Laptop vs desktop drives: why not the same?

Hi all,

seeing as I have little experience with laptop drives (only 2 so far), I would like to see if I’ve got this right:

Are laptop drives just “weaker” than their desktop counterparts?

Obviously laptop drives tend to be generally slower than desktop ones, but what I’m also seeing is that my laptop drives are also a lot more sensitive to scratched disks and a lot more picky about good and bad quality media when it comes to recording on them.

I recently bought an Optiarc AD-7630A to replace my TSST TS-L532B for my laptop.
The TSST could never go above 6x recording on any of the media I’d tried, and it had a history of burning a substantial amount of non-premium quality discs.
I hoped these issues would be resolved with a newly introduced model such as this Optiarc, but to no avail. On the same discs, the NEC writes at pretty much the same speed - starting at 2x, going on to 4x and then to 6x, only reaching 8x at about 90%.
On the contrary, the very same discs fare much better on two desktop drives I’ve tried them on, an LG and a TSST - both drives starting at 4x, then moving on to 8x at about 20%.

So I would like to ask whether this is indeed an established behaviour of all laptop drives, i.e. to be much pickier and slower than their desktop counterparts on the same media?

Or have I just had the bad luck to hit two ‘bad’ drives out of two? :confused:

I have a laptop drive and i haven’t had to replace it yet but i don’t use it that much.

I’m going to guess heat has a lot to do with it. They are newer that desktop drives. Mine rarely gets above 6X also.

Laptop drives cannot burn faster on dvd than 8x.

Desktop drives are always faster.

It might have something to do with power consumption too. Spinning a disk at 16X speeds verses 8X or lower takes a good bit more energy thus draining the battery faster. Although I don’t know why someone would burn CDs or DVDs on battery power.

Most people with Laptop CD/DVD Burners don’t run the Laptop off the battery when burning discs. :disagree:

It could lead to catastrophic problems. Not only can you end up with a failed burn or bad disc but you could also end up doing in the drives firmware as well (as a result of the battery dying on you).

I personally always hook up the AC Adapter whenever I need to burn something from my Laptop.

DonDino, the reason why Laptop CD/DVD drives lag behind Desktop PC CD/DVD drives is because of the fact that Laptop technology just isn’t as developed as Desktop PC technology.

I’m guessing that you haven’t noticed that new Laptops are barely half the spec of a new Desktop PC. This is because the PC component manufacturers have decided to focus on the product that sells more - the Desktop PC.

The Desktop PC is required by many, many people in workplaces, offices, schools and in people’s homes. Laptops are usually only required by a select few people who usually work in the IT industry hence the reason why we’re not seeing Laptop technology develop as fast as Desktop technology.

And there are some companies that hire teleworkers so Laptops will fit the bill when it comes to their on the job duties.

A lot of members of the public do buy Laptops these days but the demand doesn’t compare with the demand for Desktops.

Hope that explains things a little. :wink:

My lappy requires me to have AC adapter plugged in when burning.

You know, I have never tried burning a disk on the battery. Maybe I’ll give it a try and see what happens.

yeah i get a prompt or message i can’t remember it’s been awhile since i tried it.

I just burned a full CD without a problem. My laptop has an NEC 6550A drive and it burned it at the top rated speed toward the end. Total time was about 4-5 minutes and it sucked the battery down 4% which is lower than I expected. I imagine a DVD would be worse on the battery due to time to record 4-8 gigabytes and the disk might spin faster overall. Maybe it would have refused to record if the battery was lower on charge.

I never tried to burn a CD, only a DVD and get a message with full battery.

Actually from what I notice nowadays that’s not true anymore.
New laptops are about just as good as new desktops, powered by equivalent CPUs, RAM speeds and sizes, and even graphics cards. The category of ‘desktop replacement’ laptop is ever growing, in my view.

As for the actual topic of this thread, I can see how lower power input and perhaps heat & vibration issues would make laptop drives slower than desktop ones.

