Didn't reply sooner since I've been trying to figure stuff out, changing things, etc. :eek: BTW ala42, I don't have a KT133A chipset (isn't that an AMD one...? dunno), but yeah, the VIA IDE performance is poor.
I had the 4-in-1 4.43 drivers (including IDE) installed. I found before I got the burner that using the Microsoft IDE driver makes audio CDs stutter at the beginning when played in the Pioneer reader. I tried switching back to the MS one again, and it only barely improved the Sony's read/burst rate (10-13MB instead of 8-9MB). CD-DVD speed showed that it hits a "wall" around 9x and both lines are up and down a lot... (I saved the results if anyone wanted to see them for any reason.)
Then I decided to try moving the burner onto the cable with a hard drive, on the mobo's onboard Promise ATA-100 controller. Then the burst rates were ~38MB/s and +R or pressed single-layer reads were @ 16x! I then tried to burn again at 16x speed, with the source files on the hard drive sharing the Promise IDE channel with the Sony -- still took 1h10m! (The Buffer Level didn't drop as low as often as before.) I figured it might be because of the channel sharing, so I tried another with the files on the other physical drive/other channel and didn't even use the system while it was burning. Nope, it actually took 1h15m. :rolleyes: Well there must be too much happening for the Promise controller to handle, even on separate channels.
I figured I might as well move it back to the VIA IDE (using VIA driver again), and just use 4x speed (more on what else made me try 4x in a sec). THAT completed in 15m, which is fast enough for me, really. What I still don't understand is, why didn't I see ANY difference in read/burst speeds when I switched from the 40-wire to 80-wire cable (and the BIOS now says ATA-66 instead of ATA-33)?! I tried uninstalling the burner and its IDE channel, so it would be redetected, and anything else I could think of. I haven't tried another 8x/16x burn since being back on the VIA IDE, but I assume it'd be the same since the benchmark is the same -- pathetic. Does Windows 2000 not want to run optical drives in UDMA Mode 4? Is there any tool to check the actual Ultra DMA Mode since Dev. Manager doesn't specify? (I checked by benchmarking a hard drive in ATA-66 on the VIA IDE.)
Another problem: Now the recorded +Rs won't load/play 95% of the time on my standalone Pioneer recorder!! :a It's a DVR-510H (with DVR-106X drive it looks like) and it loaded/played those first 2 discs I made (put them in 4-5 times total). Now it just ejects them, except it seems more likely to occasionally load the one burned at 8x, so I thought they were done too fast, which is why I tried 4x. But, no difference. I don't think I got it to load once. Another unit (DVR-310), which I guess is the same DVD-wise, just without a hard drive, has loaded & played any of them every time I tried (over 30 times probably).
Any ideas about that? Could the lens be dirty, only affecting +Rs? (Don't have any -Rs.) Could the drive be taken out and the DVR-106 firmware updated on the computer? Replace the drive? (I guess I should post in the standalone DVD recorder forum.) Totally sucks... I've gotten everything else figured out to make DVDs how I want them (even if I have to burn at 4x! :D) and the recorder when I want to play them decides to quit reading the discs! :sad: Everything else, pressed discs, and the same content burned to a -RW works fine BTW.
Finally, I saw that Nero Recode only had the target size at 4459MB, so I increased it to 4482MB. Why is the default 20MB+ less than disc capacity? I'm not hurting playback by putting "too much" on a disc, am I?
Thanks for any more help! My main concern now is playback on the standalone Pioneer, but also curious why ATA-66 didn't help the burner.