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Formac Firewire 16x 10x 40x CDRW
Mechanism: Generic CRD-BP1400P (MMC) - Firewire Possibly Sanyo?

REVIEW BY: PHUBEAR - JUNE 2001

Firewire BUS Powered - PowerBook G3 Pismo/400
Media
Brand
Driver

File Size

Rec.
Speed
Source
BPRec
Est.
Time
Real
Time
Result
Prime Peripherals
700 MB CDR

Roxio
Toast 5.0

679.7 MB
16x
Internal
Hard Drive
Yes
4:49
5:32
Slow Mounting*
No Custom Icons
PNY 700 MB CDR
Roxio
Toast 5.0
635.1 MB
16x
Internal
CD / DVD
Yes
4:30
9:13
Slow Mounting
Mitsui Silver
650 MB CDR
Roxio
Toast 5.0
635.1 MB
16x
Internal
CD / DVD
No
4:30
N/A
Absolute
Failure @3:00
Adapter Powered - PowerBook G3 Pismo/400
Prime Peripherals
700 MB CDR
Roxio
Toast 5.0
515.3 MB
16x
Internal
Hard Drive
Yes
4:20
5:27
Good Disc
Mitsui Silver
650 MB CDR
Roxio
Toast 5.0
635.1 MB 16x Internal
CD / DVD
Yes 4:28 9:15 Good Disc
PNY 700 MB CDR
Roxio
Toast 5.0
668.5 MB
16x
Disk Image
Yes
4:45
5:44
Good Disc
Memorex Platinum
700 MB CD/RW
Roxio
Toast 5.0
130 MB 4x Internal
Hard Drive
Yes 4:10 4:58 Good RW Disc
Prime Peripherals
700 MB CDR
Roxio
Toast 5.0.1
650.3 MB
16x
Internal
Hard Drive
Yes
4:30
N/A
Absolute
Failure @2:00
Apple Disc Burner & iTunes 1.1 with Authoring Support 1.1
Prime Peripherals
700 MB CDR
Apple
Disc Burner
689.4 MB 16x Disc Burner
Disk Image
N/A 5:38 9:14+

Good
Session Disc

PNY 700 MB CDR iTunes+
D-Burner
575.1 MB 16x Internal
Hard Drive
N/A 5:10 9:00+ Good
Audio Disc

The Apple iTunes Compatibility web page lists support for an "EZQuest Boa 16x 10x 40x FireWire Drive -
Sanyo CRD-BP1400P - Firmware: 5.3" and Toast 5.0 lists the drive as "Generic CRD-BP1400P (MMC) - Firewire."

After much struggling with Disc Burner, "Authoring Support 1.1" was released and finally enabled the use of
iTunes MP3 to Audio CD creation, and Desktop mounting/session burning with Disc Burner on the PowerBook G3.
Creating a 56.51 minute Audio CD of 16 songs from MP3 files in iTunes went very smoothly,
and appeared to finally burn at a full 16x. The total time for conversion/burning was beyond 9 minutes.
Note that copying 689.4 MB to Disc Burner's virtual Disc Image from the Travelstar 12 Gig. HD took
approximately 3:36, writing took about 5:38, and verification took 6:39 for a grand total of 14:53.

Interestingly enough, with Toast 5.0 extensions enabled, iTunes & Toast will burn CDs, but Disc Burner will
not mount/format CDRs for sessions. Toast 5.0 extensions still have to be disabled if Disc Burner is to be used;
in addition to 1.4 Gigabytes of free space just to have the privilege of burning 700 MB CDRs.
The convenience of Disc Burner is still nice though.

Firewire BUS Powered - Ti Book G4/400
Mitsui Gold Roxio
Toast 5.0
639 MB 16x Internal
CD / DVD
Yes 4:30 5:45 Good Disc
Adapter Powered - Mini Tower G4/450
Ricoh Platinum
650 MB CDR
Roxio
Toast 5.0
275.3 MB 16x Internal
Hard Drive
Yes 2:08 3:02 Good Disc
Adapter Powered - Beige G3 /466 - OrangeLink FW/Ultra SCSI Card
Prime Peripherals
700 MB CDR
Roxio
Toast 5.0.1
459 MB 16x Internal
Hard Drive
Yes 4:10 N/A Absolute Failure
System Hang**
Prime Peripherals
700 MB CDR
Roxio
Toast 5.0
459 MB 16x Internal
Hard Drive
Yes 4:10 5:27 Good Disc
Adapter Powered - Beige G3 /466 - Firewire Direct FW-USB Card
Prime Peripherals
700 MB CDR
Roxio
Toast 5.0
321.6 MB 16x FW HD &
Int. CD/DVD
Yes 2:18 3:10 Good Disc
*ADDITIONAL NOTES

* This particular disc takes about 30 sec. to mount in the internal PowerBook CD/DVD drive and an additional
30 sec. to display subfolders & does not display any custom icons. In the Formac drive, it takes about 7 sec. to mount and only displays the custom icon for the CD and not any sub-folders. The files seem to be valid.

**Failure to burn at all; counter:1 sec. = 5 sec. reality. System hangs & lost 2 discs. It seems that this installation of the Toast 5.1 upgrade did not agree with the OrangeLink FW/SCSI Card. No BUS Power attempts were made with any of the PCI-Firewire machines. When using the CDRW as a "read only" drive at 40x, some files and empty folders with custom icons did not copy fully to the PowerBook G3, which did copy fine from the internal CD/DVD drive.

In all Roxio Toast 5.0 tests, at least 35 MB was allocated to the Toast Application,
and a 75 MB freeware RAM disk was used for the "Disk Cache" with the "RAM Cache" set to 64 MB.
The use of the RAM Disk has proven to be more stable & a little faster on several machines since Toast 3.5,
resulting a lot less failures. Extensions were also kept to a minimum throughout testing
and "Background" burning was not utilized with any "G3 Based" machines.

SUMMARY:
Features:

Great Case Design and very quite fan compared to other 16x and lower speed drives. "BPRec" Burn Proof Recording. Hot-swappable firewire interface with included shielded cable. Center resting adapter (black box with power cords at each end) with green LED.
Nice packaging with a plastic three prong cover for the power cord.
Works on BUS power with some computers. Non-slip feet which do not fall off the case.

Failures:
Poor Eject button engineering/design. Some noticeable glue marks on the case underside. Lacking a slot for laptop style security locks. No externally visible activity LED on drive. No carrying/slip case for a clear plastic shell. Works on BUS power with SOME computers. Formac has made it clear that the first two issues will be resolved in the near future.

Note: For photos of the Formac CDRW drive, notes on the bus power limits, etc. see the previous
review of the Formac 12/10/32 CDRW Firewire drive.


 
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