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LITEON 12x10x40 Model 12102B
 

 

 

 

Liteon 12102b Review

Specs


12X Record, 10X Re-write & 40X Max Reading Data Transfer Rate
CAV1 Average access time is 120 ms (typical)
Access all format CD-ROM , CD-R , CD-RW title & disc
Conforms to Orange Book Part 2, 3 & Volume 2 : High Speed
Vibration Absorber System (VAS)® to reduce vibration & noise
Super Link® technology to avoid Buffer Under Run error
Standard ATAPI/E-IDE interface supporting DMA, MMC2 commands
Plug & Play ready ;
Emergency manual eject
Supporting DOS, Win 3.1/95/98/2000/NT 4.0 ,
Compliant with PC99
Media condition check & Data verifying function

Introduction

I don't normally do reviews for CDRs but I came across the 12x10x40 drive. It is supposed
To be much better than the 12x10x32 and 16x10x40 models and there was very little review on
the net of this particular model (12102B).

Liteon is a little known Taiwanese company, to quote their web site "Established in 1995, Lite-On has now become the world's top three CD-ROM drive manufacturer and Taiwan No.1 supplier. Lite-On is trying to expand its success to other product lines: DVD-ROM drives, CD-RW drives and much more".

They have a 12x10x32 IDE CD writer and a 16x10x40 model also on the market, these however are said to be nothing special but are cheap and reliable. They also make their own drives unlike many manufacturers.

Is this drive any good? We shall see.

What it comes with

The drive comes with 1 CDR 74 min. 1 CDRW 74 min, Nero Burning ROM
Version 5.0.3.3. 1 Audio Cable and mounting screws. The manual is more of leaflet and is
very basic.

The front of the drive has a sticker of the URL of the very poor website (not shown here):

http://liteonit.com.tw

At back of the drive you will find the usual connectors, jumpers for making the drive a Master/Slave, the SPDIF output connector, 3 jumpers which are not used and analogue / digital output connectors.

Installation

Its an IDE drive so installing is no problem, I just set the jumper to master
and connected it as secondary Master. Put the IDE cable and Analogue digital output to my soundcard. I booted into Windows 98 and went to system properties to check if everything was OK.

Here you can see its FIRMWARE revision is NS1H (and it was Manufactured in April 2001).

In the above you can see the 8MB Buffer and the burn proof feature which NERO detects successfully. Also you can see that overburning is supported and so is CD-TEXT.

TESTS

First I checked the DAE speed:

As you can see it was a reasonable 15-16 Speed CLV.

Next I checked the quality of Audio Extraction:

The DAE was perfect with 0 errors. Unlike the 12x10x32 model.

90/99min Support

The drive supports reading 99mins CD but only up to around 83mins. I tried a simulated burn with CDSPEED and it burnt up to 94mins... but when actually writing it failed and didnt even start at x1. Strange, because the simulation passed and it failed in the actual write. I think LITEON needs to make modifications to the firmware, go complain ;)

PSX & DREAMCAST

I tried to some Playstation and Dreamcast backups to see how it handled them. Some drives have problems with 300 block tracks which are needed to create selfbootable Dreamcast console games. I saw no such problems with this drive. It also had no problem with backing up Playstation CDs.

C2 Error Information

Taken from EAC web site:

What is C2? A: On all CD-ROM media are at least two levels of error correction, called C1 and C2. If both fail, the output is probably not correct anymore. Most drives are not able to report if audio reads failed or not, so each block had to be read twice and be compared to make sure that everything is fine. But some newer drives are able to report if C1/C2 failed on specific samples on a read, making it possible to read only once and see if a read error occured. But there is still a problem, as some drives do not report these errors correctly, so you should test it thoroughly before trusting the results.

As you can see it doesn't cache Audio which is a good thing.
Also it has an accurate stream and it can report C2 Error Information. This
is good.

CLONECD Capabilities

Using the latest version of CLONE CD, I checked the capabilities of the drive:

As you can see it supports RAW DAO, RAW+SUB, RAW SAO and SAO modes. This is the best possible set for writing protected CDs.

Also (are available unlike ACER drives):

Can Read SubChannel Data from Data Tracks: YES
Can Read SubChannel Data from Audio Tracks: YES

SAFEDISK 2 TEST

SAFEDISK 2 is currently the only protection system that's effective in preventing copied CDs from being cloned successfully. It uses a defect in the chipsets of most CD writers.

I tried to copy BLACK & WHITE which has a good implementation of This protection system. The Backup worked in the CD Writer as well As a Toshiba SD1502 and an old TEAC drive.

I also tried to copy EMPEROR BATTLE FOR DUNE which is rumoured to be even harder to copy. The copy failed, but I retried at a slower speed and it was successful.

(Why else do you think I reviewed this drive ? : ) )

CONCLUSION

The drive is great for the price, £80.00 in the UK. It can copy SAFEDISK 2 successfully Without applying any patches. The DAE ripping speed whilst not the fastest is reasonable at 15 speed, its perfect quality as well. Its also a very quiet drive. Its reasonable fast at reading protected CDs. It has a massive 8MB buffer.

Some of the bad points are that it failed to recognise some CDRs that had been written with another burner, whereas the Toshiba 1502 had no problems. I think that the firmware needs tweaking a bit. Its also picky at writing at full speed, example for the most part it will write on almost any media but the speed with which you can write on will vary and you have to experiment at what speed to burn certain media. For example TDK DVIEW media are certified for speeds upto x12 but the Liteon will only give a reliable burn at x10. If you verify the disk which has been burnt at x12 it will have read errors!

LITEONs web site is also one of the worst sites you can find from a CD Drive manufacturer and Theres no information on the site about this drive, instead its hidden on the site:
http://www.liteonit.com.tw/Eproduct/DM121040IDE.htm (The page has been removed.)

The 32x speed version of this drive is out now. When I wrote this review back in July, Liteon were unknown and now 6 months later they are one of the biggest CD drive manufacturers. You shouldn't have any problems finding it now.

Most software fails to recognise that it has Burnproof and so if you use anything but NERO you cant use the feature. (CDRWIN4 detects all features correctly and with some registry tweaking InstantVOB does as well). Update:

Otherwise well worth the money.

9.0 / 10

Where To Buy

Its a difficult drive to find so here are some places to buy it from:

http://www.dischouse.co.uk/

http://www.cougarcomputers.com/

http://www.surplusvillage.co.uk/

Last Updated: 20 Jan 2002

 
 

 


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