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In House Review - Sony CRX210A1 48/12/48 CD-RW

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In House Review - Sony CRX210A1 48/12/48 CD-RW

Postby Ian on Wed Nov 13, 2002 11:25 am

Today, CDRLabs takes a long overdue look at the Sony's 48/12/48 CD-RW, the CRX210A1. In this review we'll take a look at some of the features found on the CRX210A1 (like the Turbo Boost function) and then put it up against some of the top 48x writers currently available. Can Sony's 48x writer hold its own? The results might surprise you so check out the review to find out.

ImageSony CRX210A1 48/12/48 CD-RW

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Postby Fuct on Wed Nov 13, 2002 11:55 am

Ian I just wanted to say great review of the CRX210A and Thanks! I bought this drive about a month ago, and while it's served me pretty well since then, it's always nice to get the all-out review on it :) I feel that much more satisfied with the drive now :P

One question I have about overclocking - you said in the review that you can overclock to the Lite-On 52x with this (and others). I was wondering if it's maybe possible or if such a firmware exists that I can keep the 48/12/48 speeds but remove the Turbo Boost feature. The only probable option that I can think of would just be flashing it to a Lite-On 48/12/48 right? (Is there a firmware that will flash to the LTR-48126S ?)

Thanks again for the review.

P.S. The firmware download for the 6S02 firmware for the 52x Lite-on drive doesn't work for me from the site listed. It downloads but WinRAR has problems extracting it. Do I need Winrar 3 to extract?
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Postby lppnet on Wed Nov 13, 2002 12:23 pm

If I overclock the drive, will it affects the lifespan of the drive? You know like the overclocking of processor will produce high amount of heat. :roll:
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Postby dhc014 on Wed Nov 13, 2002 12:53 pm

Man this review took a long time. Thanks Ian.

If you don't want to Overclock, but you want to get rid of turboboost, convert your drive to a Lite-ON LTR-48246S. Get firmware for it from http://liteon.notrix.net

Overclocking may or may not affect a drive's lifespan. All drives eventually fail, some fail early even without overclocking. No one has proven that overclocking actually does harm the drive, some people believe that Lite-ON actually only produces one hardware design and flashes it with different firmwares to give it the speeds they want to sell it as.

I also want to point out http://kickme.to/sony210
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Postby Ian on Wed Nov 13, 2002 1:21 pm

dhc014 wrote:Overclocking may or may not affect a drive's lifespan. All drives eventually fail, some fail early even without overclocking. No one has proven that overclocking actually does harm the drive, some people believe that Lite-ON actually only produces one hardware design and flashes it with different firmwares to give it the speeds they want to sell it as.


I just mentioned it to cover our butts. I didn't want someone flashing their CRX210 and then having it die 2 months.

As far as overclocking help goes.. listen to dhc014. He's our resident expert on Sony's drives.
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Postby Alejandra on Wed Nov 13, 2002 1:48 pm

lppnet wrote:If I overclock the drive, will it affects the lifespan of the drive? You know like the overclocking of processor will produce high amount of heat. :roll:


There is no such thing here because the drive doesn't spin faster, see "overclocking the drive" as FW takes off the speed limit.
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Postby cfitz on Wed Nov 13, 2002 1:53 pm

There may be some cases where the drive doesn't have to spin any faster (Z-CLV, perhaps), but if you overclock a CAV drive, then it does have to spin faster (LiteOn 48x to 52x, for example). Still, it isn't that much faster and it doesn't have the direct speed=heat=lower life connection that overclocking does on a CPU or graphics card.

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Postby Alejandra on Wed Nov 13, 2002 2:06 pm

Well, yes, but I mean that doesn't exceed the real limit of the drive, like "overclocking" the 40x to 48x, the 40x is already capable of 48x (or more) at reading speed.

Maybe tweaking or tunning are better words than "overclocking".
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Postby jase on Wed Nov 13, 2002 2:17 pm

Well overclocking a CD-rewriter can't affect the electronics side of things, as the chip is not being clocked any higher (just being asked to do more, and it'll either do as it's told or bottleneck and cause an error -- the drive would crash out, which isn't what's happening).

It can't affect the laser either for similar reasons, the only damage it could do is to the servo motor, and this will have been designed/selected to have much more speed tolerance than 8% (the difference between 48x and 52x).

I wouldn't worry about it.
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Postby Fuct on Thu Nov 14, 2002 10:29 am

Are the rotation speeds slower when the Turbo Boost function is turned off as opposed to rotation speeds when it is on? And do lower rotation speeds somewhat expand the longevity of the drive or doesn't really make much difference?
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Postby Ian on Thu Nov 14, 2002 10:41 am

Fuct wrote:Are the rotation speeds slower when the Turbo Boost function is turned off as opposed to rotation speeds when it is on? And do lower rotation speeds somewhat expand the longevity of the drive or doesn't really make much difference?



