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Hot-Rod Your CD-RW Drive 326

Posted by timothy
from the or-is-it-april-already dept.
Anonymous Coward writes: "Currently almost everyone with a computer has a CD-ROM drive and also a big part of them have a CD-RW drive. But what if you want to spend less time on writing a CD-R ? You have to buy a new one, or, if you are a real geek, you just overclock it! Seems to be to good to be true ? It's not! Currently a lot of cheap manufacturers of CD-RW drives are using the same parts in their 32x,40x, and 48x drives and start to sell them at 32x, later to 40x and in end as 48x. and with a little upgrading of the firmware (totally legal) you will have a faster drive, because you remove its limits! It currently works on drives from Lite-On (who also makes drives for Memorex, TDK, Iomega, Cendyne, TraxData and Pacific digital all overclockable) And the list goes on as there are also overclock tricks for LG (32x -> 40x) and Sony drives (32x -> 48x). If you don't believe it, read all the reactions and the postings on the forums mentioned above!"
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Hot-Rod Your CD-RW Drive

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  • Plextor? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Luke-Jr (574047)
    Don't suppose this goes for old Plextor writers does it?
    • Re:Plextor? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Ziviyr (95582)
      From what I read all you can do is rename/upgrade firmware on rebadged Plextor drives. (they don't seem to play the underclocking game much)
      • Re:Plextor? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Luke-Jr (574047)
        If they don't play underclocking much, then how would rename/upgrading of firmware make it any faster?
        • Re:Plextor? (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Ziviyr (95582)
          In this case the firmware part could add support for CD formats, make burning marginally more reliable and so forth.

          I really think stories have to tone themselves down nowadays. Too many readers are getting wrong ideas and cranking up the slashdot effect.

          Well, I can't say this isn't a subscription service anymore, but really.
  • by stevenbdjr (539653) <steven@mrchuckles.net> on Saturday July 20, 2002 @11:27AM (#3922499) Homepage
    And if you act now, we'll send you two kits for the price of one. That's the two CD-RW hot-rod kits, plus the terry cloth bath robe, absolutley FREE!
  • old news...... (Score:5, Informative)

    by H3XA (590662) on Saturday July 20, 2002 @11:30AM (#3922510)
    another source of info

    http://www.cdrinfo.com/Sections/Articles/Specific. asp?ArticleHeadline=Overclocking&Series=0

    with mods for -
    AOPEN
    HP
    Iomega
    LG
    Lite-On
    Plextor
    Ricoh
    Sony
    TraxData

    - HeXa
  • Firmware (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zapfie (560589) on Saturday July 20, 2002 @11:32AM (#3922519)
    Upgradinging of the firmware, totally legal? Ackk. You can do whatever you want with your CD-R drive and it would be totally legal- you have first sale rights. I will be scared if we live in a country where people even have to wonder if modifying their own hardware is "totally legal" or not.
    • will be scared if we live in a country where people even have to wonder if modifying their own hardware is "totally legal" or not.
      Well get scared, if you chip your Playstation to play international games you can get screwed
    • Re:Firmware (Score:5, Funny)

      by Waffle Iron (339739) on Saturday July 20, 2002 @02:51PM (#3923416)
      You can do whatever you want with your CD-R drive and it would be totally legal- you have first sale rights.

      You don't have a right to be an "X" thief. These companies are selling you Xs. You paid for 32 Xs. By modifying the drive, you stole up to 16 extra Xs from the manufacturer.

      If you bought a 6-cylinder Ford, would it be OK to break into the dealership and steal two more cylinders so you could have a V8? Of course not.

      Xs don't just grow on trees. Stop stealing them.

      If you really feel you need a bunch of Xs, you can get them in bulk from Microsoft, who sells them by the box. It really doesn't cost that much per X to stay legit.

  • by papasui (567265) on Saturday July 20, 2002 @11:33AM (#3922523) Homepage
    LIVE AT 10.
    An area man inadvertently set fire to his dwelling while attempting to burn Jenna's Built for Speed with his self modified CDRW drive. When asked why he modified his CD recording device he stated. "My wife was coming home...."
  • by jsse (254124) on Saturday July 20, 2002 @11:37AM (#3922544) Homepage Journal
    When I worked at IBM an engineer told me the million dollars 'mainframe upgrade' was actually removing a jummper from the motherboard. So I started to remove one jumper at a time from my IBM PC to see if it'd run faster. (the answer is no)
  • Big deal (Score:5, Informative)

    by asavage (548758) on Saturday July 20, 2002 @11:40AM (#3922556)
    The difference between burning at 40 to 48 speeds is about 20 seconds. Some of us still have to use crappy 4 speed burners. Also a lot of CD media isn't even compatable at those speeds anyway.
    • I agree. I rarely burn above 12-16x since the media seems to start going corrupt above that. Not very often, and not very much, but often enough to make any savings on burntime go up in smoke due to re-burn time. One broken mp3 might not really matter, but one broken rpm package is really really annoying.
  • Profit Margins ? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by PureCreditor (300490)
    Let's see....so they less money on the 32x drives, since they're using the same components on the 48x that yield much higher margins. So....if we all buy their lowest rating drives, would they dip into red? =)
  • by hashinclude (192717) <slashdotNO@SPAMhashinclude.com> on Saturday July 20, 2002 @11:43AM (#3922577) Homepage
    These are the stats I have on my machine (p3-733, 512MB ram, IDE-100)

