Flashed the drive to the 40125W, VS09 firmware.
Burned a TDK 16x-Rated disc (CMC) at 40x w/o errors. With 48125W/VS08 firmware, could only burn at 32x w/o errors. HOWEVER, around 92% (38.5x), the drive dropped to 32x for the rest of the burn. Not bad for a (very) old CMC disc (bought when 16x drives where the fastest out), and better than before!
Unfortuanetly, I don't have many other CD-R's to test with. When I dig some up, I'll post the results...but, looks alot better than before! Yippie!
The CD-Speed test started at 8x, jumped to 16x at 6min, 24x at 12min, then speed up fairly smoothly and ended up at 49.6x, a bit faster than the old firmware, but not enough of a difference to notice. The speed graph shows the same weird, evenally spaced speed dips that the drive showed before, too. Instead of a smooth arc, there are minor dips in the speed, getting bigger (slower) further into the disc. Did it before, and is still doing it. Don't know why. I'd post the pic, but (and I'm ashamed to admit this
), I don't know how.
So: Experiment successful, one fix CD burner that doesn't appear to be spitting out as much crap. I will withhold final judgement until I can test it more discs, though (like, oh, TY's). The quality of those old TDK/CMC's still impresses me. They burn faster/better than the new 48x rated discs. Go figure...[/img]