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Product: Predator 24x10x40
Company: Iomega
Website: http://www.iomega.com
Estimated Street Price:
$209.95
Review By: Julien Jay

Design

Table Of Contents
1: Introduction
2: Design & Benchmarks
3: HotBurn

4:
Conclusion

   The main specificity of the Predator is obviously its original gorgeous design. Relatively compact with its dimensions of 5.8 x 7.75 x 1.8 inches, the top of the drive is dressed with a stylish blue transparent shell that is interrupted by a silver Predator branded cover, while the underside is all grey. Both left and right sides of the drive host inclusions of grey plastic offering a firm hold of the drive when you want to carry it. The pop top contains a window through which you can see which CD is in the drive. The funniest thing is the psychedelic spinner that turns when a CD is loaded. During our tests, we found the Predator cover is simply too fragile. While the whole drive gives a rather sturdy impression, the pop top is really flimsy. The worst thing is that to close the cover you need to push it very strong. 

Below the cover is the eject button (that only works when the drive is powered) and a small hole for emergency eject: near them are two green and red LEDs that indicate the status of the drive. The front of the drive, where the blue and grey plastic surfaces meet, displays a small silver stick worth of the BMW style. The right side unveils a volume wheel and a mini jack connector where you can plug audio earphones. 

In use the Predator revealed one major problem. Itís extremely noisy! Reading or burning a CD will generally be noisier than the fans of your PC (and here I have a PC with 5 fans, and the Predator generates a real muffling racket).

Technology And BenchMarks

The Iomega Predator 24x10x40 comes with a relatively small 2 MB buffer memory but is luckily seconded by BurnProof, the well known acclaimed buffer underrun protection technology. The Burn-Proof technology enables CD-R/RW drives to record data seamlessly between the end of one recorded point and the start of another recording point, even though data transfer may be suspended due to the occurrence of a Buffer Under Run Error. Thus users can do other tasks on their PC while burning. Using the Z-CLV (constant linear velocity) technology, the drive is announced to burn CD-R in 24x, CD-RW in 10x while the reading speed should reach 40x in better conditions. Iomega doesn't disclose the manufacturer of the mechanic.

To evaluate the performance of the Predator, we connected it to the embedded USB 2.0 controller of our Intel D850EMV2 motherboard that employs a Nec chip. We used the latest confidential Windows XP USB 2.0 drivers to run the test. The average recording speed we obtained with the Iomega Predator 24x10x40 attained 22.68x which is very near to the announced 24x theoretical speed. As you can see in the burning speed graph the burning process starts at 16.02x, reaches 20x at the fifth minute befores attaining 24x at the 16th minute of the CD-R where the speed is maintained constant at 24.03x throughout the whole recording process. During our tests using Nero CD-Speed the reading speed of the burner reached the high speed of 38.34x while the reading started at 18.05x, which is simply outstanding for such a model. The average speed was 29.40x. The average access time demonstrated during the tests reached 87msec a result that is way better than the performance of the Yamaha CRW70 portable USB 2.0 burner. The CPU occupation level didnít exceed 11% in 8x.


Recording test


Reading test

The table below shows the seek times of the Yamaha CRW70 USB 2.0 drive compared to the Iomega Predator 24x10x40:

Seek Times
  Iomega Predator 24x10x40 Yamaha CRW70

Random

87ms 175ms

1/3

96ms 204ms

Full

164ms 411ms

As you can see the seek times of the Iomega Predator 24x10x40 are excellent, letting the Yamaha CRW70 far behind.

Digital Audio Extraction (DAE)

   Iomega didnít forget the numerous MP3 addicts since the drive has the fabulous ability to rip songs in 32x making the burner excellent for audio extraction jobs. With such a burner nomad users will be able to rip a full disc into MP3 very quickly. If that wasnít enough the audio quality of burned CDs is excellent and we didnít encounter any errors during extraction processes. Finally since the burner supports the CD-Text format, you can add information to the CD Audio youíre about to burn (like song title & artist name). Then when playing the burnt CD-Audio on a CD-Text compliant player youíll see track names on the unit.

Nero CD Speed shows the Predator 24x10x40 achieved unrivalled audio extraction performance for a burner. Using the CAV (constant angular velocity) mode, the extraction started at 9.24x to quickly reach 22x at the 8th minute. Then the extraction speed has constantly progressed to reach 41.08x at the end of the disc! With an average audio extraction speed of 30.40x the Iomega Predator 24x10x40 delivers strong and impressive performance that were never seen before on an external burner. Some will reproach to the drive the relatively slow speed at which it starts the DAE, only 9x, while internal DVD-Rom drive like Pioneer DVD106 generally starts at 16x but it's sufficient enough to encode files. The DAE performance of the Predator 24x10x40 is hard on the heels of the Yamaha internal CRW3200e burner that is known for offering the ultimate DAE performance.


Digital Audio Extraction

ę Introduction HotBurn Ľ

 

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