Know the X factor of your drive

By | March 13, 2012

What does the X stands for in the speed of your CD or DVD drive ?


  The optical drives make their initial appearance   in music industry rather than computing industry.  Even the term Compact Disc was coined because the new medium was compact if we compare it with long play vinyl disks used to play music at that time. A typical audio CD hold as much songs as of a full size LP record and still it was compact . So we called it compact disk.


These initial disk s used CD-DA ( compact disk digital audio ) format  and normally called audio CD .  It made approx 500 revolutions per minute and if we think in terms of data transfer speed in computer it is about 150 kBps.

WE are not expecting your audio CDs to run any faster because you are not expecting to hear a music in a fast forward more . So this become a     de-facto  standard for the Audio CDs .

When Video CD format was introduced ( CD-DV ) they rotated at double speed of audio CD’s and if we think in terms of data transfer , it is 300 kBps . So the  Drives used to play Video CD’s are called 2X drives  . They will run at 1X when we play audio CD on them.

When Digital Data disks where introduced ( CD-DD ) , they tried to increase the data throughput by increasing the rpm and thus the data transfer rate and  comes standard like 4x , 8x and so to around 52X.

Please not that the 52X noted on your disk is the maximum value at which it can transfer the data . It will operate in 1X when you are playing audio CD and will be in 2X  when you are watching your Video CD .


2 thoughts on “Know the X factor of your drive

  1. binoj

    Sir, i heard that burning cd_s @ lowest speed will expand its life span and its a good thing, i should like to know more about it plz help ! thanks in advance

    1. shyam Post author

      Yes , burning at lower speed is better because at lower RPM , the chemical process will be more accurate and it will give more life to your disk


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