IDE CD-RW Drives Roundup (Part XII)

November 21, 2001



Plextor PleXWriter PX-W2410TA
&
AOpen CRW2040

November 21, 2001



By Alexander Vorobiev

Once impressive figures 20X and 24X do not excite users anymore. The market offers today 32x recorders, and developers keep on boosting the performance of CD-RW drives even more. However, today we will discuss two drives of the "20th generation".

Plextor was for a long time an unquestionable leader in quality of optical recording devices and in quality of writing the most of media. This company has a particular circle of users who are ready to pay through the nose. These people always knew what they wanted, and «SCSI" and «Plextor" were almost synonyms for them. However, the number of competitors is growing fast, and it becomes difficult for the company to maintain incomes now. The first step of the company to improve its status was reduction of SCSI models which a bit later were entirely taken out of production. Nevertheless, this measure helped little to reduce the price. The next step was an extension of the warranty period for the latest models up to two years. The PlexWriter PX-W2410TA is the first drive with such a long warranty.

AOpen is a relatively young player on the market of optical storage devices which offers quite an attractive price/quality ratio.

Plextor PX-W2410TA

AOpen CRW2040

Test results

When we completed the tests both companies offered new firmware versions. But the additional examination showed that there was no any considerable performance gain with the new microprogram versions.

Apart from the CD-ROM Teac 540E, for the performance estimation in reading operations we chose TDK CyClone AI-241040,Yamaha CRW2200E and Ricoh MP7200A.

CDWinBench 99 CD-ROM Transfer Rate

Yeah, the Plextor oddly falls into the last position. The AOpen has a much better result taking the third place after the Ricoh and the TDK drives.

The Plextor is still in troubles, while the CRW2040 outscores the Ricoh.

CPU utilization in CD-ROM Transfer Rate:

Such a low operation in the previous tests is outbalanced by a careful utilization of the CPU: here the PleXWriter comes the second. As to AOpen, it loads the central processor too much because of the enabled UltraDMA 33.

CDWinBench 99 CD-ROM Access Time

Well, the Plextor was never a leader in data access speed. The AOpen is again among leaders.

CDWinBench 99 CPU Utilization

No comments.

CD recording time

Recording of a high-quality cyanine CD-R (Sony CDQ-74N1,TDK Reflex Ultra)

CD-RW drive Recording speed Time (min.)
TDK AI-241040 24X 4.05
TDK AI-241040 16x 6.26
Ricoh MP7200A 20X 5.21
Yamaha CRW2200E-VK 20X 5.57
AOpen CRW2040 20X 5.12
AOpen CRW2040 16X 6.53
Plextor PX-W2410TA 24X 3.50
Plextor PX-W2410TA 16X 5.09

We had to test the AOpen twice as it was impossible to read the Reflex Ultra disc (first recorded at 20x) because of unreadable areas. That is why we followed the recommendations of the JustSpeed technology and recorded the TDK disc at 16X.

The Plextor is undoubtedly a leader, while AOpen, as it turned out, writes slower at 20x than the Plextor at 16x. But it isn't surprising as the CRW2040 uses the Zone-CLV writing method, and the Plextor works with the CLV.

Recording of CD-R Mirex (phthalocyanine, 12x rated speed)

CD-RW drive Recording speed Time (min.)
TDK AI-241040 24X 4.55
TDK AI-241040 16x 6.36
Ricoh MP7200A 20X 5.16
Yamaha CRW2200E-VK 20X 5.22
AOpen CRW2040 8X 9.48
Plextor PX-W2410TA 24X 5.25

We already mentioned that the AOpen drive can't record CD-R Mirex discs at more than 8x. That is why the CRW2040 falls behind so much. You can see also that there is a great difference between 24x recording by the Plextor of the discs from Sony and from Mirex. Probably, it caused by the PowerREC II technology which identified a CD-R marked as «4M" as a disc which required careful burning.

Recording of the "noname" CD-R disc (cyanine, the rated record speed is unknown)

CD-RW drive Recording speed Time (min.)
TDK CyClone AI-241040 4X 19.31
Ricoh MP7200A-DP 4x 20.13
Yamaha CRW2200E-VK 4X 19.49
AOpen CRW2040 4X 19.17
Plextor PX-W2410TA 4X 19.26

Both drives score excellent results in recording of cheap cyanine CD-R discs.

Time of full formatting of a CD-RW disc in UDF format

Philips CD-RW 4x

CD-RW drive Time (min.)
TDK AI-241040 29.03
Ricoh MP7200A 26.03
Yamaha CRW2200E-VK 30.03
AOpen CRW2040 24.01
Plextor PX-W2410TA 26.58

Ricoh CD-RW 10x

CD-RW drive Time (min.)
TDK AI-241040 14.27
Ricoh MP7200A 11.31
Yamaha CRW2200E-VK 16.26
AOpen CRW2040 11.30
Plextor PX-W2410TA 12.11

Earlier I mentioned that drives based on the Ricoh's pickup usually have the best results in operation with CD-RW discs. The AOpen CRW2040 not just proves it - it does outshine the Ricoh drive.

Recording of a CD-RW disc (UDF)

Philips CD-RW 4x

CD-RW drive Time (min.)
TDK AI-241040 18.43
Ricoh MP7200A 18.08
Yamaha CRW2200E-VK 18.42
AOpen CRW2040 18.14
Plextor PX-W2410TA 18.27

CD-RW Ricoh 10x

CD-RW drive Time (min.)
TDK AI-241040 8.04
Ricoh MP7200A 7.38
Yamaha CRW2200E-VK 7.59
AOpen CRW2040 7.47
Plextor PX-W2410TA 7.51

Almost all drives have equal results. But the AOpen and the Ricoh are the most attractive.

BLER factor of recorded CD-R discs

CD-R, recording speed Plextor PX-W2410TA AOpen CRW2040
Mirex, 24x 3–5
Mirex, 20x 6–9
Sony CDQ-74N1, 24x 18–25
Sony CDQ-74N1, 16x 21–33
TDK Reflex Ultra, 20x 1050–1500
TDK Reflex Ultra, 16x 21–36
«noname", 4x 380–400 430–460

(for these tests we used a device described in the fifth part of our review)

The Plextor has as usual excellent quality. A low speed of recording of the CD-R Mirex was made up for by the high quality. It is interesting that the PX-W2410TA writes better the Sony CD-R at 24x than at 16x.

As to the AOpen recorder, the situation is different. The BLER for the TDK disc recorded at 20x is higher than for the same disc recorded at 16x. The BLER of the Mirex and «noname" discs is acceptable.

The following results of the recording quality are obtained with the CDCATS SA3 station:

Plextor PX-W2410TA
Sony (Sony) 24x Mirex (4M) 24x
AOpen CRW2040
TDK (TY) 20x Mirex (4M) 8x
Cyanine "noname" (4M) 4x

The detailed examination of quality of the recorded discs carried out on the equipment of the Urals Electronic Plant proved the suggestions above. As you can see, the TDK recorded by the CRW2040 at 20x has the whole range of errors from E31 and E32 to CRC.

Nero CDSpeed

Reading of the CD-R Sony CDQ-74N1, TDK Reflex Ultra (20x writing speed)

CD-RW drive Reading
Plextor
PX-W2410TA
CD#1
Plextor
PX-W2410TA
CD#2
AOpen
CRW-2040

When we got the graph for the Sony CD-R recorded by the PX-W2410TA at 24x we tried once again, but the second attempt failed as well. I should note that CD-ROM drives work differently with such discs. The TEAC CD-540E reads up all data without problems, while the LG 52x and ASUS 40x are very close to the Plextor. All the results below are obtained with the first test disc.

As to the AOpen, the successful recording does not guarantee perfect reading. The first bugs appear within the first 10 minutes (probably, where the speed should change from 16x to 20x).

Reading of the CD-R Sony CDQ-74N1, TDK Reflex Ultra (16x writing speed)

CD-RW drive Reading
Plextor
PX-W2410TA
AOpen
CRW-2040

Reading of the CD-R Mirex

CD-RW drive Reading
Plextor
PX-W2410TA
rec. speed — 24x
AOpen
CRW-2040
rec. speed — 8x

Reading of the CD-R "noname" (4x writing speed)

CD-RW drive Reading
Plextor
PX-W2410TA
AOpen
CRW-2040

On the whole, the reading graphs are quite good.

CD Speed 99 test results of the recorded high-quality CD-R media (Sony CDQ-74N1, TDK Reflex Ultra)

Plextor PX-W2410TA
(16x)
Plextor PX-W2410TA
(24x)
AOpen CRW2040
(16x)
Average 31.40x 30.52x 29.98x
Random Seek 134 ms 137 ms 96 ms
SpinUp Time 1.48 sec 1.46 sec 1.67 sec
SpinDown Time 2.94 sec 2.95 sec 3.55 sec
Disc Eject Time 1.54 sec 1.53 sec 1.14 sec
Disc Load Time 1.66 sec 1.72 sec 0.79 sec
Disc Recognition Time 7.60 sec 7.72 sec 4.43 sec

CD Speed 99 test results of the recorded CD-R Mirex

Plextor PX-W2410TA
(24x)
AOpen CRW2040
(8x)
Average 31.41x 29.99x
Random Seek 133 ms 93 ms
SpinUp Time 2.09 sec 1.71 sec
SpinDown Time 4.59 sec 3.69 sec
Disc Eject Time 1.55 sec 1.09 sec
Disc Load Time 1.60 sec 0.82 sec
Disc Recognition Time 7.38 sec 4.88 sec

