View Full Version : Need help selecting a CD-RW

02-22-00, 05:52 PM
What one should I get?? I would rather go with external, as I dont have a knowledge of the inerds of a PC. But, are there any cons with a external one?? What I am mainly going to be doing with it is backing up files and making music CD's from the mp3's I have! http://www.speedguide.net/ubb/smile.gif thanks for the help and info!!!

OH, I COULD maybe do a internal, just not sure where things go, so suggest about those too!! I want to learn the inerds, and who knows, maybe this is the way, lol. Thanks again!!!


02-22-00, 09:39 PM
External would put you in a SCSI unit which will require the inserting of a SCSI card inside your machine or a USB unit which will not have as high writing speed as an internal unit.

Sony and Plextor make marvelous internal IDE CDRW's in the low 200's that 32x/8x/4x (Read/Write/Re-Write). They are very easy to install (Set Master/Slave, Mount drive, IDE cable, power cable, install software, play!!) Smart and Friendly makes a unit they claim will write at 12x but they are notorious for poor quality. I like internal SCSI because of the low CPU overhead but UDMA has made that somewhat irrelevent.

Hope I helped

02-22-00, 10:44 PM
that did a bit....but i dont know much about the insides.....do they come with kits that could help me install it?? I have put in a voodoo3 3000pci, so i do know a little, but that was easy, lol.

Ok, question, does an internal IDE or SCSI make for a lesser chance of underbuffering and loss of transmission?? or does USB have more of a loss??

Thanks again for the help!!!

Oh, how is the cd quality of the sound on them?? and, can a CD-RW disc be played in cd players??? or can CD-R only be played in a cd player?? thanks again!!

02-25-00, 01:23 PM
I spent the extra money and bought an HP CD Writer+. Since most of my computer components (not the case though) are near top of the line, I figure it's good to keep a high standard.
Don't buy a cheap CD writer because the headaches will easily outweigh the benefits. Cheapies use poor electronics, electromechanics, and lazers. Also, their software will be crap, and you can probably only get a good burn a 1x speed.
I recommend you get an internal, unless you plan on moving the unit over to your buddies or work a lot. It is a great investment, and basically frees up your harddrive. The externals are more prone to shock, wear, dust, and cord problems. I'm sure you take primo care of your PC, and if your writer is inside, it will get the same attention.
I think that most cd writers use the SCSI standard, but the HP I have uses IDE #2.
The question you had about underbuffering and loss of transmission is a function of the whole computer, but my experience has been to always write at 2x for guaranteed results. I do it when I go to bed, then the time isn't an issue.

The hookups for your internal will be a standard IDE ribbon cable (red strip goes to pin #1 at both ends) and a 4 pin power plug. There is also going to be an audio cable that plugs into the CD-r and into the sound card. You will probably already have a cord for cd sound from your existing cdrom, so leave it. Why waste the lazer on your cd's. Leave the CDR for writing explicitly. This is my policy. Why? The CD writer will have higher quality components, electronics, and lazer, but to blow it on overuse for non-writes is an expensive proposition. A cheap cdrom drive is easy to find.

The sound quality on a CDR is exactly the same as your original cdrom, give or take a bit due to scratches from original, or errors in sampling. But, your copy is just that. Think of it as a clone. CDR's cannot be played in a standard cd player unless the songs are recorded in CDA format (cdaudio) and a TOC (table of contents, like the FAT) is burned on. Any good cd writer software will let you burn thousands of quality cd's for music and data.
A CD-RW drive can be written, read, erased, and written to again. It's only drawback is that only another cd-rw format writer will be able to 'see' the contents of the disk. SO, unless you use your PC for listening to music, use the CDR disks instead. But, if you do want to use the CD-RW disk, it makes more sense to save your music onto it in the MP3 format. You can fit about 140 full MP3 audio songs onto a cd, where as you can fit only 14 cdaudio format songs onto the cd. (assuming a song is 4 minutes long!)

Whatever you do, make a smart decision. Ask here and look in consumer reporting forums. This is an expensive addition, but probably will be your most valued component, especially by your friends!

Good luck.

02-25-00, 04:46 PM
thanks for all that info!!! I am also looking at a HP one....right now I have a friend whos aunt works for HP...soo...I am hoping for a free one!! But HP seems like a good one. Thanks for your help!!! It is appreciated!


02-25-00, 08:43 PM
The SCSI interface drives will have far less problems with data underruns. The Scsi interface has its own intelligence so it does not rely on the main processor for throughput. An 8x burn will require a 1200KBs sustained rate. An IDE CDR will leave you with very little else to do on you machine while it writes.
I have had three units (all SCSI), A HP (4x/2x) a Matsushita (8x/4x) and my recent purchase a Yamaha (24x/8x/4x). I would feel comfortable recommending any of these drives. I can write audio cd's at 8x while net surferiong with out a hitch with my Yamaha. In addition Plextor makes fantastic quality units. Nice and Friendly is notorious for crappy products, end of story.

A decent SCSI card can vary in price. Adaptec's 2930 and 2940 series will fill the bill nicely without gutting your wallet.

Of course, if you can tolerate the IDE bottleneck you can save a bit of money. HOWEVER, it may cost you a bit of aggravation. I must confess. I do not know how well the IDE drive work with the new UDMA66 interface... It is logical that that would alleviate much of the thoughput problems associated with standard IDE.

Software... Adaptec ezcd is the standard though in my opinion not the best. Ahead (Ahead.com) makes Nero Burn cd-r software that allows creation of more types of CD's (like bootable which EZCD does not).

One last thing. DO NOT go cheap on blanks. Use good name brands like TDK, Sony, Maxell and Kodak. You are relying on this data. Spend the extra 10 to 20 cents for the good stuff.

03-14-00, 06:30 PM
NOTHING compares to a plextor writer! whether it is a rewriter or not. I've had a memorex, used an hp several times.. and now I have a plextor scsi burner. I wouldn't recommend anything else to anyone! I've never tried their ide burners but I've heard they are just as dependable. and from what i've read.... plextors disc dupe will even do a direct copy of a playstation disk. no mod chip needed.... though I can't verify that personally yet. any way you look at it..... if you get an ide burner... make sure it has a 4 meg buffer and you'll avoid the buffer underruns

03-14-00, 07:39 PM
i have a phillips 4x4x32 IDE writer w/ 2 mb buffer.. the only problems i've had were due to error on MY part and only had ONE buffer underrun..also MY fault cause i ran too much junk in the back ground. i use cdrwin and adaptec and it works totally fine and always had.


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