MSI CR52-A2 CD-RW drive

There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but the virtually free CD-RW drive comes closer to reality each month. Retailing for $115, the MSI CR52-A2 astounds with its top-of-the-range specifications. Promising 52/52/24-speed read/write/rewrite rates, only the Asus CRW-5224A can match the MSI on figures.

When CDs are spinning this quickly some advanced technology is required and the range of features goes far beyond the almost-obligatory BurnProof facilities (designed to guard against buffer underruns). AWSS, for example, cuts out unnecessary vibration, while the Exact-Rec technology chooses the right writing mode for the occasion. Other highlights include the 2MB data buffer and upgradable firmware.

The MSI is a cinch to use. The installation routine is standard and the drive connects to the PC through an EIDE cable. Printed instructions aren’t always included with drives (especially at this price), but MSI provides both diagrams and a quick installation guide.

Nero is a popular burning software package -- and rightly so. Its self-explanatory user interface, helpful wizards and consistent performance place it ahead of the competition.

In terms of speed the Asus CRW-5224A remains the top performer. However, the MSI took just one minute 58 seconds to burn our 350MB CD-R test -- that’s just seven seconds behind the Asus. Move to CD-RWs and the results were no less impressive, with the drive requiring three minutes one second to finish the test.

In brief: MSI CR52-A2
Light on price but heavy on features, the MSI CR52-A2 is a strong contender and justifiably takes a Gold award this month. The Asus may be faster, but the difference is small. Whether you’re a first-timer looking to sample the delights of CD burning or an old hand wanting to bring dated technology into the year 2003, this drive is the perfect fit.
Price: $115
MSI Computer
Phone: (02) 9748 0070

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robin Morris

PC Advisor
Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >


Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?