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In House Review - Lite-On LTR-52246S 52/24/52 CD-RW

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In House Review - Lite-On LTR-52246S 52/24/52 CD-RW

Postby Ian on Mon Feb 24, 2003 10:17 am

CDRLabs has taken a long overdue look at the retail version of Lite-On's 52/24/52 CD-RW, the LTR-52246S. While affordably priced, this drive sports some of the fastest speeds available. The LTR-52246S reads and writes at 52x, rewrites at 24x and rips audio CD's at a blazing 48x. The drive also has has features like Lite-On's SMART-BURN and SMART-X technologies and support for the Mt. Rainier format.

In this review we'll take a closer look at some of the features found on the LTR-52246S and then see how it compares to some of the 52x from the competition. Is Lite-On's new writer the best bang for your buck? You'll have to read the review to find out.

ImageLite-On LTR-52246S 52/24/52 CD-RW

If you have any comments or questions about this review or Lite-On's 52x writer, please post them in the forum by clicking the link below.
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Postby vinnie97 on Mon Feb 24, 2003 11:21 am

still the fastest on the block :wink:

If only they'd enable P-CAV through a firmware update so as to provide some cd-rw burning time competition.
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Postby eliminator on Mon Feb 24, 2003 6:05 pm

Very nice, thanks Ian ! 8)

Interesting that Samsung 48x24x16 CDR-W/DVD combo drive scored better tho. :wink:
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Postby BuddhaTB on Mon Feb 24, 2003 7:50 pm

Thank You Ian for the review. I'm sure everyone will be appreciative of it, especially me. I can point people to the review of the Lite-On drive now, instead of telling people to read the reviews of the rebadged Lite-On drives.

What other drive reviews are coming up in the future?
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Postby nypk on Mon Feb 24, 2003 7:53 pm

:lol:
Amazing That's all I can say!!! :roll:
:P Thanks Ian!!
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Postby Ian on Mon Feb 24, 2003 8:31 pm

BuddhaTB wrote:What other drive reviews are coming up in the future?


Immediate future? TDK 48x USB, LG DVD-Multi, Plex SCSI.. a bunch more too.
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Postby JRoDDz on Mon Feb 24, 2003 8:41 pm

BuddhaTB wrote:Thank You Ian for the review. I'm sure everyone will be appreciative of it, especially me. I can point people to the review of the Lite-On drive now, instead of telling people to read the reviews of the rebadged Lite-On drives.

What other drive reviews are coming up in the future?


Interesting the rebadged LiteON TDK 52x and 48x got a 9/10 rating. However, the LiteON (which is the same identical drive) got a 8/10? Why would they get different scores? Firmware? If it is firmware, then if you have a 52x TDK, would you be better off not flashing it to a liteON firmware and just leaving it with a TDK?
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Postby Ian on Mon Feb 24, 2003 8:49 pm

JRoDDz wrote:Interesting the rebadged LiteON TDK 52x and 48x got a 9/10 rating. However, the LiteON (which is the same identical drive) got a 8/10? Why would they get different scores?


I score a drive on more than just the performance.
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Postby dhc014 on Mon Feb 24, 2003 9:41 pm

Ian wrote:
JRoDDz wrote:Interesting the rebadged LiteON TDK 52x and 48x got a 9/10 rating. However, the LiteON (which is the same identical drive) got a 8/10? Why would they get different scores?


I score a drive on more than just the performance.


Yes, TDK packages are quite impressive in what they include. I got a CD Label Pen, a VHS Tape of installation instructions. 2 CD-R disks, 1 CD-RW disk, screws, and an IDE cable. The drive is also very good looking :wink:
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Postby BuddhaTB on Mon Feb 24, 2003 9:44 pm

JRoDDz wrote:Interesting the rebadged LiteON TDK 52x and 48x got a 9/10 rating. However, the LiteON (which is the same identical drive) got a 8/10? Why would they get different scores? Firmware? If it is firmware, then if you have a 52x TDK, would you be better off not flashing it to a liteON firmware and just leaving it with a TDK?

Firmware wasn't the reason why TDK scored higher overall than the Lite-On drive. It was mostly because TDK got high marks for installation and features. TDK drives come with wonderful documentation that is very straight forward and easy to follow for newbies. Even some of the TDK drives came with a VHS video that showed how to install and set-up the drive. The TDK also got higher marks for features in terms of what came with the drive. TDK also bundled in a CD marker and an IDE cable, while the Lite-On only came with an audio cable to connect the drive to your sound card. It's these little things that make the TDK drive standout. In terms of performance, they are the same drive therefore they both got the same score of 8/10.
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Postby eliminator on Mon Feb 24, 2003 10:53 pm

My Verbatim 52x came with the IDE cable too ! 8)
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Postby JRoDDz on Mon Feb 24, 2003 11:52 pm

BuddhaTB wrote:
JRoDDz wrote:Interesting the rebadged LiteON TDK 52x and 48x got a 9/10 rating. However, the LiteON (which is the same identical drive) got a 8/10? Why would they get different scores? Firmware? If it is firmware, then if you have a 52x TDK, would you be better off not flashing it to a liteON firmware and just leaving it with a TDK?

Firmware wasn't the reason why TDK scored higher overall than the Lite-On drive. It was mostly because TDK got high marks for installation and features. TDK drives come with wonderful documentation that is very straight forward and easy to follow for newbies. Even some of the TDK drives came with a VHS video that showed how to install and set-up the drive. The TDK also got higher marks for features in terms of what came with the drive. TDK also bundled in a CD marker and an IDE cable, while the Lite-On only came with an audio cable to connect the drive to your sound card. It's these little things that make the TDK drive standout. In terms of performance, they are the same drive therefore they both got the same score of 8/10.


I understand now. thanks. As for the firmware, would you recommend flashing to liteon firmware or sticking with TDK?
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Postby TCAS on Mon Feb 24, 2003 11:55 pm

Highs:

One of the fastest 52x writers currently available
Very good data transfer speeds with pressed and CD-R media
Rewrites at 24x
Supports the Mt. Rainier format
Good DAE speeds
Low seek times
Very good media compatibility. Can write at 52x with a large selection of media
Features Lite-On's SMART-BURN, SMART-X and VAS technologies
Good selection of writing and rewriting speeds
Includes Ahead Software's Nero Burning Rom, InCD and Nero Media Player
Supports UDMA 33
Affordably priced
Lows:
Slow rewriting performance
Higher than normal CPU usage when reading CD's
Has a 2048KB buffer
Loud when reading and writing CD's
Documentation could be better

Ian;

There is one confusing issue on this review for average non-technical, no hands on user for the this drive, and that is in "Highs" you have indicated that the drive rewrites at 24X and the same time in Lows the comment is the drive is slow in rewrite performance.

Although I personally understand the premise of your analysis but non technical and unfimiliar user with these testing laguages, are getting confused by reading that the drive rewrites at 24X and also is slow at rewriting.

Above all this, I thank you for taking your time to educate your readers.
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Postby BuddhaTB on Tue Feb 25, 2003 12:07 am

JRoDDz wrote:I understand now. thanks. As for the firmware, would you recommend flashing to liteon firmware or sticking with TDK?

Depends on what drive you have. Both firmwares are very similar in terms of writing quality and media compatibility. The only difference is the TDK drive has speeds of 52x24x48, while the Lite-On is 52x24x52. It's really up to you. I have the TDK 48x and upgraded its firmware to 52x, but after a few burns I decided to revert back to the TDK 48x firmware. The reason was that 48x writing to TY disc produced fewer C1 errors than when I was burning the same TY disc at 52x.
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Postby BuddhaTB on Tue Feb 25, 2003 12:13 am

TCAS wrote:Ian;

There is one confusing issue on this review for average non-technical, no hands on user for the this drive, and that is in "Highs" you have indicated that the drive rewrites at 24X and the same time in Lows the comment is the drive is slow in rewrite performance.

Although I personally understand the premise of your analysis but non technical and unfimiliar user with these testing laguages, are getting confused by reading that the drive rewrites at 24X and also is slow at rewriting.

Above all this, I thank you for taking your time to educate your readers.

What Ian meant is, the Lite-On's 24x re-write ability was much slower than other comparable drives that also re-write at 24x. The drive with the fastest 24x re-write times was the Yamaha CRW-F1, even though the Plextor drive had the fastest avg speed.
Ian's Review wrote:Avg. ReWriting Speed
Lite-On LTR-52246S
18.07x
Plextor PX-W4824TA
23.91x
Yamaha CRW-F1
23.84x
LG GCE-8520B
23.72x
ASUS CRW-5224A
23.67x
CyberDrive CW099D
22.88x
TDK veloCD 52/24/48
18.10x
CenDyne Lightning V
18.08x
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Postby cfitz on Tue Feb 25, 2003 1:26 am

TCAS wrote:Although I personally understand the premise of your analysis but non technical and unfimiliar user with these testing laguages, are getting confused by reading that the drive rewrites at 24X and also is slow at rewriting.

I agree, TCAS, that while it is clear to experienced readers why the drive's rewriting performance shows up in both categories, it may be confusing to a newbie.

Unfortunately, the reason why rewriting shows up in both categories isn't something that is amenable to a one-line explanation, and requires an understanding of the differences between CAV and P-CAV writing modes. So I'm not sure that a succinct summary can be made more newbie friendly in this particular regard.

Perhaps the best we can say is that it merits a positive mention for 24x rewriting because until recently most drives could only rewrite at 12x maximum, with a few at 16x. At the same time it merits a negative mention because the 24x rewriting is done in CAV mode, giving a slower average rewriting speed than competing drives that use P-CAV. And even this doesn't do complete justice to all the nuances, since under some circumstances (e.g. writing/reading many files scattered all over the disc surface), CAV may give superior performance.

To any newbies confused about CAV, P-CAV and related terms, go check out the FAQs:

http://www.cdrlabs.com/phpBB/viewforum.php?f=17

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Postby abumalec on Wed Feb 26, 2003 1:49 am

I just got one of these drives, rebagged as a Buslink. I was wondering how the Smart Burn feature is supposed to work. I've read the decription in the review. But does the drive check the disc (surface quality!) just before it burns it, or is the information stored in the firmware according to what media type is used?

