Slow write speeds + modern drives + modern media = no good



In my limited view of notebook drives, this doesn’t always apply.

Notebook drives, as we understand, have a maximum write speed of 8x for DVD media. Usually, they offer 8x, 6x, 4x, and 2x as all the write speeds. So the rule here for using a good slim burner is to still not write at the slowest speed offered, but also not write at the highest speed offered. You will want to write at half the max speed or just over half the max speed offered. 4x and 6x can do much better than 8x and 2x with a lot of discs with a good slim burner.

That simplification, though, is best held true with newer Optiarc, LG, and some Samsung slim drives. Most any other drive will, incidentally, do the best writing at the slowest speed available, because they just can’t match the quality of half-height [desktop] drives. In this case, there is little else you can do but manually test for yourself to see how well a drive writes among write speeds.

If you encounter a slim drive that can’t write well at any speed at other than 2x, though, I would personally invest in an external half-height burner.


:iagree: nice work Albert. :bow:

and thanks to DrageMester for pointing me here. :wink:


My writing speed has been mostly x6, sometimes x4, on Verbatim MCC004 (x16) with NEC 3520, 3550 and 7200. The result is good. It’s possible that higher write speeds would be even better, but even so quality is good.

(Writing faster doesn’t work well on that old computer.)


gr8 post, i had same problem with Verbatim being burned at 8x and 12x, at most time drive did something like recalibration at 12% of the burn and few disk failed than, as soon i started doing 16x burns there were no recalibrations after the burning start and if media is bad drive just lower speed onfly with no recalibration


Welcome to the forum! :slight_smile:

8x and 12x aren’t incredibly low speeds, but I’m glad you found a speed that works for you (16x) :iagree:…in fact, in Albert’s explanation part, the “incredibly slow speeds” talked about seem to be mainly 4x or under. :wink:

Me personally, most of my discs are burned at 8x or sometimes 12x, and I don’t get problems. Again, it’s what work for each person.


[QUOTE=Arachne;2102601]Welcome to the forum! :slight_smile:

8x and 12x aren’t incredibly low speeds, but I’m glad you found a speed that works for you (16x) :iagree:…in fact, in Albert’s explanation part, the “incredibly slow speeds” talked about seem to be mainly 4x or under. :wink:

Me personally, most of my discs are burned at 8x or sometimes 12x, and I don’t get problems. Again, it’s what work for each person.[/QUOTE]

I had problems only with new disks in the last months, so it might be the old ones were better calibrated for <16x…
I also remeber whan i burned CDs long time ago mine Sony (LiteOn) worked gr8 on max speed 48x (pastel verbatim used) and sometimes maid bad burn on 24x


[QUOTE=Arachne;2102601]Me personally, most of my discs are burned at 8x or sometimes 12x, and I don’t get problems.[/QUOTE]

Same here. :iagree:


I’m [B]not[/B] trying to fault anyone here, but:

I wish you guys would talk about the “types of dyes used” in modern hi-speed media.

The reason we have 4x, 8x & 16x rated media is due mainly to the fact that technological advancements of dye formulations, plus the mechanical development of servo/tray/housing design of burners allowed more stable spinning of discs at these high speeds thus ensuring a better ‘yield’ of burns.

The fact that these ‘modern’ dyes are formulated for hi-speed burns will statistically favor burns at higher speeds and may sacrifice some quality for lower speed burns. Statistically!

The technological development in burner designs however, should not statistically sacrifice any quality for lower speed burns.

Also, at the factory, scanners employed at production lines are usually set to scan for ‘defects’ for hi-speed burns and may miss out perculiarities of lo-speed burns (altho I dont know of any).

In labs of drive makers, engineers will be concentrating on tweaking ‘write strategies’ for hi-speed burns for popular/specific media. Know that these achievements may become their bragging rights for that model burner. They will prolly be tweaking these strategies ‘to high heaven’ for getting the ‘best’ burns at the ‘highest’ speeds for their burner. And there are many MIDs to go through. How much attention do they pay to write strategies for lower speed burns? Will they simply ‘borrow’ write strategies from their older model burners for such lower speeds? Will they merely accept submissions of those write strategies from engineers of media makers?

So, when everyone, starting from the dye makers down to the production lines scanners and drive makers and engineers are all preoccupied ensuring ‘perfect’ hi-speed burns and prolly paying scant attention to possibilities of ‘bad’ lo-speed burns, we need to ask ourselves if it is wise to attempt burning at very low speeds.

