iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail







Specification of the TEAC CD-W540E:
Firmware version 1.0C
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-I, CD+G, 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 72 ms
CD-R recording 4x, 8x, 16x, 20x (CLV)
20-24x, 20-32x, 20-40x (Zone-CLV)
CD-RW recording 4x, 10x, 12x
Buffer underrun error prevention technology Write-Proof
Optimal write speed and laser power determination technology Intelligent Speed Control
Interface UltraDMA 33
Reading 48x max (7200 KBytes/s)
Buffer size 8192 KBytes
Production date March 2002
Manufacturer Malaysia
Price as tested up to $120

The drive ships in a Retail package.

The box contains:

  • Quick Installation Guide in 8 languages

  • "Information CD" with information on the whole range of TEAC products
  • CD with Nero Burning Rom, InCD 3.2.3 from Ahead Software
  • CD-R Mitsui SG Ultra for 40x recording and High Speed CD-RW 4x-10x
  • 4 screws
  • Analog cable for connecting the drive to a sound card
  • IDE cable.

ATIP: 97m 27s 57f
Disc Manufacturer: Mitsui Toatsu Chemicals, 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 34s 23f
Disc Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Chemicals Corp.
Reflective layer: Phase change
Media type: CD-ReWritable
Recording Speeds: min. 4X - max. 8X
nominal Capacity: 656.40 MBytes (74m 43s 00f / LBA: 336075)

Character and method of recording:

In the box we found the following sheet of paper with which you can get one free HS CD-RW disc after May 31.

The 24x model of TEAC was popular for quite a long time; and after that the company released a 40x CD-RW drive omitting a 32x model. The W540E model acquired some new interesting features.

First of all, it is Intelligent Speed Control which estimates quality and characteritics of an active recorded layer, as well as mechanical properties of the disc, equilibration, the number of tracks, offset and some other characteristics.

The Fine Focus Control allows the optical head to keep its position on the track. Accurate positioning and movement of the head are very important for recording as they define quality of writing at the highest speeds. Besides, a pit's shape in a groove also depends on them.

The TEAC CD-W540E also supports the Mount Rainier format which is accepted by the majority of leading recorder makers. It allows you to use a standard CD-RW disc for recording right after 3-minute formatting. Mount Rainier is, in fact, a more advanced technology of realization of background formatting offered earlier by HP which allows using a CD-RW disc as a standard floppy diskette.

TEAC also notifies that the chassis of the drive is made of 1.2mm metal. Resistance of the metal to distortion reduces vibration. Besides, the TEAC drives have a special weighted base which is also meant for reduction of vibration during reading and writing.

Here is what the Nero says you about the drive:

Users that got the CD-W540E with the 1.0A or 1.0B firmware version can come accross a problem when the write programs report only about 6746 KBytes of the buffer memory. It is also typical of the previous TEAC recorders. The company considered that it was better to notify a user about the working buffer size. I don't know why they changed their opinion, but in the 1.0C version the recorder informs about 8 MBytes of the buffer memory.

And now look at the insides of the CD-RW drives.

The recorder is based on the Sanyo's chip LC898094.

If you look carefully at the printed-circuit board you will see that next to the IDE connector it is written "CD-532E". I think that TEAC had some plans on the 32x model. It is possible that the unexpected annouce of the 40x model of Plextor brought in some changes in its plans.

The TEAC CD-W524E has quite a high noise level. I can't say the 40x model is quieter, but taking into account its maximum speed of 48x, the noise is less intensive.

The appearance remains the same as of the 54th model. Note that this drive was excellently matched with our test case from Inwin.

The ejected discs are not very warm.

On the CD-Rs recorded at the maximum speed the borders of the parts recorded at different speeds are well seen, especially on the cyanine discs.

The TEAC drives come with 2-year warranty for Europe.

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