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Yamaha CRW2100S - Write/ReWrite Performance Results

  February 20, 2001 Author: Tim Zakharov  

Write/ReWrite Tests

CD-R Based Duplication

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When duplicating our audio CD, the CRW2100S takes quite a bit longer to image the disc than the CRW2100E. However, burn times are much closer, with the CRW2100S completing the process in 5:29 vs. the CRW2100E's 5:25. Total duplication time puts the CRW2100S nearly a minute behind its ATAPI sibling, due to the slower imaging.

Our data CD takes 2:44 to image and 5:39 to burn. These results are about equal to the ATAPI Yamaha, keeping both CRW2100 drives significantly ahead of the 12X pack in total duplication time.

CD-RW Based Duplication

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Like the CRW2100E, the SCSI Yamaha rewrites at 8X speeds during normal burns. Both Yamahas duplicate our test disc to CD-RW in 12:28.5. Only Sony's 8X rewriter is slower in our comparison. The other drives rewrite at 10X, keeping them well ahead.

CD-R Based Stress Tests

We stress our optical drives by attempting a scripted burn while the testbed runs certain programs. In what we've coined our moderate stress test, this test runs while the testbed cycles through Unreal Tournament's introductory flyby sequence. Every drive tested so far completes this burn at its maximum write speed. The CRW2100S is no exception, completing the task easily at 16X. This reinforces the fact that the majority of today's burners, regardless of interface, are capable of peak performance even under fairly heavy loads. Our testbed's CPU is decidedly low-end at 450 Mhz. Faster systems mated with a modern burner likely would complete full speed burns at even higher system loads.

Speaking of high system loads, our other stress test is a worst-case scenario. Most users don't put this much strain on their system while attempting to complete a burn, but we like to test the limits of performance at SR. We attempt the same scripted burn while Winbench 99's CPUmark99 test executes. During this test, the CPU and CPU cache are completely loaded, leaving few resources free for anything else. So far, SR has reviewed nine burners. The fastest that any drive without BURN-Proof or JustLink could complete this test was 4X. Those drives with buffer underrun prevention technology can complete a burn at maximum-rated speeds under these conditions, but with pauses factored in while the drive waits for its buffer to refill, speeds typically end up just below 5X.

So how does the CRW2100S do? Without any buffer underrun technology, the drive tops out at 4X despite its 8 MB buffer. In other words, it performs no better than drives with 4 MB buffer, such as Sony's CRX160E. Keep in mind; even at speeds as slow as 4X, an 8 MB buffer only takes about 13 seconds to empty.

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DirectCD Formatting

The CRW2100S completes a full DirectCD format in 13:28. This is 11 seconds faster than the CRW2100E, but slightly behind TEAC's CD-W512E. The SCSI Yamaha quick formats a high speed CD-RW in about 34 seconds.

DirectCD Packet-Writing Performance

Like the CRW2100E, the SCSI Yamaha rewrites at 4X-10X CAV during packet-writing. As such, the CRW2100S takes nearly five minutes to copy our 195 MB folder via Windows Explorer. This is slightly slower than the ATAPI Yamaha. Even Sony's 8X CLV speeds yield much faster times.

DirectCD CD-RW Erasing

Unfortunately, the CRW2100S doesn't work with Adaptec's CD-RW Eraser program. We tried various brands and speeds of CD-RWs, but CD-RW Eraser loads up with the "erase" button grayed out every time. We swapped a different burner (Plextor's 16/10/40) into the testbed to erase the discs we'd formatted to DirectCD on the Yamaha. The Plextor has no issues with CD-RW Eraser. In fact, Yamaha's CRW2100E has no problems either when erasing CD-RWs under identical conditions. Since both Yamahas were tested with the same firmware (1.0h) and same software, its unclear why this occurrs. Could there be a difference between the CRW2100E's 1.0h and the CRW2100S's 1.0h?



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