Oldskooler Ramblings

the unlikely child born of the home computer wars

16x DVD+/-R: Fact or fiction?

Posted by Trixter on January 10, 2007

Now that the MindCandy Volume 2 is finished, it’s time to archive the project and get all 550 gigabytes of it off of the video rig so that I can completely retrofit the rig with service pack 2, new drivers, the works. Compressed, it will fit onto about $20 of DVDs, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone and buy some 16x DVD-Rs and some 16x DVD+Rs to see which is faster.

The results are disappointing. They both suck, never coming anywhere near the rated burn speed until the very end of the disc (which is the last place you need speed).

Back when the DVD format wars were new, one of the major differences noted between the formats was that DVD+Rs burn at CLV (Constant Linear Velocity, where the disc slows down toward the outer edge so that data is burnt at the same speed “under the laser”), while DVD-Rs burn at CAV (Constant Angular Velocity, which means the disc spins at the same rate throughout the burn). CLV burns slower, but supposedly results in a higher quality burn. So you would think that DVD-R would spank DVD+R in terms of speed, right?

Wrong again. Burning 100 meg shy of a full disc, here are the numbers on my LITE-ON DVDRW SHW-160P6S PS0B:

  • 16x DVD-R (Disc ID: RITEKF1): Average Write Rate: 15,208 KB/s (11.0x) – Maximum Write Rate: 21,779 KB/s (15.7x). Burn completed in 6m29s.
  • 16x DVD+R (Disc ID: RICOHJPN-R03-04): Average Write Rate: 15,208 KB/s (11.0x) – Maximum Write Rate: 21,792 KB/s (15.7x). Burn completed in 6m20s.

They’re the same! Worse, the best you can do with a 16x drive feeding it 16x media is really 11x. At that rate, I’ll just keep buying 8x media; they cost less, but only take 80 seconds longer to burn.

So, what’s the point of 16x again?

5 Responses to “16x DVD+/-R: Fact or fiction?”

  1. My suggestion to you is to buy a 500gb drive, which is very cheap now, and mount it as USB2 Storage, and transfer the “stuff” over there. Then keep it around as a hot backup.

  2. Trixter said

    Already done that! The DVDs are a second offline backup.

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  4. I have done an interesting experiment about the DVD speeds.

    Indeed I come to the results just by casualty.

    Long time ago I bought a blu-ray writer and a couple of 4x BD-R disks.

    My machine is a Core 2 Duo with 4Gb DDR800 RAM, gigabit ethernet (cabling, switches and brother machines the same), the bluray writer and 20x dvd writer via sata2, dual sata2 500Gb hdds with 16Mb of cache.

    I had installed in the machine Windows XP Professional SP3 plus Nero 9 in one hard disk (NTFS) and Mac OS X 10.5 plus Toast 10 in the other one.

    The first BD-R I burnt was from data on the XP’s disk, using Nero, and got a suckinly slow speed of 1.5X (bluray rating).
    EVERYTHING was closed, the only visible processes were Nero and Explorer.
    I moved another couple of 23Gibibytes to the hard disk to burnt out the second disk but had to made some things on Mac OS so I rebooted, and decided that as the burning was so slow I should start it and do the things alongside.

    So then, I opened Toast, Mail, Safari, Messenger, a couple of SSH terminals, and when I took care of how the burning was going, it was going at 4X!!!!
    The data was being read from the NTFS disk using a CACHE-LESS driver! (NTFS-3G).

    So what the hell was going on? Surely the Mac OS kernel handles things way better than the XP one, as the same machine got four times the speed.
    I also do not remember any 16X DVD being written at that speed in Windows while in Mac I’ve even written 8X disks at 16X!

    Also I discovered that the SMB stack is slow by definition.
    The same data from the same Linux server tooks between 3 and 10 times the speed to be transfered via SMB (no matter if XP or Mac client) than via Apple Filing Protocol (of course, only Mac client!).
    And the same speed goes when the server is XP.

    Now, I moved the XP hard disk to another machine, uninstalled all by the games, and doing everything else on the Mac.

    It was not like the time Mac were PowerPC and PCs were x86 that comparisons were not so fair, now you can install both on same hardware and see, really, Mac OS X is an improvement.

    And that alleviates me a lot, because I need to dump about 50 blurays monthly!

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