One of the things that mostly is mentioned when we post about new high speed CD-RW drives is if they are worth the money for the few less seconds you spend on burning. Businessweek has an article about this.
They tested CenDyne’s Lightning III 40x12x48 and Plextor’s PlexWriter 40/12/40A and found that they cut only about 16 seconds off the average time that a 32X drive needs to burn a 650MB disc.
The diminishing return on speed is attributable in part to the new drives’ use of Zone-CLV technology for writing to CD-R media, which divides a disc into three write zones. At the outset of each, the drive speed jumps up, but then it plateaus. Although the maximum is 40X, these drives won’t write at 40X until they reach the disc’s outer third.
In our tests, CenDyne’s 40X drive (priced at $140) took 3 minutes, 23 seconds to write a 650MB CD-R on the fly, beating out its 40X Plextor rival (at $160) by just 3 seconds. The packet-writing results were not as close: CenDyne’s 40X drive took 1 minute, 6 seconds to write a 100MB folder of files to CD-RW, while Plextor’s required an additional 14 seconds.
The 40X CenDyne was also slightly faster in our tests of digital audio extraction and application installation.
Altough the need for speed is also an argument to buy a new drive, there are also new technologies that pop-up in new drives.
Most new drives bring us now also new technologies like Mount Rainier, Audio Improvement writing technologies and with 48x CAV writing the writing time even drops a lot more !