Recording speed of a DVD burner vs. CD burner

It takes my CD burner about 10 minutes to burn 500 megs of documents files, including data verification. (Seems slow.)

How long would it take a DVD burner to do same–using a new mid-tier (not killer) burner.

How about for an DVD external burner?

(Basically, I’m looking for another independent backup system, just in case my D drive goes out with my C.

My DVD burner writes disks at a rate of about 200 megabytes/minute when I am backing up the computer. It isn’t a current model, so newer ones should be faster.

Rule of thumb: 1X for DVDs is about equal to 9X for CDs.

So if you have a 24X CD burner, a 4X DVD burner (which is as fast as a 36X CD burner) would be around 50% faster. It’s hard to know from your OP exactly how fast your CD burner is, but assuming it takes 6 minutes to burn 500 megabytes and 4 minutes to verify, that’s about 10X, so a 4X DVD burner would be over three times as fast.

The other weird problem is, for DVD burners, a lot depends on your computer. When I had a 4x DVD-rom I could burn a whole DVD in about 15 minutes. That was on a 2 GHz AMD with 1 gig of RAM. If you had, say a 1.4 gig processor and 256 MB of RAM, it would take (I’m guessing) twice that time at least. CD burners aren’t nearly as cpu/ram dependant as DVD burners are. As for killer burners… I just paid like 70 bucks for a 16x NEC burner from newegg that has dvd9 write capability. Doesn’t get much better than that, and you can’t beat the price. It’s still for sale at newegg if you’re interested, it’s right on the front page.

Oh, I forgot, you can get 52x cd writers for real cheap these days. I can usually write a full cd in 2 to 3 minutes. I think I spent $10 on mine when I got it on sale.
However, if you got the DVD burner I posted above, it writes cd’s, as well, at 48x, which is good enough for anyone.

I don’t know why this would be the case. The bottleneck in DVD burning these days isn’t CPU power, bus speed, or hard drive speed… it’s the DVD burner itself. Five years ago, it was common for the rest of the system not to be able to keep up with the burner (i.e. not to be able to deliver data fast enough to keep the write buffer full), but not anymore.

The only way the rest of the system can affect DVD burning speed is if it can’t keep data in the drive’s buffer. If that buffer becomes empty, either the burn process will fail (leaving you with a shiny new coaster), or it’ll be paused until the buffer fills up again, depending on whether or not your burner has Power-Burn or Burn-Proof or Super-Link or some other oddly named technology.

My 4x DVD burner will burn a full DVD in about 15 minutes.

It’s specs are P4 3.0GHx, 800MHz FSB, 1Gb RAM, but , as Mr2001 said, i really don’t think that processor speed or memory are the key issues in burning speed.

Well, I am at fault for assuming we’ll be copying movies. Writing a movie to a DVD is drastically different then writing an album to a CD. Depending on the media, the original file, and the method by which you are writing, it can be written any number of ways.
For instance, if you are using a program that shrinks the original movie so that it will fit on your DVD+r, a LOT has to be done. For starters, the DVD won’t necessarily be written like a vinyl record (i.e. in one continuous spiral outward to inward.) It may have originally been written with different chapters of the movie all over the DVD. Now, a 1 to 1 copy would be nice and simple… put this 1 that was in point x(on the original) to point x on the new one. However, if you’ve used a new encoding, the DVD has to be written so that it will all make sense, but on a new scale. So now, the 1 that was at point x doesn’t even exist, because it was cut and on the new DVD you have to account for that. Or maybe it does exist, but the two bits of info around it are gone, and it has to be referred to differently. Either way, the new scale and translation is done by the computer as it’s writing.
Anyway, that’s probably very poorly explained, but I assure you it’s a heck of a lot more complex than a buffer issue.
And to be honest, when it comes to just writing data, or copying 1 to 1, I have no clue if cpu power and ram and hdd speed play an integral role like above. I’d be interested to see if they did for some other obscure reason that we can’t imagine (again like above.)

Well, the actual burning process is the same. The difference is how you get the data that you’re going to burn. A 1 GHz computer may take twice as long as a 2 GHz computer to encode a movie, but actually burning it to disc won’t take any longer if they both have the same DVD burner.

If your DVD software is trying to encode video and burn a disc at the same time, I suggest using something else. Even the most basic transcoding (e.g. DVD Shrink) will take longer to process a movie than most DVD burners need to write the disc, so it doesn’t make any sense to process and burn at the same time. I believe DVD Shrink processes all the video before it starts burning any of it.

When a burner says it’s burning at 4X, that’s what it’s doing. You can find the value of X (150 KB/sec for CDs, about 9 times higher for DVDs), multiply it by 4, and that’s how fast data is being written to the disc. CPU power, hard drive speed, and other factors can cause the burning process to pause or fail midway through, under some conditions, but they can’t make it slow down per se.

I don’t know. I’m hitting some of the DVD forums right now, and everyone still makes a pretty big correlation between CPU/RAM/Mobo and the speed of the write, but so far no one is giving an explanation why. The person who told me about this was someone I respect highly in the computer field. Not that he can’t wind up being wrong, just that usually his teachings stand up. I will continue research!

My take, then, is that a 16x DVD burner will clearly perform faster than a 52x CD burner, in copying roughly 500 megs of Word and Excel files, as well as saved magazine articles.

BTW, if I’m just need a burner to make tertiary copies (I need redundancy), is either medium better than the other?

Well, don’t get confused as to what is being burned at what speed.
First off, if you are burning a CD on the DVD burner, it’s going to burn at 48x (in CD speak), not 16x (in DVD speak.) The 16x only governs the speed at which DVD media is (theoretically) able to burn at.
Second, right now the fastest media available for DVD’s is 8X. So, while you can buy 16x DVD writers, you can’t burn at that speed yet. Just something to think about, because of course once 16x media comes out, it will be a little while before it comes down in price. And that’s if it comes out at all.
And thirdly, the speeds that are advertised are a bit misleading… 48x for the cd or 16x for the DVD are the fastest capable speeds that can be reached by the burner. The lead in and the lead out are written at a much slower pace so the average burn time will be slower. The only reason I mention this is because when writing small amounts of data (like 500MB) you will barely notice the difference between a 52x cd writing and an 8x DVD writing. Since it all takes less than 5 minutes anyway, why not have DVD burn capability is my attitude.

As to the best media? You’re wasting your money if you put 500MB on a 4.7 GB DVD. CD capacity is, on average @700 MB. So you’d be using…well, 5/7ths of the disc as opposed to 5/47th’s.
As to the rest of my post, don’t forget that I may be wrong about the computer speed. I still haven’t found a convincing article to prove it one way or the other. Also I apologies if my sentences lately are incoherent or gobbled. I’ve been really tired and can’t concentrate so well. So odds are, if something doesn’t make sense to you, it’s me, not you.

Funny, I have an almost identical but slightly worse set up (2.8 p4 800fsb, 512 pc3200 ram) but it takes me 13 minutes to burn a full DVD.

Many thanks for your excellent points–and those of the other posters. I like redundancy, but wasting about 95 percent of a DVD on twice-montly burns is a bit steep.

Well, i’ve never actually timed the process. My DVD burning software usually says “15 minutes remaining” at the beginning, but i’ve never been worried enough to check whether it actually takes that long. I usually just leave the computer and come back later, to find a completed disc.

Also, i guess that supports the notion that, once a certain point is passed, the power of the computer itself has little impact on write speed. After all, the difference between 2.8GHz and 3.0GHz P4 processors is so small as to be completely unnoticeable for 99% of situations.