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 …
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! 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: http://club.cdfreaks.com/1548580-post4.html
low speed: http://club.cdfreaks.com/1552422-post14.html
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 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
[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!
[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! [/QUOTE]
And don’t you dare start another one with that “optimised for high speed”!!