Which cd-r media should I use for my old cd-rw drive?

Hi everyone

I have a slow burner that I use a lot – it's an HP model 9150 which does 8/4/32 (meaning it can write CD-R discs at up to 8X, re-write CD-RW discs at up to 4X, and play at up to 32X). I've been burning files with it onto 52x cd-r's, and have not had a problem.

I just heard that:
"a burner that is able to burn at a maximum of 8x speed should be used with discs that have a maximum speed of 8x (or close to 8x), because the firmware in the burner is calibrated to those types of discs, since that's what that burner's manufacturer expected you to use it for". Is this true? Should I go out and buy 8x cd-r's (or something close to it) and stop using my 52x cd-r's when I burn files from this drive?

By the way, I asked a related question here


and no one has yet given me a good answer.


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As long as drive recognizes media and burns without errors, you are home free with CD-Rs.  However, you will be limited to 4X CD-RW media.

Most drives have firmware updates available to accomodate newer media.  May want to check HP download site and see if there are any newer firmware versions than what you currently have.
If it's an old drive, I would recommend using slower-rated media, because the old drives are not as forgiving as new ones.  Considering that a new DVD burner costs $35 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16827152059, I would consider upgrading the hardware and continue to use the 52x media.
shlomofu99Author Commented:
Thanks for your input.

Since I anyway burn at a slow speed (usually 2x) to minimize errors, what's the point of getting such a fast burner?

Do the slower-rated media produce better burns at slower speeds? And is there a minimum speed the faster-rated media should be used at?
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The newer drives are able to burn at higher speeds without errors.  I burn CDs at 16x without a problem with a NEC 3540A, and I would have no problem burning it faster with today's software (I still have some old software I have not gotten around to updating).

If you're burning audio CDs, 4x is considered by some to be the maximum burn speed and still be accurate: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/nov04/articles/qa1104-3.htm
shlomofu99Author Commented:
Thanks for the link

I'm leaving my ofc now, so I'll get back to you on it tommorrow.
Well, are you even able to find 8x CDR's nowadays?

I only see 52x CDR's available from most places now, even online stores that only sell blank media.

If you're really stuck on using CDRs that match the burner's maximum rated speed, then as Callandor originally said, it's much easier (and probably cheaper) in the long run to get a new burner and use the 52x CDR's, instead of sticking with your old burner and trying to find 8x CDR's.

In reality, I doubt any of this matters much to any significant degree. I would say it's fine using 52x media on old burners. *Shrug*
look closer on the new disc wrapping many of them write not just X52 (the max speed) but also X2-X52 (also the minimal burning speed, maybe in smaller letters) - that means that it's ok to burn on this media on every speed except X1
I have medias that are X1X2X4X6X8X12 (very old) X1-X24 (old too), X12-X52 (these aren't good for you), "multispeed" (hell knows what that really means - maybe it's ok, maybe not), X2-X52 (that's good for any speed except X1)

most of the new CDR discs still support low writing speeds - but not all of them
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Any high quality media will be fine at the lower speeds => and I agree that it's a good idea to burn at lower speeds (ESPECIALLY for audio CDs).

CD's are burned using different technologies at different speeds.   All drives use CLV (Constant Linear Velocity) writes at speeds up to about 12x (8x for some manufacturers, 16x for others -- and I've seen this on 20x drives).   At higher speeds they use CAV (Constant Angular Velocity) writes, or occasionally a variation of Zoned CLV or a mixture of CLV and CAV called P-CAV (Partial-CAV).   Consequently, any CD written at the higher speeds has the data spaced somewhat differently than with the lower speed writes -- and this can cause issues with some audio players.

I think 2x is a bit overly conservative with high quality media -- but I never write an audio CD above 8x.   For DVD's, the higher data rates are less problematic, so it's okay to use fairly high data rates.   But I still avoid the highest rates -- I have a 16x burner, but never burn DVDs faster than 8x.

If you buy high quality media and burn conservatively you'll likely NEVER have a problem with your burns.   You asked "which cd-r media" you should use:  I use only Taiyo-Yuden, which is superb media for both CDs and DVDs.   Here's a good source for their blank CDs:  http://www.meritline.com/taiyo-cd-r-40x-audio.html

shlomofu99Author Commented:
Thanks everyone. So I see from your replies and from the link that Callandor gave me that my answer is that it depends what I'm burning:

If I'm burning audio cd-r's, to be safe I should burn them at 4x (slower than that isn't neccessary), even if I have a new, 52x burner, and I should try to use slow-rated media when doing so.
I should also be sure that my cd-r disc can handle the slow 4x burn speed.

If I'm burning data cd-r's, as long as the burner recognizes the media and burns without errors, I can use any speed CD-R, even the fastest ones.

If I'm burning data cd-rw's, I will of course be limited to 4X CD-RW media.

I also see that I should be sure that the firmware in my hp drive is up-to-date.

Thanks again everyone. You've been really helpful.
You're welcome.
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
You're most welcome.
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