Falling CD ripping speeds - Please help

I have an AMD Newcastle 3500+ CPU, 1GB Corsair RAM, 160GB seagate SATA hard drive and 2 optical drives (NEC 3520 DVD burner and also a Ben Q CD rom).

A couple of weeks ago when I was first using this PC, I was consistently getting ripping speeds of 10X and up - this was when ripping audio CDs to FLAC files using jetaudio.

Now however the rip speed has fallen to around 6X - this is the case while using either of the two drives to rip.

Any idea what might have caused this and how I can rectify?

The only real difference I can think of is that of the 160GB HD capacity I have now used C.60GB when previously I was getting the higher ripping speeds this was more like 20GB.

I am not running any other processes when doing the ripping.

Verify DMA is enabled on your drives. If you get a number of read errors, XP will automatically downgrade you to PIO only. The fix, assuming this is the cause, is to uninstall the IDE channel in device manager and let Windows pick it up on reboot. You might want to update your drive firmware as well.