So, my rule of thumb would be: do not deviate too far from your drive’s stated highest write strategy for that MID and the rating of your media when choosing a burn speed.

My next rule of thumb is: very low speed burns do not guarantee the best quality burns.

And if your burner does not recognize a 16x rated media (say), and offered to burn it at only 4x, it prolly dont know how to handle that media and would be using a ‘general purpose 4x write strategy’. And if you expect to get a ‘perfect’ burn result from this, many cows may come home first.

Of course, one notable exception is the MID “MKM-001” and Pioneer (and similar) burners.



I have found that I get the best from my LG drives at 4x regardless of the media I use, but, well I do have quite a narrow range of media I use,
T02/3 TYG02/3, MCC003/004/02RG20/03RG20
and even more so with video 4x (in these drives) will almost always give better results than 8x, and always much better than 12x.

I will admit that the few times I have done 2 and 2.4x burns to check it out they were not better than 4x and might not even be as good as 8x, its not like I have not done higher speed writes.

My LG’s are not the newest money can buy, but they are the best writers I have found, I have got newer drives but they dont seem to do it. About the worst was the Pioneer 112 about the best I could get from them was 6x which was about equal to a 12x LG burn, my Optiarc 5170A is one of the better ones I have had, quite a bit better than the Optiarc 7173A I got at the same time.

The only ones I have yet to check out are the new Samsung drives, I also do CDR media at 8x data, 4x if I am going for the best quality audio and to work in the widest range of in car players where I have found24x and above are not so good.


I’ve wanted to give a reply to this a lot earlier but things kept coming up and i’ve never found the time. This is going to be long … :stuck_out_tongue:

In my very personal experience a number of things described by [I]Albert[/I] show themselves rather differently in real life experience.

[QUOTE=Albert;2084992]Questions like these usually stem from the old urban myth that slower write speeds automatically equal better compatibility with game consoles and older drives/players. The truth is: writing with extremely slow speeds on high speed media is a VERY bad idea in almost every case![/QUOTE]

To give you my personal experience summed up in a sentence first: “Writing with extremely slow speed on high speed media may not necessarily give you the best possible result but usually always a better result than a result achieved at the highest possible speed.” It goes without saying that this assumes the hardware (drive and media!) involved is not cripled in any way.

It’s not a myth but a (now much less critical, but still existing) problem that predominantly existed in the days of CD writing. Dye development took different (longer) steps than drive development. There was 8x, 16x, 32x, 40x dye but there were 8x, 12x, 16x, 24x, 32x, 40, 48x writers. So what happended was that the fight for the fastest speed was killing quality (writing 24x to a 16x disc, etc) because development was not synchronous and so problems arose. Thus the recommendation to use slower (or even the slowest) speeds. Along to that there were readers that had problems with reading CD-R and would only accept nothing short of a perfect burn. High Jitter levels often prooved to be fatal. Something slower writing was sometimes able to cure.

[QUOTE=Albert;2084992]When saying “extremely slow write speed”, I mean the following:[/QUOTE]

One of the most important things to realize is, that the printed speed indications on the packaging usually don’t have anything to do with the facts! In many cases it’s marketing, nothing more.

Behind me on the shelf, for example, stands a spindle of 16 +R media as sold by Philips brand. It’s labelled “+R 1-16x”. Yet no +R drive offers 1x writing speed (not even on slower media). Why? Because +R standard NEVER included 1x to begin with. Possible write speeds started @2.4x (+R came later than -R and wanted to best -Rs 2x speed). The same applies to CDs. Verbatim also sells Taiyo Yuden CD-R. They label the spindles 1-52x. Yuden themselves label their own media with 2-48x. In reality Yudens Super Cyanine (correct me if i’m wrong) is a 2-40x dye! I don’t know a CD dye that is >40x max. So “optimised” for high speed (52x) = bad joke!

[QUOTE=Albert;2084992]The fact is, many modern drives do not even support some of these low speeds [/QUOTE]

And what is the reason for it? That writing at such speed would lead to bad results? No! But implementing a writing strategy costs time and money. Now if a drive knows 30 types of DVD Media + and - R each, and it knows how to write them at 8x, 12x and 16x, adding 4x for each media means you have to implement 60 additional strategies that need to be programmed, checked, adjusted, checked, etc. until you get viable results. Multiply by 2 if you want 2.4x/2x support too. Earning margins on drives have gone rock bottom. So every manufacturer saves where it’s easy to do so. Marketing tells the engineering crew “Everyone wants fast, not slow” (respectively “Everyone uses the “Auto” or “Max.” setting in their software”.) See where this is going? It has nothing to do with the achievable writing quality at lower speeds.

[QUOTE=Albert;2084992]Another part of the fact is that your media is designed for HIGH speed writing, NOT low speed![/QUOTE]

Forgive the hard words but that statement is RUBBISH! :sad: High speed media (as far as recordables are concerned, rewritables are something different) are designed to have a LARGER speed RANGE. They’re not designed to operate a high speed only, not even optimised for better performance at high speed (that would preclude backward compatibility, which is still dearly needed), but in a wide speed range.

It is true that in some cases the higher speed has been at the expense of slower speeds when it comes to CD (see Yuden example above, 40x dye looses 1x capability; similarly high speed Phthalocyanine cannot be written at 1x), however that is not a result of ‘optimisation’ for high speed but a technical (chemical) problem and the same is not true for DVDs. For those who still need 1x CD-R, media with 1-16x or 1-32x dyes are still available to-day and they write just fine @1x.

[QUOTE=Albert;2084992]You may be able to successfully write your media, but write quality will suffer, due to the discs being engineered for higher write speeds,[/QUOTE]

Simply NOT TRUE, at least not in it’s entirety. Effect of speed on the engineering quality (CDs)
high speed:
low speed:
As one can see the “engineered for higher write speed” (48x) media can be handled a lot easier with 4x speed. This alone destroys any argument that ‘optimised for high speed’ has any viable advantage. More speed always means harsher writing conditions, even on high speed media.

Effect of different speeds on the writing quality (CDs)
As one can see lowest possible speed is not necessarily the best but always better than highest speed. The ‘gold’ lies somewhere in the middle. When it comes to CDs, 16x still seems to be the sweet spot. High speed looses. Always. Even on (or rather especially on, since they enable high speed) high speed media.

[QUOTE=Albert;2084992]or as a result of your particular drive being better tuned for high-speed writes.[/QUOTE]

Now, that is an entirely different story alltogether and it has nothing to do with ‘high speed optimisaton’ of any kind that is claimed wrongly so often for media . However the warning that drive manufacturers seem to have developed a tendency to save on lower speed writing strategies (not only by offering less choice but also qualitiy wise) is definitely worth mentioning :clap: but one has also to point out that were such saving is not done and proper support is implemented the writing quality is not impaired in any way. Quite to the contrary if media and drive go together well, the slowest speed can achieve outstanding results. Admittedly a feat that rarely occurs with nowaday modern drives.

[QUOTE=Albert;2084992]Aside from initial quality loss, deterioration of your media may even seem to occur faster because the disc was not written properly initially.[/QUOTE]

Only if the drive manufacturer ‘saved’ himself the hassle of proper implementation. The risk for this is relatively small (slow speed doesn’t need a fancy up to date writing strategy) but nevertheless real.

[QUOTE=Albert;2084992]These are nothing but outdated urban myths.[/QUOTE]

While trying to dispel the myth of ultra low speed writing for better quality you’re beginning to sound a lot like those full-speed car fanactics that argue that full throttle acceleration saves fuel, because the fully open throttle will cause less turbulence in the gas/air stream towards the chamber and thus cause better combustion :wink:

[QUOTE=Albert;2084992]So are you basically telling me to go hog wild and burn with the fastest speed I can find, even going as far as to manually enabling even higher speeds for my media than currently available with my drive and media?


Well, thank God! :bigsmile:

[QUOTE=Albert;2084992]Generally, for DVD media, go no faster than rated speed, or one speed selection below it. Do NOT go lower than half the rated speed for DVD media, unless specifically required for successful writing. [/QUOTE]

Since the problem is basically with the drives an not the media (unless the media are bad, of course) it’s good advice. Perhaps one could summarize: Use only reasonable (i.e. not all high or low) speeds unless you know exactly what you are doing (i.e. you have detailed knowledge of drive and media).

[QUOTE=Albert;2084992]And finally…just help kill the rumor! Writing at the slowest speed does NOT guarantee quality; there are many more factors at work that determine overall quality! :flower: [/QUOTE]

And don’t you dare start another one with that “optimised for high speed”!! :cop: :wink:


[QUOTE=hwp;2140188]I don’t know a CD dye that is >40x max. So “optimised” for high speed (52x) = bad joke![/QUOTE]
Ciba Ultragreen MX is a 56x certified dye :stuck_out_tongue: (but well, there are almost no differences between 40 - 52/56x certified dyes).


