Can my system handle burning at 16x?

I’ve just got a new NEC 3540A burner and I noticed that when burning (Nero) at full speed, both the drive buffer and nero’s buffer jump around and get very close to 0% alot of the time. I’ve not had a failed burn yet, but should I lower the speed to be on the safe side or will buffer underrun protection take care of it?

I’d consider my system to be medium spec (Athlon XP 2500, 1Gb RAM, 160Gb IDE hard disc), but a couple of years ago I remember people having issues just to get their high-end system to even burn at 4x speed.

It shouldn’t be a problem for your NEC if its buffer is drained because its buffer underrun protection can handle this. However, your system specs look perfectly fine to handle 16X burns so there is something not right, causing the buffer to jump around. Althoug, as said, this won’t be a problem it would be wise to find the source of this problem so burning will be smoother. How is your NEC hooked up to your system? It’s best to have the hard disk and burned on seperate IDE channels. The hard disk should be Master on the first IDE channel, the burner should be Master on the second IDE channel. Also check if DMA is enabled for your hard disk and NEC burner. Report back with your details if you need more help :wink:

They are on seperate IDE channels, and both are master and DMA is also enabled on both. To be honest I think it might be because the partition I wrote the image from was quite full and probably fragmented. Also I think I have alot of stuff running in the background usually.

I haven’t had much chance to experiment yet, but to be honest I’d be happier burning at a lower speed if it meant I could burn in the background whilst I continue working on the PC…

To get consistent high speed burning the data needs to be coming off the HD in a high speed & consistent flow.
That basically means the HD cannot be badly fragmented which you admit is probably the case.

Whether you burn at 16x or 8x you’ll really still need to burn from a defragmented HD.
So clear some space on that partition & defrag it regularly.
It sounds like you’ve partitioned your single HD into 2. Because of this you will be limited to what you can do whilst burning as the OS & apps are on the same physical drive

On my system (XP2500/1GB memory) I generally burn from a HD that has nothing else on it & is on it’s own channel & the worst I get is the burner’s buffer dropping to about 90%. I can also do other things like internet browsing but nothing too intensive.

Yup, well things will be better when I get a SATA drive added to the system. Then I’ll have a bit more control over the situation.


As TimC said - defragging your hard drive is of prime importance - if you have not done it for a while (over one week) - I defrag daily using Diskeeper 9 and it takes like 10 seconds to do my “C” drive-

Also best to not do anything on your 'puter whilst burning any kind of disc IMO - eh?


Ya… What my Brother Mike said.