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Yamaha CRW2100E - Write/ReWrite Performance Results

  January 17, 2001 Author: Tim Zakharov  

Write/ReWrite Tests

CD-R Based Duplication

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Offering 12X-16X P-CAV writes, Yamaha's latest burner unsurprisingly dominates the 12X CLV competition in our CD-R duplication tests. With our audio CD, records were shattered in times to image CD-DA and to burn the image to CD-R. Total duplication time is about 19% faster than the previous best from Sony.

Likewise, with our data CD, duplication times are equally impressive. The CRW2100E images our test disc in only 2:44, 14% faster than Sony's CRX160E. The burn portion of the test completes in only 5:36, 19% better than the Spressa. Total duplication time is 18% faster than Sony's previous record.

CD-RW Based Duplication

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As mentioned earlier, Yamaha advertises the CRW2100E as a 10X rewriter. Careful study of the specs, though, shows that 10x only occurs at the outer edge of a high speed CD-RW during packet-writes. During standard burning to CD-RW, rewrites actually occur at 8X CLV. Our test results here confirm this. Yamaha's rewrite speeds are almost identical to the Sony's-also an 8X CLV rewriter. Due to superior read speeds, though, the Yamaha finishes slightly ahead of the Sony in total duplication time. Still, it lags the 10X CLV Plextors by 11%.

CD-R Based Stress Tests

In designing the CRW2100E, Yamaha chose to skip out on the latest buffer underrun prevention technology and instead beef up the drive's buffer to 8 MB. We were curious how this would affect its results in our stress tests. Our first stress test is turning out to be quite a simple task for today's CD-RWs-burning a 195 MB folder while Unreal Tournament's intro flyby sequence cycles in RAM. As expected, the CRW2100E was able to complete a burn at 16X under these conditions with no problems.

Our second stress test, though, has challenged each and every one of the burners we've put through it. We attempt to burn the same 195 MB folder while Winbench 99's CPUmark99 test is running. This test not only stresses the CPU, but the cache and memory subsystem as well. The result? Yamaha's latest produces buffer underrun errors (i.e., coasters) at all speeds higher than 4X. This is no better than we've seen from 4 MB buffer drives tested in the past. We were hoping that the doubled buffer size would allow us to complete the stress test at 8X, but this was not the case. We're left wondering if the additional buffer size truly adds benefit. Perhaps in some situations somewhere between our two stress tests, where system resources are taxed for shorter amounts of time, it may deliver some additional benefit.

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DirectCD Formatting

A full format of a TDK high-speed CD-RW took only 13:39, easily the quickest we've seen so far. Subsequent quick formats were completed in about 35 seconds.

DirectCD Packet-Writing Performance

Using Windows Explorer to copy a 195 MB folder to a freshly formatted DirectCD CD-RW, the CRW2100E takes nearly 4:49 to complete the file transfer. This means it's 74% slower than Ricoh's MP9120A. Because the drive's transfer method during packet-writes is CAV, speeds start at only 4X at the inner tracks, increasing gradually to 10X by the outer edge of the disc. Unfortunately, this means that overall average transfer rates during packet-writes are significantly lower than the advertised 10X. In fact, unless you completely fill a 74-minute high speed CD-RW to 650 MB (minus formatting overhead), you'll never see 10X speeds.

DirectCD CD-RW Erasing

Finally, using DirectCD's CD-RW Eraser utility, it took 33 seconds to fully erase a DirectCD-formatted disc to a blank state.



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