Little test on some brand and unbranded media I performed told me there can be readability problem (not readable) with audio CDs written at 16x, while on 8x had no promlems (those can be played even on oldest players)


[quote=mmilovan;2211878]Little test on some brand and unbranded media I performed told me there can be readability problem (not readable) with audio CDs written at 16x, while on 8x had no promlems (those can be played even on oldest players)[/quote] What burner(s) did you use and what CD-R media?


My Sigma-branded MCC AZO CD-Rs (48x) have huge jitter results on anything lower than 32x. It seems to operate best at 40x though. CMC and Ritek CD-R media work best for me at 16x-24x. This is one of the reasons why I test discs (nay, waste) even before I burn my precious data.

This is on a LiteOn LTR-52327S (52x) CD-RW drive. Funny eh? :stuck_out_tongue: I make my own speed ratings since I don’t believe drive and media ratings anymore. :stuck_out_tongue:


Well, I’ve gotten good results with TY media at 8x. In fact even if I choose 16x I definitely cannot reach those speeds anyways! Most of the time it slows down to somewhere between 4x - 8x. This is on an external USB burner (on a shared usb hub) with an external USB hard drive that’s also under light I/O load.

The advice here in the OP implies that you’re using an internal burner + dedicated, fast, totally idle, unfragmented storage… but what if you’re not?


I have yet to see any real proof that any media can ONLY get good results with high speed writing and as for it being an “old urban myth”, the only myth I see is that you will get better results using faster speeds only.

If it was the case then quality testing would show better results the faster you go as well. If you dont test at lower speeds then you will never know how good they can be.


My results say otherwise.
Burner and scanner ASUS DRW-1612BL
Media That’s Taiyo Yuden DVD-R 16x TYG03
1st burn @ 16x and scan @ 4x (for better results).
2nd burn @ 4x and scan @ 8x (worse result than scanning @ 4x).
But still 2nd burn was better (and in general @ 4x my drive does better than faster).




i see with intrest i had a samsung sh202n which has a minimum write speed for cds is 16x i thought at first this was to high but always got great burns unfortatley the drive eject system faild so i had a refund ,im back with my old nec 4750 which has a min write speed of 8x for cds, on the same media used richi i get better results at 16x than 8 x i also have an old liteon ltr 52246x what speed do you recomend with this old drive for audio with 52 rated medio i have enclosed my last burn at 16 x


This is all well and good… BUT… why haven’t we seen the next generation speed ratings of dvd±R’s?

Drives can record at upto 22x speeds now… yet we don’t have 18-22x speed dvd recordables out on the market… only 16x…

You’d think if the applying fastest possible speeds to recording holds true… there are some caveats… don’t try recording at speeds faster than 12x if you have a greater than 90% full hard drive… you might run into read problems. Also, a severely fragmented and/or fragmented and full drive can be another headache leading you to burn at lower speeds… until you get more stuff off your hard drive (BACKUPS)… afterall most of the reason for you recording stuff w/ a full hard drive would probably be to backup the data… in this case you want the best possible quality recording you can get… you may have to balance risking buffer underruns which (urban myth not withstanding) tend to make the disc have higher pif’s leading to lower overall quality. Also, I’ve seen heavily COMPRESSED data give discs a lower quality score… seemingly due to the readback possibility of correcting for errors slowing readability/quality score.
Also, scans are NOT a total indication of quality… for that you may just want to read the data back to the hard drive and “time” low long it takes and use that as a benchmark for when you’d might need to re-copy the data onto a new disc.

Also, keep in mind, the way dvd-rs/rws are made today regarless of disc quality… you have a 2 year window of safe data on reasonably good quality discs/recordings… beyond that your playing the roulette wheel on being able to recover data. Make multiple backups several months apart… then after 2 years you can be safe to destroy/throw away any discs that fail which are older than 6 months.

The prescious data such as photos, home movies, etc. This is even the case for the top of the line TY discs!


hi all…thanx to HPW and ALBERT and those who do not have such a wide knowledge very interesting !!! personal non professional opinion > irrespective of drive or disc quality…with a drive that is less than half full…and uncompressed…you can avoid coasters…burn at 1 less than half rated speed of disc…provided your drive is less than 2 years old…and has not been used heavily…[2 cents worth ].THAN YOU ALL FOR SUCH A PROVOCATIVE THEME !!