1620 Buffer 85%-100% And Speeds Up and Down

Hey guys.

My 1620’s buffer is always fluctuating between 85% and 100% while I burn, and the burn speed will rise and fall constantly. For example, it will go up to 8x or so, then drop to 6.6x, then rise up to 11x, then drop to 8x, etc. etc.

I’m wondering if there’s something wrong, or whether these speed and buffer issues are simply related to high-speed (16x) burning?

All my discs have burned fine, btw - no problems, I’m just thinking that if my drive ran constantly at 16x with its buffer full, it would burn a little faster.

Cheers :slight_smile:

First, a few questions.

What media are you using?

What software are you burning with?

What hard drives host the source data? (Size, RPM, interface type).

You may get a few more informed replies than mine, but here’s what I know about this.

The BenQ has a unique feature that checks what it’s burning, and adjusts things, including speed, so as to keep the burn as optimal as possible for quality, not speed.

This brings the media into question. This has a considerable impact on this feature. The better media can allow the BenQ to keep burning fast, though it will seem to “pause” occasionally to double check how the burn is going. If the media is marginal, the BenQ will be attempting to keep the burn quality up as required. Other drives that don’t do this simply continue on to produce a marginal or failed result.

Now, Nero shows the drive’s buffer fluctuation - discussed a few times here, but most often NOT below 85%. A dip to 50% might actually mean that you’re starved - it might not actually show a drop to zero if it has occured - Nero doesn’t - at least not the drive’s internal buffer.

This is why I ask about the source hard drives. If they’re fast enough to supply 15-20Mbytes per second, you can handle an 8 or even 12x burn, but unless they can reach sustained 21Mbytes per second +, you could be starving the drive, causing buffer under-run stahls.

The bouncy buffer is quite normal in the 75% and higher range. Falling below halfway indicates that the drive is “starving” for data and is slowing down to save the disc.

Dont forget you need a fast computer to burn at 16x as well as UDMA enabled. If you dont have a fast computer there is no way you can burn at fast speeds.

I don’t think so. My buffer goes between 84% and 100% all the time with my two BenQ DW1620s. Also, both of my drives have their burning speeds fluctuate when burning at 16x speeds; not sure about any of the other speeds as I didn’t pay attention. Anyhow, if your discs play normally and scan/test out okay, I wouldn’t be worried about it. I think it’s normal behavior.

I have to beg to differ here…I have A64 3200@2550 with 1gb ram running a HDD on SATA with 110mg/sec bandwidth , 60mg/sec sequential…

I find with my MCC03 from Teon…I have occasional drop in the buffer to 32%…I am pretty sure it is the media…

I agree that 32% buffer levels is probably your media. My buffer never seems to fall below 84%, but I usually only use very good media. With the hardware that you mentioned, I think you’re correct about the media causing the buffer to go that low; especially if good media never causes that to happen for you.

I am pretty sure you don;t have a problem - this drive is known to have WOPC which adjusts the power during a burn to keep error low. In the process, the drive stalls for a second or so (speed dips) and then restarts writing.

my ricoh r01…4x@8x never seem to go below 84-98%…the cmc mag ae1 and mcc 003 do flucuate more…the interresting thing with the mcc03…the dip occurs early in the burn not when it is speeding up to 12x…and there is generally nothing on the nero scans in this region…

I wish I was able to get some of the nice BB TDK…to test and confirm this…

my MCC03 from teon…seem to be porrer quality than other MCC003

Thanks for replying guys - you know your stuff!

Here are the specs on my computer:

MSI K7D Master-L
Dual Athlon XP 2600+
2 x 512mb Samsung PC3200
3 drive - 120gb, 160gb, 80gb - all with 8mb buffer and 7200RPM

The only media I’ve used so far are BenQ discs - both +R and -R.

The comments you guys noted about the drive slowing down to ensure a proper burn is very comforting, and impressive! Again, I’m having no problems with the discs, I was only hoping that I could get a steady 16x burn speed, to burn faster :slight_smile:

Maharg, as others mentioned already, your drive is completely normal. The slowing downs are actually WOPC-II adjusting the power and speed burn. Here’s some info from the web

Unlike other drives which preset the writing power before the actual writing of data, the WOPC II (Walking Optimal Power Control II) algorithm constantly evaluates writing quality and adjusts the writing power accordingly in order to ensure optimal writing quality over the entire disc.
Regarding steady 16x speed, yes I want that too! :iagree: But technically it’s impossible, because of the structure of media/disk, our burner starts (from inner ring) at 5-7x and speed increases toward the end (outer ring).

Fabulous guys - thank you so much for educating me about my drive! :slight_smile: