Minimum stats for a PC?

I’m a Mac user who has had problems with my G4 Mac not getting along with the hacked firmware in my 2510A. I’m giving up, taking the burner out of my Mac, and getting myself a PC that I will only use for DVD burning, but I know little about PCs.
I’m looking at used PCs, but don’t know what the minimum processor stats are to get me good, trouble-free burns. PII? PIII? How many Mhz? I want to spend as little as possible on this, since it’s basically going to be a glorified external enclosure with an OS.
Any thoughts from anyone?

Why not get a Pioneer burner? That will cost less than a new pc. Pioneers are known to be Mac friendly.

If you want you could always build a cheap PC from I just spec’d out an Athlon XP 2500+ “Barton” system with Asus A7N8X-X motherboard, Rosewill ATX case with 400 watt power supply, Rosewill ATI 9200SE Radeon video card, 512 megs of Mushkin Basic Green PC-2700 DDR RAM, and a Western Digital 80 gigabyte hard drive (8 megabyte buffer - special edition 7200 RPM EIDE) for $340. Motherboard has on-board sound and on-board lan so you don’t need those… neat thing is it shouldn’t be too bad of a gaming machine if you want to use it for that purpose some. :wink:

Zazonz: I’m using hacked firmware because I send DVDs all over the world and I need bitsetting to maximize compatibility. The Pioneer drives don’t allow bitsetting - even with hacked FW, from what I’ve read.

Braxas: Thanks for the very complete info! As I said, though, I’m not going to use this machine for anything but DVD burning, so I’m looking for the cheapest PC that’ll do the job. I’m hoping for something closer to $100, if that’s possible.
Thanks fort he replies!


Good luck finding a $100 pc-


Hey Mike,
Thanks for the helpful and informative reply. I see PCs for $100 and less on Craigslist every day; I just don’t know enough about PCs to decide if any of them would work for me, which is why I posted this question, right?

i would say the bare minimum for trouble free 16x burns would be about a p3 600 with 512 mb ram…

it’s a little arbitrary, but i built a comp for my parents with these specs and it works just fine for 16x burning. one warning though, encoding is quite slow…

My server box got a P3-850 w/512MB and Nero determines that I can burn MCC03 at 8X max, while the NEC-3520 should be able to overspeed this media at 12x.
A quick look at the system requirements in the Plextor PX-712A (12X) manual shows that a P3-800 is the minimum; Plextor goes on to recommend a P4-1.6GHz.

Which program in Nero did you use to determine 8X?

Nero Burning ROM, the Determine maximum speed option on the Burn tab of Compilation Properties.

12x burning peaks at almost 16Mb/s, so is rather tight on a non-Ultra IDE.

As crucial as the CPU, on a basic burning system, as an ATA/33 or better interface, equipped with a hard drive capable of high sustained throughput.

The average ATA/33 HD may do a peak buffer transfer at that level, but the sustained throughput is usually less than half - essentially, even if using an ATA/33 interface, it needs a HD rated for ATA/66 or better to stand any chance of delivering the throughput.

A “cheap old” PC is never going to make a great DVD burner, unless the base machine is ATA/33 IDE or better, and has been upgraded with a larger and faster HD.

Can you select the 12X option using Nero’s drop down box? Try 12X burn and record the burn time.

8X…9 min 30 sec to 10:30
12X…6:45 to 7:00
16X…about 6 min

I’m getting 9:45 @ 8X and 7:14 @ 12X using my 600 MHz PIII. At 16X, the speed drops to about 8:20. The hard drive speed is fine, but the CPU load hits 95+%, causing the system to slow down. Fortunately, the buffer underrun circuit kicks in, slowing down the burn to prevent a coaster.

lol…after reading the other posts i rechecked my parents computer and I was right before I edited my post. they have a p3 800 not 600…

Albo, I’m sure you could get yourself a $100 PC, but I bet you would regret it as soon as you know more about PC. I went to newegg to find out what can I get for the price of Mac Mini:

Sub total: $290.81

That’s about as low as it can go. For extra 70 buck, I’d recommend:

Monitor: SAMSUNG SyncMaster 790df (Black) 17" CRT MONITOR - RETAIL: $122

OS: Microsoft Windows XP HOME Edition With Service Pack 2 -OEM: $92.95

Or, you can go for easier route, Dell Dimension 3000.

Hope that helps.

Actually, I did some tests last week and was able to burn TYG02 at 12x with a NEC 3520 on my P3. The burning times were 6:40 and 6:54 for the two tries.

Not a $100 computer but it’s certainly cheap and not too bad of a system. Check it out: