The 12x to 24x Burner Quartet
Using the latest hardware, a complete CD can be burned in about 3 minutes, giving impressive results, and making us quite eager to evaluate the best products for the task. No more long waits for CD copying. The new TDK CDRW 241040X, which writes to compatible blank CDs at a speed of 24x (equivalent to 3.6 MB per second), makes it all possible. We got this device from TDK on exclusive terms, although other well-known manufacturers will be launching similar models shortly. No question about it - for the moment at least, the TDK burner is the record-holder in burn speed. Our comparison includes three other models: the Yamaha CRW 2200E - a 20x/10x/40x model - which writes to CD-Rs at a maximum speed of 20x. Also included in the test sample were the Yamaha CRW 2100E with 16x burn speed and the AOpen CRW 1232A with 12x write speed.
Common to all four burners is the ability to process CD-RW media, or rewritable CDs, at 10x speeds (1.5 MB per second).
Checklist For Purchasing A CD Burner
The typical user has a few things in mind when buying a CD burner: first of all, to make backups, and copies of game or music CDs. Many current games prompt for the original CD, which at first glance does not lend itself well to copying. Sophisticated copy-protect mechanisms prevent users from making too many copies of popular games. But several options exist that can be used to bypass or disable any protection. Also, and it does not happen often, backing up personal data -- best done by creating a CD -- is a powerful incentive to get a CD burner.
We examined our four CD burners in a rather intricate procedure. Numerous blank CDs of various types were tested with every burner. Most importantly, each device had the task of writing to oversize media (overburn function) at maximum speed. However, there is one topic we left unexplored - methods of duplicating current game software. We'll leave that for others to try.