EHW-4048U CD-RW - Page 1
Many manufacturers ship external drives mostly based at USB2.0 connection
interface, since it offers increased portability among with easy installation.
The EHW-4048U is a fast drive from AOpen that includes all the features that
competition offers (40X writing, 12X re-writing, 48X reading) in a very attractive
price. We compare it with other USB2.0 solutions in order to test whether the
AOpen drive can stand the tough competition.
The AOpen CRW4048U uses the Z-CLV recording technology and the CAV for reading.
The drive's features according to Nero Info Tool are the following:
The drive supports 48X maximum reading, 40X writing and 12X rewriting speeds.
JustLink and JustSpeed technologies are present to prevent any buffer underrun
problems and ensure the burning quality. The cache buffer is 2MB and reading
of CD-Text and CD+G is also supported. Nero Info Tool reports that C2 error
information is also retrieved by the drive but its accuracy will be examined
later. Lastly the Mt. Rainier is not present, and probably won't be adopted
with any future firmware upgrade.
As with previous AOpen drives, the default read speed is set to 40x. Pressing
the Eject button for 5 sec will change the maximum read speed to 48X. At that
time the operation LED will brink 2 times slowly. The drive will keep working
at 48X until you reboot your computer. Below is the Nero Info Tool screenshot
with the "Turbo" mode enabled. The drive's maximum speed is 48X:
- Recording/Rewriting speeds
The AOpen CRW4048U supports 40X with the use of Z-CLV recording technology.
Below it's the Nero CD Speed writing graph that illustrates the use of Zone-CLV:
The 40x writing speed range is divided in 5 zones: The drive starts writing
at 16X from the lead-in area till 4mins, shifts up to 20X at 5mins, accelerates
24X at 14mins, shifts up again to 32X at 32mins and lastly shifts to 40X at
56mins and stays there until the end. The average recording speed is 29.61X,
as Nero CD Speed reports. The drive's Zone-CLV implementation gives slower average
writing speed than some other 40X recorders.
- The package
got the European retail version that includes: the drive, 40X CD-R media, 12X
HS-RW media, a DC adapter and a USB2.0/1.1 cable. The attached software comes
from Ahead (Nero Burning Rom, InCD). A printed manual in two languages that
explains the basic installation and working facts is also bundled. The drive
has been around for a while and can be found in a low price for less than $100.
Looking at the front panel, we can see the "JustLink/JustSpeed",
"HS-RW", "AOpen" and "40X/12X/48X" logos printed
on the tray. The external case of the drive is colored to white, but the front
panel is light blue. The eject/next buttons, volume selector, and the headphone
jack are also present, as usual in the E-IDE models.
The operation LED blinks differently according to the current operation of
the drive. When you eject/close the disc tray or a disc is accessed, the LED
lights to green. When a disc is just loaded and there is not any other operation,
the light goes out. When audio playback is in progress, the indicator blinks.
Inserting an illegal disc or when some hardware trouble has occurred makes the
indicator blink quickly. Last, while writing a CD the led blinks to orange.
On the rear panel we will find the DC-in power connector, the Power ON/OFF
switch, the Audio out jack and the USB2.0/1.1 connection interface.
On the top of the drive we can see the model's codename "EHW-4048U"
among with the manufacturing date (July 2002):
After removing the screws on the button we can easily see the drive's internal
design (attention this voids your warranty!).
The drive is built on RICOH and ESMT chipsets. The board design is similar
to the CRW4850, making overclocking a possibility:
The AOpen CRW4048U was connected through the bundled USB2.0 cable. The drive
was recognized as "AOPEN CD-RW CRW4048". We used Nero v126.96.36.199,
CloneCD v188.8.131.52 and Ahead InCD v3.51.61 for the recording tests. Within Nero,
under drive properties you can disable "JustSpeed" to obtain the maximum
burning speed (40X) with all the inserted CD-R media. The drive came with v1.03
firmware revision installed, but we used the newest v1.07 to complete the tests.