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In House Review - NEC ND-3540A 16x DVD±RW

DVD-R/W, DVD+R/RW, DVD-RAM

In House Review - NEC ND-3540A 16x DVD±RW

Postby Ian on Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:41 pm

Today CDRLabs takes a long overdue look at NEC's latest 16x DVD±RW, the ND-3540A. While affordably priced, the drive features some of the fastest reading and writing speeds available. The ND-3540A is capable of 16x DVD±R, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD-RW and 6x DVD-R DL writing speeds and has a maximum DVD read speed of 16x. On top of that, it's one of the first drives to write to DVD+R DL media at 8x.

In this review we'll take a look at some of the features found on the ND-3540A and see how it compares to some of the 16x DVD±RW drives from the competition. Does NEC's new drive have what it takes? You'll have to read the review to find out.

[url=http://www.cdrlabs.com/reviews/index.php?reviewid=271]Image
NEC ND-3540A 16x DVD±RW[/url]

As usual, if you have any comments or questions about this review or the NEC ND-3540A, please post them in the forum by clicking the link below.
Last edited by Ian on Mon Oct 31, 2005 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby eric93se on Wed Aug 31, 2005 3:45 pm

Ian, what the heck happened on the dvd transfer tests! They all look like garbage! was there something wrong with your reader? can you put up a benq 1620 transfer test for comparison? After looking at that and DL quality, I would give the drive a "6" on performance.
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Postby Ian on Wed Aug 31, 2005 4:20 pm

Nothing wrong with the reader, that's what they looked like. If you look at the CD Speed tests, you can see the transfer rates with the BenQ.

As far as the DL goes.. I think I was half asleep when I wrote that about the DVD-R DL writing quality. I'll fix it later.

Also, without support for Verbatim's 8x +R DL media (writes to it at only 4x), you're stuck with Verbatim's 2.4x DL media. As you can see, the results aren't great.. but they're within reason. Ritek media.. :sick: NEC isn't alone in this though.
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Postby Scour on Wed Aug 31, 2005 7:27 pm

Hello!

Good review, Ian :)

Overall the NEC is a good drive, I guess. But it could be better. Hope the 4550 is a improvement.

BTW, the Installation-page looks like the Features-page.
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Postby Ian on Wed Aug 31, 2005 8:28 pm

Scour wrote:BTW, the Installation-page looks like the Features-page.


I have not been myself lately.. need more sleep.

Thank you Scour.
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burning a 8x disc at 16x

Postby nathan-c on Fri Sep 02, 2005 11:53 pm

using the nd-3540a I know it can burn some 8x media at 16x. How do you do it and which program do you need to use to do it. I have the OEM verison of Nero that came with my drive. I am also using tdk 8x media which according to NEC I should be able to burn at 16x. Thanks and sorry if this is a dumb question, but I am new to dvd burning.

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Re: burning a 8x disc at 16x

Postby dodecahedron on Sat Sep 03, 2005 2:52 am

nathan-c wrote:using the nd-3540a I know it can burn some 8x media at 16x. How do you do it and which program do you need to use to do it. I have the OEM verison of Nero that came with my drive. I am also using tdk 8x media which according to NEC I should be able to burn at 16x. Thanks and sorry if this is a dumb question, but I am new to dvd burning.

Nathan

hi Nathan and welcome to CDRLabs.

you don't need any special program to do it, you should be able to do it just fine with your Nero (OEM).
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Re: burning a 8x disc at 16x

Postby Scour on Sat Sep 03, 2005 7:35 am

nathan-c wrote:using the nd-3540a I know it can burn some 8x media at 16x. How do you do it and which program do you need to use to do it. I have the OEM verison of Nero that came with my drive. I am also using tdk 8x media which according to NEC I should be able to burn at 16x. Thanks and sorry if this is a dumb question, but I am new to dvd burning.

Nathan


8x-media from TDK could be manufactured from 6 or more manufacturers.

Download the DVD identifier and you can read out the real manufacturer from your TDK

http://dvd.identifier.cdfreaks.com/
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Re: burning a 8x disc at 16x

Postby nathan-c on Sat Sep 03, 2005 10:58 am

dodecahedron wrote:
nathan-c wrote:using the nd-3540a I know it can burn some 8x media at 16x. How do you do it and which program do you need to use to do it. I have the OEM verison of Nero that came with my drive. I am also using tdk 8x media which according to NEC I should be able to burn at 16x. Thanks and sorry if this is a dumb question, but I am new to dvd burning.

Nathan

hi Nathan and welcome to CDRLabs.

you don't need any special program to do it, you should be able to do it just fine with your Nero (OEM).


So, if I have the correct 8x tdk media Nero should automatically allow me to select 16x. So since my Nero still won't let me select anything higher than 8x it is safe to say that I have the TDK media that can't be burned at higher speeds. Or am I missing something. Is there a setting within Nero I can change? Thanks for the fast responses.

