Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » Did You Know » Hardware & Software »

Understanding CD Burner Speeds

Have you ever wondered what all those numbers mean when you go to buy a CD burner? When you see a configuration that looks like 12x2x24 (three numbers separated by the letter "x"), these numbers indicate the drive speeds of the CD drive. The "x" stands for the transfer of 150 KB of data per second, and each number represents a different action that the CD drive can take.

A CD-R drive has two actions -- recording onto and reading from compact discs. A CD-RW drive has three actions -- recording, rewriting (erasing and recording over) and reading. When looking at the drive speeds, the first number ("12" in the above example) indicates the speed at which the CD drive will record data onto a CD-R compact disc. So, in the above example, the CD drive will record data at 12 times 150 KB/second. The second number ("2" in the above example) indicates the speed at which the CD drive will rewrite data onto a CD-RW compact disc.

So in the above example, the CD drive will rewrite data onto the compact disc at 2 times 150 KB/second. Typically, the second number, the rewrite speed, is lower than the first number, the write speed, because rewriting is a slower process than writing. The last number ("24" in the above example) indicates the speed at which the drive will read data from a compact disc. So in the above example, the CD drive will read data from a compact disc at 24 times 150 KB/second.

CD-R compact discs are discs that can be recorded on only once. Once the data has been burned, it is permanent and cannot be erased. CD-RW compact discs are discs that can be recorded, erased and re-recorded over. Most audio CD players, especially older models, can only read CD-R discs, so it is best to record music onto CD-Rs. CD-RWs are typically used to store data or used as back up files.

Key Terms To Understanding CD Media

Recommended Reading:
Nee help understanding DVD speeds, formats and burning? Click here for Webopedia's Guide to DVDs.

Webopedia's CD-ROMs Category







TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
LATEST ARTICLES
8 Agenda Apps to Help Students Stay Organized

Webopedia's student apps roundup will help you to better organize your class schedule and stay on top of assignments and homework. Read More »

List of Free Shorten URL Services

A URL shortener is a way to make a long Web address shorter. Try this list of free services. Read More »

Top 10 Tech Terms of 2015

The most popular Webopedia definitions of 2015. Read More »

STUDY GUIDES
The 7 Layers of the OSI Model

The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model defines a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Use this handy guide to compare... Read More »

Computer Architecture Study Guide

This Webopedia  study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »

What Are Network Topologies?

Network Topology refers to layout of a network. How different nodes in a network are connected to each other and how they communicate is... Read More »