Kenwood's 72X True X CDROM Drive - HotHardware

Kenwood's 72X True X CDROM Drive

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Kenwood's 72X True X CD-ROM Drive
No "specsmanship" just performance!

     

Once in a blue moon, we get a product in here at Hot Hardware that absolutely knocks our socks off. It doesn't happen very often and we test a lot of product every month. This is one of those times. For many of us, CD-ROM drive technology has matured to the extent where we are beginning to reach diminishing returns on our investment in next generation technology. Today's 48X and 52X drives are hardly faster than there 32X siblings from days gone by. DVD ROMs and Re-Writable Drives are still making good strides in performance but the standard CD-ROM is somewhat lack luster.

Now I am going to ask you to throw that notion out the window and forget you ever thought that way. Or should I say, Kenwood is trying to change your mind in this respect? The outside of the box for the Kenwood 72X True X CD-ROM says this "the worlds fastest CD-ROM drive". Guess what? They are dead-on right.

Specifications of the Kenwood 72X True X CD-ROM Drive
Zen and the art of speed

 

    Drive Interface

  • EIDE/ATAPI

    Disc Loading

  • Motorized Tray

    Disc Readable Formats

  • CD-ROM Mode 1 and Mode 2
  • CD-R
  • CD-RW
  • CD-Extra
  • CD-DA Audio
  • Photo CD (Single- and Multi-Session)
  • CD-I/FMV
  • Video CD
  • CD-ROM-XA

    Disc Diameter

  • 8cm and 12cm

    Optical Beam Reader

  • Kenwood 7-Beam Pickup

    Data Transfer Rate

  • 6,750 to 10,800 KB/sec. (typical*)

    Burst Data Transfer Rate

  • 16.6 MB/sec. (PIO Mode 4 and DMA Mode 2)
  • 33 MB/sec. (Ultra DMA)


    Access Time (1/3 Stroke)

  • Less than 100ms (typical)

    Within 7 Track Band

  • 5ms

    Data Buffer

  • 2,048KB

    Eject Button

  • Motorized Eject Button
  • Emergency Hole

    LED

  • Access LED

    Headphone Jack

  • 3.5mm Stereo Mini-Jack

    Volume Control

  • Wheel Knob

    Interface Connector

  • 40-pin EIDE Header

    CD-Audio Analog Out

  • Supported

    EIDE Settings

  • Master, Slave, CSEL Jumper Settable
     

Beam me up Scotty.   There is too much intelligent life here...

With specs like this, it has to be the fastest there is, right? Well, as we all know CD-ROM drive manufacturers play a huge game of "specsmanship" when it comes to rating their products. One 48X drive can perform close to 28X levels and another can perform like a 12X drive with both products having the same numbers boasting performance levels far different than reality. Kenwood uses the word "True" in their product for a reason. Here is the technology behind the performance numbers and why the drive speaks the truth.

Click for a closer look...


 

Being from the Semiconductor Industry, I spend time with a lot of Electrical Engineers every day. Most are fairly intelligent folks. When I have the occasion to meet with Optical Engineers, I am usually blown away by their brilliance. These folks deal in almost a sort of "black magic". It is truly "deep" stuff. We'll spare you the physics here folks and keep things crisp. In short, what you see in the above diagram is the way the 72X True X CD-ROM Drive's Lasers are split into to seven discrete beams and track across the disk. This allows for 7 parallel reads on a rotation and thus incremental gains in throughput.

The "7 beam pick-up" as Kenwood calls it, is a patented technological marvel.

Click for a closer look...

It also allows for lower disk rotation speeds as a result. This drive is one of the quietest drives I have ever tested, period. It is as quiet as most 4X drives so long as you have it mounted correctly so there is no rattle in the case around it.  

 
So far so good. As we all know however, the proof is in the benchmarks. All of these wonderful features wouldn't mean much if the drive couldn't live up to its claims in performance. 
 

 Get the Kenwood 72X True X Drive


 Spin for me baby! Benchmarks
 

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