iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






TDK CyClone 401248B

Specification of the TDK Cyclone 401248B:
Firmware versionZ7S4
Recording modesDisc-At-Once, Track-At-Once, Session-At-Once, MultiSession, Packet Writing
Recording formatsCD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, Photo CD, CD-Text, CD+G, CD-I, CD-Extra, Video 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 time130 ms
CD-R recording4x, 8x, 12x, 16x, 20x (CLV) 
32x (20x-32x), 40x (20-x-40x) (Zone-CLV)
CD-RW recording4x, 8x, 10x, 12x
Buffer underrun error prevention technologyTDK Buffer Underrun Protection
InterfacePIO Mode4 (by default),
UltraDMA 33
Reading48x max (7200 KB/s)
Buffer size2048 KB
Production dateMarch 2002

The drive ships in a Retail package.

The box contains:

  • In-depth user manual in 6 languages; 
  • Installation manual in the form of a folding poster; 
  • CD with software for disc recording: Nero Burning Rom, InCD 3.29 from Ahead; Software and TDK's utility - Digital MixMaster 4.5 - player for audio files of different standards; 
  • CD-R Reflex Ultra and High Speed CD-RW 4x-12x 700 MB; 
  • 4 screws and Eject Stick; 
  • TDK's marker for writing on an unused CD area; 
  • Analog cable for connecting the drive to a sound card; 
  • IDE cable. 

Character and method of recording:

The drive is based on the MediaTek MT1508E chipset (like the 40x ASUS) 

The company refused from a Sanyo's chipset probably because Sanyo wasn't ready for production of 40x models at the time of announcement of the 40x Cyclone Besides, MediaTek chipsets have very attractive prices. 

The Nero Info Tool utility provides the following information on the recorder: 

The design of the recorder changed a bit since the time of first CyClones. Although it still looks "a la iMac", it lost one LED and have its controls rearranged. It's primarily connected with a new OEM partner. 

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. 

The TDK Cyclone 401248B is the noisiest drive in the list. Besides, when the drive stumbles over hard-to-read areas on discs it often causes failure of the computer. 

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Alexander Vorobiev (vorobiev@ixbt.com

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