iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






November 2000 Storage Digest

Some time ago there appeared an idea to sum up what happened during a month for a single computer market segment, and in particular what concerns storage devices. This review is a fist attempt to do it, and therefore if you have something to comment on - do write, please.

Part I: hard discs and controllers

Nikolai Dorofeev As this review is the first in its way, we'll mostly concern development tendencies in this industry. Unfortunately, HDD shipment crisis hasn't yet been overcome in the whole world, therefore I'm not able to write any decent review based on tests. We should probably expect to carry out huge tests in December, on receiving all the ordered discs. That's why I'd like to share with you perspectives of this class. From technical point of view, in the first place there stands recording density increase: 20 GBytes per disc - it is practically a standard. The further - the higher. It means that discs less than 10 GBytes will disappear in the nearest future.

Second up noise reduction. And there are various ways. Some would decrease spindle speed - like Quantum in lct15 and WD in Spartan series. Some would mount liquid bearings. I'm not to judge (though in my opinion, today fans that are installed on a processor and a power supply unit make much more noise than a single hard disc). But spindle speed reduction results in total speed decrease of a disc subsystem and doesn't allow lowering the cost. So, I assume that discs with a spindle that rotate at the speed less than 5400rpm would end up in consumer electronics and entry-level computers.

Today practically all the manufacturers produce discs with ATA/100 protocol support. But does it make sense immediately to change a motherboard or to buy a controller? It's for you to decide. Of course, read speed from buffer significantly rises. If you don't work with applications that use files large in size, you will gain. But will you notice it… Lineal read speed grows as well, but only as compared with ATA/33 and only in the beginning of the disc. In other cases, speed provided by ATA/33 will be sufficient. And, with ATA/33 mode you won't face any problems of hardware monitoring. We have received a lot of letters where you suggest different ways to solve the problem of hardware compatibility, so it's right time to start FAQ. But not all these ways suit all configurations, some even can cause a failure of a disc and/or a controller. And as far as I know, in many cases such problems are connected with controllers of ATA/66 standard (mainly HighPoint), than with ATA/100. However, ATA/100 controllers might face another problem - discs with ATA/66 support can work in ATA/33 mode. So I think that we shouldn't hurry. There is no such a considerable speed gain as compared with ATA/33. Of course, if you are going to buy a new computer or to upgrade an old one - you should go with ATA/100, since in the nearest future no other IDE-discs will be available.

Now let's turn directly to discs. Since we can't carry out tests right now, I'll cite data of the manufacturers.


Recently there appeared some problems connected with DTLA series. But no complaints about DPTA series. We haven't heard about any considerable enhancements of the technology. For proper information you can read some news releases, i.e. this one.


The company sells the most of its products to the major manufacturers, that's why you won't see much of it on the shop selves. And this caused a definite gap in our tests. So, I can recommend you only the information received from the manufacturer. When we will be able to put our hands on the discs is still unknown.


Well, at the moment we are waiting for Barracuda ATA III. (here you can read in detail on their products). U5 series which is in particular directed for consumer electronics has appeared in the market, but it is still difficult to test it thoroughly. Again, no complains on decent Barracuda ATA II series and U5.


The company is not more interested in hard drives with IDE interface. As for news, there is only lct20 - that is, 20 GBytes per disc+ATA/100 and the same decreased spindle speed as of lct15 and Fireball Plus AS - the same ATA/100 and again nothing new.

Western Digital

On the contrary, it releases more and more products with this interface. And note that everything gets more quality. Of what we have tested I liked WD Caviar 450AA most of all. New series EB or Protege (5400rpm) and BB (7200rpm) are worth looking at as well.

So, the conclusion. In my opinion, if you don't deal with video and audio montage you can choose any disc of the mentioned manufacturers. If you are working with applications that make strong requirements to the speed of a disc subsystem I'd advise IBM DTLA or WD of BB series.

Part II: DVD technologies in the today's world

Roman Shelepov aka SRL DVD discs started to make their way into the market niche thoroughly occupied by CDs yet not so long ago. Starting with simple 2x models they have already reached supermodern 16x. Have it done them good? I don' think so. The manufacturers took the simplest way of speed increase. It resulted in the fact that there appeared problems with noise. Besides, many use DVD only for Video DVD discs. For it purpose 2x device is more than enough. However, Video DVD discs are quite expensive and therefore not very popular. Mainly it concerns Europe. Noteworthy is also the fact that game manufacturers don't intend to release games on DVD discs because of a relatively small number of DVD discs as compared with CDs. What are the reasons that limit a spread-out of DVD-discs? It is high-cost DVD and DVD-discs, the huge number of CD-RWs, creation of new formats of video data storing when a user isn't anymore in need of such a large size which should be required for MPEG-2 Video.

