We haven't tested MSI's CD-RW drives for a long time already, though
its line of optical drives is quite lengthy and reaches DVD recorders. The
model that we are testing today is one of MSI's latest solutions in the sphere
of CD-R/RW devices. However, at the time of publishing this review the company
has released a newer model that supports 32x CD-RW drives. Next time we will
examine it. And now we have the MSI CR52-A2 on the preparation table.
The drive came in a Retail package. The box also contains an analog audio cable, screws, blank CD-R and CD-RW, and CD with Nero Burning ROM and InCD.
On the front panel you can see Audio CD buttons which have become
a rarity these days. There is also one multicolor status LED. An operable
digital audio-out is placed on the back. Judging by what's written on the
box, the drive incorporates quite a lot of MSI's technologies. BURN-Proof®
is a well-known buffer underrun error prevention technology. EXACT-Rec is
Enhanced eXtracting & Adapting Control Technology for Recording.
AWSS is Advanced Weighting Suspension System.
The drive encompasses a pretty old Sanyo's chipset, which doesn't
support such ultra-modern but not very useful yet features as Mt.Rainier.
Here are the insides.
The labels on top informs on time and location of its production.
The installation brought no problems. You are offered a standard procedure for CD-ROM drives, no special drivers are needed. To handle the drive I used NeroBurning Rom ver 184.108.40.206 which successfully detects this model.
Now I'm going to get more information on the drive using some utilities; for example, Nero Infotool which tells what formats and disc types the drive supports.
The EAC (EAC Configuration Wizard) determines whether a given drive
supports Audio CDs.
As you can see, the drive can't boast of high-quality audio data extraction.
CD-R and CD-RW recording
CD recording time
Traditionally, we used two types of media - with cyanine and phthalocyanine coating. The number of the trade marks used are 4, 2 of each type, in order to get more information on how the drive treats discs of different trade marks. The burning results will be partially represented in the graphical form.
Recording on the MSI CR52-A2 (Mirex 48x, phthalocyanine)
Recording on the MSI CR52-A2 (Verbatim 48x, cyanine)
We also checked whether the drive can burn correctly cyanine discs
at the minimal speed, - this mode is mostly used by audiophiles to get highest-quality
To extend the picture, I added the burn results of the Verbatim CD-RW
10x and 24x. Unfortunately, we didn't have 24x 700mb media at hand, and used
|Disc||Burn time (min.)||Formatting time (min.)|
Formatting and recording of the 80mm CD-RW disc in UDF. 4x write
|CD-RW drive||Formatting time (min.)||Burn time (min.)|
The drive successfully reads and burns 80mm discs.
The most important part of the tests, and we here used the device
described in this
Judging by the test results the burning quality is pretty high. Later we will publish test results of the professional equipment CDCATS SA3 to get some more information on the record quality.
Some programs sometimes incorrectly detect the new Mirex discs with
the ATIP Plasmon.
The level of errors on the discs recorded is not very high.
|CD-RW drive||80 min CD-R||90 min CD-R|
|Inside transfer||3350 Kb/s|
|Outside transfer||7050 Kb/s|
|CPU Utilization||1.57 %|
|Access Time||77,7 ms|
Test CD reading
|Average speed||38.56x CAV|
|Random Seek||86 ms|
|Full Seek||147 ms|
|CPU Usage 8X||6 %|
|Disc Recognition Time||0.10 sec|
Low-quality CD reading
||Licensed disc||Pirated disc|
|Average extraction speed||34.3x||33.7x|
||Licensed disc||Pirated disc|
|Average extraction speed||13.8x||13.4x|
The drive reads Subchannel Data correctly. In general, it perfectly copes with this test.
The detailed information on the tested parameters is given in the help file to the Nero CD Speed test program. If you don't want to download the utility, then here you can find the HTMl help file.
This test was made by the developer of the EAC, and it's called
DAE Quality (here you
can find its description). In short, it measures quality of audio data extraction
and quality of C2 error processing with a special test disc. In this case
it's impossible to measure the C2 processing quality, and we can show you
only the general data on audiotrack extraction quality.
Although the drive can't return information on C2 errors, the overall audio track extraction quality is pretty high.
The drive successfully copied contents of the 780MB disc without
|CD-RW drive||Tray||CD-Seek||CD general|
As usual, a high speed makes the drive noisy. When working at the maximum speed with CD discs, it reaches a considerable noise level. The speed can be reduced with external programs CD-Bremsie or Nero DriveSpeed, and the range of speed is very wide.
|CD-RW drive||T inside PC case, C||T of the upper surface, C||T of the lower surface, C|
The drive doesn't get too hot even when used a lot. But be careful when placing equipment close to it as it can burn.
The drive's performance is acceptable when it operates with CDs which are not properly balanced. Although it vibrated and made noise at the high speed, it managed to finish reading the disc.
MSI developed a nice drive which can meet all requirements made
for the drives of this class. Some may not like that it doesn't support the
up-to-date Mt.Rainier standard, but I don't think that it's that necessary
these days. If you need a drive for today's applications, this one
can be a good dray-horse.
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