The reason I'm asking is that I've used two different CD-R brands with the drive so far, and I'm getting quite a few coasters. One type is Digital Research 32X CD-R made by Ritek, and the other is KHypermedia 40X made by CMC. The drive lets me burn with Nero at 52X, and Smart Burn doesn't kick in at any time during the process. I made sure that Smart Burn was checked on. Even when I burn at 48X I still get coasters, but not as often as 52X. I upgraded to the latest firmware, but I'm still getting similar results. I'm not sure if the drive doesn't recognize the media, therfore Smart Burn doesn't kick in, or if there's something else going on.

I tested the same CD-Rs with two other drives I have, an Aopen 48X and a BTC 52X. In both cases my writing speed within Nero was limited to 40X and the burnt CDs were good. Even when I forced 48X or 52X speed with those two drives I still got good CDs. I've been using the Aopen drive for a while now and I don't remember getting a single coaster with it. But I've been reading about the Lite-on drives and how good they are, so I got me one when they were on sale.

I read somewhere, maybe in this or another forum, that Lite-on's media compatibility isn't the greatest. Do you think this is what's behind what I've experienced or could it be something else, like a defective unit maybe..!! Do you think Smart Burn is acting the way it should?

Another unrelated issue: does anyone have an idea why the ScanDisc feature of Nero Cd Speed 1.02 gives me 100% damaged (yellow) regardless of what drive/media combination I use? Is it a software issue? I'm running WinXP Pro SP1.
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Postby jase on Wed Feb 26, 2003 7:02 am

vinnie97 wrote:still the fastest on the block :wink:


It's not actually. The Artec 52x is a good 6-10 seconds faster than the LiteOn in real-world situations (and faster average speed, reaching 53x at the end of the disc).

Shame about the write quality, which can be very variable. I've never actually had any discs with C2 errors that don't do the same on the LiteOn, but the C1 counts can be very high (av 7.5 where the LiteOn is averaging 0.4 etc). But, if it's speed you want.....
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Postby Harrier on Wed Feb 26, 2003 11:15 am

Teac's new drive could be faster.
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Postby lppnet on Wed Feb 26, 2003 11:28 am

If the writing quality is not acceptable then why choose for the faster drive. No point right. I think it gives you more trouble to find the suitable media.
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Lite-On's Drive

Postby ricrat on Wed Feb 26, 2003 1:35 pm

I can get the 52x24x52 for $60 locally. Circuit City has TDK's 48x24x48
for $30.00 with rebate. I'm leaning towards TDK (I use their media all
the time and have no bad results). Is my gut-feeling right--should I get
TDK?

I'm think of getting a whole new system with a P4 2.4 chip, 80GB HDD,
SB Audigy Gamer, ATI 7500 video card, 256mb 2700 DDR. Is this a great sytem?

I really appreciate all the input.

Thanks.
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Re: Lite-On's Drive

Postby BuddhaTB on Wed Feb 26, 2003 2:31 pm

ricrat wrote:I can get the 52x24x52 for $60 locally. Circuit City has TDK's 48x24x48
for $30.00 with rebate. I'm leaning towards TDK (I use their media all
the time and have no bad results). Is my gut-feeling right--should I get
TDK?

Get the TDK. It can be overclocked to 52x through the use of the FlashFix program and the 52x firmware. But you might not want to, as 48x burns produce less C1 errors than 52x burns.

ricrat wrote:I'm think of getting a whole new system with a P4 2.4 chip, 80GB HDD, SB Audigy Gamer, ATI 7500 video card, 256mb 2700 DDR. Is this a great sytem?

If you planning on doing any gaming or running any graphic intensive programs, I would suggest getting a better video card. However, if this computer is mainly a budget system, that video card is fine. Other than that, everything else looks good.
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Lite-On's Drive

Postby ricrat on Wed Feb 26, 2003 2:53 pm

I'm mainly going to use my PC to burn discs. I already have EZ Creator 5
Platinum...can get 6 for $60 upgrade. I like it very much.

Eventually planning on getting DVD burner. Should I wait for the techno-
logical dust to settle?

Thanks for input. :D
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Re: Lite-On's Drive

Postby BuddhaTB on Wed Feb 26, 2003 3:10 pm

ricrat wrote:Eventually planning on getting DVD burner. Should I wait for the technological dust to settle?

I would wait until a format becomes more dominate and when prices really drop. The only DVD burner worth buying now is the Sony DRU-500A, but I don't want to spend $350 on it. Unless you in a real big need for 4.7GB capacity disc, I would just stick with CD-RW drives as the drives and media have become very cheap lately.
Last edited by BuddhaTB on Wed Feb 26, 2003 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lite-On's Drive

Postby lppnet on Wed Feb 26, 2003 5:15 pm

BuddhaTB wrote:I would wait until a format becomes more dominate and when prices really drop.


Agree. I'll wait it to drop to $100-$150. That what I'm heard about. I don't care which format will win the race. The important point is we can get it at an affordable price.
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