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Index
  • Introduction
  • The Best of the Best!
  • What to Get
  • What NOT to Get
  • Related Articles
  • Introduction
    Here is an overview of the best CD-Writers out there today:

    The main criteria for selecting & ranking a CD-Writer are:

    • Fully supports for 80 Minutes CD-R's.
    • Supports OverSizing/OverBurning.
    • Writes CD-R's at 4x speed or better.
    • Should be able to copy Protected CD's.
    • Must support TAO, DAO, Multi-Session & Incremental Packet Writing.
    • Must support RAW Writing (used in CloneCD & BlindWrite).
    • The firmware must be Flashrom upgradeable.
    index
    The Best of the Best!

    SCSI CD-Writer

    W RW R RAM Over
    Size
    80
    Min
    ID
    Code
    R/W
    Errors
    Rank
    Plextor PX-W12432 12x 4x 32x 4 Mb Yes Yes Yes ++ 1
    Sony CRX-145S 10x 4x 32x 4 Mb No Yes Yes ++ 2
    Plextor PX-R8220 8x 2x 20x 4 Mb Yes² Yes Yes ++ 3
    Yamaha CRW8824S 8x 8x 24x 4 Mb Yes Yes Yes + 4
    Yamaha CRW8424S 8x 4x 24x 4 Mb Yes Yes Yes + 5
    Teac CD-R58S 8x No³ 24x 4 Mb Yes Yes Yes + 6

    IDE/Atapi CD-Writer
    Price Range:  US$ 250-450

    W RW R RAM Over
    Size
    80
    Min
    ID
    Code
    R/W
    Errors
    Rank
    Plextor PX-W121032 12x 10x 32x 2 Mb Yes Yes Yes ++ 1
    Sony CRX-145E 10x 4x 32x 4 Mb No Yes Yes ++ 2
    Mitsumi CR4804TE 4x 4x 24x 2 Mb Yes Yes Yes ++ 3
    Plextor PX-W8432T 8x 4x 32x 4 Mb Yes Yes Yes ++ 4
    Yamaha CRW8824E 8x 4x 24x 4 Mb Yes Yes Yes + 5

    Old/Obsolete CD-Writer
    But still obtainable

    W RW R RAM Over
    Size
    80
    Min
    ID
    Code
    R/W
    Errors
    Rank
    Plextor PX-W4220 4x 2x 20x 2 Mb Yes² Yes Yes ++ -
    Yamaha CRW6416S 6x 4x 16x 2 Mb Yes Yes Yes + -
    Mitsumi CR4802TE 4x 2x 8x 2 Mb No Yes Yes ++ -
    Plextor PX-R820 8x No³ 20x 4 Mb Yes² Yes Yes ++ -
    Sony CRX-140E 10x 4x 32x 4 Mb No Yes Yes ++ -
    Ricoh MP7060A 6x 4x 20x 2 Mb Yes Yes Yes - -
    Ricoh MP7040A 4x 4x 20x 2 Mb Yes Yes Yes - -
    Mitsumi CR4801TE 4x No 8x 2 Mb No Yes Yes ++ -
    Philips CDD3610 2x 2x 6x 1 Mb No Yes Yes ++ -
    Teac CD-R56S-600 4x No³ 24x 2 Mb Yes Yes Yes + -
    Teac CD-R55S 4x No 12x 1 Mb Yes Yes No ++ -
    Plextor PX-R412Ci/e 4x No³ 12x 2 Mb Yes² Yes Yes ++ -
    Yamaha CRW4260S 4x 2x 6x 2 Mb Yes Yes Yes + -
    Yamaha CRW4261E 4x 2x 6x 2 Mb Yes Yes Yes + -
    Yamaha CRW2216E 2x 2x 16x 2 Mb Yesı Yes Yes + -
    Yamaha CRW4416E 4x 4x 16x 2 Mb Yesı Yes Yes + -
    Yamaha CRW4416S 4x 4x 16x 2 Mb Yesı Yes Yes + -
    Important Notes & Comments:
    1 Some problems OverSizing/OverBurning a CD-R:
    • The test-mode doesn't work on some types of CD-R media.
    • The problems should be fixable with a firmware update!
    2 Some problems OverSizing/OverBurning a CD-R:
    • The writer sometimes tends to locks up near the physical end of a CD-R. The CD-R will be OK but still it is not "normal".
    • Plextor officially does not support this option and won't give any support on this subject.
    3 Only is able to READ CD-RW media.
    W Maximum Writing speed
    RW Maximum ReWriting speed
    R Maximum Reading speed
    RAM The amount of internal RAM/Memory, which is used for data caching.
    OverSize Supports OverSizing/OverBurning
    80 Min Supports 80 Minutes CD-R's
    ID Code Manufacturer ID Code - Yes means that this code can be read using for example CDR Identifier or Feurio!
    R/W Errors The column tells how good the CD-Writer is in copying protected CD's in general.
    ++ Very Good - Supports writing DAO in RAW mode using CloneCD
    + Good
    - Satisfactory
    -- Bad
    index
    What to Get
     SCSI CD-Writer

    The Plextor PX-W12432 has replaced the Sony CRX-145S as the Best SCSI CD-Writer available. This change is mainly due the fact that with firmware 1.04 (or better) the Plextor PX-W12432 supports both reading & writing in MMC DAO RAW mode. CloneCD uses the MMC DAO RAW mode for writing CD's, which means that it can almost copy any kind of CD Protection!

    The Sony CRX-145S has move to the second place as this CD-Writer supports writing in iMMC DAO RAW mode but it can read in this mode so another CD-Reader capable in reading RAW is needed! There are 2 models of the Sony CRX-145S, they are physically the same:  CRX-145S/C (Europe) & CRX-140S-RP (US).

    As you may already have noticed, there has been a shift from SCSI to IDE for most quality CD-Writers. Previously IDE CD-Writers were less reliable because of a combination of poor hardware & software. This has totally been changed the last year, especially with the arrival of the BURN-Proof standard which rids us from the dreaded Buffer Underrun Errors!

    IDE CD-Writer

    The Plextor PX-W121032 has replaced the Sony RX-145E as the Best IDE CD-Writer available. The most important change has been the release of CloneCD which enables DAO in RAW mode (meaning it can almost copy any kind of CD Protection) and the BURN-Proof feature which is utilized in the Plextor PX-W121032 drive.

    The Sony RX-145E is currently second best as Sony has changed their policy concerning the support for 80 minutes CD-R's. This CD-Writer supports writing in RAW mode, it can't Read RAW so another CD-Reader capable in reading DAO RAW is needed!

    Note:  There are 2 models of the Sony CRX-140E, they are physically the same:  CRX-145E/CH (Europe) & CRX-145E-RP (US)

    The HP 9300i/9310i series are also using the Sony CRX-145E so the same applies for these drives! Both still can't OverSize/OverBurn but this is not that big a deal now as it fully supports 80 minutes CD-R's!

    Third best is the Mitsumi CR4804TE because is supports everything and is very cheap, the only bad thing is that it is VERY hard to get! The drive is fully supported by CloneCD and is capable in Reading & Writing in DAO RAW mode!

    The Plextor PX-W8432T is also a good drive because Plextor recently upgraded the drive so it also support the DAO RAW mode. The bad thing is that the new firmware doesn't seem to support Overburning anymore!

    Cheapest CD-Writer Available

    If copying CD Protections is not an issue then the Ricoh MP7060A is a good alternative. Check the CD-Writer Technology page to get more vendors/drives using the Ricoh MP7060A and to get full overview who is using which drive.

    They are hard to get as they are getting old but if you just want a cheap & working CD-Writer which can handle CD-R & CD-RW media and is able to write 80 minutes CD-R's then the Philips CDD3610 or Philips CA362RW is the best writer available (the CA362RW is just a retail pack which includes the CDD3610 writer). Just make sure that the v3.01 (or higher) firmware is in it. At the moment the Philips CDD3610 is very cheap because it is not made anymore as it has been replaced by the Philips CDRW400.

    There are more than 40 companies who are also using the Philips CDD3610 in their writers, checkout the CD-Writer Technology to find out who they are!

    Previous Best CD-Writers

    The previous Best SCSI CD-Writer, the Teac CD-R56S-600, is not made anymore and now is replaced by the Teac CD-R58S. If it is still available it still is great value for money but it doesn't support DAO in RAW mode - Teac will never update the firmware for these drives to support it! Still there is a "fix" the downgrade both drives to a Teac CD-R55S by setting a jumper on header 6.

    The previous second Best SCSI CD-Writer, the Plextor PX-R8220, is not made anymore and now is replaced by the Teac CD-R58S. If it is still available it still is great value for money but it doesn't support DAO in RAW mode - Teac will never update the firmware for these drives to support it! Still there is a "fix" the downgrade both drives to a Teac CD-R55S by setting a jumper on header 6.

    index
    What NOT to Get
    Here is a list of CD-Writers which should be avoided:
    • HP 8100 / Sony CRX100
      The main reason is because these CD-Writers don't support OverSizing/OverBurning & 80 minutes CD-R's. HP/Sony will not fix this "problem" as they claim that  OverSizing/OverBurning & 80 minutes CD-R's are outside the CD-R Redbook specifications and therefore are not supported...
    • Creative Blaster CD-RW 4224
      The main reason is because DAE (Digital Audio Extraction) is very bad!

    Keep in mind that these drives will work fine as long as you are not using 80 minutes CD media.

    index
    Related Articles
    index



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