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Kenwood 52x TrueX CD-ROM drive

The Kenwood 52x TrueX CD-ROM drive is the second drive from Kenwood that showcases the TrueX technology developed by Zen Research. With a technique that calls for multiple tracks being read in parallel, consistent high-rate transfers are delivered across the CD without the high-speed vibration normally associated with CAV techniques.

If I were to describe the 52x TrueX in one word, it would be "faster." The 52x TrueX seems to do everything that the 40x TrueX drive did, only faster. In appearance, the two drives are identical, save for the "Powered by ZEN" graphic being printed on the front panel, versus a decal. Once again, careful system planning is a must if you want to get the most performance out of the EIDE drive.

The same overclocked Celeron system was used for the 52x TrueX testing. Real-world file copies were even faster than the 40x TrueX, with the 553,008 KB Brood War file copying over in a minute and 17 seconds. This comes out to 7 MB/sec, or the equivalent of a 48x speed. I also performed the same test with a CD-R copy of the same disc which matched the time within a second or two.

Interestingly enough, digital audio extraction took place a little slower with the 52x TrueX compared to the 40x TrueX. Where the 40x TrueX consistently delivered jitter-free 12x performance, the 52x TrueX achieved about 10.5x on the same discs. Other reviews I have read seem to be in-line with my observation.Spindown once again is not a factor, with the 52x TrueX being as well-mannered as the 40x TrueX.

The 52x TrueX is an excellent way to follow-up the equally astounding 40x TrueX. The TrueX technology is definitely the real thing, and it should be interesting to see how it fares when applied to the world of DVD-ROM drives. I can't stress enough though that as with all EIDE devices, performance is best achieved with as few devices as possible, or careful configuration. A SCSI version of the 52x TrueX is also supposed to be available which would eliminate those problems. Bottom line, even if you mainly use your CD-ROM drive to load software, you should seriously consider having one of these drives at your disposal.

 

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