MSI XA52P CD-RW+DVD-ROM Serial ATA Combo Drive

Introduction to the MSI CD-RW+DVD-ROM Serial ATA Combo Drive

A few years back, if you wanted the best of DVD playback and CD burning, you had to buy separate drives for each task.  With the advent of combo drives hitting the mainstream market, however, users can now get top-notch CD and DVD performance from a single optical device.  MSI's XA52P for example, reads DVD-ROM discs at 16x, writes CD-Rs at 52x and CD-RWs at 24x.
Supporting both interchangeable face plates and MiniForm design, not only will the XA52P fit whichever case you choose, but it should do a pretty good job of matching it as well.  In addition, MSI has also implemented one other key feature, a Serial ATA interface.  Though this does add the convenience of a jumper-less installation and better airflow inside the chassis, MSI has limited the support of the drive to Intel chipset based motherboards with native SATA interfaces (ICH5 and ICH6) only.  There is currently no support for add-on serial ATA controllers.

Specification of the XA52P
The Throw Down, Before the Show Down...

• 52x CD-R / 24x CD-RW / 52x CD-ROM / 16x DVD-ROM
•Serial ATA features efficient data transfer and easy upgrade
 SuperLink™ prevents buffer underrun and minimizes recording failures
 Supported Mount Rainier technology• Supported over-burn feature
 Supported 99 (870MB) or 90min (800MB) CD-R disc
 Supported 8cm or 12cm disc diameter
 2MB internal buffer
 Enhanced IDE/ATAPI interface
 PIO Mode 4, DMA Mode 2 and UDMA Mode 2
 Horizontal and vertical operation
 Supported optimum power control
 Supported CD-R speed: 2x, 4x, 8x, 12x, 16x, 20x, 24x, 32x, 40x, 48x and 52x
 Supported CD-RW speed: 2x, 4x, 6x, 8x, 10x, 12x, 16x, 20x and 24x
 CD-UDF compatible
 Writing Modes: Disc-at-Once, Track-at-Once, Session-at-Once, Multisession, Packet Writing, RAW Mode
 Front Panel
ActivePanel, Emergency Eject Hole and Eject Button
 Rear Panel
Self-Test Jumper (L), Digital Audio Connector, Analog Audio Connector, SATA Interface Connector, +5 and +12 DC Volt Input Power Connector and Self-Test Jumper (R)
145.8(W) x 41.4(H) x 170.8(D)mm w/o bezel
Mass Weight
 Operating Conditions
Temperature: 5~45'C
Humidity Range: 20% to 85% RH
Vibration: 0.33G
No Condensation

Minimum System Requirements

•IBM PC compatible Pentium 400MHz or faster.
•64MB system memory.
•1GB free hard disc space for image recording, and 700MB for installing recording software.
•Windows XP/2000/Me/98SE system.
•On-board SATA connector

Product Features


•The ActivePanel feature adds flexibility to your personal computer by providing fast and easy access.
•Users can remove the faceplate with their fingers and replace the black or silver faceplate with the color of their choice.

  •MiniForm technology is great for convenient installation and it improves the airflow inside the computer case.
•Drives are only 170mm in length (not including the front panel), which are almost 20mm shorter than most of the traditional drives on the market.
  •Provides better shatter protection for your drive from a defect disc.
•MSI strongly recommends users not to withdraw the tray and remove the defective disc on their own, but to turn off their computers first and send their defect drives to MSI for repair.
  •A perfect solution for acoustic-noise induced problems during high-speed rotation.
•By not introducing any fluctuation in the disc rotation speed, unwanted vibrations, which may affect the writing quality, are eliminated.
•To lessen the noise coming from inside the drive, a noise dampening material is also used to reduce the vibration of resonance noise.
  •The most advanced design and engineering to reduce vibration and noise and to provide superior stability when the drive is operating at high speed.
•They are built with high-quality parts to deliver long life and reliability, with a remarkable stability in operation.
•The accuracy of your data and quality of your music comes through clearly and error-free.
  •The ultimate combo of MSI Live Optical Storage Drive Firmware.
•Online update Firmware/Utility.
•Live Monitor auto-detects and suggests the latest Firmware/Utilities information.
Bundle and Layout of the XA52P
What "really" comes in the box...

Front of Box  Bottom of Box  Top of Box  Box Contents 
 The XA52P Top of Tray  Bottom of Tray  Info Sticker 

Bundled with the XA52P is everything one needs to utilize the various functions of the drive.  From a hardware stand point the package comes with 4 mounting screws, 1 orange SATA cable, 1 audio cable and various interchangeable faceplates.  However, the software package is what really impressed us.  Sporting two of HotHardware's favorite utilities, Ahead Software's Nero 6 and Cyberlink's PowerDVD 5, MSI provides the end-user with a fairly impressive and well rounded bundle of "extras."  Making up the rest of the retail package is of course the XA52P itself and a quick installation guide presented in multiple languages.

 Front Left Side  Back  Right Side 
Bottom Close-Up of Back  Eject Button   

Physically, the XA52P does not feature anything extraordinarily special (removable face plates aside).  The front bezel hosts a single LED indicator (green under normal use, red while writing), a port to access the emergency tray release and a single eject button.  One item that we should note is MSI's decision to remove the traditional 1/8th inch mini-jack and volume control from the front bezel.  Though this feature is not commonly used by the average user, some consumers may still seek these attributes.

On the read of the drive you'll find the digital and analog output audio connectors, Serial ATA port and the Molex socket marked on the housing of the drive. Finally, located on either side of the XA52P are the typical threaded mounting holes for securing the drive to one's chassis.

Tags:  MSI, DVD-R, DVD, CD, drive, MS, A5, rom, CD-R, Ive, COM

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