iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






AOpen CRW2040

Specification of the AOpen CRW2040:
Firmware version 1.01
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-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 120 ms
CD-R recording 4x, 8X, 12X (CLV)
16x, 20x (Zone-CLV)
CD-RW recording 2X, 4x, 10X
Buffer underrun error prevention technology JustLink
Interface UltraDMA 33
Reading 40x max (6000 KBytes/s)
Buffer size 2048 KBytes
Production date September 2001
Manufacturer Taiwan
Price as tested n/a

The drive ships in a Retail package.

The box contains:

  • User Manual
  • Installation Manual
  • CD with Nero Burning Rom and InCD 2.26 from Ahead Software
  • CD with GAMUT 2000 1.2.0 for audio files playback
  • CD-R and CD-RW discs
  • 4 screws and an Eject Stick
  • Analog cable for connecting the drive to a sound card
  • IDE cable

ATIP: 97m 27s 10f
Disc Manufacturer: Plasmon Data Systems, Ltd.
Reflective layer: Phase change
Media type: CD-ReWritable
Recording Speeds: min. 4X - max. 8X
nominal Capacity: 656.10 MBytes
(74m 41s 00f / LBA: 335925)
ATIP: 97m 31s 01f
Disc Manufacturer: Ritek Co.
Reflective layer: Dye (Long strategy; e.g. Cyanine, Azo etc.)
Media type: CD-Recordable
Recording Speeds: min. unknown - max. unknown
nominal Capacity: 656.69 MBytes (74m 45s 00f / LBA: 336225)

Character and technique of recording:

This is a usual drive based on the Ricoh MP7200. It supports JustLink, JustSpeed and Zone-CLV technologies used for high-speed recording. The software allows starting to record CDs right after its installation.

Here is what the Nero says about this drive:

Earlier I mentioned that Ricoh clones and OEM versions do not like low-quality media. This time the AOpen recorder refused to record CD-R Mirex at the speed over 8X, though usually Mirex discs do not have any problems while being recorded at the speeds up to 24x.

Moreover, the drive doesn't get on with 24x CD-R discs from TDK Reflex Ultra. When we enabled the JustSpeed the CRW2040 refused to record at 20x coming down just to 16x.

The drive doesn't make much noise, though you can clearly hear air flows driven through it all the time. Discs ejected after intensive reading are quite warm. The spindown time is a bit too high.

The appearance of the drive is similar to the 16x model that we tested some time ago.

AOpen made the tray solid, without an opening door like in the Ricoh. In all other respects there's everything the same: a headphones jack, a mechanical volume control, an emergency ejection hole and one LED. The drive can be installed both in vertical and horizontal positions.

The rear panel features a special bridge for enabling the UltraDMA 33 mode; the PIO Mode 4 is set at default.

To make the drive work with this protocol you should just take out the bridge. We tested the device with the default settings, i.e. in the PIO Mode 4.