Low Cost, Mid-Range or High-End? Three CD Writers at 8, 12 and 16 speed

Buffer Underrun? No, Thanks!

If the recording procedure of a CD-R is aborted (usually when the computer or the buffer cannot provide write data fast enough/any more), the disc normally can only be discarded. Almost all companies that produce CD recorders have developed their own technology to prevent such buffer underruns or have at least acquired the patents to implement such circuits.

Plextor calls their technology Burn-Proof (B uffer U nder R uN Proof), Yamaha named it Waste-Proof and AOpen as well as some others call it Just Link. Plextor provides excellent technical information on their website; similar information can be found at the AOpen website . Yamaha mentions only the name of the feature, providing no further information.

All three technologies keep checking the buffer status and reduce or even stop the writing procedure if no further data is received. The circuitry automatically remembers the accurate position on the CD-R where the last bit was written. As soon as the buffer fills up again, the recorder will continue its work.

Unfortunately, the Mitsumi drive does not come with any mechanism to prevent buffer underruns, and also, considering the maximum speed of 8x, you should avoid working intensely with your computer when writing a CD. It comes with 2 MB of buffer memory, just like the AOpen drive.

The Yamaha drive, on the other hand, provides a surprisingly generous amount of 8 MB, which is actually much more than the drive really requires, thanks to its Waste-Proof feature. Still, the benefits of an 8 MB buffer cannot be overlooked - with such a large cache, the writing process will remain unaffected by interruptions in the data stream.