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


None of those three drives had any serious problems except for some unnecessary noise. The AOpen drive generates disturbing access noise and Yamaha's drive generates heavy vibrations in CD mode.

In any case we should not forget that all of these models are meant to be CD writers to begin with and all three fulfill their tasks reliably. As for the bundled software - all of them are adequate for creating audio or data CDs, although I personally prefer Nero (Demo available at www.ahead.de ). Yamaha ships the drive with the best add-ons, AOpen offers one of the most balanced CD recorders and Mitsumi provides a low-cost solution for those who do not require high-speed write modes and are on a tight budget.

If you are not looking for any particular CD recorder, the Mitsumi drive is definitely worth its money, but be aware of buffer underruns - try to avoid them by keeping the workload of your system low while writing your CD. People who want more performance, excellent software and expedient audio-grabbing features should spend a bit more money and buy the AOpen drive.

Yamaha's CRW2100E is a state-of-the art drive that is recommended for all who record a large quantity of discs. Although its performance as a standard CD reader is only moderate, you will get excellent recording performance, a huge buffer and superior audio-grabbing capabilities in exchange

Comparison Table

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ModelAOpen CRW121032AMitsumi CR 4805 TEYamaha CRW2100E
CD-R Write2, 4, 8, 12x2, 4, 8xUp to 16x
CD-RW Write2, 4, 10x2, 4xUp to 10x
CD-ROM Readup to 32x32xUp to 40x
Buffer Size2 MB2 MB8 MB
Average Access120 ms110 ms160 ms
Recording SoftwareNero 5WinOnCD 3.7Easy CD Creator 4