I keep having problems with bufferunderrun errors.... well, I mean the buffer underrun prevention kicks in, not that the burn fails.
First the basics:
When I use Nero, I can't burn faster then 40x. If I push the Plextor Premium to 52x I get buffer underrun error (attempts) near the end of the middle of the burn, and my burn eventually get slowed down to 40x. I don't think this happens when I try to burn at 48x with my LiteON 48125W though (I'll double check soon)(*edit: confirmed, my LiteON can burn at 48x with no problems). The only difference between drives is that the Plextor Premium is slave, and the LiteON 48125W is master, on the same channel. When the buffer underrun errors (attempts) occur, Nero shows the buffer draining and refilling a lot. Although I know my computer is fast enough to support 52x writing, and yes, DMA is enabled, on every drive.
When I burn using Alcohol 120%, if I have a disc in the drive when I open the burn wizard, then it only lets me burn at 24x. If I have no disc in the drive then it will let me burn all the way up to 52x. If I start the burn at 52x though, the drive has constant slowdowns during the burn the process, and the average burn time works out to 24x, although the top speed reached is around 32x at various points on the CD. Interestingly enough the buffer does not fluctuate at all in alcohol, and the CPU usage meter show very low and regular levels (see photos below)
I've used various types of media. The one I just used however was some 48x rated Maxell 80X-LS CD-Rs manufactured by Hitatchi Maxell themselves. I have some Verbatim Datalife Plus 52x CD-Rs but I don't think using them will make a difference given the situation. I'm seriously considering RMA'ing the drive right now, unless someone can think of something that I haven't? My best guess is that the drive has an internal bandwidth problem from the 8MB buffer to the laser where it can't send the data fast enough for 52x writing... but then again, that wouldn't explain why Alcohol 120% tops out at 24x-32x speeds, and Nero tops out at 40x...
any idea or suggestions?