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CD-R Media Roundup (Part V)
650 MBytes Discs

May 4, 2002



The last tests of the CD-R media were carried out according to the new test algorithm which had some flaws though it was more perfect than the previous one. It doesn't mean however that the obtained data are incorrect. We came across some flaws in the algorithm when we worked on the fifth part. When we entered incorrect data by mistake we discovered that with certain results (connected with a spread in maximum and minimal values of "E" errors) we could get pretty different data which could affect the final scores. The recalculation of results of the fourth part didn't reveal such considerable deviations but, still, improvement of the algorithm took quite a lot of time.

By completion of working on the program, which processed data and gave out results, we got test results of 650 MBytes CD-R media with the maximum write speed of 12x and 16x, and of 24x. Taking into account that 12x discs were not very popular any more, we first decided not to publish their results. But then it turned out that there were a lot of users who had plenty of such discs at home (12x or 16x CD-R). Besides, a lot of our readers are much concerned about how long data recorded onto old discs can "live". As for me, I'm really tired of answering the questions like "... I recorded my data onto a CD-R "AAA". Should I rewrite them on a more expensive and reliable disc?" First of all, there is no a single answer. Even 3-4 discs of different ATIPs can't characterize the whole class of AAA discs. Secondly, it's only for you to decide how precious your data are. Sometimes, it's important that a disc live a day or even less. In this case any cyanine disc of a noname manufacturer with awful stains of the protective varnish would suffice. You must be sure of a reading device which is to read data from such a disc. It's probable that it will be the last time... But if it's necessary that your data be safe for years then you shouldn't save cents when data costs thousands of dollars.

So, we decided to publish results of discs of the previous generation - 12x-16x CD-Rs before we turn to the test results of the most popular 24x media.

We are glad that all our examinations of quality of storage and recording devices are supported by our partner Alion which deals in supplying of consumed materials, information-carrying media and optical devices of data storage.

The testing technique hasn't changed much since the fourth part of CD-R tests. There are four recorders which write test discs: Yamaha CRW2200E, TDK
CyClone 161040, TEAC CD-W516E and Plextor PX-W124Tsi. The minimal write speed of CD-R is 4x. Each drive recorded discs at 4Y, 8Y and 12Y.

Let me remind you the algorithm of calculation of results: 100 scores are given to a disc with the BLER factor equal to 0, with an ideal symmetry, lacking for crosstalk noise, E11vE32 errors etc. If a certain parameter has upper and lower levels the reference value will be an average between the maximum and minimum determined by the Orange Book. E32 errors lower the final score almost twice (there certainly are unreadable areas).

Tested discs

Mirex Silverer 650 MBytes 1x-12x (slim box)
  • ATIP:
  • Disc Manufacturer:
  • Assumed Dye type:
  • Media type:
  • Recording Speeds:
  • nominal Capacity:

  • 97m 28s 26f
  • Multi Media Masters & Machinery SA
  • Dye (Short strategy; e.g. Phthalocyanine)
  • CD-Recordable
  • min. unknown - max. unknown
  • 654.49 MBytes (74m 30s 00f / LBA: 335100)

Philips MultiPurpose CD-R74 (1x-12x)
  • ATIP:
  • Disc Manufacturer:
  • Assumed Dye type:
  • Media type:
  • Recording Speeds:
  • nominal Capacity:

  • 97m 31s 09f
  • Ritek Co.
  • Dye (Short strategy; e.g. Phtalocyanine)
  • CD-Recordable
  • min. unknown - max. unknown
  • 654.49 MBytes (74m 30s 00f / LBA: 335100)

Philips Silverer Premium (1x-16x)
  • ATIP:
  • Disc Manufacturer:
  • Assumed Dye type:
  • Media type:
  • Recording Speeds:
  • nominal Capacity:

  • 97m 27s 56f
  • Mitsui Toatsu Chemicals, Inc.
  • Dye (Short strategy; e.g. Phthalocyanine)
  • CD-Recordable
  • min. unknown - max. unknown
  • 650.85 MBytes (74m 05s 11f / LBA: 333236)

SKC CD-R Professional FCR74B 650 MBytes (all speed compatible)
  • ATIP:
  • Disc Manufacturer:
  • Assumed Dye type:
  • Media type:
  • Recording Speeds:
  • nominal Capacity:

  • 97m 26s 24f
  • SKC Co., Ltd.
  • Cyanine (Type 4)
  • CD-Recordable
  • min. unknown - max. unknown
  • 658.74 MBytes (74m 59s 00f / LBA: 337275)

TDK d-view 74 1x-12x (slim box)
  • ATIP:
  • Disc Manufacturer:
  • Assumed Dye type:
  • Media type:
  • Recording Speeds:
  • nominal Capacity:

  • 97m 32s 00f
  • TDK Corp.
  • Dye (Long strategy; e.g. Cyanine, Azo etc.)
  • CD-Recordable
  • min. unknown - max. unknown
  • 658.74 MBytes (74m 59s 00f / LBA: 337275)

Verbatim DataLife Plus 650 MBytes (1x-16x) MetalAZO
  • ATIP:
  • Disc Manufacturer:
  • Assumed Dye type:
  • Media type:
  • Recording Speeds:
  • nominal Capacity:

  • 97m 34s 21f
  • Mitsubishi Chemicals Corp.
  • Dye (Long strategy; e.g. Cyanine, Azo etc.)
  • CD-Recordable
  • min. unknown - max. unknown
  • 656.40 MBytes (74m 43s 00f / LBA: 336075)

Test results

Here you can look at the combined diagrams based on the average results of the tested discs obtained on each recorder.

The higher the score, the better.
Test results of the discs recorded at 4x

TDK CyClone 161040
TEAC CD-W516E
Yamaha CRW2200E
Plextor PX-W124Tsi

Test results of the discs recorded at 8x

TDK CyClone 161040
TEAC CD-W516E
Yamaha CRW2200E
Plextor PX-W124Tsi

The CD-R Mirex contains E32 errors (the maximum value is 27)

Test results of the discs recorded at 12x

TDK CyClone 161040
TEAC CD-W516E
Yamaha CRW2200E
Plextor PX-W124Tsi

The CD-R Philips Silver contains E32 errors (the maximum value is 115)

Today we tested discs from manufacturers who produce the highest-quality media. That is why the tests results of all CD-Rs are so close. The stable results are shown by the Philips Silverer discs produced by a company well known for high-quality phthalocyanine media - Mitsui. The 12x recording on the Plextor drive is obviously an exception - I'm not sure whether we should blame the disc or the CD-RW drive which failed to choose the optimal write speed and laser power. The MultiPurpose CD-R shows quite high results. Although the results of these discs are not so stable as of the Philips Silverer, we still can consider the Ritek phthalocyanine media of pretty high quality. The discs from Verbatim, TDK, SKC and Mirex take average positions, though the DataLife Plus goes a little ahead. If we take just the TEAC recorder, we will see that the drive doesn't like Russian media. But I must admit that the results of the Mirex CD-Rs are quite close to the brand name products.

Below are all print-outs of the CDCATS SA3 test station.

TDK CyClone 161040 Yamaha CRW2200E TEAC CD-W516E Plextor PX-W124Tsi

As it's difficult to understand the results of this test station, here you can take a look at the examples of print-outs of the CDCATS SA3.

Note that apart from the diagrams the test station gives results in the numeric form. Here you can find explanations of the main test parameters.

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