Based on everything I've heard and bits of my own experience, the Saturn seems to be pretty tolerant as long as the media you're using isn't really crap. However, your chances of smooth operation would be enhanced by using 74-minute discs. I know these aren't as easy to find now, but 80-minute discs don't get their extra capacity without a drawback - they're harder for readers to track. It's also a good idea to get discs made by a respected manufacturer (Taiyo Yuden, TDK, Kodak, Mitsui). A good burner helps too, and with prices constantly falling there's really no good reason to go with a cheaper brand unless you really need a burner right away to meet some critical deadline. A quality burner will improve your experience with all media.
I use only CompUSA discs because I'm cheap like that. But for $13 you can snag a 50x stack of Black 80 min CD-R's (like what playstation games are made on) that are burnable up to 16x (though going over 4x is bad karma
). They all work perfectly. I also use the CD-R's in my Neo-Geo CD system and they're great there too. I've found them to be ncredibly reliable, durable (really strong, they don't snap like cheap Imation discs), and just all around excellent.
I use the CompUSA 27 min Black CD-R's in my mavica camera too and they're quite badass there as well
Taiyo Yuden discs are nice, quality discs. Discs manufactured by Taiyo Yuden are usually purchased by other companies to sell as their own. Fujifilm discs are from Taiyo Yuden, and I've been using them for burning everything.
i use whatever are the cheapest at Fry's when i run outand i burn at 2x (since my burner is old), and ive never had a problem (except one time the disc was warped or too fat or something and the edge scraped the bottom of the saturn)
A lot depends on the type of burner, I have a 12x Scsi Plextor and I burn all my games at 12x all my systems can read them just fine expect for my orginal launch PlayStation (the one with the I/O on the power button) But the little PsOne reads 12x copies just fine. It's funny that a almost 10 year old Sega CD could read 12x copies but the orginal Playstations coulden't. Just shows how cheap Sony products are, like the "disk read error" on the new Ps2's.
Ive used Imations mostly, but I get whatever's on sale. You can easily find a 50pack for 4.99 if you live in the US near comp usa, bestbuy, or circuit city. The only thing to be carefull about is how you store and treat your discs.
The cheaper ones have thinner coatings around thier edges, and after a few years might start to corrode from the inside out! If you see a spot forming on one of your CDR's, althought its rare, just make a back up copy of it and toss the original when it gets unreadable.
And if you store them in a huge CD wallet, be carefull of scratches. A deep gash on a thinner coating, if it gets to the metallic platter, will start it to corrode and eventually ruin the entire CDR. Its just a matter of noticing in time and making another copy.
But the most important piece of advice I can give you is:
Don't let people borrow your CDs unless you have another copy, or you don't care if it gets scratched to hell and ruined. I've only met one other person in my life who knows how to take care of CD's as well as me.
I always use TDK 80 Min media, I go at 4x on my Lite-On 12x burner. TDK's are pretty cheap (well... a 100 pack at costco with the $20 rebate is
). I usually try burning again at 1x if it doesn't work the first time at 4x. Oh and cd sleeves.... they're horrible, my import version of PDS has all this white gunk on it now because I left it in sleeves for a while. Well... it's still playable, just that the bottom is freaking ugly.
The thing with CD-R brands is that most of them do not use the same manufacturer all the time. Thus, buying the same brand is not a guarantee of quality. Even TDK has sold discs made by Ritek as "TDK" discs. Other brands, such as Memorex and Imation, have switched to and from good manufacturers like Taiyo Yuden and TDK and so-so manufacturers like CMC Magnetics and Ritek.