USB dvd burners suck

I don’t have any other choice with my laptop.

but burning shit via usb 2.0 causes the buffer level to drop every few minutes and create links in my dvd. This is even after defragging my hard drive.

usb 2.0 seems to be unable to sustain anything past 4x write speed.

is this normal?

No, this is not normal. Are you sure you’ve got USB2.0? What chipset does your enclosure have?

That model laptop only comes with a 4200RPM HDD, its also very small at 30GB.

With a loptop drive at such low speed, any fragmentation of the drive will cause very slow reading of the data and will give you buffer underruns. Try a full defragment of the drive before burning. Also, if you are burning very small files try making an image or an iso from the files first so that the HDD does not have to read loads of small files and can just read the big ISO or image file.

BTW, I presume you have at least SP1 for XP as it is needed for USB2 to work and I checked the Dell 1150 and it has 2 USB2 ports.

With the right USB enclosure and a PC that is able to keep up, the NEC 3550 will easily burn at 12x. It will not quite be able to do a 16x burn however.

i have a 5400rpm hitachi hd

i bought this Bytecc or plumax usb2 enclosure so long ago. i think it’s the Ali chipset. I think it’s this one:

would a usb cable hinder data throughput?

actually, it’s the cypress chipset.

i just took the thing apart and checked. cyp 658531

I have had no experience of the cyprus chipset so dont really know what to expect.

One thing to see if its the system or the USB chipset / drive is to use CDDVDSpeed and make a test disc. This will waste a disc but if you dont burn an image and let the program generate the data (default settings) then it will rule out any HDD or fragmentation issues.

1st thing to try though is a Burst test on the drive using CDDVDSpeed, this will read back data from the drive (put a normal data DVD in) and give you the maximum transfer speed, shold be 20MB/s+

my drive can’t sustain more than 6.5 MB/s. it sucks.
I plugged in a 7200rpm hd and still couldn’t transfer past 6.5MB/s. Nowhere close to 20MB/s.

The sustained rate is what I’m more concerned about, because I burn big 1.4gb files.

I was looking at the device manager properties of the usb2 controller.
it says 10%, though i don’t know what it means.

anyone know?

mine says 11% all my usb burners have 24mb/s speeds

There are more chipsets that will not work well with optical drives than there are chipsets that are good. has the best selection of cases with good chipsets. Prolific 3507 is the most proven version. There is a new Cypress chip out also, but I have not yet tested it. Dealsonic speaks pretty thoroughly as to what it has been tested with.

Your hard drive isn’t sustaining past 6.5M/sec? Sounds like DMA isn’t functioning properly on your hard drive then. I have seen Dells shipped in that configuration (albeit rarely).

Check out the resolution at this link if you find the DMA symptoms to reflect your own.

This sounds similar to the problem I had with my NEC 3550A in an external enclosure hooked up to my slow laptop. Answer is Firewire if you have it because USB 2.0 sucks processor usage mightily. Here’s the link to my previous discussion:

BTW, I burn at 4x usually but even with my slow setup using USB 2.0 I can get upto 6X. Using Firewire, I was able to get upto close to 15X.

My laptop hard drive runs in dma mode. HDTach says my average read speed is 29 MB/s

no matter what I plug into my external enclosure, it can’t sustain more than 6.5 MB/s
And when I look in Task Manager while burning, I don’t see much cpu use, honestly.

I tried burning at 6x speed once, but the buffer level dipped even more frequently, and in the end, burned no faster than a 4x burn.

I think I have a crappy chipset. This must be the cypress at2 1.0 chipset, though the pcb says rev 1.1


weird thing is that I can sustain 16 MB/s to the external hard drive. But can’t sustain more than 4x dvd burn speed…