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Hot-Rod Your CD-RW Drive 326

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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  • old news...... (Score:5, Informative)

    by H3XA ( 590662 ) on Saturday July 20, 2002 @11:30AM (#3922510)
    another source of info asp?ArticleHeadline=Overclocking&Series=0

    with mods for -

    - HeXa
  • 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.
  • Re:ahh crap (Score:5, Informative)

    by jonnythan ( 79727 ) on Saturday July 20, 2002 @11:40AM (#3922560)
    You paid $80 to save about 20 seconds recording a cd? Is your time really worth $14,400/hr?
  • Re:Plextor? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ziviyr ( 95582 ) on Saturday July 20, 2002 @11:41AM (#3922564) Homepage
    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)
  • by hashinclude ( 192717 ) <> 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.

  • by aed ( 156746 ) on Saturday July 20, 2002 @11:52AM (#3922626)
    clickety-click []
  • Re:It wasn't new (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 20, 2002 @01:09PM (#3922918)
    Actually the old mainframe upgrades for processing speed was simply re-writing the microcode core. Took about 4 mins to put it on the programmer and upload the new core. DEC did the same tactics till about a year before they were bought out. The same is true with CPU Mhz variance till the pentium 3 came out. My P2 300 and 333 are identical hardware wise, the only difference is the microcode (Do not confuse with Machine Code!)
  • by jbridge21 ( 90597 ) <jeffrey+slashdot&firehead,org> on Saturday July 20, 2002 @01:10PM (#3922924) Journal
    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!
  • by Chris Coster ( 143884 ) on Saturday July 20, 2002 @02:34PM (#3923355) Homepage
    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 ) <> 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.
  • by fmaxwell ( 249001 ) on Saturday July 20, 2002 @04:03PM (#3923693) Homepage Journal
    I suppose this will have to do with the media properties rather than the drive.

    It has to do with how well the drive burns the media. To oversimplify, how do you know that the 32X drive has adequate power at the laser when overclocked to 48X?

    It would be a simple matter to check the md5sums. dd if=/dev/cdrom | md5sum -

    That doesn't show error rates. That shows if there were one or more unrecoverable errors. If you get a CD with a lot of raw errors that are recovered, the CD will be much less tolerant of damage, degradation, etc., before it develops unreverable errors. It's also less likely to work as reliably when you read it in multiple drives.

The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you're still a rat. -- Lily Tomlin