End of the road for CD burners?

Last Updated on September 30, 2010 by Dave Farquhar

I know it wasn’t more than a couple of months ago that I read the Taiwanese manufacturers of CD burners and media were leery about going above 48X. And now Asus has released a 52X burner. There’s a very favorable review here.
So now the fastest write speeds have reached parity with the fastest read speeds, which means burning a 650-meg disc (with this drive, at least) takes two and a half minutes. Rewrite speeds are at 24X, which doesn’t sound as impressive, but is very nice.

Not everyone needs this drive. I burn CDs rarely enough that I’m perfectly happy with my 20X unit (in fact, I’ve still got a quarter-spindle of CDs that will only burn at 12X). Personally, I’m more interested in rewrite speeds than in write speeds these days, since most of the stuff I burn is stuff like Linux CDs with a shelf life measured in months. In two years I won’t give a rip about Debian 2.2 or 3.0, so it’s nice to be able to erase and reuse old discs rather than keeping them around, taking up space.

But people’s needs vary. I’m sure some people are very excited about this drive.

Since I keep drives until they either die or are too slow for me use them and keep my sanity anymore (I have a Sony 2X unit and a Yamaha 20x10x40x unit, both in working order, which should tell you something), I’m definitely going to wait for a 52x52x52x unit. Maybe the industry will surprise us with a 56X write speed, but they’re not going to get much higher. At these speeds, the CDs are spinning at 27,500 RPM–nearly twice the speed of the very fastest hard drives on the market. I’ve read about the theoretical possibility of discs shattering at 50x+ speeds, though I’ve never actually seen that. I have seen discs crack though, which is irritating–even more so if you don’t have a backup copy.

I think this market is about to stabilize.

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4 thoughts on “End of the road for CD burners?

  • December 15, 2002 at 5:14 pm

    Burning a 650 Mb disk in two and a half minutes? My 24x burner does a 701 meg file in exactly 4 minutes 16 seconds from the time I pressed start until it automatically ejected the CD.

    I won’t be buying a new burner to get faster speeds for regular burning. I would be interested in faster RW speeds though, just like you.

    You missed three negative sides to faster speeds:

    1. The CD’s that can be burned at faster speeds cost more, although the difference is likely to disappear in the near future.

    2. Noise. When they are running at high speeds the noise levels usually increases as well.

    3. Heat. Lets say you decide to rip 5 of your CD’s at once to be able to enjoy them on your system without the actual CD making noise in the CD-ROM player, that CD-RW is bound to get very hot, increasing the heat of your overall system. The motors in those systems run fast and need a lot of current to get to that speed. Higher current and higher speed means higher heat dissipation from the motor.

    Another reason why I can’t see any reason to buy a faster unit is also because I have still been unable to damage a CD burning process even though I continue working as usual while the burn process takes place. I use (most of the time) XCDRoast to burn CD’s.

    /Dave T.

  • December 17, 2002 at 10:42 am

    Would appreciate it if you let us know how you get on with MT (compared with B2). I use MT at the moment, but don’t have anything to compare it to.

  • November 13, 2003 at 5:26 pm


  • November 14, 2003 at 3:29 pm

    Calm down there, sparky. No need for “YELLING” at all of us. The shift key is on your keyboard for a reason.

    Your computer should have shipped with one of several CD mastering programs. Roxio’s Easy CD Creator (or Easy CD & DVD Creator if it’s fairly new) is the most common followed by Ahead.de’s Nero Burning ROM, DiscJuggler, and CDR-Win. All of these packages offer CD copying functionality.

    If you have not received one of these packages with your eMachine then I would suggest purchasing a copy of Nero Burning ROM 6.0 from your local software retailer. Computer Shopper Magazine recently rated it as the best consumer grade CD mastering program currently on the market.

    And if you think you will never copy files from your hard disc drive to a CD-R or CD-RW or create an audio CD from downloaded music files then you would be better off downloading a copy of CloneCD. The only function this program has is creating bit-for-bit copies of CD-ROMs. You can search Google, MSN Search, or Yahoo! Search for a download location.

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