iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Acer CRW 1208A

Specification of the Acer CRW 1208A:
Firmware version 9.EB
Recording modes Disc-At-Once, Track-At-Once, Session-At-Once, MultiSession, Packet Writing
Recording formats CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, Photo CD (single- and multi-sessions), CD-Text, CD-I, CD-Extra, Video CD
Read/write support in Raw-mode RAW-DAO - supported
RAW-DAO Write Simulation - supported
CD+G RAW-DAO - supported
RAW-SAO - supported
RAW-SAO Write Simulation - supported
Average access time 100 ms
CD-R recording 2x, 4x, 8X, 12X
CD-RW recording 2X, 4x, 8X
Buffer underrun error prevention technology Seamless Link
Interface PIO Mode 4
Reading 32x max (4800 Kbps)
Buffer size 4096 KBytes
Production date March 2000
Price as tested $110-120

The device ships in a Retail package.

The box contains:

  • Installation Manual in 7 languages.
  • CD with software for recording: Nero Burning Rom and InCD 1.6.9 from ahead Software.
  • Guide for Nero.
  • Recommendations how to avoid buffer-underrun errors.
  • High Speed CD-RW disc 4X-8X.
  • 4 screws.
  • Analog audio cable for connection of the drive to a sound card.
  • Diskette with MS-DOS drivers.

You might notice that there is no IDE cables and CD-R discs. Usually, the IDE-cable comes with the drive in a Retail package. Don't forget to check it in the box.

The system identifies the CRW 1208A in an untypical manner.

Instead of the model's name you will see a laconic 12X8X32. But it's not important. The product must work stable, flawlessly and reliable.

Acer is one of the largest manufacturers of computer equipment with the powerful potential and excellent engineers. The company possesses the production facilities since 1994. First they started production of CD-ROM drives with the output reaching 1 million in 1995. At present the company makes about 8 million drives annually, with 5 million being CD-ROM, 1.2 million - CD-RW and 1.8M - DVD-ROM drives. The plants are located in Malaysia and China.

Many our readers ask about partnership of Philips and Acer. At the beginning of production of CD-ROM and CD-RW drives Acer had close partnership connections with Philips. Many developments were common, and production facilities were enabled at the plants of both companies. But after 8x CD-ROM drives Acer has been developing and manufacturing its models independently. But the close relationships with Philips have remained. As far we we know, one of Acer's drives uses Philips chips.

Time and technological progress dictate their own laws. For example, almost every modern CD-RW drive has a buffer underrun error prevention technology. Some companies licence already existent products, others offer their own solutions. Quite often such companies develop really more progressive solutions. Sanyo, Ricoh, Yamaha and now Acer have gone this way. The rumor has it that ASUSTeK is also preparing its solution. So, this Acer's model is the first recorder supporting Seamless Link technology, an analog of the BURN-Proof and JustLink.

Unlike its competitors, this technology is realized on the firmware level and doesn't need software support. According to the engineers from Acer, this will prevent damage of a disc because of underflowing even in the programs which have no data on the existence of the Seamless Link. Nevertheless, the Seamless Link may work incorrectly if old versions of the Nero Burning Rom are used.

The front panel is implemented in a typical for Acer streamline style with roundish buttons.

A traditional tip-up tray lid (4), a headphones jack (1), mechanical volume control (2), a tray button (7), a button for audio CD playback without additional utilities (6), 2 drive operation indicators and an emergency ejection hole (3). The rear panel contains a digital output.

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