Technology in terms you understand. Sign up for the Confident Computing newsletter for weekly solutions to make your life easier. Click here and get The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet — FREE Edition as my thank you for subscribing!

Will a new computer burn DVDs faster?

Question: Will a new computer be a lot faster at making a homemade single-layered DVD? Today, it took five hours for DVD Flick to process the memory already stored on my computer. The video is in mp4 format; the DVD-R was a 4X single layer.

When you’re burning a CD or DVD, the computer isn’t typically the weakest link; it’s the CD/DVD burner. When they write, CD/DVD burners operate at some maximum speed of rotation and how quickly a burner spins depends on its hardware and how fast it can write the data to that disc.

But I think something else might be going on here. You mentioned that your original video is in MP4 format. That’s not a format that is written to DVD.

Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!

Writing to DVD

DVD format is definitely encoded and compressed, and sometimes encrypted, but it’s a different format. It’s certainly a very different format from MP4.

In your case, the DVD-burning operation may have taken a long time because the computer’s processor had to first convert it from one video format to the other. That can be a very CPU-intensive operation. In fact video conversion is often used as an example of a process that demands a lot from a computer’s CPU.

Inserting a discIf that is the limiting factor, then a new computer with a faster processor might well be the answer. Depending on the video conversion software being used a multi-core processor can sometimes dramatically reduce the amount of time that the conversion process takes.

Again, that depends on the specifics of your current CPU: how fast it is, how much RAM you have, and how fast your disk is. Your current computer may already be able to handle the conversion process and a new computer won’t make that much of a difference.

If it’s not the conversion process, then it is the speed of the drive that’s limiting how quickly the bits can actually get written. You may want to try burning another type of file (say any type of files to create a data CD or DVD) to make sure that it’s not the drive.

But I strongly suspect from your description that it’s the conversion process.

Do this

Subscribe to Confident Computing! Less frustration and more confidence, solutions, answers, and tips in your inbox every week.

I'll see you there!

1 thought on “Will a new computer burn DVDs faster?”

  1. I just wanted to thank you for your time, patience and dedication to answering people’s questions. I appreciate your input and insight. Thanks Mr. Leo.


Leave a reply:

Before commenting please:

  • Read the article.
  • Comment on the article.
  • No personal information.
  • No spam.

Comments violating those rules will be removed. Comments that don't add value will be removed, including off-topic or content-free comments, or comments that look even a little bit like spam. All comments containing links and certain keywords will be moderated before publication.

I want comments to be valuable for everyone, including those who come later and take the time to read.