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Pioneer 108 vs NEC 3500 re-visited

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Pioneer 108 vs NEC 3500 re-visited

Postby Intimidator on Fri Dec 03, 2004 3:58 pm

Hey gang.......after many hours of research and reviews of these 2 drives from various sites I have come to the following conclusions:

1) Currently Newegg has the OEM PIO for $73.50 and the OEM NEC for $62.

2) The only big difference in performance might be the 48x NEC vs the 32x PIO for the CD-R writing.

3) The PIO is much more compatible with media. NEC seems to be a little picky on what it can and cannot use and burning at a higher speed. Their official approved media guide does not list many brands. However, the question now becomes in reality how many brands did they actually test and does NEC get any kick-backs from the media producers to support their media.

4) PIO handles DVD-R media better than NEC. It seems that DVD-R media is much more compatible with most home DVD players.

Conclusion: I feel my research has justified the PIO 108 as a better all around drive to handle a variety of media that is accurately burned. It is worth the extra few dollars to be able to use media of your choosing when burning at appropriate speeds.

My father has a Pioneer DVR-MCC DL drive that is very quiet and handles a great variety of media.

Hope this helps!
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Re: Pioneer 108 vs NEC 3500 re-visited

Postby Gen-An on Fri Dec 03, 2004 5:02 pm

Intimidator wrote:Hey gang.......after many hours of research and reviews of these 2 drives from various sites I have come to the following conclusions:

1) Currently Newegg has the OEM PIO for $73.50 and the OEM NEC for $62.

2) The only big difference in performance might be the 48x NEC vs the 32x PIO for the CD-R writing.

Hope this helps!


There is a fairly substantial difference in DVD writing performance in terms of speed between the two drives as the Pioneer uses Z-CLV for 16x while the NEC uses CAV.
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Postby Intimidator on Fri Dec 03, 2004 10:56 pm

Gen-An.....which one is better then?

Please explain

Thanks
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Postby Gen-An on Sat Dec 04, 2004 12:05 am

Well in terms of sheer speed, the NEC is faster than the Pioneer by at least 1 minute, perhaps more, when burning at 16x.
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Postby hoxlund on Sat Dec 04, 2004 2:21 am

would you wait a minute or have better burns?

btw i loved this thread, i also love my pioneer dvr-108bk
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Postby ETP on Sat Dec 04, 2004 6:48 am

You waited too long :lol: The $62.99+free ship deal is gone. You can't blink when these deals pop up. I am on my 3rd NEC burner and all are still working perfect. All I can say about Pioneer is that it is a great company and consistantly makes a quality product. My pioneer burner is still working also. Keep watching the newegg site and pricewatch and get one soon. 8)
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Postby Halc on Sat Dec 04, 2004 7:48 am

These are mass anecdotal (and test based) musing:

1) Nec is better in cd-r writing (lower jitter)

2) Pioneer is the better reader of the two (both cdr and dvdr)
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Postby apostolis22 on Sat Dec 04, 2004 8:08 am

Im going to buy one of the 2 drives. Which one of the 2 have a better writing quallity? Thank you in advance!
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Postby LoneWolf on Sat Dec 04, 2004 8:44 am

I own the 3500 myself after having a stellar experience with the 2500. I love it, and not just for DVD's. I burn a lot of CD's, and it burns my Verbatim (CMC made) CD-R's at 48x without a hitch. Fastest CD burner I've ever had, even beating out my top-end Yamaha Litespeed that I used to have.

Since I don't burn as many DVD's, I still have a stack of Ritek RiData G04's lying around...it burns them fine at 4x.
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Postby Intimidator on Sat Dec 04, 2004 9:48 am

ETP.....what are you talking about? Both of those deals are still listed on NewEggs site, unless you heard different. But I just checked.

Gen-An/Hoxland....I would definitely prefer BETTER burns as there will always be time for that. I would take QUALITY over SPEED anyday. Because at least then you are not throwing money away by making coasters.

Halc....thanks for the info, but I will stick with my Lite-ON 52x burner for CD-R's as no DVD burner will even come close to the performance this Lite-ON when it comes to burning CD's

apostolis22.....from what I have found from research the PIO 108 has better writing quality and compatible with a greater media selection.

LoneWolf....have you ever owned and used the PIO 108 or a previous model? There must be a reason why you settled on the 3500? A lot of decision making is based on previous experience, however that is tought if you have not had any experience with a DVD burner.

Ok......I think that was everyone \:D/
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Postby ETP on Sat Dec 04, 2004 10:20 am

Intimidator

That was a Turkey day deal for 62.99+free ship. It's now 62 +5=67.
I know what is $4 to all us rich people! :lol:
Buy two and install them both on you system. Then give us your opinion. You won't regret either one. Honest! :^o
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Postby Intimidator on Sat Dec 04, 2004 10:22 am

ETP....thanks for the clarification. I did not figure in the S&H.

Still a good deal if you wanted a NEC.
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Postby LoneWolf on Sat Dec 04, 2004 9:21 pm

Intimidator wrote:LoneWolf....have you ever owned and used the PIO 108 or a previous model? There must be a reason why you settled on the 3500? A lot of decision making is based on previous experience, however that is tought if you have not had any experience with a DVD burner.


