Yamaha Electronics Corp. today announced two new LightSpeed CD-RW drives — the CRW2200FXZ and the CRW2200UXZ. Both drives incorporate a 20x-capable CD-RW mechanism. The former unit is FireWire based, and the latter is based on a USB 2.0 interface. You’re on your own for software, but Yamaha said the drives are Mac compatible.
Yamaha noted that the new drives can burn a full CD-R in under four minutes; can rewrite CD-RW media at up to 10x; and reads and rips CD’s at a sustained maximum rate of 40x, enabling users to extract 74 minutes of audio in less than three minutes. The drives feature Partial Constant Angular Velocity (P-CAV) technology, which keeps the rotation speed of the CD media constant, thus adjusting the data transfer rate depending on what physical part of the disc is being recorded to. Yamaha suggested that this technology enables the drive to reduce vibration and data corruption. The drives also include SafeBurn, Yamaha’s buffer underrun control system that helps to avoid wasting CD-R media if data transfer is delayed.
Sporting virtually identical performance specifications, the CRW2200UXZ model features the USB 2.0 interface, which is not yet standard issue on the Mac — although third-party card makers now have USB 2.0 expansion cards that will work on Macs equipped with Mac OS X. USB 2.0 is faster than USB 1.1, the standard interface included on the Mac — it operates at speeds more comparable to FireWire, and is downwardly compatible with the older interface as well. As a result, you could conceivably attach this drive to a Mac’s standard USB 1.1 interface, although the performance of the drive would be much slower (4x record speed, as opposed to 20x).
The FireWire-based model carries a street price of US$329.99. The USB 2.0-based unit carries a street price of $299.99. Unfortunately, that price does not appear to include Mac-compatible CD mastering software.
Other new models include an internal $199.99 model with an E-IDE (ATAPI) interface, a $299.99 model featuring an Ultra SCSI interfaces and external variants of both for $349.99.