The requirements of the international association to make all DVD-discs, which are under release now, compatible with RPC-2 can tell upon negatively (in this case a user can change an area of the playing discs only 5 times). Earlier models of many companies belonged to RPC-1 standard and allowed changing the area infinite times. However, there are still some ways allowing you to make your DVD-ROM of RPC-1 standard.

Now let's take a look at the latest models of major manufacturers of DVD-ROM.


ASUS E608 (8X/40X)
The most popular drive. ASUSTEK remained in the market with RPC-1 8x DVD-ROM the longest time.
ASUS E612 (12X/40X)
The latest DVD-ROM of ASUSTåK (though only RPC-2). I haven't yet seen firmware upgrade allowing to turn it into RPC-1.


Matsushita (Panasonic) SR-8585 (8X/40X)

Matsushita (Panasonic) SR-8586 (12X/48X)
The both are RPC-2, but there is firmware upgrade that can make it RPC-1. This company possesses the richest series of DVD-ROM devices, both for PC and for MAC. And it is one of the leaders in OEM-delivery of their DVD-ROM devices: there are such buyers as Creative and Compaq.


Pioneer DVD-114/104S (10X/40X)
One of the most popular DVD-ROM devices in the world. 114 version uses a standard tray, and 104S uses their proprietary technology Slot-In. It's not only perfect features that make it popular but also possibility to integrate RPC-1 almost immediately.
Pioneer DVD-115/105S (16X/40X)
The last DVD-ROM from Pioneer. A bit noisy due to its speed characteristics. 115 model (tray) is louder, 105S (Slot-In) works less noisy. Firmware upgrade to turn it into RPC-1 is available.

OEM versions of these devices can be found as products from Acer and AOpen.


Hitachi GD-5000 (8X/40X)
Initially this DVD-ROM is recognized as RPC-2, but with a small utility you can set RPC-1 mode.
Hitachi GD-7500 (12X/40X)
The final product of DVD-ROM series from HITACHI. RPC-2, though soon you will see a utility allowing to switch to RPC-1.


NEC DV-5500A (8X/40X)

NEC DV-5700A (12X/40X)
To tell the truth, there you can see the whole series of produced DVD-ROMs from NEC. The both drives are RPC-2 and there is still no possibility to set RPC-1 mode. It's probably a single lowlight of these DVD-ROMs. A 12x model shows quite decent noise characteristics.


Samsung SD-608 (8X/40X)
The DVD-ROM is defaulted as RPC-2 but after some manipulations and one company firmware upgrade it can serve as RPC-1.
Samsung SD-612 (12X/40X)
The latest DVD-ROM from SAMSUNG. You can easily turn it into RPC-1. Samsung has made two versions of firmware upgrade for motherboards working with PIO4 and UDMA. Firmware upgrade for UDMA has an index u in the name, i.e. 0.4u . Look for explanations here.

A significant drawback of all DVD-ROMs from SAMSUNG is a relatively high temperature of the device during the work.


Toshiba SD-M1402 (12X/40X)
The last but one DVD-ROM from Toshiba. RPC-2, though it's possible to turn it into RPC-1.
Toshiba SD-M1502 (16X/48X)
The last model in the DVD-ROM market niche. Initially it's RPC-2. No information provided on how to change it to RPC-1. In my opinion, it's too noisy.

Concerning the question what to choose, I think that ASUS E608 and Pioneer DVD-114/104S are optimal for home use.

Recently we could witness a release of a new types of combines, the devices that unite three devices - DVD-ROM, CD-ROM and CD-RW. One of the reasons for such devices to appear was inception of MicroATX format. A case of this format as a rule offers only one 5" slot. And you are to choose what should be installed. Note that such combine costs cheaper than all these devices separately.

Now let's pass to the latest models of major manufacturers.


Ricoh MP9060A (CD-RW 6X/4X/24X; DVD 4X)
Initially RPC-2 device. Though you can use a firmware upgrade to turn it into RPC-1. Widely shipped as OEM. You can find it as a product from AOpen, Memorex.
Ricoh MP9120A (CD-RW 12X/10X/32X; DVD 8X)
The latest product in the series from Ricoh. Due to its characteristics it is unique. It uses JustLink technology similar to BurnProf. RPC-2, though there is possibility to set RPC-1.


