Summary

Our Score

8/10

Review Price free/subscription

It doesn’t stop there however as MSI offers a rich feature set with support for Mt Rainier, SuperLink buffer under run protection and a 2MB buffer, ABS (Anti-Bumping System) vibration protection, SoftBurn noise reduction, and MSI’s MiniForm short drive length. The final feature is the somewhat tackily named MSI Flash Eyes which is the LED behind the eject button on the drive that flashes in different colours and patterns depending on what you are doing. Reading a disc results in a blue LED flashing and in standby it stays lit. When you write a CD the LED changes to green to indicate this. The standard read speed of the drive is set to 40-speed, as this keeps noise and vibration down to a minimum, but by pressing and holding the eject button down for 3 seconds, you can increase it to 52-speed. This is reset when you eject the CD.

None of the features of the CR52 are uncommon in modern CD writers but MSI has included every possible feature you could want. The shortened drive length is especially handy if you’re building a small form factor PC as it gives you an extra centimetre or so of space behind the drive. This makes it easier to fit all your cables in the tight spaces found inside an SFF chassis.

There isn’t much in the box in terms of accessories, but you do get mounting screws, an audio cable and a copy of Nero with InCD, all of which is acceptable but hardly exhilarating. An IDE cable would have been a nice inclusion, but I presume that MSI is trying to keep the cost of the unit down.

In terms of performance, the CR52 is blisteringly fast but as I mentioned earlier, there is little reason to upgrade to a faster drive purely for the speed increase as you’ll only save around 20-30 seconds compared to a 40 or 48-speed drive. However burning a single 700MB file took a mere two minutes and 38 seconds, so if you have an older CD writer you’ll see vast improvements. The remaining tests where performed equally fast and writing a full CD-RW disc took a very reasonable three minutes and nine seconds.

So is the MSI CR52 worth buying? I would say yes, at least if you’re looking for a drive that you can colour match to your case without having to resort to a can of spray paint. The performance is impressive, while the price of £27.60 inc VAT makes it good value as well.

Verdict

The MSI CR52 is a fast drive that has all the features you could want at a good price. This drive is ideal for those who want to colour coordinate their PC or if you want a bit more room inside your small form factor system.

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