4 Replies Latest reply: Mar 4, 2007 7:55 AM by legolas-woodelf
legolas-woodelf Level 1 Level 1
I'm soon going to need some more blank DVD disks for my 17" iMac but there's a problem. As I understand it I can only use 4x DVD-R and 2x DVD-RW discs.

Is this right?

The problem is not many places do these now (I've found some 4x DVD-Rs but 2x DVD-RWs are rarer than rocking horse poop).

However reading through this forum I found the bit about the Superdrive software upgrade. It suggests that I can use faster discs without breaking the drive but that they'll only burn at 1x speed. Is that correct? Can I use, say, 16x DVD media in my drive without destroying it?

Is there anything else I should know? The reason I ask is that in the past I've tried to burn DVDs for use in a domestic DVD player and I've only found one type of disc that does it reliably (RiDisc 4x DVD-Rs which now, of course, are no longer available).

As ever any thoughts or advice gratefully received.

17" iMac PowerPC G4 1.25 GHz, Mac OS X (10.3.9), 512 MB RAM
  • Donald Morgan Level 6 Level 6
    Many of the older drives required you use the same speed media for the drives in your machine or they would show a error message.
    As time has gone by, the Drive manufactures and the Media manufactures were made aware of this problem. In many cases they released Firmware Updates for many of the drives used in the computers to enhance there performance.
    Here is a Media guide to use when purchasing DVD Media.
    Read it carefully there is a wealth of information in reguard to Media in general.
    Now let's talk about high speed media.
    Now since the advent of 16X high speed media, many users have older machines that are only capable of burning at 1x, or 2x. Some of the media that is 16X will not work whereas others will. The key here is to read the packaging on the Media. It will clearly tell you that the media will burn at 1X,2X,4X,8X, and 16X. The key here is using high quality media your burner will burn at the highest rate it is capable of, using the higher quality media where it will not with cheap media.
    I also recommend that you use DVD-R Media it is the most widely recognized and used across the board.
    As time goes buy and you become more familiar with your Optical drive and it's capabilities then you can branch out and expieriment with different Media Format's.
    Remember that not all players and computers will recognize and play Some media's.
    I personally use Maxell 16X DVD-R media. This is one of the highest in quality and is not farmed out by them to another maker as some are and burns fine at all speeds, This will be determined by your Optical Drive in your machine.(Read the Packaging on the Media)
    Good Luck, Oh by the way I have never had a bad burn with this media.
  • mrtotes Level 6 Level 6
    A few weeks back I bought a 25pk spindle of TDK DVD-R rated for 1-8x drives from HMV.


    I've made one coaster but all the others have been okay. I tell the drive to burn at 4x rather than 'maximum'.



  • legolas-woodelf Level 1 Level 1
    Thank you chaps. I was afraid it'd be this complicated and sure enough...

    Looking around on the web, it does seem that multispeed media is pretty rare (though I have managed to find some). I've read that using too fast a disc can actually damage the burner (though I don't quite know how). However what if I had, say, a 16x disc but told the machine to burn it at 4x. Would that preserve the drive?

    Also when you recommend DVD-R discs, does that mean that DVD-RW are inherently less reliable? I've always used RW discs just for data and they've been fine. I've even bought RW discs that don't mention anything about burn speed and again no problems with data. I only seem to get issues when I try to burn a DVD for use in a normal DVD player.
  • legolas-woodelf Level 1 Level 1

    OK, I've been gen'ing up on this but there is a whole lot to it. So, a couple more questions:

    Re. disc speeds, I've seen some discs that are just labelled as 'For General Use' without any mention of a speed. Am I right in saying that this is a less embarrassing way for disc manufacturers to put '1x only' on their products?

    Also, in terms of duff discs and data, am I right in saying that as long as a disc burns and then works that it's fine; or is it possible to have a disc successfully burn and read back ok, but then for it not to work when you try to read it at a later date? The reason I ask is I've just bought a load of 'reprinted' DVD-RWs before I read the bit about why blank media gets overprinted. They're top class discs according to the embedded asset code (TDK502) but now I'm worried about their integrity even if they do appear to burn ok.

    As ever, any thoughts most gratefully received.