IDE CDR-W - Page 1
The MP7163A series came in the time period that both 20x and 24x are hot
selling and its "reduced" writing/reading specs might be sound too
slow for the power user. The middle/lower end user might find the solution interesting
since the price of the drive is low. The only company that has offered something
similar, at least in the specs, is AOpen with their CRW1632. How the two drives
can be compared? Which one is better? Let's find out...
drive supports 16x writing (CLV) max speed among with "JustLink" and
"JustSpeed" technologies. The exact writing speeds are 4x, 8x, 12x,
16x (CLV) and re-writing speeds 2x, 4x, 10 (CLV). The drive also includes 2MB
of buffer and supports all available writing modes (TAO, SAO, DAO, Multisession
and Packet Writing).
- The New features
As Ricoh states: "...The drive comes with newly developed
modules and mechanism to enable high-speed writing and reading. High-speed writing
is handled by the pick-up module incorporating a high power laser and high precision
pulse control. The newly developed digital control LSI controls the pulse width
with precision boasting 1.5 times of the traditional mechanism, thus allowing
for stable writing at high-speed.
Incorporation of the high-speed rotation type spindle motor
gives stable and precise rotation during high-speed writing. The adoption of
the high-precision stepping motor for the seeking mechanism enables determination
of access position at high precision and high speed access at 120 msec., while
improving the noise level. Improvement in wide band and low noise in the pickup's
amplifier unit ensures high-speed reading..."
The drive includes "JustSpeed" and "JustLink"
technologies to reduce writing problems with un-certified media and avoid buffer
- The package:
package supplied was the OEM version (bare drive). The retail European version
will include: The drive itself, a set-up guide, 1 CD-R blank, 1 High Speed RW
Blank, Audio cables and mounting screws. The software supplied with the drive
would be Nero 5.5.x and Ahead InCD v2.2x (for packet writing use).
The front of the drive reminds a typical Ricoh CDR-W drive. It
includes the drive model code (MP7163A) along with the "JustLink"
and "High-Speed RW" logo and the drive features (16/10/32). You will
also find only one led, the eject button, the headphone input jack/volume selector:
At the backside of the drive we will find the usual connectors
(IDE interface, power), the jumpers for making the drive Master/Slave and the
analog/SPDIF output connectors:
Ricoh MP7163A was installed as a Master in the secondary IDE BUS. The drive
worked in UDMA33 mode and after booting, identified itself as the "Ricoh
CD-R/RW MP7163A". We unchecked the Auto Insert notification, checked
DMA and rebooted.
The drive was a May 2001 model with firmware revision vBR.08
installed. We used the Nero (220.127.116.11), InCD (2.26), CloneCD (18.104.22.168) and Padus
DJ (3.50.799) for the recording tests.
- Test Machine:
Celeron II 566 over clocked to 850 MHz
128MB SDRAM PC 133
WD 18GB UDMA 66
Quantum Fireball EX 6.4 GB UDMA 33
DAWI 2975 - PCI (ULTRA) SCSI Host Adapter
ATI AIW 128
AOpen CRW1632 firmware v1.03
Ricoh MP7163A firmware vBR.08