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I have this Samsung OCTOedge CD writer, DVD reader combo drive, quite new. It specifies 52x32x52x+16x speed but I can only write in max 8X speed, everything else fails, even 16X. I use nero 7 premium to burn.
Buy better quality blank media is a common solution, but not always the best.
The drive throttles its writing speed to match the maximum speed that the media can support. Therefore a maximum 16x writing speed is not always achievable for a range of reasons, especially if the media is only rated 8x.
52x writing speed is a theoretical maximum that is only reached under ideal circumstances. Ideal circumstances are rare because the computer is always doing more than one thing, especially with the need for anti-virus software in an always-on world. You may need to flash the firmware of the drive to enable it to recognise the maximum burning capabilities of the media, but you have to be careful to use the right firmware from the Samsung site otherwise you may stop the drive working at all and any warranties you have become null and void.
To flash the firmware is to update the brain of the CD unit into recognising more blank CDs and their maximum burning capabilities. It is not a practice for the faint-hearted or the unsure for reasons I've outlined previously.