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COASTER-INTERRUPTUS

Generic [MIRAI Retail kit] SANYO CRD-BP4-M 16/10/40 "burnproof" SCSI-3 

PAGE 3

 

BURN-proof 

When you cut the BS, the difference between burnproof-&-a-small-cache [2Mb on the 16x BP4] & normal-with-a-big-cache [conventionally round 0.5Mb per 1x] is that the conventional mechanism has a small chance of a large irrecoverable error, & 'burnproof' a relatively large chance of a small recoverable error.

Burnproof's recoverable error is both very small indeed, & [this is the clever bit] indexed, so that the burn continues post-hiccough at the exact spot it paused. Obviously, burn-time will increase with each pause & recovery to an indexed position, but you won't win a coaster.

The BP4 is a 'second-generation burnproof' device; ie the 'deliberate mistakes' on the CDR/RW are dimensionally smaller than first-generation 'burnproof' devices by roughly a whole power -  with less theoretical negative impact on the quality of the recording.

It is worth noting that there are alternative views on whether this technology is worthwhile in the first place, particularly if your interests include working in high-quality audio. 

It also requires software support - your burning applications must know what 'burnproof' hardware is & how to communicate with it.

IDE/ATAPI systems have vastly more need for 'burnproof' than systems with all-SCSI burning-chains - indeed we found it very difficult indeed to get 'burnproof' to kick in at all; which was, in a perverse way, frustrating.

Compatibility

After plugging the BP4 into our test-system, we fired up the latest versions of competent applications we use regularly to see how they worked with RAW Read/Write & DAE quality.

 

Applications & versions writing BURN-proof with BP4 [24/04/2001]

Application Version Mode Comments
Fireburner 2beta3 DAO+96 solid beta
Vob Instant Disc/Copy 6.0.037/6.0.029 Fail DAO+96 Latest drivers
CDRWin 40a [01/04/01] Fail RAW DAO command fail
Blindwrite 0.99.1.4 beta Fail DAO+96 No BP4 support
Nero  5.5.0.4 RAW ? Mode
CloneCD 3.0.0.9 DAO+96 very solid beta

Applications & versions reading with BP4 [24/04/2001]

Application Version Mode Comments
EAC 0.9prebeta9 Secure DAE No C2, 6x
BlindRead 3.0.1.4  Fail DAO+96 Unreliable [a surprise]
CloneCD 3.0.0.9 DAO+96 very solid beta, 8x
CDRWin 40a [01/04/01] RAW Best 2352 speed
Feurio 1.6.1 DAE No C2, 23.5 x
Nero  5.5.0.4 Fail RAW ? Mode
Vob Instant Disc/Copy 6.0.037/6.0.029 Fail DAO+96 Latest drivers: 0.75x
CDDAE99 0.2 DAE No C2, 23.5x

We felt the following applications - versions as above - worked reasonably well in terms of quality, control, & speed with these tasks: 

Mastering/Image-files: FireBurner 

Read Image Files: CDRWin

Unprotected copying: CloneCD [see note1]; CDRWin [read]/FireBurner; Nero

Protected Copying: CloneCD [see note 1]

Copying on-the-fly [with 40TSi]: Nero

DAE: Feurio [see note2]

Multisession: Nero

General [all-purpose]: None: Nero does not fully support the BP4's DAO RAW modes

Note1: Previous versions of CloneCD have specific issues reading disks with the BP4 [& probably all Sanyo-mechanism burners]: version 3.x worked well - the only reliable copying application.

Note2: DAE using Feurio was effective with new pressed media, slightly less ineffective than other DAE applications with problem disks.

Note3: WinOnCD3.8PE has no specific BP4 driver: we'll be testing this alongside Vob Instant CD/DVD, when & if both have proper drivers, as competent allround application-suites

Go here for Sanyo's list of "supported applications" - don't take it too seriously: we tested many other applications in addition to those listed above.

 

Tests:

Our tests focused on discovering whether the BP4 could both read all the data it could write; & write all the data it could read. We ran the usual speed-tests; though stressing analysis rather than numbers; we also examined DAE performance in some detail.

