Oddity about GSA-5163D?



OK…here goes:

First off…when I burn a full 4.7 GB DVD+ R (MMC004) or DVD-R (MCC 03RG20) by Verbatim on my Toshiba laptop…burn starts at 7.1X as normal and climbs CAV nicely to about 15X where it tops off. Thought it might be the fact that I have a hard drive in the laptop that is 5400 RPM with 0 Cache. Burn time usually averages 5:35, which according to the review from cdfreaks…is a whole lot faster than 16X on my NEC ND-3500A or Plextor PX-716A which both burn around 6:05 Laptop has 2.4 GHZ M processor with 512 MB SDRAM on 400 MHZ bus

Then I thought…I will hook it up to my Desktop…with Asus P4C800E. 3.2 GHZ Processor…1 GB SDRAM…on 800 MHZ bus. Western Digital Raptor 74GB at 10,000 rpm. Did the same burn and again the result is the same…actually 5:32. Now don’t get me wrong…but the buffer toward the end of the burn jumps around, causing the drive to stay at 15X for the burn…But I am trying to figure out…why with a 10,000 rpm hard drive and built in 6 pin firewire…this drive NEVER hits the 16X.

Also…If I burn a DVD+R or DVD-R using the Create Data Disk function of Nero CD-DVD Speed 3.80…I hit 16X on the burn as per an earlier post…What exactly is real here???





I think your GSA-5163D is working alright.

Create a new partition on one of your HDDs and format it. Try the newly created HDD space as burn source drive.

BTW, even notebook HDDs have some cache memory, usually 8-16MB these days for mid-to-high powered notebooks.


If it’s OK…I’m alright with that…like I said…the speed and burn time is well under that of my PX-716A or ND-3500A. I have quite a lot of HDD space free on my desktop (about 67%) and laptop (89%) free space…so I can’t imagine it being that. The burst speeds of both HDD, even with the laptop having 0 cache (correct…I contacted Toshiba about this soon after I purchased the laptop and they concurred that the drives “don’t need” cache). Laptop has a 5400 60 GB HDD with ZERO cache…according to HD Tach…I get about 35 Mbps transfer high end and about 18 low end…with a supposed 70 Mbps burst…I figured that it is the LG burner…because when I hook up to my desktop…with the 10,000 rpm HDD (Raptor) performance is the same. Then I started thinking that Nero might have some issues with firewire…(performance with USB 2.0 is horrible as far as I am concerned). CD-DVD speed shows the correct curve for the 16X burn and it is 5:40 which is from my other post.

Also…the one saving grace: I used DVD Decrypter to do a full copy of a movie…then DVD2One to shrink it down. Total burn time for the movie of 5:30 AND when I run the Q Check TA Test on my Plex…all three zones come out EXCELLENT. How to argue with that. Even though the top burn speed was 15.1X




It doesn’t take more time to create an additional partition on one of your HDDs than to make a Create Data Disc test disk. Can’t take more than a few minutes. It may not have to do with total burn time but having a dedicated partition as burn source drive always helps.

Since your CD Speed can reach 16x but writing from a HDD source drive can’t reach 16x, that means your HDD is wrong, not your ODD. CD Speed Create Data Disc is the most realistic test you can do. It tests your ODD, not your HDD. When you burn in a Nero Burning Rom or another burning program, you are testing both your ODD and HDD at once so you have to locate which part causes the trouble or bottleneck first.

There’s no HDD without cache memory as far as I know. Having 99% free space on an HDD doesn’t mean your HDD is in a good condition for maximum performance. Only having 100% free space could mean that (regardless of other factors.)

It could be possible the IEEE 1394 and USB 2.0 controllers in your PC are behaving poorly as well but that still can’t explain why only CD Speed test can reach full 16x.

I get about 35 Mbps transfer high end and about 18 low end…with a supposed 70 Mbps burst…I figured that it is the LG burner…

The lowest transfer speed must be at least about 23MB/s to write at 16x. Maximum speed of 35MB/s isn’t good enough for a modern HDD. (I guess your typing 35 Mbps and 70 Mbps were intended as 35 MB/s and 70 MB/s.)



I am not kidding about 0 cache on the HDD. When I talked to Toshiba the tech stated that because the HDD is directly connected to the bus…that the drives in the Satellite series didn’t require cache…I know that sounds incredible…but I have run Sisoft Sandra and other HDD utilities and all state that my 60GB HDD has NO cache…no lie! I have been considering either the new Seagate portable HDD’s at 5400 RPM with 8 mb cache or the Hitachi Travelstar 60 GB at 7200 RPM with 8 mb cache. A friend of mine is a system builder and when he saw my machine, complimented most of it and then told me that Toshiba “cut corners” with the Panasonic UJ-810 DVD RAM drive and the OEM version of the HDD. Other than that…this machine has the most killer screen I have ever seen. It has a finish like a CRT and very colorful…anyway…That’s that…My burns with the GSA-5163d (depending on the disk I pull out of the cake-Verbatim)…usually run 5:30-5:40…rarely slower…even topping at 15.1X…I am getting faster burns then the internal Plexy and NEC…and the LG quality is always Very Good to Excellent in tests…maybe I should just start saving my pennies for the new HDD.




It’s not that I took your sayings as “lies” or incredible things. I just don’t know if there’s any HDD that hasn’t cache memory.

If the HDD is directly connected to the bus, does that mean its performance would become so bad if you connect the HDD to a desktop PC (or another notebook for that matter) that doesn’t have the same bus system? I can’t see why Toshiba wanted to make such a system. Microsoft and Intel recently demonstrated notebook HDDs that have Nand flash memory to shorten booting time and increase power efficiency so anyway having better connections between HDD and motherboard in a notebook is extremely important. (BTW, I also have a Satellite notebook that has a 60GB 5,400RPM 2.5-inch HDD and I’ve used about 8 notebook HDDs recently.) Quite off-topic here but your description sounds very interesting. (Any model name of your HDD and your notebook?)

I suppose making the GSA-5163D able to reach 16x from about 3.5GB point will help burn quality improve a little. If it can’t reach 16x anyway, I think it’s better to choose burn speed at 12x, not 16x. Raptor HDDs are good like 10K and 15K RPM SCSI HDDs but common 7.2K RPM IDE/SATA HDDs are more cost-effective for most tasks. Having two 250GB SATA II HDDs will probably cost under US$200 but should help distribute system load very well. I have two SATA HDDs (one SATA I and the second SATA II), and three PATA HDDs on this PC (one connected to onboard IDE Primary, and the other two connected to a PCI 6-ch. card) and there are three DVD writers on the rest of the onboard IDE connectors (excluding separate USB/1394 devices that I turn on when I have use for them.) For personal multi-tasking, this configuration works better than to have more expensive Raptor and SCSI HDDs. I use SCSI HDDs only for web servers.


The HDD is the Toshiba MK6022GAX OEM version. My laptop model is the Toshiba 5205-S705…you can check it out here:



bobmitch, when you said you’re getting 5:30ish, was that with MCC004 or MCC03RG20? If you got 5:30ish with MCC004, I believe the drive reached 16x. Here’s an example: MCC004 @16x 5:35 mins. With MCC03RG20 should be “around” 5:20.

Maybe your Nero doesn’t show the speed correctly?


That was a distinct thought. I am getting 5:35 on +R and around 5:30 on -R

I haven’t done so many burns that I can tell how consistent the time will be. I can tell you that the -R burns are faster…AND…unfortunately…Verbatim makes good media…but not as consistent as TY. I know exactly what to expect from TY on my Plex and NEC. Consistent burn after burn. With Verbatim…I will get some pretty interesting fluctuations in burning time on the Plex and NEC.




Here’s a couple of burns for you. Notice that once I get to 16X on my laptop…I get a lot of spikes…but all in all the burns are fast. I used both Verbatim 16X DVD+R and 16X DVD-R…



The THG table says it has “Harddisc Hitachi Travelstar 80GN IC25N080ATMR04-0 ATA-6 80GB/4200rpm/8MB” which is IBM/Hitachi’s 80GB with 8MB cache.

Mine has Toshiba MK6021GAS, a rather outdated model and also the one right before MK6022GAX. Here’s a quote of MK6022GAX features:

60GB capacity
Rotational speed of 5,400rpm
12ms Average Seek Time
16MB Buffer
9.5mm High
2.5" sized drive
ATA-5 Interface
Fluid Dynamic Bearing (FDB) motor drive
Supports high transfer rates of 100 MB/sec
16,384KB Buffer
300,000 MTTF Hours
One year manufacturer warranty

When I talked to Toshiba the tech stated that because the HDD is directly connected to the bus…that the drives in the Satellite series didn’t require cache…I know that sounds incredible…but I have run Sisoft Sandra and other HDD utilities and all state that my 60GB HDD has NO cache…no lie!

Maybe the “tech” meant something else. Satellite series do have cache memory chips for HDDs. And “OEM” means you bought the HDD separately?


Your results are perfect. As far as I can see, your drive is doing very well.


Thanks Kenshin…

As far as my hard drive goes…Sisoft Sandra 2003 was the first time I found 0 Cache on the HDD. That is when I called tech support and the gentleman told he that it was correct. I just downloaded Sisoft Sandra 2005 and cannot find anyway to get the screen back that would give HDD Cache. Do you have any suggestions as to what Windows software would be able to give all HDD specs? Please advise…I will download, run and post a picture.




Hi bobmitch!

With the Everest Home Edition you can check your HDD’s buffer size.

Check this site:

The direct download link:


For example:

ATA Device Properties:
Serial Number 8D0724…
Revision 00K4A0A2
Buffer 2 MB (Dual Ported, Read Ahead)
Multiple Sectors 16 …

ATA Device Features:
SMART Supported
Security Mode Supported
Power Management Supported…

ATA Device Physical Info:
Manufacturer Hitachi
Hard Disk Family DK23EA
Form Factor 2.5"
Formatted Capacity 30 GB…
Max. Weight 91 g…
Average Seek 13 ms
Track-To-Track Seek 3 ms
Full Seek 24 ms
Buffer Size 2 MB…

I hope this software will show your HDD’s effective buffer size.



Field Value
ATA Device Properties

Serial Number xxxxxxxxxx
Revision HB002A
Parameters 116280 cylinders, 16 heads, 63 sectors per track, 512 bytes per sector
LBA Sectors 117210240
Buffer Unknown
Multiple Sectors 16
ECC Bytes 46
Max. PIO Transfer Mode PIO 4
Max. UDMA Transfer Mode UDMA 5 (ATA-100)
Active UDMA Transfer Mode UDMA 5 (ATA-100)
Unformatted Capacity 57232 MB

ATA Device Features

SMART Supported
Security Mode Supported
Power Management Supported
Advanced Power Management Supported
Write Cache Supported
Host Protected Area Supported
Power-Up In Standby Not Supported
Automatic Acoustic Management Not Supported
48-bit LBA Not Supported
Device Configuration Overlay Supported

ATA Device Physical Info
Manufacturer Toshiba
Hard Disk Name MK-6022GAX
Form Factor 2.5"
Formatted Capacity 60 GB
Disks 2
Recording Surfaces 4
Physical Dimensions 100 x 69.85 x 9.5 mm
Max. Weight 102 g
Average Rotational Latency 5.56 ms
Rotational Speed 5400 RPM
Max. Internal Data Rate 373.3 Mbit/s
Average Seek 12 ms
Track-To-Track Seek 2 ms
Full Seek 22 ms
Interface Ultra-ATA/100
Buffer-to-Host Data Rate 100 MB/s
Buffer Size 16 MB
Spin-Up Time 4 sec

ATA Device Manufacturer
Company Name Toshiba Corp., Storage Device Division
Product Information http://www.toshiba.com/taecdpd/products/hdd.shtml


I accidentally posted twice…so I am changing the second post…sorry!

As you can see…buffer UNKNOWN means there is NO buffer. When I purchased the computer in 03…I noticed that there was no buffer when running Sisoft Sandra 2003. I called Toshiba and the tech verified that my HDD had NO buffer…Now you can see it as well.



it’s a limitation of the USB 2.0 bridge?


5:01!!! damn that’s a fast burner


Maybe it’s easier for you to disconnect the HDD and look at the interface to make sure. From Toshiba SDD homepage:

60GB capacity
Rotational Speed of 5,400rpm
Fluid Dynamic Bearing (FDB) motor drive
9.5mm High
12ms Average Seek Time
ATA-5 Interface
100MB/sec Transfer Rate
16MB Buffer
300,000 MTTF Hours

*Toshiba defines a megabyte (MB) as 1,000,000 bytes and a gigabyte (GB) as 1,000,000,000 bytes.


2.5" Super Slimline (9.5mm) HDD 60GB*

Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. (TAIS), Storage Device Division introduces the MK6022GAX 2.5-inch 60GB Hard Disk Drive. The MK6022GAX offers the industries highest areal density per platter, at 49.8 gigabits per square inch. The drive’s 5400 RPM motor speed, improves system-level performance by as much as 12 percent when compared to 4200 RPM drives.

This new drive offers enough capacity for portable video recording and editing, with lower power consumption compared to the traditional 3.5-inch HDDs. This functionality provides ideal storage for a range of commercial and consumer notebooks, as well as non-PC applications such as PDAs, printers, copiers, GPS systems and MP3 players. The MK6022GAX is ATA-5 compliant, supporting high transfer rates of up to 100 megabytes per second.

It says 16MB. If Toshiba Satellite notebook HDDs don’t need buffer memory, why would Toshiba add 16MB when even most desktop computers use SCSI and SATA HDDs with just 2 to 8MB buffer?

As for 5:01 burn time, either the size is smaller than 4.7 billion bytes or the software is reading it uncorrectly.

BTW, your notebook also seems to report there IS 16MB buffer memory in your Toshiba HDD.

Buffer-to-Host Data Rate 100 MB/s
Buffer Size 16 MB
Spin-Up Time 4 sec

Your “tech” at Toshiba probably didn’t know what you were asking about.