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In House Review - AOpen COM4824 48x Combo Drive

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In House Review - AOpen COM4824 48x Combo Drive

Postby Ian on Mon Mar 08, 2004 12:15 pm

To kick off the week, Craig has taken a look at AOpen's 48x combo drive, the COM4824. This combination CD-RW/DVD-ROM reads and writes CD's at 48x, rewrites at 24x and can read DVD's at speeds as high as 16x. In this review we take a look at some of the features found on the COM4824 and then see how it performs. Does AOpen's new combo drive have what it takes? You'll have to check out the review to find out.

[url=http://www.cdrlabs.com/reviews/index.php?reviewid=218]Image
AOpen COM4824 48x Combo Drive[/url]

While you might not recognize the name Craig, you probably know him better as "cfitz" from our forum. If you have any comments or questions about the AOpen COM4824 (or you want to tell Craig what a great job he's done), please post them in the forum using the link provided below.
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Postby CDRecorder on Mon Mar 08, 2004 4:20 pm

Great review! :D

BTW, that drive really didn't look like an AOpen drive to me; it looked like a BTC. Has AOpen stopped producing their own drives?
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Postby cfitz on Mon Mar 08, 2004 5:33 pm

CDRecorder wrote:Great review! :D

Thanks CDRecorder.

CDRecorder wrote:BTW, that drive really didn't look like an AOpen drive to me; it looked like a BTC.

Yes, it does have the looks of the BCO 4816IM, although the case isn't 100% identical:

Image Image

The specifications match pretty well also. Combining those points with the fact that AOpen didn't use their JustLink and JustSpeed trademarks in their description of the COM4824 makes it seem like a there is a good chance this is a BTC under the skin. I don't have any positive confirmation on that, though.

CDRecorder wrote:Has AOpen stopped producing their own drives?

The newer COM4824 / AAH, COM5224 / AAH and COM5232 / AAH (particularly the COM4824 / AAH) look a little more AOpen-like with the round buttons and, in the case of the COM4824 / AAH, swoopy bezel:

Image

Image

Image

However, none of them mention JustLink or JustBurn either. I don't know whether or not they are home-grown AOpen drives.

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Postby CDRecorder on Mon Mar 08, 2004 6:31 pm

I agree, those other AOpen drives look a lot more like the AOpen drives that I have used in the past.
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Postby Reg-da-Ripper on Mon Mar 08, 2004 8:54 pm

Reading that review gave me an education. :) Good job, cfitz! :)
My solution to the Plextor vs. Lite-On debate: Buy 'em both! :)
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Postby cfitz on Mon Mar 08, 2004 11:58 pm

Thanks, Reg. I'm glad you found some educational value in it.

One of the reasons the review ended up being so long is that I wanted to include explanations so readers could learn some general information about optical drives and their testing in addition to the specific information about the COM4824. But I wasn't sure whether or not the explanations would be helpful to most readers and whether or not they were just too long. That's why I included the links to skip over sections that aren't of interest to some people.

Hopefully it all worked out and people who want to read more can learn something new from the explanations while people who just want the facts can still easily find what they are looking for without getting bogged down in the explanations.

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Postby dodecahedron on Tue Mar 09, 2004 6:23 am

cfitz wrote:However, none of them mention JustLink or JustBurn either. I don't know whether or not they are home-grown AOpen drives.

JustBurn ??? is there such a thing?
or did you mean JustSpeed ?
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Postby Ian on Tue Mar 09, 2004 9:04 am

It's JustLink
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Postby cfitz on Tue Mar 09, 2004 10:52 am

dodecahedron wrote:
cfitz wrote:However, none of them mention JustLink or JustBurn either. I don't know whether or not they are home-grown AOpen drives.

JustBurn ??? is there such a thing?
or did you mean JustSpeed ?

Yes, I meant JustSpeed. Give a guy a break already. :wink: In the review I describe JustLink and JustSpeed.

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Postby dodecahedron on Tue Mar 09, 2004 11:49 am

cfitz wrote:Yes, I meant JustSpeed. Give a guy a break already. :wink: In the review I describe JustLink and JustSpeed.

yeah yeah yeah, i know you got it right in the review.
just wanted to make sure i wasn't missing something.
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Postby cfitz on Tue Mar 09, 2004 7:45 pm

It was an amalgam of "JustSpeed" + "SMART-BURN" = "JustBurn". We curmudgeons have trouble mixing things up that way. We're still trying to run our motherboards at 2-2-2-5 timings, but our memory has degraded to 3-4-4-8... :(

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Postby pranav81 on Wed Mar 10, 2004 2:22 am

cfitz wrote:It was an amalgam of "JustSpeed" + "SMART-BURN" = "JustBurn". We curmudgeons have trouble mixing things up that way. We're still trying to run our motherboards at 2-2-2-5 timings, but our memory has degraded to 3-4-4-8... :(

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Yeah,happens all the time cfitz. :wink:


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Postby MediumRare on Wed Mar 10, 2004 4:59 pm

Wow, that was one thorough review. (I didn't have time to post earlier- our company moved over the weekend and I was busy unpacking :roll:). I particularly appreciate the detailed presentation of the tests you used and why you used them! Of course, this whets the appetite for more- for additional reviews :D, and for a bit more information in this case :wink:. So here are some questions and comments:

- one recording mode listed is Track Reservation. This is new to me. What does it mean?
- the packet writing was really disappointing. I recall reading somewhere that CAV writing (which your comparison LiteOn drive uses) has advantages for this mode. This may explain part of the problems.
- for me, overburning is interesting if I have a complilation with 81 or 82 minutes and no 90 min blanks at hand. Otherwise there's no point. Does the overburning test in CD Speed work with this drive? A lot of LiteOn drives ignores the real limits until firmware updates last year.
- the advanced DAE error test with the specially prepared test disc was interesting. I'll try to make one of these too. I'm really curious how well your LTR-48246S did (I have its brother :wink:).
- did the C1 reporting in CD Speed work? The option doesn't appear to be greyed out, e.g. in this picture:
Image

And I stumbled across one grammatic error: 8) after the first table in "Read Test - Audio CD-RW", it should say "reads audio CD-RW discs very slowly"

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Postby dodecahedron on Wed Mar 10, 2004 5:41 pm

MediumRare wrote:And I stumbled across one grammatic error: 8) after the first table in "Read Test - Audio CD-RW", it should say "reads audio CD-RW discs very slowly"

wow - my bad, missed that one. :o
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Postby Scour on Wed Mar 10, 2004 8:57 pm

Hello!

Well done, cfitz :)

So the new AOpen-Combo are rebadged BTC. Maybe that´s not bad, because i have better experiences with my BTC 5232IA than with an AOpen CRW 2440.

KProbe didn´t work with my BTC. Can someone test a BTC combo-drive with KProbe?

Will a review with the Aopen 52x Combo follow?
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Postby cfitz on Wed Mar 10, 2004 9:33 pm

MediumRare wrote:Wow, that was one thorough review. (I didn't have time to post earlier- our company moved over the weekend and I was busy unpacking :roll:). I particularly appreciate the detailed presentation of the tests you used and why you used them!

Thanks! I'm glad you found them to be interesting.

- one recording mode listed is Track Reservation. This is new to me. What does it mean?

Shoot! Dodecahedron asked me that one also in a private correspondence. I have to give you the same answer that I gave him: I don't know. :oops: :oops: This is the first I ever heard of it also.

- the packet writing was really disappointing. I recall reading somewhere that CAV writing (which your comparison LiteOn drive uses) has advantages for this mode. This may explain part of the problems.

Potentially. CAV should make for faster random access time since the drive doesn't need to speed up and slow down as the pickup head moves across the disc. Would that make enough difference to explain my results? Certainly not for the Mt. Rainier tests, but it might contribute meaningfully for some of the other modes. Of course, I don't know for a fact that it is using P-CAV for packet writing. It does for session writing, but I don't have any way to determine what it uses during packet writing.

- for me, overburning is interesting if I have a complilation with 81 or 82 minutes and no 90 min blanks at hand. Otherwise there's no point. Does the overburning test in CD Speed work with this drive?

Yes it does. I should have included that tidbit in the overburning test results section.

- the advanced DAE error test with the specially prepared test disc was interesting. I'll try to make one of these too. I'm really curious how well your LTR-48246S did (I have its brother :wink:).

That's right! You do. I had forgotten about that. You will be happy to know it did quite well:

Image

The Lite-On went to about the 11-minute mark before the first C2 error showed up, 16 minutes before C2 errors started consistently showing, and 20 minutes before it slowed down. At that point it slowed down pretty considerably, but still kept going solidly. After it passed the damaged portion of the disc it slowly sped back up again but never did return to the pre-damaged section speeds. I guess the Lite-On lost trust in the disc. :wink:

Compare this to the COM4824 that started showing C2 errors consistently at the 9-minute mark. However, it didn't slow down as much as the Lite-On.

- did the C1 reporting in CD Speed work? The option doesn't appear to be greyed out, e.g. in this picture:

No, it didn't. You can check the box, but it fails at the start of the test with an "Error initializing test" message.

And I stumbled across one grammatic error: 8) after the first table in "Read Test - Audio CD-RW", it should say "reads audio CD-RW discs very slowly"

Where? :o I don't see any such error! Are you trying to slander me?!? :x :wink: 8)

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Postby cfitz on Wed Mar 10, 2004 9:36 pm

dodecahedron wrote:
MediumRare wrote:And I stumbled across one grammatic error: 8) after the first table in "Read Test - Audio CD-RW", it should say "reads audio CD-RW discs very slowly"

wow - my bad, missed that one. :o

Errr... uh.... yeah! That's it! See, I put that in there deliberately to find out if dodecahedron was really proofreading my review, which he obviously wasn't!! :x :wink: 8) :D :D

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Postby cfitz on Wed Mar 10, 2004 9:37 pm

Scour wrote:Hello!

Well done, cfitz :)

Thanks Scour.

Will a review with the Aopen 52x Combo follow?

I don't know. I hope AOpen isn't mad because I took so long to review their 48x combo and didn't give it a very good score.

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Postby dodecahedron on Thu Mar 11, 2004 4:37 am

cfitz wrote:
dodecahedron wrote:
MediumRare wrote:And I stumbled across one grammatic error: 8) after the first table in "Read Test - Audio CD-RW", it should say "reads audio CD-RW discs very slowly"

wow - my bad, missed that one. :o

Errr... uh.... yeah! That's it! See, I put that in there deliberately to find out if dodecahedron was really proofreading my review, which he obviously wasn't!! :x :wink: 8) :D :D

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