Speed-Tests [Read]: 

[all tests run at least five times on two samples of the BP4 f/w 4.31]

Displaying a meaningful impression of the character of a CD-device's read-performance - the nature of the performance that hides behind all those dreary benchmarking numbers - is tricky; we've combined several benchmarking utilities' results with the same test-media into tolerably analytic - if approximate - speed-graphs:

Speed 1 [red] = Instantaneous speed, normally averaged into:

Speed 2 [green] = the standard CD-SPEED99 graph.

Speed 3 [yellow] = Average speed to time through disk 

 - taken together, these show the BP4's sequential-read-performance over 50 minutes into a disk, &/or over 34x,  changes in character as rpm-stepping tries - & fails - to maintain a stable transfer-rate. 

The lower reflectivity of a CDRW - even an HSRW [High-Speed] - flattens the rising transfer-rate slope enough that this change fails to show over a full 650Mb disk-read:

 . . . while a simple CDSPEED99 graph from a sequential-speed test with a clean pressed CD [MS Windows 9x distribution-media] shows the peak speed of 35x to be reached at a similar point to CDR media in the read, followed by a plateau where the transfer-rate is maintained by rpm control, then a noticeable drop-off towards the periphery of this 68minute disk.

In combination; these graphs show a high-rpm device  - the rate at the start of reads was 14x-18.5x throughout our tests - of irregular performance beyond 50 minutes into CD/CDR media.

The  impression we gained was that the BP4 is based on the mechanism of [say] a genuine 12-32x CAV reader revved a touch higher to allow a marketing-claim of 40x peak read-speed - which rate it probably can touch, for a wavering instant, towards the end of a brand-new, full, pressed CD.

We found the end result of this revving-up to be a 14-34x P-CAV reader - & a remarkably quiet one. 

Sanyo [& Mirai's] claims for the BP4's read-performance are equivocal: Sanyo's BP4 web-page speaks of "40x CAV" - & of course the "16/10/40" description must lead the buyer to assume that a genuine 40x is part of the deal: in slightly smaller print in the specifications, the phrase: "Data Transfer Rate: 12-32x CAV" gives a less misleading description.

A true 40x CAV reader - the Plextor 40TSi - shows an averaged sequential-read test graph like this [with the 650Mb CDR test-disk]:

The BP4, with the same disk:

  . . . . in both cases the "average" - as a benchmarked number, is quite similar: but it's clearly not the same character or quality of performance.

 Random-access speed:

The BP4 has fine average random-access performance for a burner - here tested & measured at 116ms with CDVD - making it perfectly usable with game & reference disks. Again it was noticeable how quiet the BP4 was, even under severe mechanical stress. 

It is worth noting our tests for random-access speed produced better [lower] figures than the 130ms claimed by Sanyo - we obtained the above or closely similar results with several media in many test-runs in two samples of the BP4.

The 40TSi's average random-access with the above disk was 90ms - given the considerably lighter head of a pure reader, the BP4's performance stands out as excellent.

Random-access quality, tested by Feurio on an audio-disk, was perfect:

  

 

User-interface speeds:

Additional data gleaned from CDSPEED99 reinforced our findings as to the quality of the BP4 as a boot-CD device. This task requires quick recognition during the boot that the inserted CD is, in fact, bootable.

The Plextor 40TSi is grotesquely slow at this, taking 6 seconds or more & often failing to recognise boot-sector information: the BP4 takes only 0.6 seconds, & read all tested media - including elderly CDRW's - reliably enough to make multi-boot-CD experiments enjoyable.

The time to open the [slightly flimsy-feeling] tray after software or button commands was unusually long; the open/close itself brisk.

Read-speed conclusion: 

So . . . a 40x reader? . . ahem [cough]: but then, so what? 

After all, the real-world read-tasks of a standalone burner are to extract digital audio - from the usual collection of randomly-abused favourite CD's - & to allow faithful backup copies of your expensive software distribution disks.

But we think this hint of a mechanism pushed that tiny bit too far towards a "40x" marketing-claim sounds quite likely, & gives a misleading impression of the BP4's read-performance. For how this might effect the BP4's performance at serious read-tasks . . . 

 . . . read on . . . . 

 

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Copyright April 2001 Stephen Hoar for Burning Issues - all rights reserved

 

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