CD-RW Gets Up and Running
by Stephen Clark Jr.
July 31, 2020 | Whoever said slow and steady wins
the race? While the speed of CD-R recording leapt to 12X,
it looked as if CD-RW, whose speed had reached a plateau
at 4X, was being left behind in the digital dust. The release
of the Orange Book Part III, Volume 2, v.1.0 standard paved
the way for CD-ReWritable (RW) drive manufacturers to push
the technology to 10X, a speed that can almost keep
pace with the fastest CD-R recording speeds. Because of
CD-RW's growing acceptance in markets such as daily data
backup, this increase in speed will most likely be warmly
Leading the charge to 10X is the PlexWriter 12/10/32A CD-R/RW
from Plextor Corporation (http://www.plextor.com). The drive
features Sanyo's BURN-Proof technology, which helps to prevent
buffer underruns while writing to a disc. The drive includes
a 2MB Data buffer, and is available in a half-height internal
5.25-inch ATAPI configuration. The PlexWriter ships with the
Plextor Manager 2000 software suite, which includes Music
Video Producer 2000, DiscDupe 2000, AudioFS, and CD-ResQ.
Plextor's PlexWriter 12/10/32A is available at an estimated
retail price of $349.
TEAC (http://www.teac.com) enters the 12x10x32 field with
its CD-W512 line, available in both ATAPI (CD-W512E) and
Fast SCSI-2 (CD-W512S) models. The Windows 9x/2000-compatible
drives feature an 85ms average seek time and a 4MB buffer,
and ship with recording software.
Ricoh DMS-C (http://www.ricohdms.com) offers the the MP7120A,
a 12x10x32 drive that features an ATAPI interface, and a
4MB data buffer. The package includes Prassi's abCD and
PrimoCD Plus, one Ricoh CD-R disc, and one Ricoh CD-RW disc.
The drive will be available at an estimated list price of
TDK (http://www.tdk.com) has also announced their 12x10x32
drive, the veloCD. The veloCD features Sanyo's BURN-Proof
technology for buffer underrun prevention, and 24X audio
ripping speeds. The drive is designed as a solution for
multimedia recording, and features such as MP3 playback,
and on-the-fly conversion of MP3 files into Audio CD tracks.
The internal ATAPI drive is bundled with Ahead's Nero 5.0
for general recording chores and InCD for drag & drop packet
writing software. TDK's veloCD is available at an estimated
retail price of $349.
Although CD-RW drives have now reached the 10X milestone,
users will not be able to take advantage of the faster rewriting
speeds unless there is 10X media available to support the
drives. As if on cue, several companies, including Verbatim
(http://www.verbatim.com), Ricoh, and TDK have announced that
they are rolling out their new 10X CD-RW disc lines, just
in time to greet the new drives. Both companies claim that
their media conforms to the Orange Book Part III, Volume 2,
Ver. 1.0 CD-RW standard, and can support recording speeds
from 4X to 10X. Both companies' discs support direct writing/rewriting
in Constant Angular Velocity (CAV) mode, as well as Constant
Linear Velocity (CLV) mode. Both Verbatim and Ricoh estimate
that their respective media will be available at $4 per disc.
the finish line?
CD-RW's acceleration to 10X promises to help the medium achieve
a greater market penetration than it currently possesses.
How CD-RW compares to CD-R in terms of price and performance,
particularly in the case of media, will be a deciding factor
in the future of the format. And with CD-R media sales typically
outpacing CD-RW media sales by as much as 40 to 1, the recording
public has clearly made its choice clear in the past. But
as both the price and performance gap close-as it has demonstrably
in recent months-that may change. On the other hand, as 12X
CD-R becomes standard, and 16X CD-R looms in the not-too-distant
future, some users may become converts to the faster CD-RW,
while others may feel that it is still too far behind in the
(Plextor Corporation, 4255 Burton Drive, Santa Clara,
CA 95054; 800/886-3935, 408/980-1838; Fax 408/986-1010;
(Ricoh DMS-C, 1231 Warner Avenue, Tustin, CA 92780; 714-259-1310;
Fax 714/566-3655; http://www.ricohdms.com)
(Sanyo Corporation, 619/661-1134; Fax 619/661-6795; http://www.sanyo.com)
(TEAC, Data Storage Products Division, 7733 Telegraph
Road, Montebello, CA 90640; 323/726-0303; Fax 323/727-7652;
(TDK Electronics Corporation, 12 Harbor Park Drive, Port
Washington, NY 11050; http://www.tdk.com)
(Verbatim, 1200 W.T. Harris Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28262-8536;
888/837-2284, 704/547-6500; Fax 704/547-6609; http://www.verbatim.com)