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The chart below represents the accumulation of all the previous tests. The Afreey is the best IDE "standard" technology Iíve tested and the Plextor is the best SCSI technology Iíve tested. The overall score is the addition of the averages from the slow and fast DAE and audio tests. The price shown is the lowest found as of 02-26-2000. Notice how the Kenwood is the most expensive drive. Notice how the Kenwood stomps the competition! The Afreey is still a great value when is comes to cheap IDE drives, but it spins at nearly 15K rpm-youíll hear that I guarantee.

Drive Name & Rating

DAE Avg. (Slow)

DAE Avg. (Fast)

Data Avg. (Slow)

Data Avg. (Fast)

Overall Avg. (Data+DAE)

Lowest Price

Kenwood 72X

25.0

43.3

22.0

65.3

77.8

$110

Afreey 56X

28.1

28.1

28.1

41.8

63.1

$40

Plextor 40X Max

24.0

32.0*

24.0

31.0

55.5

$77

*Using Plextorís unpublished Speed Down Disable. Without it, this figure drops to 24X.

 

Real World Tests

The first test uses a CD with a whopping 460 MB single data file. The file was simply copied and pasted to the hard drive. The Kenwood leaves for dead the poor Plextor SCSI drive with a more than 54% increase in speed.

Drive

460MB Xfer

Avg. Rate

Kenwood 72X

69 secís

44.4X

Plextor 40X Max

107 secís

28.7X

 

The second test uses the Windows 98SE CD. The entire disc was copied and pasted to the hard drive. Since the CD has thousands of files of various sizes, this test is a good indicator of everyday performance. Again, the 72Xíer tromps all over the Plextor by nearly 31%.

Drive

Win98SE

Avg. Rate

Kenwood 72X

245 secís

17.0X

Plextor 40X Max

320 secís

13.0X

 

Conclusion

I hear people complain that the best always costs the most and can be somewhat "fiddly" at times. While I havenít personally found the Kenwoodís Zen technology to be unreliable, I havenít been intentionally rough on the 72Xíer either. Retailing for $129 and selling on the web for a few dollars less, the Kenwood 72X TrueX drive is hands down the fastest on the planet, be it audio or data transfer rates. The nearly silent operation even at high speeds is a welcome improvement over the 15K rpm screamers that max out at 56X. This CD-ROM is so fast, Iím going to copy 650 MB data CDís to the hard drive just to watch the Zen magic happen before my own eyes. Obviously highly recommended.

William Yaple
02/28/00






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