Now, let’s turn to another media type – we’ll do some reading and writing with rewritable CD media.
The Lite-On burned the 24x CD-RW quite fast, losing only 12 seconds to the Plextor PX-712A. There is only one faster drive then them – the TDK 880N can burn discs in 3 minutes 38 seconds at 24x speed. The rest of the devices I’ve tested earlier all took more than 4 minutes to burn the disc. I was also surprised at the Lite-On SOHW-1213S’s willingness to work with a medium which it didn’t support, according to its spec. It did burn it, although at 16x speed only. The time of burning matched the burn speed used. Of course, the capability to process 32x CD-RW media is an advantage of the Lite-On drive, but I should confess that, for example, the Pioneer DRV-108 can write the same disc at 24x rather than at 16x. So, the Lite-On is good in this respect, but not the best.
Let’s now evaluate the quality of the written CD-RW discs.
The specified burn algorithms do comply with the real burn process; the graphs are smooth, without any fluctuations. Comparing the 24x burn of the PX-712A and the Lite-On, the former uses the P-CAV mode and reaches the maximum speed at the 5-th minute, while the Lite-On uses Z-CLV and reaches 24x speed at the 13-th minute only. This explains the difference in the total burn time between the two devices.
The disc was written very well: there are no C1 errors at all, while C2 errors, although numerous, are grouped in one small disc area. Beta/Jitter parameters are within the norm, too. Jitter is deviating but slightly, while beta is almost a perfect horizontal graph. This ideal situation doesn’t last for long, though. As soon as the drive reaches the area with a surge of C2 errors, the Beta/Jitter test is interrupted. The error code seems to tell that this is a media error, i.e. a defect of the medium surface. This also suggests that the surge of C2 errors may be due to the defect of the disc rather than due to any fault of the recording device. Let’s see how this affects the process of reading the written disc.
Notwithstanding the surge of C2 errors, the disc is being read without any problems: no slumps, no fluctuations – the graph is clear and well-shaped. Thus, I can say this drive burns CD-RW discs very well at 24x speed. Let’s now examine the 32x disc written at 16x.
This is how the graphs of the 24x CD-RW would look if it were not for the corrupt zone with a high C2 error count. This time the BLER parameter is normal – that’s very good for rewritable media, by the way. Beta and Jitter are normal, too. Their fluctuations are negligible. Below is the read graph for this medium.
There are no problems at reading, which is another indication of the high burn quality. Overall, the SOHW-1213S boasts a very high CD-RW burn quality. Minor problems with 24x speed must have been due to a defect of the disc itself.