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Re: burning a 8x disc at 16x

Postby dodecahedron on Sat Sep 03, 2005 11:04 am

nathan-c wrote:So, if I have the correct 8x tdk media Nero should automatically allow me to select 16x. So since my Nero still won't let me select anything higher than 8x it is safe to say that I have the TDK media that can't be burned at higher speeds.

that's right.
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Postby SkaarjMaster on Sun Sep 04, 2005 12:26 am

Would have been nice to see the BenQ DW1640 as one of the drives for comparison. I know there is already a review of the BenQ DW1640, but performance comparisons in the same review would have been cool. Maybe you're trying to get these performance graphs for as many different drives as possible though, so you have some in one review and others in another review. 8)
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Postby Muchin on Mon Sep 05, 2005 3:02 pm

Hello, Ian

In most of the PIF parts of the scans obtained with LiteOn SOHW-1673S, there are two or more spikes of 6-10 units, which are not seen in reviews elsewhere using a different LiteOn writer. It is not certain whether these are artifacts generated by the chipsets or they are reproducible errors, unless the tests are repeated, though I tend to consider them as chipset artifacts. I wonder whether that is peculiar to your unit or is a general behavior of SOHW-1673S.

I have compared tests done with CATS device and with LiteOn XJ-HD166S DVD-ROM drive, which you used in the transfer rate test; and among the DVDRs (by Verbatim, TY, Ricoh, and Optodisc) tested, only the scans of Optodisc’s by the two machines differ greatly (error rates by LiteOn is much higher). So the LiteOn XJ-HD166S may be a better drive for writing quality test than SOHW-1673S. Is it feasible for you to add scans of PIE/PIF at 8X or even 16X by XJ-HD166S?
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Postby Ian on Mon Sep 05, 2005 6:59 pm

SkaarjMaster, the reviews were already in the works. Maybe in the next NEC review.

Muchin, I've seen those spikes on discs burned by all of NEC's 16x DVD writers. And not just with the 1673S. It does seem to be chipset specific though as these spikes don't show up when tested with other drives. In any case, I'm not too concerned about them.

like dolphinius, I don't have to much faith in doing KProbe testing with Lite-On's DVD-ROM drives. Some of them might give results similar to CATS, but the consistency isn't there. Not that they're consistent with Lite-On's DVD writers either.. but you get the idea.

Personally, I wouldn't mind ditching KProbe altogether but the tool is widely used and people like to compare the results to their own.
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Postby Scour on Mon Sep 05, 2005 7:23 pm

Ian wrote:SkaarjMaster, the reviews were already in the works. Maybe in the next NEC review.



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Postby SkaarjMaster on Tue Sep 06, 2005 9:01 am

Ian wrote:SkaarjMaster, the reviews were already in the works. Maybe in the next NEC review.


I figured it was something like that. 8)
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Postby Muchin on Wed Sep 07, 2005 3:42 pm

Ian wrote:
like dolphinius, I don't have to much faith in doing KProbe testing with Lite-On's DVD-ROM drives. Some of them might give results similar to CATS, but the consistency isn't there. Not that they're consistent with Lite-On's DVD writers either.. but you get the idea.

Personally, I wouldn't mind ditching KProbe altogether but the tool is widely used and people like to compare the results to their own.

You sounded as though you have lost confidence with all Lite-On drives for disc quality testing, even to the extent of doubting your earlier reviews, which used Lite-On 832S as the testing device. IMO, things are not that bad. On the basis of the behavior of 832S and other information, the PIE/PIF counts reported by it are not far from those by CATS. I would agree if you say that the later models of Lite-On DVD writers are not to be seriously considered as scanning devices. Sony 710A (but not the corresponding Lite-On 1633S) may be an exception, though.

As to consistency, there are also some cases where Benq 1620 and 1640 differ greatly in the PIE/PIF levels they report. Besides, Benq drives and recent models of Lite-On writers are too forgiving in their PIE/PIF tests. So we have only very few choices left. I would have suggested Plextor 712 or Lite-On 167T, if you had either one. I have two units of Lite-On 167T with different firmware versions, yet their scans are essentially the same. But Lite-On 166S is also acceptable to me. Since Optodisdc is a relatively new company, that may be the reason why their discs are not compatible with an earlier reader such as Lite-On 166S.

IMHO, it is better not to say that Lite-On DVD-ROM drives are not suitable for PIE/PIF scanning just because they are not comparable with Lite-On writers in the results, since different models of Lite-On writers may even vary greatly in this aspect. I found that this opinion seems to have originated from a post elsewhere. But at that time, Lite-On is the only company to offer drives with PIE/PIF test capability. Moreover, I have Erik Deppe in my support, for example, see a post by him.

I do not have discs from many different makers, but my observations may serve as a starting point for further investigations to either verify or disprove my views.
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Wed Sep 07, 2005 6:38 pm

Muchin,

one thing you are forgetting entirely is that viewers of these reviews don't care what a CATS system says. They care about whether or not their disc will play in their drive, and in their DVD Player. :wink:
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Postby Muchin on Thu Sep 08, 2005 2:34 pm

Dolphinius,

Thank you for reminding me, though I do not exactly know your point. The most popular DVD-ROM drives, at least in my country, happen to be made by Lite-On, so they are very good choices as testing devices, if what you said is the major concern. Then Lite-On 166S is even more suitable than 167T, since the former is pickier, though newer members of disc producers would feel it unfair to them. By the way, either drive has also been used by CDRInfo, CDFreaks, and DVD Backup Guide in one way or the other.

As I do not have regular access to CATS, I regard scans by it as references to be used for evaluating a drive’s performance in PI/PO/beta/jitter tests, just like what you did with beta and jitter tests for Plextor and Benq drives, respectively. I would deem a drive not reliable for PI/PO error testing, if it reports much lower counts than CATS does, though the former may be a very good reader.
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