CD Speed 99 test results of the recorded "noname" CD-R

Plextor PX-W2410TA AOpen CRW2040
Average 31.52x 30.88x
Random Seek 131 ms 94 ms
SpinUp Time 2.08 sec 1.69 sec
SpinDown Time 4.54 sec 3.33 sec
Disc Eject Time 1.54 sec 1.14 sec
Disc Load Time 1.59 sec 0.81 sec
Disc Recognition Time 7.74 sec 5.03 sec

The final results of reading of the recorded discs by the Plextor are quite high. The PX-W2410TA outscores its competitor in the random data access. All other their characteristics are almost equal.

CDSpeed results of the CD-RW discs recorded in UDF format

CD-RW UDF (4x) CD-RW UDF (10x) CD-RW ISO (4x)
Plextor PX-W2410TA 23.22x 23.06x 25.14x
AOpen CRW2040 30.86x 30.62x 31.49x

The Plextor yields to its competitor in reading CD-RW discs recorded in different formats. But Ricoh's based drives were always proud of excellent operation in this test.

CD-ROM Drive Analyzer

Reading of a CD-R recorded by Plextor PX-W2410TA

CD-R Sony CDQ-74N1 (16X)
CD-R Sony CDQ-74N1 (24X)
CD-R Mirex (24X)
CD-R "noname" (4X)

Reading of a CD-R recorded by AOpen CRW2040

CD-R TDK Reflex Ultra (20X)
CD-R TDK Reflex Ultra (16X)
CD-R Mirex (8X)
CD-R "noname" (4X)

According to the CD-ROM Drive Analyzer (Windows 2000) the speed and quality of both drives are quite good, apart from a faulty CD-R from TDK recorded by the CRW2040 at 20x. However, an E32 error is beyond the power of all drives.

Sound track extraction from audio CDs (CDDAE 99)

Plextor PX-W2410TA

Piano Favorites Acoustic Planet vol.2 Bloodhound Gang "Greatest Hits"
Average extraction speed 27,7X 24,0X 30,8X
Total errors* 4.01% 4.20% 0.00%

AOpen CRW2040

Piano Favorites Acoustic Planet vol.2 Bloodhound Gang "Greatest Hits"
Average extraction speed 17,8X 14,6X 23,6X
Total errors* 9.78% 8.07% 0.00%

* — 4.01% means that the drive extracted 4.01% of a disc with errors.

The audio data extraction speed of the Plextor is excellent: at 20x you can get an error-free result. The AOpen drive has it much worse: errors disappear only at 10x which is unacceptable for today.

Sound track extraction from audio CDs (EAC 0.9 prebeta 11)

Plextor PX-W2410TA

Piano Favorites Acoustic Planet vol.2 Bloodhound Gang "Greatest Hits"
Average extraction speed 24.6X 10.9X 30.3X

AOpen CRW2040

Piano Favorites Acoustic Planet vol.2 Bloodhound Gang "Greatest Hits"
Average extraction speed 18.4X 8.6X 24.6X

One of the most popular utilities, EAC, confirms that the Plextor PX-W2410TA is really a good player.

Advanced DAE Quality

CD-RW drive Plextor PX-W2410TA AOpen CRW2040
Offset 272 bytes (68 samples) 268 bytes (67 samples)
Sequential Read Test Average Speed: 30.02 X
Data Errors: 0
Sync Errors: 0
Average Speed: 27.82X
Data Errors: 0
Sync Errors: 0
Harmonica Read Test Average Access Time: 184 ms
Data Errors: 0
Sync Errors: 0

Total Data Errors: 0
Total Sync Errors: 0
Quality Score: 100.0

Average Access Time: 162 ms
Data Errors: 0
Sync Errors: 0

Total Data Errors: 0
Total Sync Errors: 0
Quality Score: 100.0

On The Fly Copying Simulation Copying at 1 X
OK
Copying at 2 X
OK
Copying at 4 X
OK
Copying at 6 X
OK
Copying at 8 X
OK
Copying at 10 X
OK
Copying at 12 X
OK
Copying at 16 X
OK
Copying at 1 X
OK
Copying at 2 X
OK
Copying at 4 X
OK
Copying at 6 X
OK
Copying at 8 X
too slow
Copying at 10 X
too slow
Copying at 12 X
too slow
Copying at 16 X
too slow
CD Text Drive is capable of reading CD Text information
Subchannel Data Test 1
Track (01): 01
Relative position (01:05.00): 01:05.00
Absolute position (01:07.00): 01:07.00
Index (5): 5
Test 2
Track (17): 17
Relative position (01:33.00): 01:33.00
Absolute position (33:35.00): 33:35.00
Index (1): 1
Test 3
Track (36): 36
Relative position (00:00.00): 00:00.00
Absolute position (70:02.00): 70:02.00
Index (1): 1
Leadin Drive can read max. 75 sectors
(-00:01.00) from the Leadin
Drive cannot read data
from the Leadin
Leadout Drive can read max. 2200 sectors
(00:29.25) from the Leadout
Drive cannot read data
from the Leadout

The detailed information on the tested parameters is given in the help file to the CDSpeed99 test program. If you don't want to download the utility, then here you can find the HTMl help file.

