Yamaha CRW4416S

Picture of a Yamaha CD-R Drive

Here’s a pic blatantly ripped straight from the Yamaha website because I’m too lazy to photograph my unit just to post it here. Needless to say, they all look the same anyway!

New to my system this year, along with the new processor, et al is a rewriteable burner. Another Yamaha, since Plextor was too slow to advance into the 4X rewrite category with their top-performing writers. The basic premise now is consider these drives disposable. Nothing lasts forever. My original Yamaha CDR400tx drive toasted after some 850 CDs, well out of warranty by that point. It was in fact cheaper to get a new drive than to have the old one fixed, which is pretty sad on the whole. Like any good drive these days, they are good for audio, data, karaoke, PlayStation, VideoCD, PhotoCD and many other backups.

This is a SCSI-2 drive because as bulky as SCSI is, it still outperforms ATA for low CPU utilization. Ever try to copy files from your ATA CD-ROM drive and listen to your MP3 collection at the same time? The SCSI adapter I use is an Adaptec AHA-2940U, but a model 1510, 1522, or 1542 will work just fine if you need ISA cards. I’ve successfully used mine on a 1522, a 1542 and a 2940, and there is no difference in performance or multitasking capability between those card models. I have mostly IDE drives on my system, so you would expect there to be no difference when comparing those cards for general multitasking performance. This might change if you have an all-SCSI system and use a SCSI controller like the 1522 or 1542, which are ISA and not bus mastering.

Considering that most—if not all—consumer CD-R(W) drives today can be classified as disposable, I’ve been keeping a rather detailed activity log for my new rewriter. When it starts pumping out coasters with no hope of coming back, I’ll use the data to report on cost of ownership of a CD-R(W) drive used as a backup device.