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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > Combo

Tuesday, August 05, 2003
48X CD-RW Combo Roundup (Optorite DC4801 & LiteOn LTC4801H)

1. Optorite DC4801 - Features, Installation

48x CD-RW Combo Roundup Vol.1 - Page 1


With the market full of new and fast DVD recorders, some people may think that buying a combo drive (one able to record CD's and read DVD's) is out of fashion. There are several reasons in favor of this argument, but there are also also several others against it. Combo drives offer high CD-R/RW recording and reading speeds, a fast DVD reading speed and are significantly cheaper than DVD recorders. If DVD writing is not your first need, then a combo drive is what you need. We have in our labs two new combo drives, the Optorite DC4801 and the LiteOn LTC48161.

Most of us are already familiar with the Optorite series of optical products. The Taiwanese company offers a wide range of CD-RW and DVD recorders, as we have already tested in our previous articles. This time we take a look at the Optorite DC4801, a 48/24/48/16 combo drive.

- Drive features / Specifications
Burn Guarantee prevents Buffer Under Run
EXACT-Rec (Enhanced eXtracting & Adapting Control Technology for Recording) monitors accuracy of writing
AWSS (Advanced Weighting Suspension System) Technology reduces vibration & noise.
Support discs capacity: DVD: 4.7GB/8.5GB/9.4GB/17GB
  CD: 790MB(90min)/700MB(80min)/650MB(74min)
Disc formats: DVD: DVD-ROM, DVD±R (read), DVD±RW (read).
  CD: CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-ROM/XA, Mixed mode CD, CD-I, Video-CD, Photo CD, CD Extra, CD-TEXT, Bootable CD, CD-UDF compatible
Writing Method: Disc At Once, Track At Once, Session At Once, Packet Writing.
Write: CD-R: 4x, 8x, 12x, 16x, 24x, 32x, 48x
  CD-RW: 4x, 8x,12x,16x, 24x
Read: CD-ROM/R: 48x Max,
  DVD Single Layer: 16x Max
  DVD Dual Layer: 8x Max
Random Access time: CD-ROM: 100 ms (Typical)
  DVD-ROM: 110 ms (Typical)
Audio Extraction: Maximum 48x
Internal Buffer: 2 MB

Optorite DC4801 supports 48x CAV CD-R writing and reading. The maximum rewriting speed is 24x P-CAV, which means that we should probably expect very low rewriting times with respect to US-RW media. For the DVD format, Optorite supports 16x DVD-ROM reading, and 8x CAV for the DVD±R and DVD±RW media.

The provided buffer underun protection is called "BURN GUARANTEE". The EXACT-Rec feature monitors the writing process and ensures a high degree writing quality The supported AWSS (Advanced Weighting Suspension System) technology reduces vibration and noise, at high reading/ writing speeds.

Optorite DC4801 implements strict RPCII region control, allowing 5 changes of the region code in total.

The supported reading/writing speeds are illustrated below:

The drive supports reading of CD-R/RW, Video CD, and both DVD±R/RW formats. Mount Rainier support is not included in the drive's specifications.

Optorite DC4801 also supports RAW DAO 96 and RAO SAO 96 writing modes, as well as packet writing.

- The package

The retail package includes the Optorite DC4801 IDE combo drive, Nero Burning Rom CD recording software, Intervideo WinDVD playback software and a quick installation guide.

The package does not include any CD-R/RW media and, additionally, you can find the usual audio cable and mounting screws. The retail kit is available at a price of about $55-60.

On the front panel of the drive there is the disc loading tray, the head phone jack and volume control, the eject button, a play / fw button used for Audio CD control, and the busy/write LED indicator.

On the rear panel there are the analog and digital outputs, an ATAPI connector and the DC input.

After removing the screws on the button we can easily see the drive's internal design

- Installation

The Optorite DC-4801 drive was connected to the secondary IDE of our test PC as "Master" and worked under the Ultra DMA Mode 2 transfer mode. The drive was identified as "OPTORITE COMBO DC4801" under WinXP. The installed firmware version was 130E.

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