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Creative CD-RW Blaster 6424 (Page 1/2)

Posted: August 29, 1999
Written by: David "Spunk" Grampa
Estimated retail price: $229.99


With so many transitions occurring in the computer world, it's no wonder that CD-R's and CD-RW's are included. With such things as 'internet music' (MP3's) and other large downloads blossoming, people are eager to backup or pass on their findings. The invitation of the Zip Drive and tape backups helped, but when it came down to massively supported disc media- CD's were the key. I believe it is safe for me to say that 50% of those reading this article probably want a CD-R or CD-RW, and the other 50% probably already have one. With lots on the market, it's hard to choose which is best for you. In utmost honesty, when it came down to speed, reliability, and price, I chose the Creative CD-RW Blaster 6424. Here are my views on the reason why...


  • Maximum Recording rate of 900KB/second (6X)

  • Maximum Re-Write rate of 600KB/second (4X)

  • Maximum Read rate of 3,600KB/second (24X)

  • 120ms average access time

  • 2MB buffer memory

  • Supports Digital Audio Extraction (DAE)

  • Front panel headphone jack, volume control, busy indicator, and close/eject button.

  • Internal design with front-loading tray mechanism.

  • Supports DMA (Direct Memory Access) for lower CPU utilization.

  • Horizontal and Vertical installation and operation.
Minimum System Requirements
  • 100MHz Pentium processor

  • 16MB RAM

  • 10MB Available Hard Disk Space

  • Available Enhanced IDE connector supporting DMA transfers on motherboard

  • Available half-height drive bay.

  • Microsoft Windows 95 or Windows 98
Specifications and System Requirements look pretty good. With most CD-RW's costing close to $300 dollars and only operating at write/re-write speeds of 4X, the price/performance ratio of this puppy isn't too shabby. Next, requirements are low enough that almost any computer bought within the last three years should be able to handle the drive.

One disapointment is the read rate of only 24X. Although this is standard with most CD-RW's of this time, it would be nice to see a drive capable of hitting speeds up to at least 36X... This would provide us with an all-in-one CD-Rom solution. For now, most of us will be using the CD-RW as a slave/master in conjunction with your current CD-Rom. It would be nice though, right?


Installation was only compiled of sliding in the actual drive, hooking up the power, specifying whether it is a master/slave, and putting in the IDE cable. Nothing too complex really, and with me, it was all done in under 2:23 seconds flat ;). To make this a lot shorter, installation was a breeze, and for those who need extra help there is included a 50+ page guide covering everything from installation to the software itself. To look at it in the most negative way possible, a CD filled with installation movies (such as the case with the HP 8100i) would have been nice.

Test System

  • Intel Pentium II 450MHz

  • Abit BE6 i440BX Motherboard

  • 128MB of PC100 SDRAM

  • WesternDigital ATA/66 HD

  • Diamond Stealth III S540 w/ Savage4 Pro+ (v1.02)

  • Aureal SuperQuad Vortex II Soundcard


To perform our benchmarks, we averaged data/audio writes and re-writes along with regular reads. Writes were performed at 6X (900KB/s) and re-writes were performed at the maximum of 4X (600KB/s) while reads were done at 24X (3,600KB/s). Scores were very close to the actual written speed, if not a little over (meaning better, in re-write at least). Take a look:

Mode and Rate Time - Data CD Time - Audio CD Actual Performance
Re-Write 4X (600KB/s) 18:02 17:51 600.7KB/s - 606.9KB/s
Write 6X (900KB/s) 12:26 12:04 871.3KB/s - 897.7KB/s
Read 24X (3,600KB/s) 3:15 N/A 3,333KB/s - N/A

Most CD-RW drives fail in re-write performance, but in this instance it was exactly opposite. Re-write speed was surprisingly better than the actual claim of 600KB/s, however write speed and read speed were a bit under. Overall, the performance was nice; if taken into consideration you plan on having a second regular CD-Rom. (Which is useful when directly imaging entire CD's).

Now let's get to know the actual program used to dupe, write, re-write, and whatever else the capable CD-RW can do. Its name... Nero.

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