I can't tell you how many times I get asked the
question "WHY do I have to burn at 1X or 2X?" ... so here's a little better
definition, and some futher explination. Hopefully it will help you make your
decisions a little easier...
First off, know this: not all meida is created equal. In the
short of it, better media can not only take a FASTER burn, but take ANY burn 'better' vs.
other CD-R media. Media like Verbatim DLP, TDK, Sony, Kodak (just to name a few).
See my section on media for more information on all this.
This isn't to say, however, that you will never get a good
burn from CompUSA media. It all depends on a combination of these three items:
1) Your burner
2) The media
3) Your PSX model
Now, as for speed: I tell most people to stay at 1X or 2X
speed. However, that's not always the 'best' you can do. I say this because of the simple
fact there are SO many burners out there that I can't tell people, "If you have X
burner, you can burn at Y speed" - so by blanketing everyone with a "1X/2X"
limit, it saves the invevitable, "Why can't *I*...."
Now, for those of you who've ether ended up with a better
burner than the rest of the population, either by choice or luck, you can get away with
4X, 6X or even 8X burns (I don't know of anyone who's tried the new S&F 12X burner
yet). Personally, I burn exclusevly at 4X. And I read at 32X, even on audio. But then
again, I spent more money on my CD-ROM drive (Plextor 32X UltraPlex) than some people have
spent on their CD-R. You get what you pay for... that's for sure. There are a few 'jewels'
out there... one of them it the Ricoh MP7060. Might not be the toughest drive, but it'll
sure suit anyone's needs with only $150 to spend. But if you go SCSI, you can do oh so
much more. Let me give you an example...
I always tell everyone to diable all their event software,
screensavers, ect... I don't follow my own advice. Why? Because of SCSI. Right now, I'm
burning a disc at 4X, typing this message, I'm uploading 3 files at 15k/sec each, and
downloading another 30k/sec. I've got Winamp open, playing a list of MP3's... I've got an
FTP server and a WWW server (although the WWW server isn't doing anything)... I've got
Excel, Word and Photoshop open. I'm running my virus software, and I've got a few TSR's
monitoring system performance. I'm moving a few files from one drive to the next... and
none of it phases my burn.
Granted, it's a nice machine it's all running off of, but
that's the difference between IDE and SCSI.... no CPU overhead. So if you consider your
computer more of just a 'burning station', you might well benifit from SCSI.
Your own personal results will vary. But know this in the
world of CD-R: money spent well is money well spent. The more you pay for a CD-R(W), in
general, the better dividends it'll pay off in the long run (discounting chain stores,
local stores, USB and external parallel drives). <cough>
And finally, your PSX... the older it is, the more trouble
it's going to have. GET A MOD CHIP IF YOU DON'T HAVE ONE. Well worth the $5-$10. 100x
PSX's have trouble reading cheap media - follow directions above. 5xxx PSX's can have
trouble reading cheap media... see directions above. 7xxx's PSX's generally will read
anything but a CD written with a "4224" model drive <snicker>
I also highly recommend that everyone should have a separate
800-900MB partition on their harddrive just for images. This not only helps keep
buffer underruns from happening, it also negates the need to defrag your system all the
time! And if you've got a SCSI HD and a SCSI CD-R, you're never going across the
system bus, and you're not using any CPU overhead to burn. It's the best possible
combination to date I've seen!