Celeron 550Mhz + Win98SE = Which DVD Writer?

I’ve read the FAQ and the “which writer” threads, some valuable info in there :slight_smile:

Those Pioneer, NEC, Philips/Benq seem interesting.

My very specific question now is, which writer would you nice and knowledgeable folks recommend me considering that I’ll be using it on a Celeron 550Mhz (256MB RAM) with Windows 98SE ?

I am aware of the slow time it can take to burn a disc if I need to recode video and such, but that doesn’t bother me too much at this point since the main use will be making backups of files on my hard drive and possibly of DVD5 discs.

All I need is a DVD writer that can cope with those simple needs in the system I mentioned, preferably with a minimum of hassle, a maximum of compatibility and a cheap price. :bigsmile:

Support for dual layer burning would be a big plus for when I upgrade my system in the future (and for when the media becomes affordable).

Thank you so much!

Honestly I’d say just read the reviews for each drive and go from there. They all have their own set of pros and cons but all 3 drives are good burners from what I’ve seen of th forums. I have the NEC ND3500AG and the BenQ DW1620A myself and I have a preference towards the BenQ at the moment.

If I had room for another burner in the computer I’d be buying the Pioneer next.

LOL, you collect dvd writers then ? :bigsmile:

It doesn’t have to be any of those three writers by the way, I just mentioned them because they seem to get good buyer feedback.

So any of those drives will work in my below-the-specs system and with Windows 98SE ? That’s my main concern.

I think that the hard drive is a more significant bottleneck than the processor speed (though at 550 MHz, the processor might be a major bottleneck as well; I dunno)…

I my personal experience, my 5400 RPM, 2 MB cache hard drive is barely able to sustain 8x burning (if it’s perfectly defragmented). There’s no chance that it could ever sustain 12x burning, much less 16x. I burn off my 7200 RPM, 8 MB cache hard drive for 16x. Computers as old as yours will most likely have slower 5400 RPM hard drives.

Another issue is the IDE bus. My old P3 mobo has an old chipset where the IDE bus is routed through the PCI bus, so it could never burn faster than 12x. I think your mobo’s chipset will be unable to sustain the necessary transfer rates for 16x.

Anyway, to get to the point, your computer will probably never be able to sustain 16x burning. So you could either get a 16x drive and never use it above 8x (and then move the drive to a newer computer when you eventually get one). Or you could just settle for a cheap 8x drive.

I would have an hard time remembering what was the original hardware configuration of my PC, including its first HD… LOL! I’m using a pretty recent 7200rpm HD.

After some additional searching, I was relieved to learn that many people out there seem to be using some of these and other writers with slower CPUs than mine, like 400-500Mhz and so on. Some even with 300-350Mhz it seems!

Gotta love those topics I’ve seen where someone asks about the practical needed CPU and a couple of rocket scientists immediatly step in to say they have to read the requirements in the box and regardless should buy a P8-8000Mhz at once. Being a corporate marketing victim must be sad. :smiley:

Anyway, the burning speed isn’t a big issue for me, given my needs and 8x would make me more than happy. :slight_smile:


For 8x, I think 550MHz Celeron’s good enough. But one can get a processor able to run at 3,000MHz plus a motherboard for the processor for less than US$100. Drive manufacturers test their drives under the “recent” hardware configurations. They don’t usually test with 550MHz Celeron-based PC. That is why they say the minimum requirement for their drives is 800MHz or 2.4GHz instead of 100MHz or 300MHz. Slower and outdated computers cause more “customer dissatisfaction” than anything else for the Internet service provider companies and ODD manufacturing companies. Actually, most of the complaints are based on outdated OS software and outdated hardware drivers and performances. That is hardly being a victim of corporate marketing and I as one don’t need to be a rocket scientist to recommend the latest PC hardware for DVD burning. I DO recommend the latest Intel chipsets, PC cases, USB 2.0, IEEE 1394b, Serial ATA, etc. for healthy DVD burning. Also Windows XP is a good choice for the most consumers because it’s easy and widely supported. I also have a lot of computers that run on processors slower than 500MHz. I just don’t use them often for DVD burning tests simply because time is far more important than anything else. I mean, why use 466MHz Celeron computers when there are 2.4GHz Pentium 4 computers available for just a few hundred USDs and when one wants to use one of the latest DVD burners?

So my conclusion is: 1. upgrade your motherboard and CPU first 2. wait for some weeks and get a better optical burner than anything on the market today when you are more sure about DVD burning. Latest motherboards tend to have been less tested and thus less proven. It’s also the same about latest DVD burning hardware (including both drives and media.)

I have an 8x (CyberDrive DX082D) hooked to a Pentium II-400 running WinXP Home with 384 MB and I can burn at full speed without any difficulties. The buffer stays full at all times. I am not sure of the details of my hard disk but I could find out if it matters. The DVD burner is on the secondary IDE channel but as a slave device (out of expediency). Obviously it works fine.

I doubt that 16x burners would work at full speed with a 550 MHz machine so I’d pay less to get an 8x burner. If one can’t be found, a 16x will do but burn at 8x or less. 8x is not awful - about eight minutes for a burn versus six at 16x. I usually burn at 4x for higher quality.

All points taken, thanks again.

Seriously, I understand that manufacturers have to protect themselves when listing requirements and going for higher specs is safer for them, because:

  1. older hardware and software can bring more problems and configuration difficulties and

  2. sometimes, and that’s really only sometimes, older hardware and software means end users who can’t tell their PC from their rear bottom.

But the reality of things is that, when you have been following this industry for nearly two decades, at some point you realize how the blind, accelerated race for new hardware and software isn’t but a matter of market economics and you also find yourself having the experience and the knowledge to adapt and maintain older systems to your needs and get the most out of them by using the right hardware and software combination and by using them the right way, without the need to throw your hard earned cash away every 6 months to feed company sharks or lazy programmers. Incidentally, newer doesn’t always mean better - that’s a solidified truth for software and operative systems, particularly of the Microsoft kind. Sure, a few people genuinely need faster PCs for specific professional needs such as high end CAD or design, and such… fortunately I’m not one of them. And when you arrive at the end of the day and you realize that you’re actually able to run some things faster and better in your 550Mhz Celeron than what you see in your n00b friend’s latest generation PC (simply because he’s too dumb to optimize his use of it), you can’t help but feel reassured. :smiley:

With the exception of the odd and rare component modification, I’ve been using my current PC for… he he… a few years… now and at this point I’m still completely satisfied with it, including -gasp- GAMES. Sure, I’ll get a brand new system eventually (I just don’t know when since for the moment I still have no reason to do it), at which point I hope to try and go for breaking my current record. :cool:

PhotoJim, sounds cool and thanks for that feedback. I may end up buying a 16x if I can find one for a reasonable price comparatively, from the perspective that I can use it at a slower speed and may yet take full advantage of it in the future.

You’re welcome. Agreed about games. We have several games that need a minimum Pentium III-800 to play, supposedly, but they run fine on the Pentium II-400 because it has quite a bit of RAM and a good (64 MB NVIDIA AGP 8x) video card. With the video card of the day, I’m sure it would suck. :slight_smile: