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    By MustTeach!

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    Burn speed is determined by 5 factors -
    1) The max burn speed of your cd-burner
    2) The max burn speed of your CD media
    3) The amount of data you're burning
    4) The compatibility of the media with the burner
    5) Computer load (the amount of work your computer is doing besides burning the CD)

    As for number 4, I've only seen a few such incompatibilities. One example was of a friend who bought an HP CDwriter in the fall of 2003 or 2004. She, for the life of her, couldn't get it to burn over 12x on 32x media with the 32x burner. I did a little investigation and found that HP had locked its burners' top speed in order to "encourage" the purchase of HP CD media. They were exposed and they were forced to release firmware that lightened the cap (though, that drive never burned at even 24x with Imation media).

    Another example is my one of my own drives which is a Lite-On DVD burner with CD-RW capability. It's supposed to burn up to 40x (at top speed, which is typically the very end of the CD), but tops out at 24x with Maxell CDs. It's no biggie, I just don't buy Maxell anymore. =P

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