Toshiba SD-R1002 (CD-RW 4X/4X/24X; DVD-4X)
RPC-2. There is a utility and firmware upgrade allowing RPC-1.


Samsung SM-304B (CD-RW 4X/4X/24X; DVD-4X)
This model faced some problems earlier, in particular when working with DVD Video in UDMA mode and recording discs in DAO RAW. The latest version lacks of this problems. RPC-2 device without opportunity to make it RPC-1.

Part III: recording devices

Alexander Vorobiev As I mentioned in the previous reviews, writing drives have appeared in computer system of the middle price range not so long ago. Development of usual CD-ROMs stopped at 52X (TrueX technology hasn't become popular) and that's why manufacturers started to look for new ways. So, with the time CD-RW drives got managed not only to record data but also to read them quickly and flawlessly. Recorders have been growing in number and sells good as well. So, nowadays you can meet CD-RW drives not only from such famous in this field companies as Yamaha, Hewlett Packard, Sony, Philips, but also from Plextor, ASUSTeK, NEC, Acer, Ricoh, Samsung and many others. At the same time with market expansion, company strongly reduced prices for CD-RW drives and discs. Recorders became rather reliable and fast, sometimes even competing against CD-ROM drives in speed as equals.

Starting from 2/2/16 (write/rewrite/read) they have already reached as high as 16/10/40. When at 16X it will take 5 minutes to write a disc! Rewriting technology remained for a long time in depression. Research works were carried out much slower, and you might see that some time we could write already at 12x and rewrite only at 4x. The first reason is that production of high speed discs cost much more. And we came to such situation when CD-RW manufacturers have already launched drives for 8x or even 10x rewriting, but as for the discs themselves, there are no such.

Companies changes their opinion of what recorders should be. First of all they are Teac and Plextor, who dispute on what interface should be: IDE or SCSI. It started with Teac which released its IDE CD-RW model W54E(K). It was initial experience of the company both in using of IDE interface in a recorder and integration rewrite technology. Plextor turned to be more stubborn. At those days SCSI interface seemed to be beyond any competition. Plextor experts even prepared a booklet describing all advantages of SCSI-interface over a cheaper IDE. But after a while the company change their direction, and decided to enter this market segment (IDE devices) quickly and pompous. And they managed to do it. With their PX-W8432Ti model Plextor not only raised a plank of CD-R record speed up to 8x, but also announced themselves as a new manufacturer of CD-RW devices. Recently Plextor launched PX-W1210TA model in order to prove its strong position in the market of IDE CD-RW drives.

During the life and development of CD-RW drives there were a lot of magnificent ideas and solutions. But only two of them appeared key ones: BURN-Proof technology and a standard of burst writing format UDF.

Support of UDF (Universal Disk Format) made usage of CD-RW storage devices a very convenient solution for archiving, storing of data and carrying of large data volumes from one computer to another. UDF makes possible to work under Windows with a CD-RW like with a hard disc. It means that a user can do all operations with files and directories in any file manager.

Burn-Proof technology was offered by Sanyo Electric company. A simple description concludes in the following: if a required constant data flow is not provided the record stops until the buffer receives new data, and recording starts from that point where it stopped. In models without such support buffer underrun would damage a disc. Plextor was the first, after Sanyo, to incorporate this technology in their devices. Plextor considers that this feature would be useful not only for those who possesses quite powerful computers for recording at 12x speed but it will help to realize complete multitasking. That is, while CD recording you mustn't worry about buffer underrun.

We are receiving a lot of letters where you ask as to help you in purchasing. And now in our monthly issues we will give some recommendations both for beginners and professionals who decided to change their old devices.

CD-RW professional drives

This category means high quality and reliability, and of course high price of a recorder.

Plextor PX-W1210TA

If you are looking for the most modern recorder that supports the latest technologies and standards and which writes at the highest speed possible, then Plextor PX-W1210TA is what you need. The drive is not cheap, but the features provided are worth to spending such money. Note that the price is only 10% higher than for PX-W8432Ti.

When measuring BLER (Block Error Rate) the drive showed very high results together with PX-W8432Ti model, it is one of the most important criteria when estimating quality of the recorded CDs. If you are hunting for a maximum efficient device then pay attention to SCSI-analog which is PX-W1210TS model.

