- 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
- PIO Mode 4 and DMA Multi-word 2 transfer support
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
- CD Audio connector
- Stereo headphone jack
On panel volume and CD access functionality
- MPC level 3
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
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.
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.
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.