Mitsumi CR-480ATE


First let’s have a look at the drive specifications as listed on the Mitsumi website:

Drive Specifications:

  • Supported formats: CD-DA, CD-ROM (Mode 1 and 2), CD ROM XA (Mode 2, Form 1 and 2), Enhanced CD, Photo CD (read only), CD Text, Video CD
  • Recording methods: Disk at once, Session at once, Track at once, Multisession, Packet Writing
  • Supported sizes: CDs with 8 and 12 cm diameter
  • Interface: IDE/EIDE
  • Transfer rates read: CAV Max 40x Speed 2.400 to 6.000 Kb/sec (P-CAV)
  • Transfer rates write: CD-R, 16-32x Speed 2.400 to 4.800 Kb/sec (Zone-CLV), CD-RW, 12x Speed 1.800 Kb/sec (CLV)
  • Burst transfer rates: IDE 16 Bit PIO Mode: 16,6 MB/sec, Multiword DMA Mode: 16,6 MB/sec, Ultra DMA Mode: 33.0 MB/sec
  • Data Transfer Mode: PIO: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4; DMA: 0, 1, 2 (Multiword), Ultra DMA0: 1, 2
  • Access time: Random Access: 84 ms typical, Full stroke: 135 ms typical (00:02.00 – 60:00.00)
  • Data buffer: 16 Megabyte
  • Audio: out 770 mVrms at 1 kHz, Headphones out 470 mVmrs at 1 kHz, Volume control left and right possible via software
  • Reliability: MTBF >50 000 POH min, Disc Load/Eject10 000 Cycles min, Seek 2 000 000 Stroke (12cm Disc Full Stroke)
  • Dimensions: 148 x 42 x 210 mm (w x h x d)
  • Weight: 1,05 kg
  • Power supply: DC +5V Peak Current: 1.29 Max: Seek Mode 16-24x CLV Full Stroke, DC +12V Peak Current1.29 Max Seek Mode 16-24x CLV Full Stroke
  • Ambient conditions: Temperature: +5° bis +40° Celsius, Air humidity: 10 bis 80%, non-condensing

The first thing that caught our eye was the huge buffer size of 16MB (other 24x recorders only use 2-4MB). According to
Mitsumi this will most of all benefit audio freaks:

…it is the combination between the Buffer-Underrun-Protection-System ExacLink and the 16 Mbytes cache which is truly
outstanding. This combination makes CD writing extremely reliable, as it avoids the burning process being interrupted which
would result in the process being aborted. Audio freaks benefit enormously from the large cache. It is critical for
high-quality music productions that every track or the entire CD is “lasered” without interruptions. This is only possible
with a very generous cache, such as the cache provided by the new writer.

Write Method:

Next we will take a look at which writing methods the Mitsumi uses to write CD-R’s. We used
Nero CD Speed
to do a test write. Below you can see the produced graph:

Zone-Constant Linear Velocity Writing

The green line indicates the writing speed.
The yellow line indicates the rotation speed (rpm) of the CD-R.

In the graph you can clearly see that the Mitsumi CR-480ATE uses 4 zones to write the disc:

  • Zone 1: 16x, then at 2 minute mark the write speed shifts to
  • Zone 2: 20x, then at 12 minute mark the write speed shifts to
  • Zone 3: 24x, then finally at 38 minute mark the write speed shifts to
  • Zone 4: 32x and remains at this speed until the end of the disc is reached.

Zone-Constant Linear Velocity
Wring in zones is known as Z-CLV (Zone-Constant Linear Velocity). Z-CLV is used to reduce
the rotation speed of the CD-R inside the recorder and thus reducing noise and stress on the drive mechanism. During switching
writing speeds, the drive’s buffer underrun technique (ExacLink in this case) takes over preventing buffer underruns.

Writing speeds
Because the drive switches between writing speeds and doesn’t start writing at 32x the average speed is lower than 32x.
In this case the average writing speed with a 74min/650MB CD-R is 26.26x (see the picture on the left).

An increase of about 3.5x compared to the 24x recorders we have previously reviewed: the Waitec MEGALUS (22.70x),
the Lite-On 24102B (22.75x) and the Plextor PX-W2410A (22.76x).

Please note that when doing the same tests with a 80min/700MB CD-R these speeds will be more apart.


Let’s have a look how Nero Burning Rom version identifies the drive and its supported features:

Nero Burning Rom information

As you can see Nero Burning Rom reports the huge 16MB buffer, the ExacLink Anti-Coaster Technology and Firmware 1.0C.
Besides that Nero also reports that the drive can handle the “Mount Rainier” format:


Mount Rainier:

Mount Rainier
“…Mount Rainier enables native OS support of data storage on CD-RW. This makes the technology far easier to use
and allows the replacement of the floppy. This is done by having defect management in the drive, by making the
drive 2k addressable, by using background formatting, and by standardizing both command set and physical layout.
The new standard is promoted by Compaq, Microsoft, Philips, and Sony and is supported by over 40 industry leaders:
OS vendors, PC-OEM’s, ISV’s, chip makers, and media makers.

The purpose of the proposal made by the Mount Rainier group is to make CD-RW easier to use for data storage and
interchange. The changes proposed will enable the operating system support of dragging and dropping data to CD-RW
discs. Formatting delays will also be eliminated and the use will be comparable to using a hard disk or a floppy…”


Above is still something for the future but if the Mount Rainier format will become a success it’s great that the
Mitsumi CR-480ATE already supports it.

Now let’s have a look at how CloneCD identifies the drive and its capabilities:

CloneCD information
As you can see from the CloneCD and the Nero Burning Rom reports, the Mitsumi drive supports DAO-RAW and the reading and
writing of the full 96 bytes of SubChannel Data (needed for CD Text and some copy protections).

Now for the basic write tests…