Hi, all, I've done a bunch of searching, most of it has lead to cdfreaks.com, but I've still come short of finding an answer to my problem.
I recently bought a silver NEC 3520A from newegg.com. I installed the drive in my Debian linux box, kernel 2.4.27, and was able to burn my first data disk right away. But right away took about 30 minutes for 2 GB. I have tried a few more burns, and they all start out at 12x and end up averaging right around 2x. Forcing the burn to 8x has the same results.
Media: Verbatim 8x DVD-R MCC 02RG20.
Software: growisofs by <email@example.com>, version 5.21, front-ending to mkisofs: mkisofs 2.01-unofficial-iconv (i686-pc-linux-gnu)
Firmware: stock 1.04 - I'm holding off on an upgrade until I determine the drive doesn't have to go back to newegg.
IDE: I've had the drive as slave and master and even put it on its own Promise Ultra100 TX2 IDE controller. It was actually slightly slower on it's own.
hdparm reports that the drive is in UDMA2. Oddly, hdparm also reports that the drive has no buffer, though I believe it should be 2MB. I also can not set MultSect size, a common speedup for newer drives. The hard drives in the system are set to UDMA5.
Tonight, I'm going to try to patch a Windows box together to do some testing, but so far I'm fairly disappointed with my situation. The 0kb buffer thing has me wondering if this is a bad drive, but perhaps hdparm just isn't understanding it. So far I've made 3 data discs and 2 video discs. At some point, the first I burned became a coaster - it MD5SUMmed after I made it, but now craps out though there are no physical defects. The two video DVDs play well in my player. So it burns, it just burns slowly.
The last burn:
((1 632 MB) / (598.07500 seconds)) / (1 385 (KB / second)) = 2.01750532x
I'm looking for 1) other linux users, since I didn't see evidence of many on the board 2) other linux users with a 3520 - what does hdparm tell you? 3) suggestions on other media to try 4) suggestions on the 0Kb buffer thing 5) any other advice you can offer up.
Sorry if this rambles, it was a lot clearer in my head, but I was up too late last night monkeying with this thing.
Thanks for any help you can offer.