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More is Better? Mutliple Burners

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2003 5:41 pm
by Tubtanic

I have to make dicision. Going with a stand alone unit (2 or 4 writers) which is expensive or setting up a 2 month old computer with 2 writers.

Our clients, recording artists, rarely need more than 200 cd's per order. Problem is, to keep it affordable for the clients, we order 1500 and wait for the follow ups. This is costly for us and we end up with alot of useless cd's. The artists don't rely on cd sales for income but as a way to hopefully get the word around.

Expensive business card, in my opinion.

I know there are a few members using dual burners so hopefully you can help.

Which writers are you using? What is the most reliable speed? Software? Has anyone tried 4 writers? Is anyone using Lite-On 48x or 52x burners?I would like to use Lite-On but until we get some clearanswers - any problems with cpu usage? What about other writers in multiple setups?

I realize IDE has it's limitations but until SATA burners show up this is what I have to work with.

Any information is appreciated, as is your own experience with multiple setups?

Thank you in advance. Tub

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2003 11:55 pm
by lppnet
Maye this article can help you :wink:

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2003 3:29 am
by cd pirate
going with a standalone unit would be a faster and more reliable option.

Re: More is Better? Mutliple Burners

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2003 6:14 am
by nox
Tubtanic wrote:What is the most reliable speed?

It depends on media and writer.
16x CLV is widely compatible and quite fast (5 minutes).


If you only want it for music there's a clear winner: Feurio! Profesional.
It has the best multiple burning support, and has no problem using different writers. The demo version allows simulation of multiple burning.

Has anyone tried 4 writers? Is anyone using Lite-On 48x or 52x burners?I would like to use Lite-On but until we get some clearanswers - any problems with cpu usage?
I realize IDE has it's limitations but until SATA burners show up this is what I have to work with.

SCSI writers are much better. (I use one SCSI and one IDE at the same time, but that's easy).
It's harder to make a reliable system with 2 burners on the same controller. Get a mainboard with 4 IDE controllers (or add an adapter) and one burner per controller.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2003 5:48 pm
by Tubtanic
Very interesting article. Sent it to several friends. Thank you Ippnet

CD Pirate! With a name like that I can uderstand why you recommend
the standalone units.
Standalone is probably the only real solution for my needs with the exception of cost. This is why I'm looking at the pros and cons of going with multiple burners in a computer. Only cost would be the writers and software. Thanks! CD

Feurio Profesional - I have to look into this. No doubt, SCSI is way ahead
of IDE for multiple burners unfortunately the computer to be used does
not have SCSI. The last 3 boards, I purchased, all have RAID. I'm sure 50 percent of boards bought with RAID is simply for the 2 additional ide connectors. That's my case. Thanks NOX !

An article on multiple Lite-On 52x burners would be great!

Additional Question: Maybe this is where the line gets drawn on writers. How many burns can I expect before running into difficulties such as increasing errors, increasing burn times, noisy drives, etc. Is this where extra cost of Plextor and Yamaha writers is deserved?

Again, Thank you for the replies. I'm learning alot of new things - Tub

PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2003 3:03 am
by TheWizard
Multiple burners in the same machine, even if they are all IDE, is not a problem. Many of the regulars here have rigs with multiple burners, heck, I have two LG's in my rig (GCE-8240B and GCE-8320B) and they work flawlessly. Both have an 8MB cache, which comes in handy when both burners are in use because they can queue a lot more data at once from the hard drive rather than having to access it so often. While an 8MB cache is not a necessity, it is a nice perk. Other manufacturers that have augmented caches in their burners: Yamaha (8MB), Samsung (8MB), and Plextor (4MB).

PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2003 3:46 am
by ryus
I have a Promise 133 IDE controller card in my system, but I was not able to use my Plextor 40X on the controller. It was limited to like 20X when simulating with CdSpeed. Is there somethin that you have to do to make a burner work on a PCI IDE controller??

PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2003 5:52 pm
by nox
ryus, that kind of controllers are designed for hard disks, and not recommended for CD drives.

Tubtanic wrote:unfortunately the computer to be used does
not have SCSI. The last 3 boards, I purchased, all have RAID

A Tekram 315 (I think) costs $30 and its 20MB/s bandwidth is almost enough for 3 burners at 40x (a very high speed if want quality).
The problems is the cost of SCSI drives... They're much more expensive.

I remember a post about problems with several LiteOn burners at the same time:

PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2003 6:19 pm
by Ian
Yeah, I've had a lot of problems recording to multiple drives at 32x or higher if they are on the same IDE chain. By the time the computer can fill up the buffer on one drive, the other empties.

Putting them on separate IDE chains does work. I've also tried using IDE to FireWire adapters, but those aren't cheap (like $65 a pop). Of course, buying an adapter and an IDE drive is still cheaper than buying a SCSI drive like Plextor's new 40x.

Also keep in mind that I use Nero. It might depend on what software you use and what chipset your motherboard has.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2003 6:59 pm
by ryus
I was asking because in Ippnets first reply:

Maye this article can help you

In that article by cdfreaks, they were connecting CDRW drives to an IDE controller card.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2003 11:00 pm
by Tubtanic
I'd like to thank everyone for the additional information. If there are otheres who would like to add their two cents on multiple burners, please

As well, about lite-on high cpu usage. I am almost convienced it's has to
do with the buffer-underun software. What else could it be?

This ain't the place for my ranting. I'll add more to this problem at my "Lite-On: Winmodem of burners." in the Rant's and Raves.
Thanks again and please keep replying.


PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2003 1:32 am
by cfitz
Hi Tubtanic,

This is about the best I can do regarding LiteOn CPU usage:


The graph shows CPU usage (percent) in red and disk transfer rate(bytes/sec) in green during an actual write at 48x on a Memorex 48MAXX (rebadged LiteOn 48246S) drive under the following conditions:

- 1 GHz Pentium III
- Tyan Tiger mobo with VIA chipset
- Ultra DMA enabled
- Windows 2000 SP3
- TDK (Ritek) 40x rated blank CD-R
- ISO 9660 mode 1 data disc, recorded in DAO mode
- 699 MBytes of user data
- SMART-BURN enabled
- CD-RW on mobo IDE controller, primary channel, slave
- HDD on separate Promise FastTrak 100 RAID controller

The CPU usage peaked momentarily at a little over 13%, and averaged 6.5%. This was measured using Windows Performance Monitor, a much more accurate way to measure system performance than CD Speed.

Disabling SMART-BURN, as expected, had no effect on CPU usage.


PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2003 12:12 pm
by cfitz
All right, I lied. I can do a little bit more. Here are two more graphs, similar to the graph in my last post, comparing CPU usage between a Memorex 48MAXX (LiteOn 48246S) and a Yamaha CRW3200EZ burner:

Memorex 48MAXX (LiteOn 48246S)

Yamaha CRW3200EZ

Both of these graphs were measured on the 1 GHz Pentium III machine described in my last post, and tested under the same conditions. I had to limit the burn speed to 24x because that is as fast as the Yamaha will go.

The CPU usage for both drives is the same. In fact, the Yamaha CPU usage was ever so slightly higher than the LiteOn's, although the difference is insignificant, and well within the limits of measurement accuracy.

My sample set is admittedly small, but based on the tests I have been able to perform I conclude that LiteOn drives don't have any higher CPU usage than other drives. Unfortunately, I believe that LiteOn drives, in this respect, have been unfairly maligned by the inaccurate CPU usage test included with CD Speed. I would counsel you to ignore the CPU usage numbers reported by CD Speed.


PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2003 10:08 pm
by Tubtanic
Free at last!! Now, I can include Lite-On based writers in my options.
I really could not even think of using Lite-On burners until this mess with cpu usage was cleared up.

Thank you CFITZ. You really went the extra distance on this one. Truly


PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2003 10:18 pm
by rdgrimes
Just thought I'd chip in my 2 cents worth. No trouble burning to 2 LiteOns here, a 48x and 52x. Nero can burn the same image to both at once at full speed (48x), whether they are on one IDE channel or 2. I keep them on separate channels so I can burn to each from a separate process. Athlon 1400 CPU, and I have no trouble multitasking while i do the burns.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2003 11:15 pm
by cfitz
You are welcome, Tubtanic.

By the way, be sure to give appropriate weight to rdgrimes' comments in the post immediately preceeding this post. Although rdgrimes' tagline says "Buffer Underrun", he isn't a newbie. He is a knowledgeable guy with a lot of experience, and a moderator over at cdrfreaks.


PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2003 11:12 pm
by Tubtanic
This is good news. It is possible to burn at 48x with two Lite-On drives and Athlon 1400.

I was worried that I would be limited to slower speeds with multiple writers, no matter what cpu used. This is removing whatever was left of the "Gamble" factor. Thank you Rdgrimes.

I'm feeling pretty good about this, now. Thanks to everyone for helping out.