Can I burn TY 16x discs in this 8x burner?

I just bought 100 TY DVD-WPPSK16-HC discs to use in my Mac G5 with a Pioneer DVD-RW DVR-107D burner. Then I noticed a warning on the 16x disk packaging “Not suitable for drives which do not comply with the new DVD-R specifications for 16x writing speed.” Uh-Oh…I looked up the drive and discovered it can only burn at 8X and the drive is about 5 years old. I thought you could burn a 16x slower and that DVD disks were backward compatible but now I think not. Should I just return these discs? Also, where is the best place to get a firmware update for my DVD drive if I want?

I believe they want you to have a so-called “16x” drive because it will be modern enough to have the proper writing strategies for the disc, even when such a burner is writing as slowly as 8x or 4x.

I’ve used a PX-716 (a “16x” drive) for burning thousands of Taiyo Yuden 16x DVD-Rs at 4x, with no problems. But telling an 8x drive to burn these discs at 4x, isn’t going to yield the same result, because the drive isn’t acquainted with how the laser strength should be increased or decreased throughout different sections of these discs.

You could try buying 8x Taiyo Yuden DVD-Rs, but they are cheaper than the 16x discs for a reason, and it’s not because “they take longer to burn”. 16x Taiyo Yudens burnt at 8x in a 16x drive, have a lower error rate than 8x Taiyo Yudens burnt at 8x.

TYG02 burn equally well as TYG03 overall in drives that have proper support for the both of them. In the limited scope of user testing on the forums, TYG02 has actually shown itself to have better quality (limited disc scan quality, playback tests) than TYG03 on many occasions (as has YUDEN000 T02 over YUDEN000 T03). Typically, TY’s 8x media is thought to be of a higher quality than the 16x media sold under similar brands/labeling.

As long as you avoid so-called value-line discs, you should have a low risk for poor burns.

But I support the idea of just grabbing the 8x Taiyo Yuden DVD-R (or the 8x DVD+R, YUDEN000 T02, if you like) for the 8x drive in the future.

Check on Apple’s site to see if they ever released a firmware update. If Apple has ever released a firmware update for your drive (take a look around Apple’s web site and see if any of the few optical drive firmware updates apply to your Mac model), see if the update mentioned support for 16x media. Some 8x drives were able to get along relatively well with 16x media after a firmware update.

If Apple doesn’t have anything, then check Pioneer’s site. Be warned, though; you might need access to a Window’s computer for the easiest flashing process, and you might have to use a 3rd party flashing tool. (Just for what it’s worth: Flashing a non-Apple firmware would likely void the warranty on the Super Drive since you are no longer using an Apple-shipping firmware version).

Thank you for all the help. I got some of the TYG03 for the Mac and will give those a try. I don’t think I’m going to bother with firmware update.