Yeah, they're slower. That's the whole point of the Turbo Boost. The slower rotatin speeds make the drive quieter and keep the discs from shattering and flying out of the drive and cutting you all to pieces.
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Postby Alejandra on Thu Nov 14, 2002 1:11 pm

Ian wrote:Yeah, they're slower. That's the whole point of the Turbo Boost. The slower rotatin speeds make the drive quieter and keep the discs from shattering and flying out of the drive and cutting you all to pieces.



Mmhh, maybe we can use it at Unreal Tournament as a weapon... :P
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Postby falcon on Thu Nov 14, 2002 1:30 pm

Ian, I'm thinking about buying this drive after reading your review. The only thing that bugs me a little about it is the Turbo Boost function. I don't understand why they have this. I mean, if the drive has the ability to burn at 48x, I want it to automatically do it. Why would they make you hold down a button to enable it? The real question I have about this function is, do you have to re-enable turbo boost for every cd you burn, or can you just enable it and it will stay on?
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Postby Ian on Thu Nov 14, 2002 2:28 pm

Yeah, that is the biggest problem with the drive. Enabling it every time you want to burn at 48x can be a little annoying. Unfortunately, theres no way to permanently enable it (without using a Lite-On firmware) and there is no software utility (yet) that will lock it on.
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Postby falcon on Thu Nov 14, 2002 4:01 pm

Well, one of the reasons I like the drive is the quality of the finished product. Your review showed that the drive produced good quality CD's with a small number of errors. I wouldn't mind flashing to Lite-on firmware to get rid of the turbo function, but would this affect the writing quality (I noticed that the 48x Lite-on's writing quality was not as good in your review of it)?
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Postby Ian on Thu Nov 14, 2002 4:17 pm

falcon wrote:Well, one of the reasons I like the drive is the quality of the finished product. Your review showed that the drive produced good quality CD's with a small number of errors. I wouldn't mind flashing to Lite-on firmware to get rid of the turbo function, but would this affect the writing quality (I noticed that the 48x Lite-on's writing quality was not as good in your review of it)?


We reviewed the Lite-On LTR-48125W or whatever. The Sony is based on the newer LTR-48126S. No idea how the writing quality is on that drive.
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Postby falcon on Thu Nov 14, 2002 4:30 pm

I see. I'll probably go ahead and buy one of these anyway, I'll just have to wait and see how much it bugs me to have to hold down the button, especially if I'm wanting to burn like 10 or more cd's in a row. Thanks for the review, I can find no other sites that have such complete and informative reviews of CDRW drives. Keep up the good work!
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Ping Ian Re:Drive identities

Postby rodheb on Mon Nov 18, 2002 5:23 pm

I guess this is aimed at Ian, since he did the review.

I have several questions about the review of this drive. First, on the drive is written CRX210A1, but all of the pictures except the overclocking pics list it as a CRX210E1. Is this the way it was recognized out of the box?

On to overclocking, the pics you posted list the drive as a CRX220E1, yet you said that you got the firmware from a web site, but the firmware on the web site *should* list the device as a CRX210E1. Did you modify the firmware to display the 220?

One last overclocking question in regard to the review. If you did actually use the firmware that was posted on the web page and then modify it to show the 220, then it was based off the 52/24/52 LiteOn drive. What you failed to mention was whether you still had to use the eject button for turbo boost to get the drive to finish the write at 51X plus speeds.

I bought the CRX215A1 (I think, maybe it's an E1 -- the Sony 48/24/48) and it's not recognized by CDRWin, so tonight I'm going to put the firmware to the one you supposedly used and see if, just by name, it will be recognized by CDRWin (the CRX210E1 supposedly is). If so, I may have to modify my old firmware to rename the drive for CDRWin (I don't feel the need to move at 52X -- or even 48X, for that matter).

Please answer my (three) questions. If they were not clear enough, let me know, and I will be glad to provide further detail.

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Re: Ping Ian Re:Drive identities

Postby Ian on Mon Nov 18, 2002 5:33 pm

I have several questions about the review of this drive. First, on the drive is written CRX210A1, but all of the pictures except the overclocking pics list it as a CRX210E1. Is this the way it was recognized out of the box?

>> Yes. It used to be that the "E" versions were OEM, but lately it seems that all of Sony's drives are "E" versions.

