MAX == default write strategy?

Many burning applications give you the choice “MAX” or something similar in their speed setting option box.

Now is it right to assume that when I choose MAX the drive uses the “best+fastest” (in that order) write strategy instead of the “fastest” it supports for that medium?

For instance I have SONY D11 discs (8x DVD+R) here and according to MediaCodeSpeedEdit my firmware supports 12x, 8x, and 4x writing for it.

Out of the several writing strategies that are listed, is there an optimum one hardcoded into the firmware? I always thought so…

Anyway let’s just assume that this is the case and that 8x writing will be the optimum choice hardcoded into the firmware for the D11s. So when I choose MAX in my burning app (ImgBurn btw) the drive will automatically choose the optimum write strategy 8x and not 12x (which would be the MAX writing speed actually supported by this firmware/drive).

So is my way of thinking (MAX == fw default/best/optimum) correct or does it work totally different?

I mean how do I know what speed to burn a medium is best in the first place? I can’t even see it in a program like MediaCodeSpeedEdit which one of the speeds gives to best results (I ask again, is the best one also coded into the fw?).

But a user who doesn’t even has such a program simply uses the speed that is written on the medium or MAX. But for instance when I choose 16x in the burning app for a 16x medium while my writer only supports writing upto 12x for this medium I think the writer will be forced to use 16x anyway which will probably result in a coaster, right?

Can someone enlighten me on this matter please?

Quite a few burner firmwares allow faster burning than the optimal speed, if you want quality. Also, almost no 16X drive/media combinations are the best burn and a few are really bad. I never use MAX.

The Maximum setting will use the highest write speed for that media in that drive.
That will usually be 16x for 16x rated media and 8x for 8x rated media, but there are exceptions.

The Maximum setting makes no attempt to find an “optimum” burn speed - it is strictly the fastest. No burning program can force the drive to burn faster than what the drive and firmware allows, however.

Ah ok. I figured this while I just burned a D11 over here with the setting “MAX”, but still I wasn’t sure whether the choice for 12x writing done by the software/writer meant that it was the optimum or simply the fastest allowed or the fastest allowed being the optimum for that matter. Yep I nkew that max write speed allowed for the firmware is 12x for this 8x medium and so it was done at 12x, now I know what MAX means, cool thanks.

Btw Verify was ok. Too bad I can’t check the PIE and PIF values, but I’m sure it went very well. (Much better than with the MCC03RG20 I used yesterday, hehe.)

So to clarify things further. I then assume there’s no “optimal” write speed hardcoded along with the write strategies? And it is up to us to find the speed for a medium that would give the best results compared to the other speeds, right?

Used to be that 8X media was best at 8X except with some 8X that was best at 4X and 16X is never best at 16X, in other words, it is not that easy, especially when many, many people have no concept of burn quality and will buy based on speed alone. Way too many pulications that should know better do a lot to continue the myth that faster burners are better. :Z

If you don’t scan, stick with quality media, TY and MCC +R, and burn 8X at 8X and 16X at 12X.

You are correct. :iagree:

Yes, the worst thing is really that you can’t burn a 8x medium at 8x and a 16x at 16x and expect to get at least decent results with [U]every[/U] type of blank. I think a new generation of DVD burners should simply stick to one speed for a certain type of medium namely the speed that turned out to give the best results and use that as a “recommended speed”. Adding a new command to the interface specs so the burning software knows what speed to choose, or maybe in case the specs for drive commands are locked: using the speed that gave the best results will be the only speed allowed. And with an extra tool users can unlock the other drive speeds if they really want to use them.

Most people will simply use the speed that is printed on the packaging of the blank DVDs. But if speed selecting was taken completely out of their hands by using the “trick” I described above, most of them won’t even notice when their 16x DVD writer writes 16x blanks only at 12x or 8x…

Thank you so much! Quick answers are the best. :wink:

“Max” generally means the highest speed the drive reports for the media, though for “unknown” media codes, this may be the lowest speed of the drive.

Typically, a drive will report 16x, 12x or 4x (unknown) for 16x media.
8x, 12x (overspeed) or 4x (unknown) for 8x media.
It may report a 6x or 8x overspeed for 4x media.

Max is basically “let the drive decide”, and that is usually biased towards speed rather than quality.

If you call for a higher speed than is supported for the media, the drive will use the highest supported speed. In some cases, the drive will also adjust the speed itself, such as testing at the 12x shift point and either upshifting or holding 8x.

Just to add one more slight caveat… There are some hacked firmwares that set 16x as the speed for every medium encountered by the drive. An example of this is the unofficial Pioneer 108D@Piodata 108DX firmware by Gradius (which miraculously enabled bitsetting for basic Pioneer 108D owners).

Unfortunately this means that you have to do your own experiments to see what is the best write speed for the media that is being fed to the drive. If you do not calibrate your media, and have ‘MAX’ as the default setting in the burning app, the results can turn out like a proper dog’s breakfast.

Whilst official firmware will probably always set appropriate limits to the burn speed, it certainly pays to read the advice supplied with unofficial firmware versions. For this reason I am with chas0039: never set the options to ‘MAX’.