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Date of review: 02-August-1998
Type Of Review: CD-ROM/DVD/CD-RW
- 40X maximum (2800 - 6000 KB/sec)
- 75ms average random access
- 8900 rpm spin rate
- Supports Ultra DMA/33 mode
- Capable of High Speed Digital Audio Extraction
- Compatible With ALL CD Formats
Remember our last review of the high performance 34X CDROM? ASUS attempts to break all barriers and delivers their latest incarnation. A 40X sibling. This drive features similar DDSS (Double Damping Suspension System) anti-vibration design found on the 34X to enhance reliable disk reads at all speeds.
A Side Story
What a great delay before I had the chance to write this review. The last review was put off by me because I got a faulty drive which in my very first test posted terribly poor results that'll NOT put to shame even 24X drives. In Winbench 98, the CDROM Transfer Rate (Outside) was a miserable 4260 kb/s instead of the potential 6000 kb/s claimed by ASUS. I was horrified. Even the ASUS 34X posted 5040 kb/s.
So I went down to SL Square and had it out with the shopkeeper who refused to exchange for me and told me he didn't have Winbench 98 to verify my claims. He insisted that I brought it to Ai-En (the sole distributor of ASUS in Singapore) which was on the 6th floor. I did.
The people at Ai-En was more negotiable and I got a 1-to-1 exchange after much persuasion. Now I've got it back, I'll show you the improvements. Read on...
After ripping open the box (again), I found my tidy CDROM drive together with a detailed installation/troubleshooting guide, an audio cable as well as a floppy disk containing drivers for DOS/Win 3.X. Installation was a snap and I'm convinced that very few people will actually have to refer to their manual for any instructions.
Yes, I must admit that this must be about the fastest IDE CDROM you can find now at this time of my writing. The transfer rate of the CDROM on the inner tracks of the CD was quite a bit faster than the 34X with a score of 3240 kb/s against the latter's 2780 kb/s. The outer track performance still did not perform near the claimed peak of 6000 kb/s with only a score of 5240 kb/s. This however is a tat faster than the 34X which got 5040 kb/s, and a hell lot of faster than the faulty one (4260 kb/s)!!!!!
In my testing, the CDROM drive was able to rip audio CDs at remarkable speeds of 5.1X to 9.7X (1st track and last track) on my PC. The ripped .WAV file sounded perfect and free from audio artifacts and pops associated with slower drives (that used to include all non-SCSI drives). This is indeed praiseworthy for an IDE CDROM drive.
Another thing worth mentioning is the very very low CPU utilisation of only 5.33%.
For those of you looking for the fastest IDE CDROM drive in the market, this is the one to get. However, with the ASUS 34X only selling at S$88 at some shops, it will remain as the best buy for now.
Still, if you do not mind spending the extra cash (S$120) on only the fastest available, you must really be careful in your purchase, run your benchmarks to make sure you've got your money's worth!
(Anyone is welcome to mail me his benchmarked results on the ASUS 40X)
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