NEC2500A - Buffer runs out when copying @ 4x

Hi guys,

Am new to the forum so bare with me!!

Have just bought myself an NEC2500A and am well pleased with it appart from the fact that when I try to burn disc-disc @ 4x, the buffer runs out very quickly and drops the speed to 2x.

Burning disc-disc @ 2x the buffer is fine but what I really want is the benefit of 4x.

Thought it might be the HD so went and bought a new 160gig ATA133 with 8mb cache (mobo can take it). Still same problem happens!!

Machine has now since been completely formatted and all pached up with latest stuff etc etc…but can only get 2x when copying on the fly. Most frustrating when my mate can burn at 4x on the fly!!

I mean I don’t mind doing images but for speed… 4x disc-disc would be nice.

Machine Spec:-

Athlon 2400XP
1 gig DDR 333mhz ram
Maxtor 160 gig ATA133 HD
Maxtor 80 gig
NEC 2500A DVD Writer
Ricoh MP5125A DVD Writer (using as reader)
GForce 5600FX

Win XP

Copiers:- Nero Ultra
Alcohol 120%

Any help would be appreciayed guys.


If you’re talking about burning from DVD to DVD, the HD has nothing to do with it.
Burning from DVD to DVD may not be possible on your system at 4x, but it really depends on the configuration and the IDE controller. the most likely cause of this is that the source drive is tooo slow, and if the read buffer is dropping that’s your problem.
the reading drive must be able to rip at 4x at the start of the disc. Most will rip at 3x-8x CAV, which will not work for 4x CLV burning.

Run a transfer rate test on the source drive with the same disc, using CDSpeed, and report what it shows.

Hi there,
THanks for the prompt reply. I used Nero DVD speed. I hope this shows the info. It looks like my reader is only reading at an average of 3.03 and forgive my ignorence but what is CAV?


Nero DVD Speed

28 February 2004 - 17:45:56

Drive information
Vendor RICOH
Product DVD+RW MP5125
Firmware Version 1.38

Disc information
Type DVD-R
Length 4.38 GB

Test results

Transfer rate
Average 3.03 X
Start 3.38 X
End 3.89 X
Reading type CAV

Seek Times
Random Seek 262 ms
1/3 Seek 500 ms
Full Seek 308 ms

CPU usage
1X 1 %
Max Speed 1 %

Burst Rate 0.21 MB/s

Spin Up/Down Time
Spin Up Time 2.70 sec
Spin Down Time 1.54 sec

Disc Eject Time 1.97 sec
Disc Load Time 0.86 sec
Disc Recognition Time 13.66 sec


Thanks again…Pudders.

Is DMA enabled? Have you tried placing the drives on the same chain and then seperate? (ie. Both on Secondary, then one on Primary and one on Secondary)

Yep…DMA is enabled. I thought Chaining the 2 Drives together would give me all sorts of problems!?! I was told that you shouldn’t really Chain drives together if you can help it and to slave off of the HD’s.

Am I wrong?


I run my 2 dvdburners as master/slave on one channeltogether and my reader a LiteOn 166as master on the other controler as master with mymain cd burneras slave and they all can do faston the fly copies. I do 8x on OTF with small movies no problems.
It does sound like your reader is too slow ifit never goes faster then 3x rips. The 166 starts at4 to6 I hink and ramps up from there to around 12x on single layer movies. You might also want to see if your reader just has a rip speed limit built in that can be disabled with a hacked firmware. Toshiba drives also rip fast after you get rid of their limit.

Ok… so if it is the DVD reader being slow, can any of you recomend a DVD reader from the following drives…this is my local retailer ( that will be able to read and copy at 4x on the fly:-

LG GDR 8161B - disk drive - DVD-ROM - IDE

Pioneer DVD 120S - disk drive - DVD-ROM - IDE

These ones are the cheaper end of the scale (plus the company’e own brand which could be anything)

Are these babies any good for what I want?

I don’t really wnat to spend more than 30 quid on a DVD reader.

Cheers guys…really appreciate all ya help.


Well I know the 166 is fast enough so see what their own box has in it, many rebadge LietOn drives becuase they are cheap and at least make the warranty.

It’s going to depend on what you are copying. Most readers will start below 4x on dual layer or recordable media, so you can have issues anyway.
Having both drives on the same channel shouldn’t cause any problems in disc-to-disc copies, as it is one operation, not 2.

CAV = starts at 3x and peaks at 8x in most drives on dual-layer or recordable. (constant RPM)

CLV = runs at 4x from start to finish. (constant data rate)


So all in all… I should be looking to get a quicker reader then?

Thanks for all the help mate.


Pudders, yes try burning the dvd to the hard drive first and then burn to the dvd. I always get nervous when people do on the fly copying from the source to the destination in one step because on hiccup from the reader will underrun the writer.

Also, in Nero, make sure you are caching the files to memory.

try nero for on the fly copying
recornowmax is not too good at on the fly

I’ve found that using Nero DVD-Data mode via the version 6 desktop control applet causes a memory leak which consumes system memory and slow the system down. By switching to Nero-Express you can perform the same function and not suffer the memory leak. Making a DVd-video dosn’t have the problem. I havn’t made any other disks so can’t comment on those modes. Anyone suffering this type of problem should try Nero-Express and compare.