrite and packet-writing performance ascend to industry standards, buffer underrun protection is added, and the monstrous 8 MB buffer is retained. However, its weak areas keep the CRW2200E from gaining ground over the top 16X burners. Drives like Teac's CD-W516EB
and Plextor's PX-W1610TA
write at fractionally lower speeds but offer more robust DAE, CD-DA playback error correction, and general read performance. Ricoh's 20X writer
outperforms the Yamaha in every category except packet-writing speeds, where it's edged by 4 seconds by the CRW2200E.
The CRW2200E excels at creating gap-free burns. Its 8 MB buffer staves off coaster prevention technology; the P-CAV write strategy offers up to 20X burn speeds without introducing forced gaps in data like the Ricoh's Zone-CLV does (even if they are only 2 microns wide); and even when coaster prevention is activated, gap sizes are less than one micron across.
Hopefully Yamaha can address issues such as spotty CD-R readability and DAE with less-than-perfect discs with future firmware revisions. Until then, this drive is difficult to recommend over the current Leaderboard top-dog Ricoh or even higher-rated 16X burners like Teac's CD-W516EB.