DVD burners - minimum system requirements

Hi everyone

I am considering the purchase of a DVD writer. At first I was put off by the system requirements quoted by the various manufacturers, thinking that they ruled out any chance of the drive operating successfully with my PC. Browsing through this forum, though, I’ve come to realise that some of these requirements may be somewhat exaggerated.

My system specs are:

  • AMD Duron, 950Mhz
  • 120MB RAM (128MB total - 8MB shared memory)
  • Windows XP
  • and more than enough free hard drive space

From what I gather, the sticking point would likely be the fact that I effectively have only 120MB of RAM. Could I buy a DVD writer with confidence that my PC is up to the task? It doesn’t necessarily have to be able to operate at full speed - I don’t mind waiting, provided it produces reliable recordings.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

You need much more RAM, 256 is the minimum.

Yes, 512 recommended …even with the buffer, you might get some recording errors!

You may be able to rip and burn an iso with decrypter (perhaps at a lower speed), but anything else, like shrinking, will be extemly slow (as in days) and may not work at all. With Win 98, you’d be a little better off with these specs since it does not use as much memory as XP. But it would be better to get more RAM. But with that processor, be ready to wait.

ram is cheap…buy a stick or two.

The only real requirement is a IDE controller and HD that can deliver up to 25MB/sec datarate. More RAM would be nice but it’s not mandatory.
Best thing is to try it and see. Don’t spend any money on upgrades till you try it.

You need at least 256MB of RAM with WXP, especially when you have shared memory. Your system will pull at least 110 MB of RAM after a clean reboot.

Burning an ISO file at 16X will use up a lot of CPU load. My 600MHz PIII system can deliver a min 29MB/sec at the hard drive with no other application competing for the CPU clock time. However, when writing at 16X, the buffer will occasionally go to zero due to >97% CPU load. When the CPU load hits 100%, then the transfer speed from the hard drive will decrease, which MAY result in buffer overrun. I have no problem burning at 12X.

I’m not sure if the AMD Duron 950 is much faster than the 600 PIII. The AMD should be able to write at 8X if the HD can output at least 25 MB/sec. A full burn at 12X will take 7 min. Knock off another minute @ 16X. If your burn time is longer with quality DVD media, then your DVD burner is probably slowing down due to insufficient data flow from the hard drive at high CPU load.

Since, as you said, you don’t mind waiting, there shouldn’t be a problem. I think the main bottle neck will be transcoding/encoding (shrinking). I have a setup about 2 to 3 times faster than yours and it can take 3 hours to shrink a dvd9 down to dvd5. If I use rebuilder with cce, it can take 7 hours to 2 passes.

My 600MHz PIII can rip an average 120 min movie (NEC 3500A with riplock removed, main title with AC 3/6 or 3/2, and no compression) in about 12 minutes. The rip time increases to about 40 minutes with compression (80% minimum video quality). I use CloneDVD and AnyDVD.

I only backup the main movie and one English audio stream AC 3/6 (AC 3/2 if 3/6 is not available). The maximum transcoding time is always under 1 hour with dual layer DVD-9 movies.