LK-MC686BP EIDE/ATAPI internal CD-ROM
By Dan Seoane
Panasonic Computer Peripheral's new internal CD-ROM drive, the Panasonic
LK-MC686BP EIDE/ATAPI, adds the
capacity to read CD-read/write (CD-RW) and slowly closes the performance
gap between CD-ROMs and hard drives,
making CD-ROM technology more practical for database and multiuser
purposes. By leveraging constant angular velocity,
Panasonic has produced a superfast 24-speed drive with an 85-millisecond
average seek time.
When compared to a 12-speed Enhanced IDE (EIDE) CD-ROM drive, the Panasonic
drive transferred data nearly 3 minutes
faster. It performed the same task only about 1 minute slower than a SCSI
hard drive. The Panasonic drive boasts an
impressive maximum transfer rate of 4,104Kbps (in mode 2 with
error-correcting code off and 2,336 bytes per sector).
The drive supports CD-ROM (type 2) and CD-RW, as well as CD audio using the
line-out or headphone jack. Panasonic
includes drivers for DOS, Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows NT 3.51, and
OS/2 Warp 3.0.
I installed the Panasonic drive on my 166-MHz Pentium-based Windows NT 4.0
server as the slave EIDE CD-ROM, using
my 12-speed EIDE CD-ROM as the primary. To test the unit, I used an Earth
Science Photograph CD from the U.S.
Geological Survey Library that contains 2,107 files and 593MB of data. I
timed how long it took to transfer the data to my
Ultra Wide SCSI drive.
seconds. From my 12-speed EIDE CD-ROM, it
took a much more tedious 9 minutes and 4 seconds. Copying the same data
from one directory to another on my Ultra Wide
SCSI hard drive took exactly 5 minutes.
Panasonic offers a two-year limited warranty and 24-hour technical support
seven days a week with the drive. It plans to offer
a SCSI version of the drive in July.
Panasonic's 24-speed CD-ROM drive makes CD-ROM technology more appealing
for everyday use.
Panasonic Computer Peripheral Co., Secaucus, N.J.; (800) 742-8086;
http://www.panasonic.com/alive; EIDE: $199,
SCSI: $209 (estimated street price).