As for a recorder Ricoh 7120, it demonstrated quite moderate BLER results of the recorded discs. That's why we won't place Ricoh 7120 in this category, first of all users need very high quality of recorded discs and reliability of a writing device.

CD-RW drives of a middle level

This category includes relatively high speed devices of average price and an optimal ratio of speeds. Today 8/4/32 is such ratio.

NEC NR-7500A

This device would fit excellently both an experienced user and a beginner who decided to buy a CD-RW drive but provide little knowledge in his field (note that the drive is shipped only as OEM variant today). Considering low price and showed results we can confer it a name of "the golden mean".

Ricoh MP7080A-DP

As far as price is concerned, the Ricoh device can meet difficulty in competing against the NEC drive. Nevertheless, it's one of the best specimen that has reached our lab: it offers low price and perfect technical nitty-gritty. The drive reads data not at the highest speed, though at very decent. One of the weak points is reading of damaged CDs. High writing speed among 8x devices, low processor load, high access speed and at last noiseless work allow to mark it out of the majority.

Entry-level CD-RW drives

This category means low price and clear realization of what you are taking.


Don't be surprised that we place this drive in this category. It is connected not only with the fact that the drive possesses the minimum combination of speeds but also with the fact that we can see more and more often TEAC W54-EK in OEM variant. It's not a secret that the device lacking a box and software costs much less than as Retail. Considering that the price for TEAC recorders has considerably fallen down, this drive should be related to cheap entry-level market, but it doesn't mean low quality of the drive and recorded discs.

In general the TEAC drive proved in our tests that it works flawlessly and it's not a surprise since drive production is a main direction of the company TEAC. And they do it perfectly. Acoustics plays significant role, though not a base one, here. This drive will suit for those of you who want high operating speed and good writing quality combining with a relatively low price. 4x writing and rewriting speed will cover most needs of home users. TEAC drives can never be accused of unreliable work, and this model is not an exception.

Mitsumi CR 4804 TE

Low speed both of reading and writing can't ensure high efficient work of the system with great load. But if you need a device just to record a couple of discs a week and sometimes archive data on CD-RW this model might turn to be optimal. Note a low price for it. The Mitsumi drive will be a good choice in addition to the CD/DVD-ROM that you already have got. The drive is the most noiseless in our review, it practically lacks of any vibration. As for its reliability, we can't say anything definite. But according to my (and not only) experience, I can say that quality differs. That's why if you decided to go with such drive, choose a company that gives guarantee for at least 12 month.

Modern technologies and their development

Don't be surprised seeing that a lot of information below will concern not the November but earlier months: we have never summarized events before and it was exactly in summer and in early autumn when CD-RW drives turned to be what we can see now.

Well, a starting point of technology development for modern CD-RW drives is June 2000. That time around we first saw recorders with 8x writing and rewriting speed. And it was Yamaha who turned to be first with its release of CRW8824EZ drive. A bit later this company happened to be also the first to announce an analog model with Ultra SCSI interface - CRW8824SZ. These drives carried 4 MBytes buffer on board and used a proprietary technology PurePhase Laser System that ensured no flares as well as other optical artifacts when recording a disc. And then, in August Yamaha launched a new external model with FireWire interface - CRW8824FXZ.

Near in the beginning of july the company TDK announced a new model of its CD-RW drive with a maximum combo of speeds for that day: 12/10/32. And at that time they planned to use BURN-Proof technology from Sanyo. 12/10/32 veloCD with ATAPI interface was supposed to appear in august this year. But we are still hunting after its tracks.

Sony goes together with TDK. It launched two new CD-RW drives of Spressa series bringing its speed in accordance with the latest standard of that time - the both drives offered 12/8/32 speeds. The first one was an internal ATAPI model (CRX160E-A1), the second was external FireWire (CRX1600L-A2). Not so long ago we could witnessed they to appear in the market.

At the same time CeQuadrat company released a next version of its utility for CD-RW record in packet mode - PacketCD 3.0 with an integrated compression/decompression algorithm. This algorithm allows to reach over 1 GBytes data recorded on a usual CD-RW. Many of you might remember such things as Stacker, DoubleSpace etc. - and CeQuadrat suggested to apply this approach to CDs. But in this case there must be a required driver in the system, though it's not a problem since UDF driver gets automatically written on a CD.

In August Sony announced its new series of mobile external drives. CRX 1600S/E - 12/8/32, SCSI-2, 4 MBytes buffer and two more powerful models - CRX 75A equipped with 8/4/24 speeds, PCMCIA interface and 8 MBytes buffer, and CRX 75U - its analog with USB interface and 4/4/6 speeds.

As for AOpen company, it debuted 12/10/32 drive CD-RW AOpen CRW-1232. An external device with ATAPI interface, 4 MBytes buffer and mean access time less than 120 ms. Supported formats: CD-Audio, CD-ROM (modes 1, 2), CD-ROM/XA (mode 2, forms 1, 2), CD-I, Photo-CD (single, multiple sessions), video CD, CD-Extra, and I-Trax CD. In the beginning of October it was released at $259, what is lower by $100 than initially claimed. Interestingly that at the same time there were Yamaha models with 16/10/40 speeds on the market, but it didn't prevent AOpen to make its device the fastest in the world;) As far as innovations are concerned, the drive includes technology of ray power constant control (i.e. in order to offset dirty disc surface).

Meanwhile, in the end of August QPS announced starting to use Burn-Proof technology, and debuted a new product of Firewire CD-RW drive series - 12/10/32 drive Que!.

Just in the beginning of the month Elantec Semiconductor made one more step on the way of increasing speed of CD-R/CD-RW drives. Its new chip EL6283CU is completely compatible in pins with an old one, EL6273CU. And this new chip allows reaching 20X write/rewrite speed.

September happened to be more hot. Well, again Sony! They debuted a portable CD-RW drive of Spressa series, "a first portable drive with i.LINK IEEE1394 interface (FireWire compatible)". Spressa Mobile. Note that its width constitutes 15 mm.

Ok, here we can see Creative with its next CD-RW Blaster12/10/32 shipping from September 12. Note BURN-Proof technology and S/P DIF output which goes with CD-RW drive quite seldom.

Ricoh company decided to improve one of its the most successful drives. So, MP7083A model is an advanced MP7080A drive with 8x rewriting speed against 4X of the older drive. Ricoh MP7083A. The other features remain the same: 8x writeing speed, 32x read speed. MP7083A has ATAPI interface, 4 MBytes buffer and 120 ms access time.

With improving old technologies Ricoh works at new ones. In the beginning of September Ricoh announced delivery of its MediaMaster MP7120 - 12/10/32 CD-RW drive with ATAPI interface.

Teac, who was one of the first to produce 12/10/32 drives, launched a new model with the same speed combo but this time with support of BURN-Proof - CD-W512EB.

Matsushita (Panasonic) debuted its new CD-RW drive KXL-RW2OAN for mobile computers. The drive is intended for 4x re/write speed, has 2 MBytes buffer and 150 ms average access speed. The device is connected to USB port (which supplies power to it). Supported formats: CD-DA, VIDEO CD, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, Photo CD, CD-TEXT.

And at last comes Plextor, the veteran. Plextor tells about planned shipment in October of Ultra SCSI-variant of its 12/10/32 ATAPI CD-RW drive PlexWriter PX-W1210TA named PX-W1210S, and promulgated its plans on an external SCSI variant to be in November - PX-W1210TSE/BS model.As compared with ATAPI drive, Ultra-SCSI CD-RW has not 2-X but 4-X Mb buffer. And we should mention PX-W1210S support of BURN-Proof technology.

On hearing Yamaha plans on a launch of models of LightSpeed CRW21000 series with 16/10/40 speeds without BURN-Proof support, Sanyo decided to correct the omission debuting CRD-BP4 (SCSI) and CRD-BP1400P (ATAPI) drives. Buffer size of SCSI models is 2 MBytes, and of ATAPI is 4. Access time is 150-160 ms. A relatively small buffer size of models can be explained by usage of BURN-Proof.

October started with rumors on 120-min. CDs. And according to the net information they are compatible with at least some CD-RW drives. For instance they say that Mitsumi 4804TE drive can write the CDs successfully.

Plextor announced its 12/10/32X internal CD-RW drive with Ultra SCSI (SCSI-3) interface - PlexWriter 12/10/32S. 4 MBytes buffer, 150 ms average access time, 20 MBytes/s data rate, BURN-Proof.

Ricoh debuted its new combine MP9120A. ATAPI drive is equipped with 12/10/32X speeds for CDs plus it reads DVD discs at 8X. In this recorder Ricoh didn't incorporate BURN-Proof because it possesses its own proprietary analog - JustLink.

Yamaha launched their new CD-RW drives of CRW2100 series (16/10/40): CRW2100EZ/SZ/SXZ/FXZ - ATAPI/Ultra SCSI internal/ Ultra SCSI external/FireWire external.There used the latest technologies: Optimum Write Speed Control and Waste-Proof Write Strategy.

Iomega showed its new CD-RW drive 12/10/32 with ATAPI interface. The drive supports BURN-Proof and DAE (Digital Audio Extraction) at 20x speed.

A bit forgotten Imation company comes out forward announcing a release of two internal ATAPI CD-RW drives, CD Burn-R 12X10X32 and CD Burn-R 8X4X32. Usual, ordinary devices of their class and level.

Matsushita (Panasonic) released a new recorder-combine with 8/4/24/8 speeds - UJDA710. The drives is aimed not only at CD-R(W) recording but also at DVD disc reading.

Now comes an exotics: at the display World PC Expo'2000 in Tokyo TDK demonstrated a prototype of its model of MP3/CD player. What do we have it for here? Beside direct playback of MP3-files the player can write MP3 on CD-Rs and CD-RWs coding audio signal from an external source.

Well, again Sony surprises us! In the beginning of the month the engineers of the company introduces a new technology allowing 120 GBytes optical discs. Nevertheless, Sony continues preparing a release of drives on a blue laser, a prototype of which was demonstrated not so long ago in Japan. They have already given out a name of the standard : "UDO" (Ultra Density Optical). The speed is yet only 4-8 Mbit/s.

Teac also introduced its new developments announcing a new external CD-RW drive with FireWire interface. The model CD-RW5120I based on CD-RW5120EB provide 12/10/32 speeds, 4 MBytes buffer, Burn-Proof support, 85 ms mean access time, 2.3 kg. Beside the drive itself and the corresponding software there is a IEEE 1394 controller from ASUSTeK (PCI-1394C).

After a while Teac demonstrated at Comdex an external USB 8/8/32 CD-RW drive. This was first drive to offer 8X write speed with data going through USB bus. Note that USB bandwidth is 1.5 MBytes/s, let's multiply 0,15 MBytes/s by 8 and we will get 1,2 MBytes/s - actually a boundary value. An assumed price is $179, so it's cheap enough.

Considering a growing demand for 10x rewrite speed recorders and small number of companies producing such high-speed discs, Traxdata decided to make its way to this segment of the market and announced new CD-RWs intended for 6-10X rewriting speed. Beside traditional 650 MBytes CD-RWs the company makes plans for 700 MBytes ones to release in the nearest future.

Addonics company introduced an alternative mobile combine that writes CD-R(W)s and reads DVD-ROMs. The model is simply named Mobile DVD/CDRW. Models intended for FireWire, CardBus and USB interfaces offer 12/10/32/8X speeds. You understand that like a CD-ROM at 32X in USB-variant it won't work. But it's much easier for a manufacturer to ship together with IDE->USB adapter or IDE->FireWire one a usual ATAPI storage device than to work out a new device. The price is expected to be $499, 459, 445 correspondingly depending on interface.

And again combines. At the Comdex Pioneer announced "a first in the world CD/DVD drive that can write on all disc formats: 1X/2X - on DVD-R (it's a first drive as well that can write DVD-R on 2X), 1X - DVD-RW, 4X/8X - CD-R and 4X - CD-RW. The release data and price are still unknown.

Well, a bit of conclusion to our summarize. In the field of CD-RW drive we can see a steady set of 12/10/32 speeds. Production of 16/10/40 recorders by Yamaha and Sanyo will force other manufacturers to jump on this set. ATAPI (or IDE) remains a dominating interface of internal models, USB for external. But at the same time we can see more and more announcements on models with FireWire interface which combine high speed of SCSI and simplicity of connection of USB. CD-RWs for 10x rewrite speed are still rear to meet. In spite of the fact that DVD discs are forcing CDs out we haven't yet noticed any traces which would have showed that the latter ones are going to do it. CD-RW technology isn't intended to give up, but on the contrary, recorder manufacturers increase production and shipment of models of higher speeds. Considering increased sales volumes and fallen prices for recorders we can assume that it will be not Zip, HiFD or SuperDisk devices that would force out floppy-drives, but it will be exactly CD-RW drives.

When writing the article we used materials from sites of the following manufacturers:

and sites of manufacturers of DVD-ROM devices, DVD-RW combines and CD-RW recorders:

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