Are Staples 8x +R (CMC-E01) any good?

Just got back from Staples and found some old style 8X +R dvdrs.

DVD Identifier says they are CMC E01.

Are these any good?

(one of my burners is an NEC-3500a with stock firmware 2.1.6; also have a Plextor PX-740 (rebadged Benq 1640).

Some was pretty good for CMC. Not top quality media though.

Which Staples CMC was the stuff people thought burned really well in NEC burners?

AE01? Other?

My Staples also had a bunch of 8X +R and -R (all MIT); no 16X as advertised, but still on sale. Bought a spindle for the $7.98 sale price and they took the $5.00 off coupon, so $2.98 + sales tax. Below is a scan of a movie backup; burned at 12X on an NEC 3500 with Liggy & Dee’s 2.TG firmware. Not too shabby for $0.06 apiece media.

Will go back later in the week to see if they have any 16X out.

I have an NEC-3500a with stock firmware 2.1.6.

Do you think those 8X +R CMC-E01 are worthwhile at $7.98 or $5 or $3, depending on coupon or ink cartridge applied?

YES, they burn well in NEC drives as well as the Benq 1640, and the 8x discs are either better quality or have better firmware support than their 16x discs, so it’s just as well to get the 8x discs.

I read another posting (while searching for E01) that someone said these burn and scan well, but that he often still had corrupt files.

Is this an isolated incident or have you heard of other similar reports?

Also, any comments on the longevity of these disks? (other burner is a Mashita DVDRW in a recent Apple Intel iMac and a standalone combined VHS/DVD burner made by Panasonic)

Completely isolated, regardless of media. To have a good scan and yet get corrupt files is very odd. I have burned hundreds of these, never an issue. I have used a few of the Staples brand and hundreds of other brands and deterioration has never been an issue. Burn them, scan them at the time of the burn to ensure a decent burn, and store them properly and they’ll be fine.


I think Panasonic (Matshita) was part of the -R consortium. True?

If so, any chance those Staples 8X -R might be a good choice for them?

I don’t know, the Staples 8x CMC AE1 have worked fine for me. They aren’t the best AE1 discs I’ve used, but the results have been good nonetheless (PIF totals around 700-1000). I seem to get slightly better results with the +R E01 overall, but some drives can burn AE1 extremely well (LG 4163 is one example). No harm in giving them a try, just burn one at 8x and run a PI/PIF quality scan of the burned disc in your Benq (use Nero CD-DVD Speed, test at 8x).

Thanks again!

While CMC gets a bad rap amongst some here, I have over 300 burned E1’s that are over a year old. They all play will no problems at all on my standalone and 2 drives—unlike the crap GQ discs from Fry’s that were all dead after 1 year.

So to sum it up, after 1.3 years after the burn, my CMC media hasn’t shown major degradation to the point of it being non-playable. So far so good. I wouldn’t recommend using them over TY’s or Verbs but when they are this cheap, I’d buy them and use for long term archiving without much worries.

Is this considered a good burn?:

I burned it on an Apple Intel iMac (Matshita UJ-846 revision FB2U) and ran Nero on a Lite-On SOHC-5232K (stock firmware NK07).

A PI/PIF quality test would be more telling, but from that result it is good. It is telling you that it can read the disc back perfectly with no slowdowns needed to read any of the data, a good sign. Benq 1640’s will do PI/PIF quality tests, but I don’t know if you can run the test on your ‘Plextor’ unless you crossflash the firmware into a Benq 1640. Give it a try in Nero CD-DVD Speed, but I don’t think you can until it’s flashed as a Benq. I would recommend flashing it to a Benq because you will get a better performing drive, but that’s up to you. Look in the Benq forum or post a question there if you want more info.

I am a little uneasy about doing these firmware updates.

I am thinking about picking up a Benq 1650 when they go on sale again at Newegg and just sell the Plextor.

EDIT: compared to burning with Sony 8X DVD+R (Taiyo Yuden), I think (I’m not sure) that the iMac’s burner spins up and down more when initializing and writing lead in and maybe is a little slower in burning the same file. Does this seem plausible or am I just imagining things?

Yes, the lead-in and overall burn time may vary some depending on the media, it doesn’t mean it’s a problem. IMO the 1640 is at least as good as the 1650, and possibly better. Seems like people have had more issues with the 1650, although they are similar overall. I would see no reason to sell the 1640 for the 1650. Firmware updates are very simple, although crossflashing is a little trickier with some drives. I haven’t crossflashed that drive, so I’m not an expert on the subject of that drive. Post a question in the Benq Forum and someone will walk you through it, it won’t be too much trouble and you will get a better drive in the process.

Thanks again! (I think I’ll keep my Plextor / Benq 1640, though I might try cross flashing an old Lite-On DVD-ROM drive first for practice).

If the cycling up and down during writing lead-in and longer burn time are real and not imagined, does this imply poorer quality media? The iMac is very expensive, so would feeding it’s dvd burner budget dvd blanks potentially lead to earlier failure or other mechanical problems that might need repair?

No, it’s no harm, and it doesn’t necessarily mean lower quality media either - you could have horrible media and it could just as easily have a very fast lead-in time. Having said that, if the drive in your Mac is proprietary and would be a b!tch to replace, you may want to use your cheaper, easier to replace drives for the bulk of your burns (they are likely better drives as well).

BTW, ‘flashing’ and ‘crossflashing’ are two slightly different things. Flashing would be to simply update the firmware. Crossflashing would be to update the firmware with one specially made to ‘change’ the drive to a different one. Your Plextor is simply a Benq 1640 using Plextor’s firmware instead of Benqs, but using Benq firmware will perform better, for one thing you’ll be able to use QSuite (Solidburn, etc.) with it. The OEM, in this case Benq, usually updates the firmware more quickly and often than the rebadged brand, in this case Plextor. It’s not to say that the Plextor firmware is junk, but flashing it to a Benq will put you further ahead of the curve in terms of firmware, and firmware is a key to burn quality and the overall performance of the drive.

So would I be updating or crossing flashing my Plextor to a Benq1640?

And what is the consensus on best firmware to update to?

(drive in the iMac is a Matshita UJ-846)

It would be crossflashing since the drive will change. I would suggest BSLB or BSOB, BSOB is newer and has a few improvements, but it contains a couple minor bugs.