iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail







Specification of the ASUSTeK CRW-4816A :
Firmware version1.0
Recording modesDisc-At-Once, Track-At-Once, Session-At-Once, MultiSession, Packet Writing
Recording formatsCD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, Photo CD, Mixed Mode CD-ROM, CD-I,CD-Extra, CD-Text, Video CD, DVCD, Bootable CD
Read/write  support in Raw-modeRAW-DAO - supported
RAW-DAO Write Simulation - supported
CD+G RAW-DAO - supported
RAW-SAO - supported
RAW-SAO Write Simulation - supported 
Average access time100 ms
CD-R recording4x, 8x, 12x, 16x, (CLV)
24x (16x-24x), 32x (16x-32x), 40x (20x-40x), 48x (24x-48x) (P-CAV), 
CD-RW recording2x, 4x, 8x, 10x, 12x, 16x
Buffer underrun error prevention technologyFlextraLink
Optimal write speed and laser power technologyFlextraSpeed
InterfacePIO Mode4 (by default),
UltraDMA 33
Reading48x max (7200 KB/s)
Buffer size2048 KB
Production dateMay 2002

The drive ships in a Retail package.

The box contains:

  • In-depth user manual in English; 
  • CD with software for disc recording: Nero Burning Rom from Ahead Software and InCD 3.2.3
  • One 48x CD-R and one High Speed CD-RW (4x-16x); 
  • 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: 702.83MB
(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: 702.83MB
(79m 59s 74f / LBA: 359849) 

Character and method of recording:

As soon as we got the drive we flashed in the latest version of the microprogram - 1.0, not to stumble on errors (which are corrected in the new version), such as failure to pass the DAE Test. 

For 48x recording you will need media certified for this speed because of the ATIP identification. The recorder didn't feel any desire to record a new TDK d-view at 48x, supporting only 40x (even with FlextraSpeed disabled), while the Imation 32x was easily burnt at 48x. 

ASUS positions the FlextraSpeed technology as the most perfect in its area. I can't say it's wrong. The recorder won't offer 40x just because you inserted a disc from Tayio Yuden. 32x is the maximum speed the CRW4816A will burn this media type. HP phthalocyanine CD-R 1x-12x with the old ATIP Mitsui, the CD-RW drive won't let you set the speed higher than 32x. The CRW4012A had the same thing. But the CRW4816A has undergone some changes. For example, the CD-R Mirex 24x can be recorded at 32x, while the previous model couldn't set it over 16x. 

The situation is the same for ATIP of less famous manufacturers (Plasmon, Princo, Gigastorage), irrespective of the speed a given CD-R is meant for. The ASUS 48x model will suggest recording them at the speed within 4x-16x. 

The supported Mt. Rainier technology makes operation with CD-RW media easier and more reliable. 

The Nero utility provides the following information on the recorder (as the drive had a CD-R inside the Nero indicated the maximum speed of 32x): 

The design is unsophisticated and neat: a traditionally rectangular tray sticking out a bit, a metallic headphone jack and a mechanical volume control. A narrow tray button and a track one (which can also be used to select speeds) are too small. Two one-color LEDs and an emergency ejection hole are also located on the front panel. 

Apart from standard connectors for setting the drive into Master/Slave positions the rear panel has one more jumper. So that the drive can be able to work in the UltraDMA 33 protocol this jumper must be removed. You can also listen to audio CDs via the digital SPDIF interface. 

Like the CRW4012A, the drive whistles, though not too loudly, thanks to the DDSS II technology. But the discs ejected are really hot which is very harmful for CD-R and CD-RW media. That is why the CRW4816A should  be installed next to other DVD/CD-ROM drives and especially next to a hard drive. 

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Alexander Vorobiev (vorobiev@ixbt.com

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