No software does anything the drive's hardware and firmware doesn't do, and your drive is too new to support CD-R writing speeds below 4x. Insert the CD-R in the drive and start your burning software, and notice the speeds it allows you to choose. Those are the write speeds your drive has a strategy for with this media, and if it doesn't have 4x then you can't do anything about it (there is no public software that allows you to change write strategies for CD-R).
Some burning software (especially on *nix) sucks, and CDspeed disc info would be the most accurate source for checking supported write speeds, if you can get that program working.
And on a further note, writing these CD-R's at anything less than 8x on decent drives like your NEC is likely to result in inferior quality burns, it's too slow.