But does that explain why at the same selected speed (e.g. selecting 8x in Nero and using 8x discs), laptop drives only manage to reach 8x at about 80% (if at all), while desktop drives get to 8x at around 20-30%?

And also, how could it explain laptop drives’ over-pickiness regarding media quality (e.g. cheap no-name discs get destroyed by laptop drives but get written trouble-free by desktop drives)?
It is this last issue that I don’t quite understand the reason for. :confused:

Oh and I tried to burn a dvd on battery power once too; it never made it through, recording failed at about 70% :bigsmile:

I wonder if having the laser mechanism riding on the tray is a limiting factor of the slim type drives?

Oh really?

Maybe you should have another look in a big retail store such as PC World. You’ll see exactly what I was talking about.

In my local PC World stores, the high-end Laptops all have a maximum 2 Ghz CPU with 8x DVD-RW drives. When you compare that to some of the low-end Desktop PCs that they sell and you’ll see that they have 3 Ghz+ CPUs with 16x DVD-RW drives.

As far as I can see, there aren’t any 3 Ghz Laptops available at the moment - full stop. This includes the other big 3 electricals retailers in the UK - Currys, Comet and Dixons.

So how do you explain that?

Of course the absolute high-end of the spectrum will be dominated by desktops, I don’t disagree with that.

I was more referring to the viewpoint of the middle-class user like me, who would be looking for a medium-to-good performance system, and as laptops now go up to 2.33ghz, 4gb ram and graphics such as nvidia quadro, the middle-class user shouldn’t have difficulty obtaining a laptop with more or less the same performance as the desktop he/she had in mind.

I can also see how power consumption issues would be responsible for this slower growth of laptop performance compared to desktops, and to return to the topic of this thread, it’s understandable why because of heat, vibration and lower power supply dvd drives are limited to 8x in laptops at the moment.

My original question however was why laptop drives actually write the same discs much more slowly than desktops, all other parameters being the same.

Plainly speaking, with 8x selected speed, and the same 8x-certified disc used on both systems, why would a desktop drive get up to 8x speed at say 40% of the recording, while a laptop drive would only get up to 8x speed at 90%?
That is the one issue I do not understand as of yet :confused:

That’s just the way technology is right now with them. I you want faster burns buy/build a USB/Firewire drive.

The difference is in the maximum rotational speed available on desktop vs. laptop drives.

A drive that operates at its maximum rotational speed (a.k.a. angular velocity) will start writing/reading at some speed at the inner edge of the disc, and since the 1x speed is defined as a linear speed, not a rotational speed, the linear speed will steadily increase as the laser reaches the outer edge of the disc.

This is of course because the diameter at the outer edge is approx. 2½ times larger than the diameter at the inner edge.

So the linear speed will be 2½ times higher at the end of the burn compared to the linear speed at the beginning of the burn.

Laptop drives limited to 8x burning will only reach 8x at or near the outer edge of the disc, and since this is only achieved at the maximum rotational speed of the drive, the maximum linear speed at the beginning of the burn would be no higher than 8x/2½ ~ 3.2x.

A desktop drive OTOH can burn at 16x, 18x or even 20x so it has at least twice the maximum rotational speed as laptop drives and can start an 8x burn at 6x or higher, and reaches 8x much earlier than a laptop drive.

Dragemester seems to have explained why in some detail.

But I do agree with rolling56. The technology just isn’t as developed because of the reasons I identified in my original post in this thread.

Laptop technology will continue to lag behind Desktop PC technology if the demand is not about the same or equal to the demand for Desktop PCs.

It would be a big risk for computer component manufacturers to make a product that very few people would buy. Not to mention the fact that production costs will be through the roof (as they are creating new technology) which will only lead to a higher retail price.

The major computer and component manufacturers are thinking that Laptops aren’t as profitable to manufacture as Desktop PCs. And I’d have to agree with them.