Mark Berry mark at
Sun Jan 21 18:37:01 GMT 2001

>From: David Marsh <dm at>
>To: Jon Schneider <jms at>
>Subject: Re: CDburners
>I noticed from the box of the Traxdata drive in Comet, that the required
>system specs are: 300MHz processor and UDMA support.
>My system is a humble Pentium-MMX 233MHz, with a correspondingly old mobo
>that only supports UDMA/33. I've "only" got 64MB RAM although I do have a
>reasonable amount of spare disk space (I could clear out over 650MB fairly
>easily ;-).
>In short, will my system have enough ooomph to perform CD (re)writing
>operations? I'm aware of the coaster-producing effects that can occur if a
>CD writer isn't being fed data fast enough.. :-(

I think they quote system specs to minimize returns from people who have 
older systems which have problems with the supplied software.
I just recently set up an 8 speed IDE writer on an old AST Pentium 120 with 
32mb RAM. Well below the Sony quoted min spec. The writer works fine under 
windoze 98, which is what they run. (Hey, its not my system, ok :-)

I think a lot of new burners are "Burn Proof", or something. They do not 
have the problems of buffer underruns due to some new doodads, and can 
resume. The main cause of failure with these drives is cheap cd's.

Check the sustained transfer rates from your hd, this will give you an idea 
of how fast your system will be able to chuck data at the writer. Remember 
you are not running windoze. It is worth noting that I have not used a 
writer under BSD at this point, so take what I say with a small pinch of 
salt. I do have an 8 speed on a P75 Compaq under Mandrake Linux. My first 
was a 2 speed Yamaha SCSI under win3.11 on a 486 with 8mb ram. The writer 
cost over 600ukp and the SCSI card another 100ukp. Take me back it does. 
Only certain brands of 12.50ukp cds worked, and half of them ended up as 
coasters or in the microwave for a couple of seconds (do not try this at 
home kids).

Personally I prefer SCSI writers, Yamaha in particular. Use discs that are 
rated for the speed you are writing, and try to avoid really cheap and 
nasty cdr's.

Good luck anyway.

Cheers, Mark.


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