The Plextor happens to have a wider functionality than its competitor. It concerns operation with Lead-In and Lead-Out data and its speed characteristics.

Overburn

Plextor PX-W2410TA

CD-R Additional disc length obtained Total length of the recorded data
Philips Silver Premium 16x (TY) 2 min. 21 sec. 77:04.73
Mirex 650 MBytes 2 min. 50 sec. 77:20.64
90 min Rostok Media 89:57.14

AOpen CRW2040

CD-R Additional disc length obtained Total length of the recorded data
Philips Silver Premium 16x (TY) 2 min. 23 sec. 77:06.01
Mirex 650 MBytes 2 min. 43 sec. 77:13.43
90 min Rostok Media 91:48.21

If you work mainly with 90 or 99-min. discs the CRW2040 seems to be a better choice as it uses an additional length available on a disc the most optimal way.

Reading of the recorded CD-R Rostok-CD

Plextor PX-W2410TA
AOpen CRW2040

Reading of damaged CDs (Windows 2000)

Plextor PX-W2410TA
Golden disc
Scratched disc
AOpen CRW2040
Golden disc
Scratched disc

The AOpen's drive works better with low-quality discs that contain errors or hard-to-read areas as it tries to lift the speed after such areas, unlike the Plextor's drive.

The PX-W2410TA has read the damaged disc by 65%, the CRW2040 has read it by 75%.

Conclusion and summary

In my opinion, Plextor remains a standard of quality of recording of any discs. As usual, the PX-W2410TA has a wide range of possibilities and various functions. Plextor is an old and experienced player on the market of optical storage devices. However, it doesn't matter for the majority whether a drive can work with Lead-In and Lead-Out data and how good it overburns. An average user is mostly concerned about the price. Earlier, when CD recording was a prerogative of professionals, Plextor could easily overprice, primarily because of lack of any competition. Now, when there are more than 20 (!) companies fighting in this sphere, Plextor doesn't seem to be getting on so easily. AOpen is one of those young but aggressive competitors which gives troubles to it. The AOpen's drive does have some bugs, but it is possible to put up with them, especially taking into account its such a low price. Moreover, some bugs can be eliminated by improving the microprogram, and some can be avoided if you will carefully choose media. So, if you are not short of money and you want a modern, functional and reliable recorder you'd better go with the PX-W2410TA. If you don't need too high performance and quality you can get the CRW2040.

Test programs:


Write a comment below. No registration needed!


Article navigation:



blog comments powered by Disqus

  Most Popular Reviews More    RSS  

AMD Phenom II X4 955, Phenom II X4 960T, Phenom II X6 1075T, and Intel Pentium G2120, Core i3-3220, Core i5-3330 Processors

Comparing old, cheap solutions from AMD with new, budget offerings from Intel.
February 1, 2013 · Processor Roundups

Inno3D GeForce GTX 670 iChill, Inno3D GeForce GTX 660 Ti Graphics Cards

A couple of mid-range adapters with original cooling systems.
January 30, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1

An external X-Fi solution in tests.
September 9, 2008 · Sound Cards

AMD FX-8350 Processor

The first worthwhile Piledriver CPU.
September 11, 2012 · Processors: AMD

Consumed Power, Energy Consumption: Ivy Bridge vs. Sandy Bridge

Trying out the new method.
September 18, 2012 · Processors: Intel
  Latest Reviews More    RSS  

i3DSpeed, September 2013

Retested all graphics cards with the new drivers.
Oct 18, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, August 2013

Added new benchmarks: BioShock Infinite and Metro: Last Light.
Sep 06, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, July 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 and AMD Radeon HD 7730.
Aug 05, 2013 · 3Digests

Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB Golden Sample Graphics Card

An excellent hybrid of GeForce GTX 650 Ti and GeForce GTX 660.
Jun 24, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

i3DSpeed, May 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770/780.
Jun 03, 2013 · 3Digests
  Latest News More    RSS  

Platform  ·  Video  ·  Multimedia  ·  Mobile  ·  Other  ||  About us & Privacy policy  ·  Twitter  ·  Facebook


Copyright © Byrds Research & Publishing, Ltd., 1997–2011. All rights reserved.