Liteon 12102b Review
12X Record, 10X Re-write &
40X Max Reading Data Transfer Rate
CAV1 Average access time is 120 ms (typical)
Access all format CD-ROM , CD-R , CD-RW title
Conforms to Orange Book Part 2, 3 & Volume
2 : High Speed
Vibration Absorber System (VAS)® to reduce
vibration & noise
Super Link® technology to avoid Buffer Under
Standard ATAPI/E-IDE interface supporting DMA,
Plug & Play ready ;
Emergency manual eject
Supporting DOS, Win 3.1/95/98/2000/NT 4.0 ,
Compliant with PC99
Media condition check & Data verifying function
I don't normally do reviews for CDRs but I came
across the 12x10x40 drive. It is supposed
To be much better than the 12x10x32 and 16x10x40
models and there was very little review on
the net of this particular model (12102B).
Liteon is a little known Taiwanese company, to
quote their web site "Established in 1995,
Lite-On has now become the world's top three CD-ROM
drive manufacturer and Taiwan No.1 supplier. Lite-On
is trying to expand its success to other product
lines: DVD-ROM drives, CD-RW drives and much more".
They have a 12x10x32 IDE CD writer and a 16x10x40
model also on the market, these however are said
to be nothing special but are cheap and reliable.
They also make their own drives unlike many manufacturers.
Is this drive any good? We shall see.
What it comes with
The drive comes with 1 CDR 74 min. 1 CDRW 74
min, Nero Burning ROM
Version 126.96.36.199. 1 Audio Cable and mounting screws.
The manual is more of leaflet and is
The front of the drive has a sticker of the URL
of the very poor website (not shown here):
At back of the drive you will find the usual
connectors, jumpers for making the drive a Master/Slave,
the SPDIF output connector, 3 jumpers which are
not used and analogue / digital output connectors.
Its an IDE drive so installing is no problem,
I just set the jumper to master
and connected it as secondary Master. Put the
IDE cable and Analogue digital output to my soundcard.
I booted into Windows 98 and went to system properties
to check if everything was OK.
Here you can see its FIRMWARE revision is NS1H
(and it was Manufactured in April 2001).
In the above you can see the 8MB Buffer and the
burn proof feature which NERO detects successfully.
Also you can see that overburning is supported
and so is CD-TEXT.
First I checked the DAE speed:
As you can see it was a reasonable 15-16 Speed
Next I checked the quality of Audio Extraction:
The DAE was perfect with 0 errors. Unlike the
The drive supports reading 99mins CD but only
up to around 83mins. I tried a simulated burn
with CDSPEED and it burnt up to 94mins... but
when actually writing it failed and didnt even
start at x1. Strange, because the simulation passed
and it failed in the actual write. I think LITEON
needs to make modifications to the firmware, go
PSX & DREAMCAST
I tried to some Playstation and Dreamcast backups
to see how it handled them. Some drives have problems
with 300 block tracks which are needed to create
selfbootable Dreamcast console games. I saw no
such problems with this drive. It also had no
problem with backing up Playstation CDs.
C2 Error Information
Taken from EAC web site:
What is C2? A: On all CD-ROM media are at least
two levels of error correction, called C1 and
C2. If both fail, the output is probably not correct
anymore. Most drives are not able to report if
audio reads failed or not, so each block had to
be read twice and be compared to make sure that
everything is fine. But some newer drives are
able to report if C1/C2 failed on specific samples
on a read, making it possible to read only once
and see if a read error occured. But there is
still a problem, as some drives do not report
these errors correctly, so you should test it
thoroughly before trusting the results.
As you can see it doesn't cache Audio which is
a good thing.
Also it has an accurate stream and it can report
C2 Error Information. This
Using the latest version of CLONE CD, I checked
the capabilities of the drive:
As you can see it supports RAW DAO, RAW+SUB,
RAW SAO and SAO modes. This is the best possible
set for writing protected CDs.
Also (are available unlike ACER drives):
Can Read SubChannel Data from Data Tracks: YES
Can Read SubChannel Data from Audio Tracks: YES
SAFEDISK 2 TEST
SAFEDISK 2 is currently the only protection system
that's effective in preventing copied CDs from
being cloned successfully. It uses a defect in
the chipsets of most CD writers.
I tried to copy BLACK & WHITE which has a
good implementation of This protection system.
The Backup worked in the CD Writer as well As
a Toshiba SD1502 and an old TEAC drive.
I also tried to copy EMPEROR BATTLE FOR DUNE
which is rumoured to be even harder to copy. The
copy failed, but I retried at a slower speed and
it was successful.
(Why else do you think I reviewed this drive
? : ) )
The drive is great for the price, £80.00
in the UK. It can copy SAFEDISK 2 successfully
Without applying any patches. The DAE ripping
speed whilst not the fastest is reasonable at
15 speed, its perfect quality as well. Its also
a very quiet drive. Its reasonable fast at reading
protected CDs. It has a massive 8MB buffer.
Some of the bad points are that it failed to
recognise some CDRs that had been written with
another burner, whereas the Toshiba 1502 had no
problems. I think that the firmware needs tweaking
a bit. Its also picky at writing at full speed,
example for the most part it will write on almost
any media but the speed with which you can write
on will vary and you have to experiment at what
speed to burn certain media. For example TDK DVIEW
media are certified for speeds upto x12 but the
Liteon will only give a reliable burn at x10.
If you verify the disk which has been burnt at
x12 it will have read errors!
LITEONs web site is also one of the worst sites
you can find from a CD Drive manufacturer and
Theres no information on the site about this drive,
instead its hidden on the site:
(The page has been removed.)
The 32x speed version of this drive is out now.
When I wrote this review back in July, Liteon
were unknown and now 6 months later they are one
of the biggest CD drive manufacturers. You shouldn't
have any problems finding it now.
Most software fails to recognise that it has
Burnproof and so if you use anything but NERO
you cant use the feature. (CDRWIN4 detects all
features correctly and with some registry tweaking
InstantVOB does as well). Update:
Otherwise well worth the money.
9.0 / 10
Where To Buy
Its a difficult drive to find so here are some
places to buy it from:
Last Updated: 20 Jan 2002