iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail







Specification of the ASUSTeK CRW4012A:
Firmware version 1.0
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, CD-Text, CD+G, 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 4x, 8x, 12x, 16x, (CLV)
24x (16x-24x), 32x (16x-32x), 40x (20x-40x) (Zone-CLV)
CD-RW recording 2x, 4x, 8x, 10x, 12x
Buffer underrun error prevention technology FlextraLink
Optimal write speed and laser power determination technology FlextraSpeed
Interface PIO Mode4 (default),
UltraDMA 33
Reading 48x max (7200 KBytes/s)
Buffer size 2048 KBytes
Production date March 2002
Manufacturer Taiwan
Price as tested n/a

The drive ships in a Retail package.

The box contains:

  • Detailed user manual in English and Japanese;
  • CD with Nero Burning Rom, InCD 3.2.3 from Ahead Software
  • 1 40x CD-R and 1 High Speed CD-RW (4x-12x);
  • 4 screws;
  • Analog cable for connecting the drive to a sound card;
  • IDE cable.

ATIP: 97m 22s 67f
Disc Manufacturer: Acer Media Technology, Inc.
Reflective layer: Dye (Short strategy; e.g. Phthalocyanine)
Media type: CD-Recordable
Recording Speeds: min. unknown - max. unknown
nominal Capacity: 702.83 MBytes
(79m 59s 74f / LBA: 359849)

ATIP: 97m 22s 60f
Disc Manufacturer: Acer Media Technology, Inc.
Reflective layer: Phase change
Media type: CD-ReWritable
Recording Speeds: min. 4X - max. 8X
nominal Capacity: 702.83 MBytes
(79m 59s 74f / LBA: 359849)

Character and method of recording:

ASUS positions its FlextraSpeed system as one of the most perfect in its class. I can't say it's wrong. The recorder won't offer you the 40x write speed just because you have loaded a disc from Tayio Yuden. 32x is the maximum speed at which the CRW4012A can burn such discs. HP Phthalocyanine 1x-12x CD-Rs with the old Mitsui's ATIP will be recorded at a maximum of 32x. It will be worse if you use a disc with an ATIP of a less known manufacturer (Plasmon, 4M, Princo, Gigastorage). Whatever the write speed of a certain CD-R can be, the 40x ASUS's recorder will offer speeds only in the range of 4x-16x.

Having loaded the latest discs from Hitachi-Maxell , Acer, Ritek or Mitsubishi Chemicals, you will get access to the whole range of speeds.

When the recording is finished, the Nero reports that:

However that can be, it would be better if the FlextraSpeed can be disabled because it allows a user to determine the write speed himself.

The recorder is based on the MediaTek MT1508E chipset.

Here is what the Nero says you about the drive (as there was a CD-R in the tray when the characteristics were defined, Nero showed the maximum speed of 32x):

The design is simple: a traditional rectangular tray with a small projection forward, a headphones jack, a mechanical volume control, a narrow tray button and a track button (which also serves as a speed switch), two one-color LEDs and an emergency ejection hole.

Apart from standard connectors for installation of the drive as Master/Slave, the back panel has one more jumper. You must remove it to enable the UltraDMA 33 mode. Besides, you can listen to you favorite audio discs via the digital SPDIF interface.

The drive whistles, but unnoticeably. Taking into account that this is a 48x model, I can say that ASUS achieved a success with its DDSS II technology.

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