This article is from the CD-Recordable FAQ, by Andy McFadden (email@example.com) with numerous contributions by others.
Besides the obvious question - can it read CD-R discs that you create -
there's also the question of how well the drive works as the source device
when copying discs. To be more specific:
- Does the drive support digital audio extraction?
- Does the drive hog the SCSI bus, obstructing writes to the CD-R?
- Does the drive support multisession discs?
Plextor SCSI models generally work well. The Plextor 6Plex and higher can
extract digital audio at high speeds, and come with a set of utilities that
are actually useful. The 8Plex and more recent models are often
recommended. The 12Plex can extract audio at about 9x, and the 12/20 will
extract at up to 20x. The error correction on the 12/20 seems to slip a
little above 8x though, so unless the disc is very clean you should extract
at a slower speed. Many hard drives have trouble streaming data at that
You can see speed and quality test results on http://come.to/cdspeed.
Older NEC models tend to hog the SCSI bus. Older NEC, Mitsumi, and Acer
models (e.g. NEC 3x and Acer 8x) may have trouble reading CD-Rs.
There is one hard and fast rule for direct CD-to-CD duplication: the
source drive must be faster than the target drive (e.g. source 4x if
target is 2x, source 6x if target is 4x).
A quick summary of features for several models can be found at: