AOpen COM5232 Combo Drive Review
burner has quietly revolutionized the way people move and store data. While most PC's still come with 3-1/2"
floppy drives, they're a relic of the past. Most people seem to agree that it's about time
we did away with floppy drives altogether given their paltry, 1.44MB storage
themselves have stayed pretty much the same since they were first released en masse in
the late 90's. Sure they've gotten a whole lot faster and now many come with
buffer underrun protection, but in essence they do the same thing. Optical media too,
has pretty much stayed predominantly the same; CD-R/RW discs still come in 74/80 minute lengths, or 650/700MB flavors. While
there are a few higher capacity CD's on the market, they've never really taken
off for a variety of availability and compatibility reasons.
In any event, in this review, PCstats.com is testing the new AOpen
COM5232 CD-RW/DVD combo drive. The AOpen COM5252 is capable of burning CD-R
media at 52x speeds and CD-RW media at 32x. Reading CD-ROM material hums along
at 52x, and the drive can also read DVD's at 16x. Combo drives are generally
great for those who need the storage capacity of a CD burner and the ability to
read DVD's at the same time. As a bonus, the Aopen com5232 also comes with
removeable face plates so you can mix with your case.
5232 combo drive is rather plain looking, but I like it because it's not
gimmicky (no flashing lights!). For those of you with a nice old beige or black
case, AOpen include three face plates with combo drive. The first is shown
above, snow white in colour, the next is beige, which gre at for old PC's and
there is also one that is jet black.
Measuring in at 19cm
long, the Aopen com5232 drive is standard size, so take care when installing the writer
into a SFF PC. The rear of the COM5232 drive looks like any other
normal optical device, on the very left is a six pin header of unknown function,
next is the two pin digital output, the four pin analog output,
Master/Slave/Cable Select header, IDE port and finally the molex power
The AOpen 5232 combo is compatible with all the
regular writing methods, Packet writing, TAO (Track at Once), DAO (Disc at Once), SAO (Session at Once),
Multisession, Variable Packet Writing and Fixed packet writing
All modern drives can be mounted vertically or horizontally,
and the AOpen 5232 Combo achieves this by mounting clips inside the tray of
the drive. Users will be happy to hear that the drive is virtually silent even
when reading data CD's! That's definitely welcome news to anyone who's used a loud
CD-ROM, and knows how annoying they can be.