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QPS Que! Fire External CD-RW 16x10x40 Review - PAGE 4

- Thursday, April 26th, 2001 Like Share

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IanCDRLabs Apr 26, 01
I'm wondering how you can compare the results from the Plextor to the Que! Fire when they weren't even tested on the same machine.

Plextor Hardware:
OS: Windows 95 SE
CPU: AMD Duron 800 Socket A
Mobo: MSI KT7 Pro2-A
RAM: 128 MB Micron PC133 RAM
Video Card: Hercules 3d Prophet 2 MX
Hard Drive: 30 GB IBM Deskstar 75 GXP, Ultra ATA-100
CD-ROM: Generic 32x CD-ROM
CD-RW: Plextor PX-W1610TA

Que! Fire Hardware:
CPU: AMD Duron 700MHz
Mobo(s): Asus A7V rev1.1
RAM: 128MB Micron PC133 RAM
Video Card: Asus V7100T Geforce2 MX 32MB
HDD: 20Gb IBM Deskstar 75GXP 7200rpm, Ultra ATA-100
CD-ROM: Creative 52X CD-ROM

While these hardware configurations are close.. 100mhz difference is CPU, same chipset, etc.. there are of course subtle differences. Enough to generate almost a minute of difference in some of your performance tests.

I enjoyed the review up to that point. The scores are misleading. If you do not want your reviewers to rescore the drives they're using in the comparison on their own test systems, you should at least the reader know that the scores they are seeing are not from that computer.

Ian Sadkovich
CDRLabs.com Hardware Editor

This message was edited by IanCDRLabs on Apr 26 2001.

This message was edited by IanCDRlabs on Oct 03 2001.
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Samson Apr 26, 01
I think this might have to do with there being two different people reviewing the two units. Still, I agree with you, there needs to be some standard in this.
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Redemption Apr 26, 01
I don't think the intention of the author was to mislead the reader. In fact, because Daryl has reviewed nearly every optical device for us so far, this is more an oversight based on assumption (ie: the assumption the drive was run on the same hardware). We should have been more careful, but there's no use in trying to make excuses now. I've added a statement to warn readers about the different configurations of the test systems. And while that's inadequate as a "patch", at least, as you say, it warns the readers!
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IanCDRLabs Apr 26, 01
Please don't take what I said that I was accusing you of misleading the reader. I know you weren't. The data was a little misleading but I know that was not anyones intent.
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dgrant Apr 26, 01
Thanks for your comments Ian, they are definitely founded. When I wrote the review I was concious of the fact that the two test systems were different and only let it pass because the configurations were very similar.

Just so it is clear, the "Windows 95 SE" for the Plextor test system is actually Win98SE, that is a typo. The two significant differences are of course the mobo and CPU. I was fairly certain that the test scores would be little affected by these differences, although in the name of true empirical results these differences mean everything.

To dispose of the idea that I was trying to mislead anyone, this is certainly not the case. If it were, I would have fudged the system configs to hide any discrepancies.

As I don't like leaving loose ends untied, I will rescore the drive on the same system the Plextor drive was tested on and will post the results for everyone to see.

I appreciate your watchful eye, Ian, and I will be sure to keep test data more pure from here on out.

This message was edited by dgrant on Apr 26 2001.
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philm Apr 26, 01
Just as a quick point on this one, the Duron 800 is currently out of order to to an unfortunate die-cracking incident; when we get a new Duron in we can get the new numbers. I'm curious as to how much the faster CPU will affect scores on this one, though.

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Chris Apr 30, 01
A word or two about the firewire interface... it's not so much the difference between IDE and firewire - the Que drives (along with every other drive I can think of out there) aren't "firewire native" drives, but IDE drives with a firewire-to-IDE bridge. As the bridges get better (or, heavens forfend, someone make a firewire native drive!), speed should increase. There was a revision to the bridges being used in the Firewire hard drive cases in the last few weeks, and it made a pretty big difference. It would be interesting to see what the revised bridge would do for a CD burner.

There's also quite a bit of variation between Firewire cards, so even though you don't usually have to include that in the specs, it might not be a bad idea for this type of review.
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IanCDRLabs Apr 30, 01
I agree. When I took a look at this drive the bridge had a very high overhead when doing DAE. The Plex it's based on did DAE at 40x.. the Que had a maximum of 27x.

QPS said it was the bridge.. I'm hoping future versions of the drive have a bridge that doesn't inhibit DAE.
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Entity May 4, 01
Hi all,

We've added a Page 4 to the article to display Daryl's Benchmark update which he tested the drive on both the Aten & Belkin Firewire cards he had on hand. He addresses the difference between the internal Plextor & the External QPS drive, now that the systems were the same. Have a look at the results:


Edited for change in URL

This message was edited by Entity on May 04 2001.
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CID May 5, 01
Hello everyone,

I read the article and as I'm on the verge of bying a new system probably w/ an external CR-RW drive 'cos I'll have a lot of fun stuff in the case aleady. The acrticle caught my attention 'cos I was kinda goin' for Plextor's own external 12x10x32-S. Now, I know it's not as fast as the Que! but 'ahelofalot cuter!'(at least that's my opinion)
and it has an UltraSCSI Plug&Play interface. How does this drive compare to an (hypothetical or not) external "12x10x32" FireWire drive?

Thanks for your replies!!!
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snn47 May 26, 01
Since the performance of the IDE drives are known it would be important to test the interface-performance and describe them in detail, because with a different interface in the case performance can differ drastically.

There are different version of Interfaces/-chips available from different firms (TI, Lucent ...) and to what I've read as a remark different generation, but could not get detailed info which ones are newer.

In HKG and SIN I saw empty IEEE1394 cases for support of IDE-drives made in Taiwan and even Snazzi and Maxtor offer them now.

IMHO the focus should be on the IDE-IEEE1394 interface using a fast HDD reference drive for comparison on the interface to verify its performance, do the same for the actual drive on a 100 controller and then compare it as a set otherwise the review is just a snapshot that may not be reproduceable.

Sony Vaio ILink, Maxtor ext. 80GB HDD with IEEE1394.
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mooseb01 Oct 2, 01
Their customer service sucks....

I have had the Que!Fire for about 5 months. The first few months it has been working like a charm.

Then on the fifth month I started having problems.
1-it doesn't recognize that i am placing a recordable CD.
2-I get errors while recording and it ruins the CD.
3-Customer service...

The customer service took me about 2 weeks to get in touch with. I have sent many emails with no reply. I have called and left on hold for hours.
and today I have finally gotten through. They tell me that that I have to send them the CDRW to them and they have to test it before they send me a new one. Not only that they said that I have to pay for shipping. I think this is insane. Not only did I buy the product for $399.99 and get a 1 year warrenty, now they want me to pay for shipping?

The Que!Fire 16x10x40x Is a great drive but only until something goes wrong.
I do not recommend this product.
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Dosey Oct 3, 01
I'm having an 2 issues with my laptop and the Que! Fire CDRW. 1. It seems to burn a CD but when I go to close the session, it locks up. 2. All of a sudden windows error message pops up and tells me that I have illegally disconnected my drive (when I hadn't touched it or bumped it).

I've tried reloading newest drivers for CDRW, OS, PCMCIA card and nothing seems to work. Any suggestions?
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calinka Oct 21, 01
When I ran the price comparison, the lowest price found ($199) came with the caveat "No controller card". Is this a problem? I use a Mac G4 single processor. Should I hold out for one that actually comes with a controller card? Can you tell that I've never bought a CD-RW before?

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