    1x - 1 hr 10 mins (total, yes I have had one)
    2x - 40 mins (actually something like 38)
    4x - 19-20 mins
    12x - 7 mins
    24x - 5 mins
    32x - 4:30 mins
    40x - ? (haven't upgraded my drive yet :P )

    My point being that as things are right now, IDE hard drives are not quite fast enough even with an 8MB buffer to keep up with the data transfer required (and yes, I am running my 7200 Maxtor 27GB as Primary master, and LG 32X CD-RW as Secondary Master on an Intel 815EEA2 board)

    How does overclocking (and possibly destroying the drive mechanism, though rare) really help me burn CD faster? Current software / hardware configs give me no better than 4:30 mins .. (while the 24x gives ~5:20)

    I think this is something like the 52x and 60x and 72x CDROM, where the number behind the X stands for MAX ... meaning that with optimal (ideal?) parameters, the drive gives 72x (1x = 150kbps)

    I'd much rather stick with my * unmodified * 32x drive, thanks.

    • I seem to remember a story about how the speed is relative to the track being read, depending on being the inside or outside of the disk.

      In that the disc itself can't handle being spun at more than a certain RPM before it comes apart.

      If the speed issue is that big of a deal for you, a stand alone burning machine is probably for you. In that you can use your other machine while it burns away. Drives are cheap enough these days.
      • That's true, the speed is relative to the track being burned. On my 16x burner, if I burn an iso using webmin [webmin.com] I notice it starts out at 12x and eventually, about halfway through the burn, it'll jump up to 16x or a little faster. I think this is due to the location on the disc it's burning (distance from the center).
    • Actually, the 52X and 72X CD-ROMs were a special deal made by Kenwood, I've got their 72X one sitting right here. And it was labelled True-X, meaning it actually gets that speed. The trick it used was splitting the laser beam into seven parts, to read different parts of the track? disc? simultaneously. I clocked this thing once by reading the entire contents of a 650MB CD to /dev/null, it AVERAGED 9 MB/s across the entire surface!
      • The audio CD standard specifies CLV (constant linear velocity) reading, so the data rate is the same at all points on the disc. At higher speeds, this method requires a very powerful motor to spin up the disc to read the inner tracks. Past a certain point, the inner tracks cannot be spun fast enough without the disc deforming to maintain the CLV method, so CAV (constant angular velocity) began to be used. This requires a smaller drive motor, as it only needs enough power to maintain rotation and a burst of power for spin-up, and is more stable, since there is no straining motor introducing vibration to the disc.

        The True-X drives are P-CAV (partial constant angular velocity) drives, meaning the transfer rate ramps up from the center of the CD and more quickly reaches its maximum, where it stays throughout the majority of the disc. For more, visit storagereview.
      • I clocked this thing once by reading the entire contents of a 650MB CD to /dev/null, it AVERAGED 9 MB/s

        I copied the entire internet to /dev/null at over 512 GB/s! :)

        -
    • Something strange with your setup, then... on my P3-550/1gb RAM, UDMA33, 5400RPM W.D. HD, Win98.. my 24x IDE Plextor burns a full CD in 4 minutes flat, using either PlexTools, Nero5, or EZCD5 (which has a ton of overhead). You've got 20% more drag than me even tho your system is roughly 50% faster!

      I did discover that IE5.5 FUBARs CD burning, tho -- causes constant buffer problems, regardless of what software is used, and REALLY slows things down.

      BTW per tests someone did (story posted here a while back), 52x or so is the practical top limit due to CD media shrapneling itself at around 56x.

      • "I did discover that IE5.5 FUBARs CD burning, tho -- causes constant buffer problems, regardless of what software is used, and REALLY slows things down."

        Strange ... I have had problems with Roxio EasyCD 5 (*) where the only way to get the software to WORK was to reinstall IE5.5.

        (*) I personally have ditched EasyCD because I bought(**) Nero [ahead.de] several weeks ago which is worlds better and have never had any buffer problems. These roxio problems were on a client's machine.

        (**) Yes, I actually spent money on Nero and did not find a pirated serial somewhere. This program is worth the money and it is not overpriced, therefore I pay for it.

        "BTW per tests someone did (story posted here a while back), 52x or so is the practical top limit due to CD media shrapneling itself at around 56x."

        Limitations will be overcome by sidestepping the problem. Every now and then we also see an article about how the physical limits of magnets have been reached but HDD mfgrs keep coming out with bigger drives. Sooner or later some manufacturer will use more lasers or spin the laser in the opposite direction of the disc to obtain a higher speed. (***) They could even allow people with hordes of RAM to cache the disc image on a RAM disk thus eliminating any IDE related problems.

        (***) Yes, I did come up with this idea as I was typing this post. I did not copy it from somewhere.

        • *Buying* Nero? How embarrassing :)

          My Plextor came with Nero 5.5x, which despite its feature set, is too disorganised by my lights -- I don't like it at all. So I went back to EZCD5 (I prefer v3.5 which came with my late-and-never-again Yahama, but it doesn't know the Plextor). Tho I like InCD better than DirectCD. And I really like Plextools.

          I'd been having ZERO problems and uniformly swift writes with all the above, with buffer always pegged at 98% full -- UNTIL TurboTax forcibly installed IE5.5 (which also FUBAR'd DUN). Uninstalled TTax, and might have left IE5.5 in place since it's not that much different from 5.0 (last version I consider tolerabely well-behaved -- tho I dislike IE and *never* use it online, only for checking local web pages) ...but...

          First thing I noticed was that I can no longer do a CD copy with PlexTools; next noticed that I was getting *severe* buffer-chugging in both Nero and EZCD (dangling down near zero all the time -- even with burnproof it was taking a good 10-15 minutes to burn a 24x CD, vs the previous 4 minutes). TTax did uninstall cleanly, so it wasn't the problem. But we all know how invasive IE can be, and 5.5 had also put a lot of new lag in my desktop.

          And then when I got DUN fixed and went online, in 10 seconds flat I had a ding on my firewall from a M$-owned IP address (apparently IE5.5 is ET-ware, even when it's not per-se running!!) Okay, enough of this crap.. IE5.5 would not uninstall cleanly, had to forcibly remove it with IEradicator (which also got my desktop slickness back) then reinstall my well-mannered IE5.0.some-internal-build.

          The CDRW's performance is not entirely back to normal even now (doubtless there is IE5.5 detritus somewhere yet) but is definitely much better than it was when IE5.5 was installed. I severely resist reinstalling Windows (like, never if I can help it) but this, alas, may ultimately require it. :( And Intuit lost a good customer that day, probably forever.

          As to your ideas for how to speed up CD R/W without blowing up the media like a grenade -- that's a darned good thought -- either multiple laser heads operating simultaneously (may well be the most practical approach since the required innovation would be more in data flow control than in mechanical invention), or spinning the laser the opposite direction (would doubtless work but be a bitch to calibrate, especially for multiple small reads/writes, but likely not impossible).

          Maybe you should patent it ;)

          • "My Plextor came with Nero 5.5x, which despite its feature set, is too disorganised by my lights -- I don't like it at all. So I went back to EZCD5 (I prefer v3.5 which came with my late-and-never-again Yahama, but it doesn't know the Plextor). Tho I like InCD better than DirectCD. And I really like Plextools."

            So you are in Europe then? My plextor 40/12/40 from North America came with EasyCD5 but honestly I can't stand that program. I want finer and more granular control as to the adherance to ISO specifications and error correction features. Plus Nero has better multisession CD features.

            As I understand it, the European Plextor drives all come with Nero while the North American ones come with EasyCD.

            I have had countless problems with EasyCD regarding VXD and DLL files missing or the wrong version, strange crashes, strange lockups on a variety of computers running Win9x, NT, 2k all with different hardware and software setups from EasyCD 3.5 to 5.0. I can't stand it and find that Nero is much more smooth and fast and it's never choked on me.

            Still, I do not know for certain why an IE install would have killed your burning performance. You might want to go make sure your ASPI layer [adaptec.com] install is not messed up because that can really mess up your burning performance.

            "And then when I got DUN fixed and went online, in 10 seconds flat I had a ding on my firewall from a M$-owned IP address (apparently IE5.5 is ET-ware, even when it's not per-se running!!) Okay, enough of this crap.. IE5.5 would not uninstall cleanly, had to forcibly remove it with IEradicator (which also got my desktop slickness back) then reinstall my well-mannered IE5.0.some-internal-build."

            I know what you mean ... whenever I install IE or just set up a machine with a clean windows install, I *never* give it network access (i.e. the cat5 stays unplugged) until IE is properly locked out of certain MSFT IP's via Tiny Personal Firewall.

            • I'm in California. My Plextor 24x is (like much of even the retail boxed merchandise at computer shows) grey market, which explains the Nero bundling. I just don't like how Nero is put together -- the program seems to work fine (tho I've heard widespread reports that it has an occasional problem with writing corrupted data) but I swear everything is in the last place I'd look for it -- it reminds me of M$Word :) I don't do multisession as I need CDs readable on ALL machines and in DOS.

              You don't happen to run mostly on AMD with VIA chipsets? I wonder if the VIA latency problem might get into it with EZCD's relatively high overhead. I've never had a bit of problem with EZCD 3.5 or 5.0, but I'm a pure Intel shop (at least for the systems I built on purpose -- some of the Borg Collective have whatever components came along for free). OTOH, EZCD 4.0 wouldn't run for me at all -- zeroed out the buffer before it even got around to writing any data. Oddly enough, when it uninstalled it left behind something that fixed some trivial glitches in v3.5 (tho by now I don't recall what).

              That's a good thought about the ASPI layer, thanks for the link. I'll try reinstalling that, since gods know what IE5.5 messed up that it has no business touching. Whoever first got the clever notion of tying browser to desktop needs a severe beating with a clue-by-four!!

              I've been going to try Tiny Personal Firewall but the last several times I've looked, their download links were all dead. I do run ZoneAlarm but have caught IE5.5 and FrontPage98 going around it without a whisper from ZA, so methinks a 2nd firewall is in order.

    • I think this is something like the 52x and 60x and 72x CDROM, where the number behind the X stands for MAX ... meaning that with optimal (ideal?) parameters, the drive gives 72x (1x = 150kbps)

      Actually, for the 72x CD-ROMs, IIRC, 72x was the average speed. They're fast and they're just about silent. They used 7 lasers to read from all parts of the disc at once. Kenwood made them two-three years ago and now they're out of production. You can't find them new, only on e-bay. However, for non-Kenwood drives, you're right in that those are the maximum speeds under ideal conditions.
    • Hey Dude...

      1x = 150 KB/s = .15 MB/s

      40x = 6000 KB/s = 6 MB/s

      ATA66 Spec = 66 MB/s

      ATA100 Spec = 100 MB/s

      ATA133 Spec = 133 MB/s

      Serial ATA Spec = 150 MB/s

      SCSI 160 Spec = 150 MB/s

      SCSI 320 Spec = 320 MB/s

      33mhz/32bit PCI bus = 133 MB/s

      66mhz/64bit PCI bus = 533 MB/s You can support up to 4 gigabit ethernet channels.

      33/64 or 66/32 = 266 MB/s

      PCI/X (133mhz/64bit)= 1066 MB/s

      10baseT = 10 Mb/s = 1.25 MB/s max Faster than an 8X cd drive

      10/100 = 100 Mb/s = 12.5 MB/s You can burn across this network if the network is unloaded

      Gigabit Ethernet 1000 Mb/s or 125 MB/s or just under the top speed of 33/32 PCI bus

      Firewire = 400 Mb/s or 50 MB/s, Slower than the fastest IDE hard drives

      USB 2.0 = 480 Mb/s or 60 MB/s, Faster than the fastest IDE hard drives

      Western Digital wd1200JB 120GB w/8MB buffer Peaks at 100 MB/s with 52 MB/s continuous throughput.

      Meaning You could use a 346x drive burner with a WD1200JB except your CD disk would have to spin at 70,000 rpm -or- be in a drive with 8 write heads and spinning at a more moderate 8750 rpm -or- Send data to 8 40x CD Burners simultaniously

      52x = 10500 rpm @ 7.8 MB/s

      Everything can keep up with the data transfer speeds of a 40x drive

    • Hey,

      40x - ? (haven't upgraded my drive yet :P )

      I graphed your data with a power-type line of best fit. The relationship is approximately:

      [Time] = 66.569 * [X Speed]^-0.8206

      Upgrading from 32x to 40x would allow you to burn a CD in approximately 0.6 minutes less.

      Upgrading from 32x to 48x could offer a benefit as big as 1 minute per CD.

      To be honest, I don't think it's worth the bother.

      Michael
  • Don't go too fast (Score:3, Redundant)

    by naoursla (99850) on Saturday July 20, 2002 @11:44AM (#3922578) Homepage Journal
    Unfortunately, CDs explode into bits of metal and plastic shrapnal if spun too fast. This isn't like burning out a CPU from over clocking. /. had an article a while back about a guy testing the spin limits of CDs.
    • Unfortunately, CDs explode into bits of metal and plastic shrapnal if spun too fast. This isn't like burning out a CPU from over clocking. /. had an article a while back about a guy testing the spin limits of CDs.

      Has anyone ever tried to keep the CD stationary and spin the laser instead?
  • Looks like for the Lite-On's at least, it'll only work for 32x+. So I'm guessing my 24X Lite-On won't take the upgrade.

    Cached Link [216.239.51.100]

    • - How to convert a LiteOn LTR-24103 to LTR-32123S

      The process is very simple. Just download this firmware upgrade [62.67.47.73]. It should prompt to flash the firmware. Note: There are no test results from this upgrade and no way to go back to the original drive state (if you know of a procedure let us know..)
  • Silly (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Reality Master 101 (179095) <RealityMaster101@@@gmail...com> on Saturday July 20, 2002 @12:03PM (#3922675) Homepage Journal

    I HIGHLY doubt that the exact same TESTED components are used in both drives. It is much more likely that a 40x drive is simply a drive that passed the 40x tests, but not the 48x tests, just like how processors are graded.

    It would be kind of stupid to stamp 40x on a box just to sell it for a lower price. Why not sell a 48x for the lower price and intice the customer further?

    • Re:Silly (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      It's called price discrimination, a basic economic principle.

      It's the same principle behind having different prices for adult and children movie tickets, or differing airfare depending on how far in advance the ticket is bought by.

      Selling everything one fixed price reduces total revenue. By having price discrimination, you can charge more to people that are willing to pay more, and charge less to people who normally wouldn't have bought your product had it been at a higher price.
    • "It is much more likely that a 40x drive is simply a drive that passed the 40x tests, but not the 48x tests, just like how processors are graded."

      In that case, I wouldn't be at all supprised to find most are overclockable. In processors, it is a very common practise to mark processors slower than their true maximum capability. Intel has been doing this forever. They have great fabs that get good yeilds. Well there is a demand for slower, cheaper processors. So they have two options:

      1) Drop the price of the faster processors.

      2) Remark faster processors as slower ones.

      Well, for the reasons of making the most money, they pick options 2. They lock the multiplier on a processor and then sell it at a given speed, However often in reality the processor is capable of more.
    • Actually, processors were and are commonly remarked as slower speeds to fill the stronger demand in the lower-priced market.

      Back in the early Pentium era, the majority of "P75" CPUs were really remarked P90 and P100 chips. And it recently came to light (this was mentioned on one of the major hardware review sites) that those highly-overclockable Celerons are ALL remarks; the ones that won't overclock are marked with their REAL rating in the first place.

      So it wouldn't surprise me if CDRW mfgrs are doing the same thing. If all of a given product line cost the same to make, but you can sell a million of the "slower" ones at a slightly reduced price, that's still more profit than selling 1000 of the "faster" ones at the current premium price.

      That said, the problem you may run into is that if you overclock it, they're not obligated to honour the warranty -- because you *were* running it out of spec, even if the spec was artificially low.

    • I would highly doubt if they DIDN'T test them all. Having separate tests for each caliber of drive would make manufacturing even more expensive.

      We aren't talking processors here.. it's not hard to manufacture thousands of drives with the same characteristics and tolerances.

      It's pure marketing.
    • Reality master, eh? Not the reality the rest of us share.

      A company which only makes 48X burners misses out on the market for 24-40X burners. A company which makes 24X, 32X, 40X and 48X burners spends an awful lot of R&D effort designing 4 separate products. A company which makes a 48X burner, bin-splits the drives that can't quite make 48X and changes a few bits in the firmware to compete in 4 separate markets spends less money on R&D, less money on manufacturing, and can compete in more markets than a manufacturer which makes separate parts for each product.

      You apparently don't know it, but the reason certain Intel CPUs always overclocked extremely well was that their manufacturing process had gotten so good there weren't enough CPUs that maxed out at the lower speeds, so they sold chips capable of 20-50% higher clock speed as lower-clocked chips in order to compete in that market. Remember that making a CPU costs a few bucks - it's the R&D and fab upgrades that cost an arm and a leg and losing marketshare to AMD is incredibly costlier than selling what might have been a $300 CPU for $85 is.

      Remember those square-hole-punch devices that would "magically" turn a 720K floppy into a 1.44M floppy? They worked because it's cheaper to make 1.44M-capable media and stick it in everything than to make 1.44M and 720K media and keep them separate at the factory. The only difference between the higher and lower-capacity media WAS the hole in one corner.

      I could come up with more examples, but it boils down to you being wrong. Some 32X burners won't hit 40X; some 40X burners won't hit 48X, but the hardware's the same (in some cases, in some product lines, after manufacturing tolerances outpace the market, and such provisos) in most of them.
    • The reason they do this is to discriminate between people who just want a CD drive, and the person who wants the best possible. (More technically, they want to charge people with a low elasticity of demand more, and still sell to people witha high elasticity of demand).

      If they produced just 1 model drive, then they can reasonably expect to sell it at 1 price. Let's suppose they can sell it for $50. Now, there are some people who must have the fastest drive, damn the price. These people will (obviously), buy it for $50. There are also some people who are willing to pay $50 for the drive, but not necessarily too much more. They will also buy. There is a 3rd class of people who would like a drive, but don't want to buy at $50. They don't buy.

      Now lets introduce another, slower model. We can raise the price of the fast drive, say to $75. The performance freaks will all still fork out for it. If we price the slow drive at say, $40, we will still sell a drive to all the people who bought at $50 (but don't want to pay $75). We will also sell a bunch of drives to people who never did want to pay $50, but will fork out $40.

      The end result is that we can extract more money out of the high end ($75 drive buyers) and the low end (people who buy at $40 but not at $50). We lose out some in the middle (people who are now paying $40 but would have paid $50), but if you balance the prices right, you can end up ahead.

      Intel did the same thing with the 486SX. The earlier manufactured SXs were just the DX with the floating point co-processor disabled. They were actually more expensive to make, but they sold for less. Some people had to/really wanted to buy the DX, and paid the high price. Intel gained a large low-end market with the cheaper SX chip, and overall ended up ahead. Even the speed-ratings of their processors was price-discrimination. Intel's fabrication technology turned out very few parts that couldn't pass the high-clockrate tests. But if they sold them as high-clockrate parts, they'd glut the highend market, and drive the prices down. By labelling them slower, they can still charge a premium for the faster parts, while maintaining low-end marketshare.

      Airplane tickets--same deal. It doesn't cost the airline more to sell you a ticket that doesn't include a weekend stay. They just want to charge the business traveller more. Business travellers have a low elasticity of demand -- they *must* fly. They are willing to pay a lot more. The tourist has a high elasticity of demand -- flying is totally optional. By including a weekend stay requirement for cheap fares, they can get more money overall.

      Student/senior discounts for movie tickets. Cheaper meals during lunch than dinner at restaraunts. It's a very common practice in business.
  • by athakur999 (44340) on Saturday July 20, 2002 @12:12PM (#3922706) Journal
    Upgrading your CD writer drive via firmware is nothing new, it's been going on for quite a while.

    Coincidentally enough, just last night I upgraded a 6x burner I bought for $10 to an 8x using the tricks on this page [cdmediaworld.com]. There's info there for several older model drives.
    • Sweet, just tested it with my Ricoh MP7040A, updated it to 7060A (4x to 6x)

      While I don't see the use of going from 32x to 40-48X (you'll get into buffer problems, cd compatibility, and all this to save 30 seconds) going from 4x to 6 or 8x to 12 is a nice speed increase, in my case I'll save quite a few minutes so this is a welcomed move :)

      Yes i've tested it before writing this, and it does work and the copied CD works just fine... while it's not a 12x CD-R, it's still faster than 4X :) for free :)

  • by fmaxwell (249001) on Saturday July 20, 2002 @12:18PM (#3922727) Homepage Journal
    How do you know that it "works" once you are done? Would you just assume that the ability to burn a CD and then read it proves that everything is fine? Has anyone looked into the error rates of hot-rodded drives vs. those drives sold to operate at the higher speeds? Has anyone examined the long-term data retention of CDs burned at 48X in what was a 32X burner?

    This is simply foolish. Unless you work for the factory, you simply don't know if there are hardware or performance differences between the 32X, 40X, and 48X drives. For all you know, they each have a different laser diode. So you're going to burn hundreds of CDs, maybe backing up valuable data and software, without knowing if they can be read a year from now? Great idea.

    If your time is so valuable that you need to upgrade from 32X to 48X burning, you can afford a new CD writer.

    • by Reziac (43301)
      Even tho as noted above, that 32x may really be a remarked 48x -- you can't know for sure. It may well be a for-really 32x, and tho you can get it to run at 48x, data integrity is now compromised.
      So I agree, the risk is not worth the gain, especially when the price difference is trivial (LiteOn 32x, $65; LiteOn 48x, $80 -- that's the typical local clone dealer price). CDRWs write enough iffy disks that don't store well as it is -- why compound the problem?? It ain't worth saving 15 bucks.

    • >Would you just assume that the ability to burn
      >a CD and then read it proves that everything is
      >fine? Has anyone looked into the
      >error rates of hot-rodded drives vs. those
      >drives sold to operate at the higher speeds?
      >Has anyone examined the long-term data
      >retention of CDs burned at 48X in what was a
      >32X burner?

      Geeze dude, who do you think you are, Ralph Nader? It's just a flippin' CDRW, not a seat belt mod or DIY nuclear reactor. Take a pill. If things don't work out just get another. What do you think is going to happen here? Is a disk going spin up so fast that the inertia rips it from the drive, decapitating the user?

      32x Lite-On CD-RW is $52.00 on Pricewatch. Not a biggie. Besides, it sounds pretty cool.

      Matthew
      • It's just a flippin' CDRW, not a seat belt mod or DIY nuclear reactor.

        Obviously the data you burn has little value to you. Some of us record important data onto CD/R media. I would not want to save 30 seconds on the recording process only to learn that the software, source code, proposal, etc., that I shipped overnight was unreadable.

        32x Lite-On CD-RW is $52.00 on Pricewatch.

        And a 48x Lite-On CD burner is $75.00 on Pricewatch. My peace of mind and the integrity of my data is worth $23.
  • What's new? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by marcovje (205102)
    This has happened before, see e.g. the Yahama CDR200 2 speed, which could be changed into a
    4 speed (with less cache then the real 4sp tho) by
    soldering a small resistor on two pins

  • I mean it's all leet and shit you can do this but what is the retail price differential between getting an 8x8x32 and a 10x12x32?

    About 10 dollars? Seems like a lot of work that might not work so hot to save 10 bucks.
  • Beware DMCA (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Whammy666 (589169)
    ...with a little upgrading of the firmware (totally legal)

    Since many CDs now carry copy protection (both for music and data) It's well within the scope of possibility, given the stupidity of the law, that tampering with the cd player's firmware would violate the DMCA since you could remove hardware blocks the prohibit RAW writes, even if all you intended to do was just speed up the drive.

    The DMCA nazis would argue that anyone providing information on how to hack a CD player (regardless of intent) was providing a means to circumvent copy protection and hence was in violation of the law.

    Keep in mind that you're not dealing with rational people here. This same group of nimrods want to restrict the use of sound cards in computers and make A/D converters a restricted item. Greed has taken over reason.

    == All hail King Dubya and the rise of the 4th Reich==

    • Re:Beware DMCA (Score:3, Insightful)

      by darkwiz (114416)

      The DMCA nazis would argue that anyone providing information on how to hack a CD player (regardless of intent) was providing a means to circumvent copy protection and hence was in violation of the law. ...
      == All hail King Dubya and the rise of the 4th Reich==


      In case you've forgotten (or are just tuning in to this fight), the DMCA was passed during the Clinton administration. Bush had nothing to do with it (although it did pass the Republican congress). All meaningful degradations of fair use occurred then (the SSSCA/CBDTPA didn't get out of congress, so there has been no test of the administration's character on this issue)

      The DMCA Nazi's, as you refer to them are comprised of both major parties, with few vocal dissenters on either side.

      Pull your head out of your ass. It isn't W, or any particular party that is trying to screw you over - it is the entire system.

      Further, the DMCA makes no statement about general modifications, only attempts to circumvent copy protection or violate intellectual property, so it would be inapplicable as you describe.

      However, if the firmware was acquired in an illicit manner (ie: posted in violation of terms of EULA, leaked from the company, downloaded from another device), you could be found to be in violation of copyright.
  • As a low usage user of a CD-Burner, I can't see the incentive to risk trying this on a drive of mine. If I were a "high end" user who really needed to save the time, I figure the cost of upgrading, or adding an additional newer faster drive would be a better use of my time/money.

    I guess if your short on cash...but it you are short on cash, why risk screwing up your drive in the first place?

    -Pete
  • by Beliskner (566513) on Saturday July 20, 2002 @01:04PM (#3922886) Homepage
    if you are a real geek, you just overclock it!
    Yeeeeeehaaaa, right on dude! I overclocked the Quartz crystal in my watch, changed multiplier from 1X to 2X. Now I have to do stuff twice as fast just so that I can keep up with my watch.

    My time at work passes real quick which is great, when I punch out the Sun is still up and everybody else is still having lunch! Trouble is apart from my watch overheating, there's another side-effect - my pay has halved. This proves that if you're twice as efficient at work you get paid half as much, uhhhhhh, yeah.

  • Everyone who have burned couple of coasters and all those with slow speed due harddisk transfer speeds must have wondered why there is not a 700 megabytes of memory for cache in drive?.

    These are times of cheap memory (and yes, it could be ANY memory, still speed is sufficient) and then you can transfer your data from disc to cdr/w drive in matter of seconds and whooosh! - burning can start and it wont suffocate the cpu and harddrive.

    Also devious mind could also make "1 button copying" with one drive ("insert disk"- light, "insert blanco disk" -light) - even while computer runs whatever operating system or rendereing or whatever.

    And if you have memory based cache for whole cdrom, then you can forget the crappy transfer rates from harddisk and burn as fast as disc will spin ;) 120x? "Instant burning"? (Think all those neat commercial oneliners!)

    In fact, I would pay a lot more for a cdrw drive with "whole disc memory cache" and even HP will still be making cdrw-drives with profit.

    So instead of tuning up cdrw drive, I would like to add some technology... well, one can always dream on.

    -ihra
    • If you can afford to pay for an additional 700 MB of RAM in your drive, then you can afford to pay for a decent DMA SCSI adapter, and then use the multipurpose RAM on your motherboard. That kind of RAM is really neat: when you're not burning CDs, you get to use it for other things.
      • If you can afford to pay for an additional 700 MB of RAM in your drive, then you can afford to pay for a decent DMA SCSI adapter,

        Amen to that brother! Years ago I bought an Adaptec 2930CU SCSI card and a Yamaha 8424 SCSI CDRW drive. ~400 CD's later, and I have not burnt a coaster even once.

        and then use the multipurpose RAM on your motherboard. That kind of RAM is really neat: when you're not burning CDs, you get to use it for other things.

        Sigh, I too, in these times of cheap'ish RAM, am one to max out my motherboard RAM due to the great benefits. There's nothing quite like having everything you do usually sitting in RAM waiting to burst it to you.

        It's a real pitty that SCSI CDRW drives are taking a back seat to IDE CDRW drives in the speed department. Anyone tried these new fangled IDE-SCSI adaptors that can convert a cheap IDE drive into ultra and ultra-wide SCSI?

        I'm shopping for a burner for a friend, I have the choice of expensive, comparatively slow but reliable SCSI or cheap, fast but historically unreliable IDE.

  • A lot of comments have mentioned that there's barely any difference between 32X and higher speeds. I burn a lot of data, almost on a daily basis, and I can tell you that there is a huge difference! Simply because I have to burn more than one CD at a time.

    OMG!

    Yes, in the time it takes to burn 100 CDs at 32X, the same amount of time will allow me to burn upwards of 130 CDs at 48X. It's not quite 150 because of the lag setting up the CDs and that 48X isn't 50% faster because of the CAV/P-CAV/CLV craziness.

    Would you like a 30% pay-raise? Stupid question, isn't it?
  • I personally think that this is a stupid idea. I know CD media isn't perfect, but reliability seems to be more important for me than most others.

    Before trying to overclock your drive, work out if you really need to do it. I had enough reliablity problems with CD burning back in the early days to think that you're just asking for trouble given that CD writing is such a delicate operation.

    And (as posted to the contrary elsewhere) the recording speeds noted on disks (eg: 12x / 16x compatible media) are *NOT* just marketing. The speed rating of the disk determines how fast the medium is capable of reacting and storing data when touched by the write laser.

    The slower the speed of the write, the more time the laser has to etch information into the surface of the disk - the more time the recording medium has to react and the more signal to noise ratio the burned pits on the disk will have when picked up by the playback laser.

    For example, if I want to copy an audio CD for use in my car - (this is a fair use legal copy, I'm not going to risk destroying the original as disks in my car can receive a less than perfect treatment) - I will burn them at 2x speed, and no faster. I do this because of the CD player that I have in my car. It's laser pickup is not sensitive enough to read a disk if has been written at anything faster than 2x. I've experimented and that's the only way I can get burned audio disks to work with that player.

