External CD-RW/DVDR drive for USB1?

Can anyone recommend an external CD-RW / DVDR combo drive that is compatible with USB1. I am assuming that read and write speeds are too slow with USB1. Is this correct? All of the drives I have seen only use USB2.

I am looking for such a drive for my Dell Latitude C640, P4, 1.8Ghz, which has USB1 but not USB2.


Suggest you go get a PCMCIA card USB2 controller, or better yet get firewire.

Check to make sure that your laptop doesn’t already have firewire (IEEE 1394) port. Many do, such as my Latitude C-810, even though it only has USB 1.1 support. You can, of course purchase a cardbus controller for USB 2.0, but if you already have firewire installed it is much better and more reliable than USB 2.0. If you have firewire already installed it would require that you purchase an external enclosure which supports firewire for the CD/DVD writer. The highest speed that you can get with USB 1.1 is 4X for a CD, you can’t write a DVD at any speed.

This was what I always wondered…

4x CD is 600KB/s
12Mbit USB is about 1500KB/s
1x DVD is 1200KB/s

Is there really that much overhead that it can only ensure 600KB/s?

Can the drives correct for this? Wouldn’t it be like a buffer underrun and the drive turns off the laser until the buffer gets refilled? Or would you consider it worse?

900KB/s seems to the maximum transfer rate ever managed on USB1 - I’m sure the specification does not permit 100% usage, to allow some reserve for other devices.

With transfer rate less than writer speed, underrun recovery would be excercised excessively, and few writer/media combinations will offer 1x DVD, while many writers bottom out at 8x CD

As I understand USB, it’s a one-way connection. So there’s bound to be a lot of overhead. In any case, experience teaches that USB does not supply a steady data stream at any speed.

Yeah I guess that’s annoying. I mounted my pioneer drive in a usb 2 case when I had a nice top of the line HP laptop from work. Now that I no longer work there. I’m back to my P3 1ghz dell with USB 1.x

One of these days I’ll pick up an Orange 1394/USB2 combo card.

I’m running an external enclosure with a Pioneer DVR-109 installed, connected via firewire but can only burn a cd at 4x without errors. Is this the best I can expect using an external writer, or is there something I can do to speed this up. I’m have XP pro SP2 running on a Toshiba laptop.

I read the posts in this thread and I am a little bit at a loss. The reason: I have been using an external drive for many months without any problems. And it is connected through USB 2.0, able to burn at the maximum speed of the burner.

This thread is about USB 1, not USB 2 or firewire, thus the confusion.

“…This thread is about USB 1, not USB 2 or firewire, thus the confusion.

Some posts deal with USB in general, others make a reference to USB 2.0 as well as firewire.

And by the way, some useful reading that contains answers to your remark: