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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > 32x CD-RW

Monday, April 29, 2002
Samsung SW-232B

1. Introduction

Samsung SW-232B IDE CDR-W - Page 1

- Introduction

has been another manufacturer that shipped many optical storage solutions in 2001. Even Samsung never really lead the writing race, its models were very popular among users due to their good features and the very low price. The Samsung SW-232B has to compete other manufacturers (Ricoh, AOpen, CyberDrive, LiteOn) in the 32x writing platform.. We compare the Samsung SW-224B with Ricoh MP7320A, AOpen CRW3248, CyberDrive CW-058D and LiteOn LTR-32123S.

- Features

The drive supports 32x writing (Z-CLV) max speed among with "JustLink" and "JustSpeed" technologies. As it seems Samsung changed chipsets for the SW-224B model (OAK Technologies) to Ricoh's. The supported writing speeds are 4x, 8x, 12x, 16x (CLV), 24x, 32x (Z-CLV) and re-writing speeds 4x and 10 (CLV). The drive also includes 8MB of buffer and supports all available writing modes (TAO, SAO, DAO, Multisession and Packet Writing). There is no support for Mt. Rainier format. Samsung said that this will adopted in the upcoming SW-240B model.

In order to achieve the 32x writing speeds Samsung has chosen the Z-CLV writing technology. When a recorder uses the Zone CLV recording method, the CD is divided into 3 zones from the inner to the outer side of the CD, and within each these zones the recording speed varies but it's always constant (CLV). The recording process starts from the beginning of the disc in a constant speed in the first zone. After a pre-defined time (when the next zone starts) the recording speed automatically elevates to a higher speed. At the speed switching point, the anti-buffer underrun technology (in our case JustLink) is used to assure the transition with no data loss or corruption.

Samsung starts writing at 16x from the lead-in area for 2 minutes, shifts up to 20x at 6mins, shifts up to 24x at 14mins, shifts up to 28x and continues to write until the end of the disc at that speed. With all used media, we didn't achieved to get a graph with the 32x writing speed upon. The drive's average writing speed is 25.51X for 28x recording. Also the actual recording speeds, showed a rather slow performance for the drive. Maybe with future updates, more media will be supported to adopt 32x recording speed.

- The package

The tested drive was the retail European package and included: the drive, a printed manual in 4 languages, 1 piece (32x certified) of Samsung 74min 32x CD-R blank, 1 piece of Samsung 74min 4-10x High-Speed RW Blank, audio and IDE cables and mounting screws. The attached software is Nero Burning ROM v5.5x OEM and Ahead InCD v3.24 (for packet writing use).

The front of the drive includes the "Samsung", "High-Speed RW" and the "RW32-10-40" logos, that shows up the drive's features. You will also find only one small led, the eject button and the headphone input jack/volume selector. Both the led and the eject button are back lighted with a green color:

In the backside of the drive we will find the usual connectors (IDE interface, power), the jumpers for making the drive Master/Slave, the SPDIF output connector and the analog/digital output connectors:

- Installation

The Samsung SW-232B was installed as a Master in the secondary IDE BUS. The drive worked in UDMA2 mode and after booting, identified itself as the "Samsung CD-R/RW SW-232B". Under WinXP, DMA was activated automatically.

The drive was a April 2002 model with firmware revision vR3.00 installed. We used the Nero (5.5.8.0), InCD (3.24.3) and CloneCD (3.3.4.1) for the recording tests.




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