how many cd burners?

Mar 13, 2004
i was thinking of getting into burning our own cds for customers for our recording studio..
i can save alot of $$ if i have someone burn off more that 250 at a time.. the price break begins at 250.. but ive been getting alot of orders for 100 and less.. its hardly worth the trouble sometimes to be the middleman... but if i can pocket that $ for doing an hour or twos work...
i looked into stand alone burner towers and they are just too expensive..
if you ask me.. i think i can build it for a lot cheaper im sure..
what would a new tower need to house say 5-10 cdrs..
at least 5 burners would be nice to burn 5 off at a time.. 10 would be really sweet..

can any one point me in the right direction on any special hardware i may need to run that many at once?
can you even run that many on 1 or 2 ide cables?
i cant find anything on google thats helpfull..
and i looked but didnt really find anything about burning that many cds at once with nero6..
special software?
any help would be appreciated...

PS... whoohoo!! i should break 3000 SETI wu's tonight.. :D


Sep 12, 2001
You can get a couple of pci ide cards that should hold 4 burners each. However, i have to warn you that some of the pci ide cards dont work particularly well with cdroms, only with hard drives so you may have to research that a bit on which ones are better.


Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
I may be wrong but I dont think what you want to do is not possible with a PC, multitasking is one thing multiprocessing is something else.



Elite Member
Jul 4, 2002
I think it would work fine.

In Linux ('cus that's what I know)

I would by 3 PCI dual channel PATA controllers.
Stick a cd burner on each channel, for a total of 8 cd burners.
Get a fast CPU.
Get 1.5 gigs of RAM.

Symbolicly link all their names to /dev/cdrom# names.

then do this:
mkdir /loopback
mount -t tmpfs -o rw,size=800 tmpfs /loopback
cp cdromimage.iso /loopback

That copies the iso image into a temporary filing system in RAM.

Then write a simple script:


cdrecord dev=/dev/cdrom0 $1 &
cdrecord dev=/dev/cdrom1 $1 &
cdrecord dev=/dev/cdrom2 $1 &
cdrecord dev=/dev/cdrom3 $1 &
cdrecord dev=/dev/cdrom4 $1 &
cdrecord dev=/dev/cdrom5 $1 &
cdrecord dev=/dev/cdrom6 $1 &
cdrecord dev=/dev/cdrom7 $1 &


Name the script "burnit".

Then go something like this burnit /loopback/cdromimage.iso

That does it 8 at a time.

The only major issue I see is getting all the drives working in the first place, and that shouldn't be a problem if you carefully select the controllers.


Diamond Member
Aug 27, 2000
It should work. 1 Burner per channel. I wouldn't have 2 burners on one IDE cable. So two drives per IDE card. Now if you have 10 burning at once, would there be enough bandwidth on the pci bus?


Elite Member
Jul 4, 2002
Not completely sure about that one.

The PCI bus is 32bits running at 33mhz.

That supposedly gives you a total of 127MB/s bandwidth.

Now reading at 48x, I think, is roughly 7-8MB/s.

cdrecord program defaults to 40x writing speed unless something else is specified, so given worst case/data bursts to keep the cdrom's cache full, I expect that you wouldn't use more then 10MB/s data per cdrom.

Not sure about that though, I couldn't find any real figures.

So with 8 cdroms going you get a max usage of 80MB/s over the PCI bus. With 10 you get 100MB/s.

I don't know if that would be pushing it or not, though. I'd probably start off with 5 and if that worked then move gradually up to 10 or 12 cdrom burners one or two at a time, depending on the results.

Also buy their nature CDROM get burned at different rates depending on were you are on the disk. 52x is generally only capable at the edges of the cdrom were you move faster, but I am not positive on that. So by doing batches, or staggering the half the drive to start up when the other half is almost finished you can probably add some extra head room incase of any burps of data trying to get thru the PCI bus that isn't related to the actual burning proccess.