The tests were done using Nero CD Speed test. The first test run was a Digital Audio Extraction (DAE) test. This test determines the average and maximum speed a drive is capable of extracting audio data from a CD. In this test, the CenDyne drive achieves 16.58x average speed. The access time test determines how long it takes for a drive to respond and find the data requested by the user. The random seek time for the audio CD is 111 milliseconds (ms), the full seek time is 218 ms, and the 1/3 seek time is 155 ms. The higher the times; the longer the user has to wait to obtain the data requested. The DAE quality test returned a flawless 10. The drive utilized the P-CAV mechanism for this audio CD. CPU usage was 47% at 8x. Figure 6 shows the results of the audio CD test.
The data CD test was performed using a Warcraft III CD. The random seek time for data CD is 85 ms; the 1/3 seek time is 93 ms; and the full seek time is 147 ms. The drive picked Z-CLV to perform the data test. The average speed was measured to be 18.45x. CPU usage was 41% at 8x. Figure 7 illustrates the result of the data test.
Digital Audio Test
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Click to enlarge
The writing test was performed using General Quality (GQ) Compact Disk Recordable (CDR) rated at 48x. The CD recorded was a copy of Warcraft III, which is 616 Megabytes (Mb). The CenDyne drive recorded the CD in 5:28 min at 24x. A 696 Mb data CD was recorded in 5:43 min at 24x; an attempt was made at 40x, but the drive failed to successfully record the CD. Figures 8 and 9 show the results of the writing tests.
Warcraft III Recording Test
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Failed Data test
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The drive possesses both Z-CLV and P-CAV, which could be an advantage if it picked the right one to use during the recording process of a CD. The drive has a low 2 Mb Buffer memory compared to other CDRW drives. The reading speeds were definitely lower than expected, not even half of the claimed 48x speed was achieved during the reading test. The drive utilizes Just-Link buffer Underrun protection, and it seems to work on most occasions, but as the result showed, it failed to prevent an error during the recording of the data CD.
The drive can sometimes be very noisy during the initial stages of recording, but it dissipates as it moves towards the outer part of the CD. The back has the usual IDE connector, power connector, and analog/digital audio connectors. Opening the drive reveals that it utilizes Ricoh chips, and most likely a similar mechanism to that of Ricoh drives. The drive seems to lack support from software vendors. As of today, February 25th, 2003, the only software found to support the drive are Ahead Nero Burning ROM version 5.5, and Roxio EZ CD Creator. Golden Hawk Technologies CDRWIN does not support the drive.
The CDRW drive uses too much of the CPU power. At 8x it uses almost 50% of the CPU processing power. This lowers the performance of the PC. Running other programs while recording a CD will most likely cause the recording process to fail.
In conclusion, the drive performed well for its cost. At the price of $40 it is a good buy for the dollar.
Burn-Proof Features, Sanyo Inc. “Burn-Proof Features”
CDR Info Articles, CDRinfo.com “Z-CLV vs. P-CAV”
CenDyne Products, CenDyne Inc. “CDI CD 00118”