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Creative Vision Multimedia Kit Review

Creative Vision Multimedia Kit Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Has multimedia become an essential part of our lives in terms of computing? More yes than no. The need for an experience that integrates the better aspects of audio and video has grown substantially over the past few years.
 85% Rating:   
Filed under: Optical Drives Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Creative Apr 12 2000   P. Masrani  
Home > Reviews > Optical Drives > Creative Vision Multimedia Kit

Creative 52X CD

Specifications

- Maximum 7800KB/sec data transfer rate (52x)
- 85ms access time (typical)
- 128KB buffer
- Handles upto 682MB of Mode 1 data or 778MB of Mode 2 data
- Anti-vibration mechanism
- PIO Mode 4 and DMA Multi-word 2 transfer support
- Compatible with Audio CD, Mixed Mode CD, Video CD, CD-ROM XA, CD-I, PhotoCD, Creative MMCD, Enhanced CD, CD Extra and CD-R/RW
- Infrared Receiver
- Digital Output Connector (EBU-IEC598)
- CD Audio connector
- Stereo headphone jack
- On panel volume and CD access functionality
- MPC level 3 compliant

Creative has been making CD-ROM drives for years. And one of the more unique features of their drives is the inclusion of an infrared receiver on the front panel. This receiver allows you to control the drive and some system applications via the Creative iNFRA remote control. Now I have always ridiculed remotes on such devices.

I mean, considering you are sitting 2 feet away from the cabinet, is it really so difficult to reach for that you need a remote control? The same goes for car audio systems with remotes. Of course, I can foresee the use of a car stereo remote if one is riding in the back seat with chauffeur in front, but otherwise, I guess whatever suits you. Changing audio tracks on the unit isn't the only functionality that the remote provides.

With the iNFRA Suite application installed, one can use the remote to navigate through web pages and use the remote as a mouse. I have found that the mouse function isn't really easy to use. The mouse pointer does not scroll across the screen as smoothly as a real mouse would. In fact it appears to "jump" a number of pixels on each movement making the focusing on a particular icon really frustrating. The other web navigation functions are no better either. Various functions such as Home, Save As, Print, Back, Page Up/Down, Reload, etc are present but you can't do everything from it.

You certainly cannot type in a URL from the remote. Again, I personally find the remote more of a gimmick rather than actual use.

CD-ROM Speed Explanation


Before moving further it should be made clear why certain CD-ROM drives rarely (rather never) sustain their rated transfer speeds. Many CD-ROM drives on the market are label as 48x MAX or 52x MAX, etc. The MAX part of it doesn't really signify the name of the drive but rather describes that the rated speed is the maximum attainable transfer rate of the CD-ROM drive. In order to understand what they mean by maximum attainable transfer rate, you must be aware of the way that the CD-ROM spins and the way the CD-ROM drive reads.

The outer edges of a given CD "spin faster" than the inner edges of the CD. As the circumference of the outer parts of a CD are greater than the inner areas, at a given RPM, more data can be read off of the outer edges of a CD per revolution than the inner edges. There are two methods which are utilized by CD-ROM drives known CLV and CAV.

CLV, or Constant Linear Velocity is a method which describes the way a CD-ROM drive reads a CD. In CLV, the CD rotational speed is adjusted in order to maintain a constant rate of data transfer on both the inner and outer edges of a CD-ROM. As mentioned above, the outer edges of a CD-ROM drive are read faster than the inner edges. A CD-ROM drive which exploits the use of CLV means that the CD will spin slower at the outer edges of a CD-ROM and faster at the inner edges in order to keep data transfer rates constant. So this means that a 24x drive utilizing CLV will read data at a 24x transfer rate all of the time.

The other method is known as CAV, or Constant Angular Velocity. Instead of varying spin speeds, CAV keeps the RPM of a CD constant and reads data at whatever speed is being delivered. Taking a 40x MAX CD-ROM as an example, the data transfer rate at the inner edges of a CD might only be 18x-20x as data transfer rates are slower in that region.

On the other hand, when the lens is reading data from the outer edges of the CD, transfer rates increase up to the maximum rated speed. This is where the MAX term comes into play and why drives labeled with MAX do not transfer data constantly at their rated speed. The Creative 52x drive is an example of a CAV type CD-ROM drive. You will see the benchmarks and witness for yourself the variations in this type of CAV-based mechanism.

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Contents of Article: Creative Vision Multimedia Kit
 Pg 1.  Creative Vision Multimedia Kit Review
 Pg 2.  — Creative 52X CD
 Pg 3.  Test Setup
 Pg 4.  Performance Analysis
 Pg 5.  CPU Utilization
 Pg 6.  Conclusions

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