On to overclocking, the pics you posted list the drive as a CRX220E1, yet you said that you got the firmware from a web site, but the firmware on the web site *should* list the device as a CRX210E1. Did you modify the firmware to display the 220?

>>No. The firmware on the bottom of that page is already modified to show 220.

One last overclocking question in regard to the review. If you did actually use the firmware that was posted on the web page and then modify it to show the 220, then it was based off the 52/24/52 LiteOn drive. What you failed to mention was whether you still had to use the eject button for turbo boost to get the drive to finish the write at 51X plus speeds.

>>The Lite-On firmware does not have the Turbo Boost feature. When you flash it with that firmware, that feature is not present.

I bought the CRX215A1 (I think, maybe it's an E1 -- the Sony 48/24/48) and it's not recognized by CDRWin, so tonight I'm going to put the firmware to the one you supposedly used and see if, just by name, it will be recognized by CDRWin (the CRX210E1 supposedly is). If so, I may have to modify my old firmware to rename the drive for CDRWin (I don't feel the need to move at 52X -- or even 48X, for that matter).

>>Before you do it, back up your firmware. That way you can go back. Also, if you remember, email me (ian@cdrlabs.com) your backed up firmware. I don't have the CRX215 firmware yet.
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Re: Ping Ian Re:Drive identities

Postby rodheb on Mon Nov 18, 2002 5:43 pm

>>On to overclocking, the pics you posted list the drive as a CRX220E1, yet you said that you got the firmware from a web site, but the firmware on the web site *should* list the device as a CRX210E1. Did you modify the firmware to display the 220?

>No. The firmware on the bottom of that page is already modified to show 220.

Maybe he changed it since you downloaded it. I got it five minutes ago, and the pictures on the web site have it listed as the 210, and browsing through the bin file with a hex editor verifies that it should display 210.

>Before you do it, back up your firmware. That way you can go back. Also, if you remember, email me (ian@cdrlabs.com) your backed up firmware. I don't have the CRX215 firmware yet.

Backing up firmware is for sure. That's how I had planned on modifying the old firmware if the CRX210 trick works with CDRWin -- or more exactly, modifying a copy of the old firmware, to keep the old firmware intact. I will email you the firmware when I get it. Thanks for your reply.

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Postby falcon on Mon Nov 18, 2002 8:14 pm

I decided not to buy this drive, I've decided that the stupid turbo boost thing kinda pisses me off. Plus, good luck finding any info about the drive on Sony's site (at least I couldn't). I checked out Sony's product support area, just in case I might ever need it, and it is either: a) the worst online support site ever, or b) it was actually intended to be a joke.
I just bought the Lite-on 48x24x48, I think I'll like it better and I won't have to remember to hold down a button. :wink:
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Re: Ping Ian Re:Drive identities

Postby dhc014 on Mon Nov 18, 2002 9:50 pm

rodheb wrote:...modifying a copy of the old firmware, to keep the old firmware intact. I will email you the firmware when I get it. Thanks for your reply.


Would you please send me the CRX215 firmware as well?
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Re: Ping Ian Re:Drive identities

Postby Ian on Mon Nov 18, 2002 11:13 pm

rodheb wrote:>>On to overclocking, the pics you posted list the drive as a CRX220E1, yet you said that you got the firmware from a web site, but the firmware on the web site *should* list the device as a CRX210E1. Did you modify the firmware to display the 220?

>No. The firmware on the bottom of that page is already modified to show 220.


This firmware?

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/mcmntl/sony/sony6s02.rar

Otherwise I can send you the one I have here that is modified correctly.
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Re: Ping Ian Re:Drive identities

Postby rodheb on Tue Nov 19, 2002 2:43 am

>This firmware?

>http://homepage.ntlworld.com/mcmntl/sony/sony6s02.rar

>Otherwise I can send you the one I have here that is modified correctly

Yes, that firmware. Open the bin up in a hex editor or apply it to the sony drive. It shows up as a 210, not a 220. Moot point, anyway. I need the 210 to show up for cdrwin to work. I applied the firmware, and cdrwin worked without a hitch. So then I took my own firmware, modified three places in the bin file that referenced the 215 to move it down to 210, reapplied the firmware, and I have my Sony firmware giving me 48/24/48, yet calling itself a 210, so that poorly written, yet great-working apps like cdrwin will work correctly. And I still get to use the turbo-boost eject button to increase speed -- yay me. Expect to see the original 215 firmware in your email box shortly.

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Re: Ping Ian Re:Drive identities

Postby rodheb on Tue Nov 19, 2002 3:25 pm

dhc014 wrote:Would you please send me the CRX215 firmware as well?
dhc014@firmware-flash.com


I tried. It got returned. ??

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