Starforce and Write Speeds

There was a lot of talk earlier this year about the copy-protection software Starforce wreaking havoc on people's optical drives and causing significantly reduced write-speeds. Unfortunately, Starforce snuck its way onto my system when I installed Space Rangers 2 but I hadn't noticed any adverse side-effects.

Until now... I think.

I was just burning 3.6 gigabytes worth of data to a DVD-R and the program I use for my disc creation was reporting a write speed of just 4x. My DVD-R/RW drive is capable of write speeds up to 16x. I was alarmed to see such a slow reported write speed, not only because it would mean that I was potentially anotherStarforce victim, but also that it would take a damn long time to make that disc.

The disc was done in a couple short minutes. Not the twenty or thirty I would have expected out of a 4x write speed, but more like five minutes. So it got me thinking, is it possible that the problems people saw with Starforce were really just on the surface and that their drives are still all working just fine; that only the reported speeds are off? Or is it more likely that this has nothing to do with Starforce and that my DVD authoring software is just a bit off and doesn't know the difference between a 4x and a 16x?

I tend to think this latter answer is more likely, but I'd love to hear from someone who knows more about the issue of under-performing (or under-reporting) optical drives and Starforce. I'm using "Sonic" brand software for my disc creation.

No comments: