Sorry for the long post, but I don't where else to turn (other boards have been helpful, but you guys seem very knowledgeable as well so I thought I would see what I could learn here). I recently bought a Dell Dimension 9100 (2.8 Ghz Pentium D). It was shipped with a Philips 8631 burner and a TSST TS-H352C DVD-ROM. As delivered, the buring was painfully slow. I called Dell, who after some tests, decided to swap out the Philips for an NEC, which ended up being the NEC 3530. I did a burn with the NEC (using the preinstalled burning software (sonic), as well as another burn using Roxio 7.5. Using Sonic, the burn lasted about 18 minutes, as opposed to 1.5 hours with the Philips. An improvement, but nothing special. I then used Roxio to copy the same disc, which took about 25 minutes. Still not happy, although much better. I then thought that maybe the Sonic stuff was conflicting with the Roxio, so I uninstalled it. Something got totally boluxed up with this, as I could no longer uninstall software from anyone, and Roxio would not open. Called Dell, who got me to restore the machine to its original, as delivered, state. I then immediately removed all of the sonic software that was preinstalled.
I also, after reading forums and talking to friends (as well as based on past experience) decided to go with the Plextor 716A, which was on sale at Best Buy. So I pulled out the NEC and put in the Plextor. I also switched the positions between the DVD-Rom and the Plextor (Plextor is master on cable select and the TSST DVD-ROM is on slave).
I then copied a disc using Roxio, which took about 17 minutes (this was with a Verbatim 16x DVD-R, media recommended by Plextor). Still not all that fast, which leads me to a couple more questions. First, would there be any speed advantage to pulling out the DVD-Rom and putting the NEC burner in its place, but still using the Plextor as the burner?
A couple more tidbits. My Dell 9100 came with an 80 wire CS cable in it already. Why Dell had the burner in the Slave position is somewhat curious. Now that mine are flipped, the Plextor shows up as Ultra DMA 4 while the DVD-Rom is at Ultra DMA 2.
Tonight, I burned different DVD. Using the same Verbatim 16x -R media, this time with the Cache off, it took 15.01. Seemed slow, I did it again, this time using Plextools. Guess what? It took exactly the same amount of time...
Did the RPM tests available in Roxio. The Plextor came it at 8.26x and the TS-H352C DVD-ROM came in at 4.35x, both of which seem poor. According to Dell, this DVD-ROM drive is a 16X drive. Anything possibly slowing it down?
One more oddity. The BIOS setup says the Plextor is master, but Plextools says it is slave). According to BIOS setup, the TSST DVD-ROM is slave (Plextools says it is a slave as well).
Any ideas would be helpful.