On EIDE interfaceThe best interface for CD-R and CD-RW drives is or used to be SCSI, but many vendors supply the cheaper and very reliable EIDE units. The leading company HP makes great IDE-based CD-RWs.
Steady data streamingBurning a CD-ROM requires a very steady data streaming. Therefore the drives typically have a 2 MB cache onboard for buffer. If the buffer runs out of data during the writing process, the CD ends up unusable.
This so-called buffer under run happens quite often, especially if you process other disk-intensive work on the PC while burning a CD-ROM in a EIDE-based drive.
If you use an EIDE burner, the best is to connect it as a master unit on the secondary EIDE channel with the hard disk and CD-ROM drive on the other channel.
Therefore I use this setup:
It works fine, I can "burn" what I want at 12X speed. I also burn directly from CD-ROM til CD-R without copying to a harddisk. In the last case, it is best to leave the machine undisturbed during the process, even with modern "burn-proof" CD-recorders.
If you need harddisk number two in a configuraton as above, you should not connect it as a slave on the vacant EIDE 2 slave channel. Instead I recommend the inexpensive FastTrack controller for expanding your EIDE system. Or better: Get yourself a 60 or 80 GB harddisk!
Burn speed and buffersIn 2000 the best drives selling were operating at speeds like 40x20x10x. This meens :
Here you see an drive called PleXWriter 12/10/32A:
It also includes a new technology called "BURN-Proof". It should enable the recorder to pause if the Buffer-Under-Run-situation occurs. When data start rolling again, the recorder continues writing where it left. I do not know if it works (it probably does), but I do know, that this is a very good drive. It holds 2 MB of cache.
The HP 9310e is another top-drive. It is rated for the speeds 32x10x4x.
The HP 9310e is also a very fine performer. It holds a buffer of 4 MB cache, which is quite a lot. I use this combi-drive myself. It works fine:
Personally I do not understand why they do not use 16 or 32 MB for buffer - RAM being so cheep. it would effectively remove the buffer under run problem. The 4 MB of buffer in HP 9310e is good for a 2,3 seconds long delay at 10X speed burning.
Personally I do not care if the recorder burns at 12x, 16X or 20x speed - it only takes few nminutes to burn a CD in any case.
Synchronize data transferOne detail. In Windows 98/Me: Check your for Settings on both CD-ROM drives. You should enable Synchronize data transfer as here:
Please do not enable DMA on your CD-ROM drives. It probably causes troubles.
Also see: Module 4d about MO drives.
Please read Module 4e about tape streamers (they are not drives).
Please read Module 5c about SCSI.
Please read Module 6a about file
Copyright (c) 1996-2005 by Michael B. Karbo. www.karbosguide.com.