    Also, I do not want to take the chance that the data disks I burn will not work on other computers (so I limit them to 4x speed burns) - if my work backups can only be read on the machine they were created on or can't be read in an old-model regular CD drive - the backup isn't much use in the first place.

    And no, only burning disks slowly isn't a waste of my time - I burn one or two disks a month (audio or data) and can either keep working while it burns in the background, or go do something else entirely.
  • by trenton (53581) <trentonl @ g m a i l .com> on Saturday July 20, 2002 @02:59PM (#3923457) Homepage
    Anyone remember using hot glue guns to melt the 1.44mb hole in your 720kb 3.5" disks? Those disks used the same media, but in a different physical case. So, if you made the 720kb disks look like 1.44s, they'd work.

    Or, better yet, cutting an additional notch in your 5.25" floppys, so they could be read, upside down, in single sided drives? Ah, my old Apple 2 days.

  • Why NOT To Do This (Score:4, Informative)

    by Caraig (186934) on Saturday July 20, 2002 @03:13PM (#3923501)
    Most high-speed drives seem to not take into account the stresses placed upon CDs. A 56x drive imposes a HUGE amount of momentum on the disc. This is something to be of concern about. Even more so, when you consider the amount of HEAT being generated. Not only by the laser, but by the drive's motor itself.

    The situation is worsened when you consider the write-laser, which imparts much more heat onto the disc than the read-laser. Be very aware of this! The faster the drive, the more heat and stress being put onto the disk. Bad Things Can Happen.

    I had the displeasure of having a disc EXPLODE in my CD-ROM drive last week, because of heat and stress placed upon it. I'm lucky I didn't have the thing at neck-level since pieces of disk flew across the room.
  • how the concept of modifying the programming in hardware you own has already been villified so successfully by the industry that people put in qualifiers like (and legal!) in statements like this.

    It should NEVER BE A QUESTION.

    If you own it, you can do what you want with it. Any law that says otherwise is morally wrong.
  • I have a teac 56s-600. They only provide self extracting windows and mac binaries. How does one flash a cdr firmware when one is using linux?
  • What these companies are doing after manufacture is binning the parts to how well they test. If they test poorly, they sell them as slower drives - it the test s have better results, they sell these as faster drives. Taking a slower drive and just speeding it up will work, but some things will fail - you just won't know what since you are doing an exhaustive QA testing on the device after you clock it. What happens when you overclock but then the temperature of the drive rises, then the quality drops!
  • I've had tremendous problems with media any time I burn over 12x. I've tried half a dozen brands which were rated for 24x or better, and even at 16x, they all have errors on about one disc in ten.

    What kind of media do you use if you're shooting up to a 48x burn speed?

    • I've had tremendous problems with media any time I burn over 12x. I've tried half a dozen brands which were rated for 24x or better, and even at 16x, they all have errors on about one disc in ten.

      Do you have an IDE or SCSI drive?

      I have seen IDE HDD -> SCSI CDRW always work perfectly, SCSI CDROM -> SCSI CDRW always work perfectly but IDE CDROM (48x) -> SCSI CDRW often fail and anything with IDE CDRW often fail.

      I'm just curious if your problem is in fact the media or whether you are seeing increasing reliability problems as burn speed increases with an IDE CDRW drive. I'd like to know because I have an 8x SCSI CDRW drive and I'm about to buy a new CDRW drive for a friend. If the culprit is IDE I will buy him a 24x SCSI drive, if it really is the media I will buy him a 12x SCSI drive.

      Thanks.

  • I remember when my HP8100 4x2x24x burner was a rippin' little machine and I got it at a steal for only $450 Canadian. When I got it home, I found it could only burn up to 74 minutes on a CD, where a friend of mine could burn right up to 83 minutes! I was frustrated with my purchase and started digging around on the internet. It turns out that the limit was a firmware thing and not hardware at all; some nice fella out there even put up a modded firmware for me, so I could get those extra few minutes onto a CD-R. I flashed my burner's firmware, and voila! I can now fully utilize 80 minute discs.

    I now have a 40x Liteon I got for barely more than $100 Canadian, and I've been running it at 48x for a while now. Not only is it marginally faster, but my burner now supports Mt. Rainier, and the burn quality is significantly better! Before discs from this burner done at higher than 16x skipped in my car, now I can write them right up to 48x and they work great.

    There's also a lot of CD-R media out there that's rebadged falsely. There's got to be hundreds of brands of CD-Rs out there, but there aren't nearly that many factories producing CD-Rs. It's not the case so much anymore, but 80 minute discs and discs rated past 4x used to cost quite a lot more than other ones, but if you knew what no-name brands to buy, you'd end up with identical discs to the more expensive ones.

    Rebadging takes place everywhere in the computer market, so keep your eyes peeled. Now and again, Dell sells refurbished monitors at REALLY good prices. I mean $300 Canadian for a 21" monitor. A friend of mine grabbed two of them a while ago, and he popped it open to check the manufacture date. Not only were the monitors only a couple of months old, there were giant Sony stickers inside. It's no secret that Dell monitors are usually remarked Sonys, but these were barely used, high end Sony monitors selling dirt cheap.

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