Lite-On 40/12/48X CD-RW


Writing tests

Here we will do several write transfer tests with Nero Burning ROM and CloneCD and compare the results to other drives with similar specifications. Due to the lack of 40X certified media in Norway we did not have any available for this review. What we did was to try out different types of media with lower speed certifications and these found two types of discs that will be used for this review as they worked without any problems at 40X writing:

80min disc: Memorex 24X certified.

  • ATIP: 97m 32s 19f
  • Disc Manufacturer: Prodisc Technology Inc.
  • Reflective layer: Dye (Short strategy; e.g. Phthalocyanine)
  • Media type: CD-Recordable
  • Recording Speeds: min. unknown – max. unknown
  • Nominal Capacity: 702.83MB (79m 59s 74f / LBA: 359849)

For the 48X test this 80min media was used:

PC-Line 24X certified 80min:

  • ATIP: 97m 26s 66f
  • Disc Manufacturer: CMC Magnetics Corp.
  • Reflective layer: Dye (Short strategy; e.g. Phthalocyanine)
  • Media type: CD-Recordable
  • Recording Speeds: min. unknown – max. unknown
  • Nominal Capacity: 702.83MB (79m 59s 74f / LBA: 359849)

74min disc: Acer multispeed:

  • ATIP: 97m 22s 66f
  • Disc Manufacturer: Acer Media Technology, Inc.
  • Reflective layer: Dye (Short strategy; e.g. Phthalocyanine)
  • Media type: CD-Recordable
  • Recording Speeds: min. unknown – max. unknown
  • Nominal Capacity: 653.76MB (74m 25s 00f / LBA: 334725)

Let us start with Nero burning ROM. The compilation had 79minutes and 55 seconds with data. The disc was made with these settings: Disc-At-Once write method and Finalize CD checked. This gave us this result in Nero when writing at 40X:

The result from the Lite-On LTR-40125S with ZS0A firmware. The drive used 3 minutes and 25 seconds to write the disc. Let us see if the ZS0J firmware makes the drive faster:

Here is the result from the Lite-On LTR-40125S with ZS0J firmware. It was able to write the disc in 3 minutes and 7 seconds, this is 18 seconds less time. Not much, but hey, the firmware upgrade costs nothing ;~)

But when writing at 48X with the overclocked LTR-48125W drive then?

Writing at 48X brought the total write time down even some seconds more to a total time of 2 minutes and 38 seconds! Whoa, now that is impressive, in fact it’s writing at nearly the same speed as it is reading at. Will be hard to find a drive that could deliver data fast enough to write on the fly with this drive

Then we used CloneCD to make an image of the disc we just created with Nero to get the exact same size. Then we wrote the disc with both firmware versions and here is the results:

CloneCD used 3 minutes and 12 seconds to write the disc with LTR-40125S and firmware ZS0A.

And it used 2 minutes and 58 seconds to write the discs with LTR-40125S and firmware ZS0J. This is 14 seconds less time compared to with ZS0A, not a large difference but it’s a difference that you get for free with a firmware upgrade…

And let us include the write time from CloneCD & LTR-48125W when writing at 48X:

2 minutes and 34 seconds, not bad, definitively not bad.

Now that we have seen the write times let us compare the result with several other drives. All tests was done with Nero burning ROM with Disc-At-Once write method and finalize CD checked.

With firmware ZS0J it was the overall fastest drive of all the tested 40X drive at nearly all tested speeds. With firmware ZS0A the TEAC CD-W540E still have a small lead. We can only conclude with that the LTR-40125S with firmware ZS0J is the fastest 40X drive we have reviewed so far! As expected the LTR-48125W is the fastest drive since it’s rated for 48X writing, but as we se, there is a difference between firmware VS02 and VS06. But let us also create a music disc to see if writing mode 2 data makes any difference to the write times.

Writing music:

For this test we filled a CD with 21 songs with a total playtime of 79 minutes and 53 seconds. We also enabled CD-TEXT writing. The songs was converted directly from MP3 files to wav files on the fly while writing. We used the usual options while writing, Disc-At-Once and Finalize CD checked. Here is the results:

The result with Lite-On LTR-40125S with firmware ZS0A, it used 3 minutes and 20 seconds to create the disc.

And this is the result for the Lite-On LTR-40125S with firmware ZS0J, it used 3 minutes and 8 seconds to create the disc.

Notice that the disc we created with the LTR-48125W was a few seconds shorter so you may add a few seconds more to the total recording time. But 2 minutes and 41 seconds is in no aspect a bad result.

Compared to normal data writing there was no noticeable difference in time used for creating the disc. Many CD-Writers writes audio at lower speeds than maximum speed, but the Lite-On did not have this limitation. It wrote the discs at full speed. Is audio discs created at such high speeds really good enough? It much depends on the media used and the player that are going to play the created discs. While we had no problems with the created audio discs in the two standalone CD-Players we tested we may not guarantee that this will be the result for everybody. So we recommend trying different types of media or recording speeds to find out what’s the best combination of media and speed for your needs.

But while we are at it, why not take a check to see if CD-TEXT works? Since we have already created two audio discs containing CD-TEXT. For this test we used a small CD-Player that supports showing CD-TEXT.

Both the created discs worked as they should in the LTR-40125S with both firmware ZS0A and ZS0J.

And it detected all the tracks with the correct names also.


The drive is extremely fast at writing both Audio and data discs. It outperforms all other drives we have tested when we use the ZS0J firmware for the drive. And all discs seem to work as they should, and CD-TEXT works. Also when overclocked to a LTR-48125W the drive performs excellent although a bit faster with firmware VS02 compared to firmware VS06.

But speed is not important compared to write quality, so continue to next page to read about write quality…