I never owned a Pioneer. At the time the 107 came out, the NEC 2500A was far, far less expensive. After reading a lot of advice on media compatibility, burn speeds, and the like, it appeared that in most cases, the NEC and the Pioneer were neck and neck, although the Pioneer is probably a bit better DVD reader. I wasn't buying a drive for reading; I already had a DVD-ROM for that. I saved probably $30 going with the NEC and had very good results on it. I never once had a bad burn on it using Ritek G04 media, though some others claimed to have problems (I think I had better grade media than theirs), and the drive burned CD's fairly well, though being limited to 32x was a bit disappointing after having a Yamaha 44x burner.
A family member needed a DVD writer, so I sold them mine (after flashing it to an NEC 2510A). The decision was easy, especially after the reviews of both the Pioneer and the NEC, especially as the Pioneer doesn't write CD's nearly as fast and NEC has upped their write speed to 48x. I went with the 3500A. It's performed well too.
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Postby Mystery Man on Sat Dec 04, 2004 11:26 pm

I use pioneer and couldnt care that the nec burns dvd's 1 min faster than the pio. Who cares, i dont. The pio has been a steller burner. Ive got the 106 & now AO8XL.

Im actually still using princo 4X disks & burn them @ 4X. Ive so far to yet to have probs with thos disks with either pio burners, tho im going to start using TDK 8X disks now. Dont use hacked firmware with the AO8 because of being able to rip dvd's @ 12X with genuine firmware. CDR burning speed not an issue for me as i use the liteon 52X drive
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Postby Intimidator on Sun Dec 05, 2004 12:36 pm

LoneWolf.....good info...I am not concerned about having a good DVD reader. After all it was meant for burning. But I would opt for Quality & Media Compatibility vs Time of burn..

Mystery Man.....What do you mean by this:

Dont use hacked firmware with the AO8 because of being able to rip dvd's @ 12X with genuine firmware.


I also have the Lite-ON 52x burner and right now no DVD combo drive will even match it.

I just noticed in today's Best Buy that the AO8XL is $90 (retail) after rebates. This is normally $130.

Other than looks and hacked firmware (by NIL) what is the big difference between the 108 and Ao8XL? What burning software does the AO8XL come with? Hopefully it is NERO.[/quote]
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Postby hoxlund on Sun Dec 05, 2004 12:42 pm

only difference is the shell and case design of the a08xl, and that its different firmware
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Postby Intimidator on Sun Dec 05, 2004 1:15 pm

Hoxlund....That is what I thought. I also read that you cannot use the NIL firmware on the XL models. Is there any significant disadvantage of not being able to do this. From I can tell it just opens 12x speed.

According to Ian, I don't like the idea that it does not come with NERO. That really seems to be the gold standard. Not sure how the Ulead MovieFacory compares. I guess you would not have to use that either as far as that goes. Does the 108/AO8XL support Nero 6 or 6.5?
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Postby CowboySlim on Sun Dec 05, 2004 1:45 pm

Well, when I brought the NEC ND-3500AG (FW now 2.18) DVD-RW home, the Toshiba SD-M1712 DVD-ROM and the LiteOn 52x24x52x (Memorex badged) CD-RW were sitting in Antec Sonata along with 2 PATA HDDs and one SATA HDD, so something had to stand down. The Toshiba volunteered for retirement and in went the NEC.

I ran a couple of pressed DVDs through to make "fair use" backup DVDs of my grandhildren's movies (anybody had success in teaching a two year old to remove the DVD from the case such that there is no possiblity of them cracking it?) successfully. Then the NEC ND-3500AG had a read failure and got stuck. I tried again with a ripper that may or may not have been different only to obtain the same result. (I used DVDDecrypter then 123 Copy DVD (with plug-in).) Realizing that insanity is doing the same over and over again expecting a different result, I decided to take another tack, so back in went the Toshiba SD-M1712 DVD-ROM. VOILA, 10-4, Rogee that, over and out.

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Postby Intimidator on Sun Dec 05, 2004 1:54 pm

CowboySlim....Does that mean you took the NEC out since it did not work? I lost you in the end.

So what optical components does your rig have now?
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Postby jgs9455 on Sun Dec 05, 2004 9:18 pm

I think there were a few people saying that they were going to buy one of these drives...the pio109 will hopefully be out soon :)
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Postby SA on Sun Dec 05, 2004 10:19 pm

CowboySlim......was your NEC 3500 set as the master. It gets complicated with all those drives then adding in the SATA. THere are some Bios settings that have to be just right to get everyone to dance together.

I have my NEC3500 set up as the master on IDE1, the the Lite-on 52X (Memorex 52MAXX) and a Samsung DVD ROM on IDE2, Lite-on as the master. Then a SATA harddrive. I've never had a problem with the NEC in this configuration.
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Postby CowboySlim on Sun Dec 05, 2004 11:08 pm

OK, let me add some more. Two years ago when I put this system together, I had only one optical, the Memorex 53MAXX, so it had always been jumpered as M. Then a little while later I needed to read some DVDs and bought the Toshiba DVD-ROM which went in as S because I didn't think that it mattered (which it never seemed to) and why bother resetting the Memorex. So it stayed that way when I put the NEC in and took out the Toshiba as I replaced the slave Toshiba with the NEC jumpered to Slave.

So the NEC was in S when it got stuck ripping the movie CD. I took it out and put the Tohiba back in which successfully ripped as S. So they were both Slave when ripping. When done ripping, I put the NEC back in, S again, to burn out the copy.

So anyway, both drives were Slave making them equal and the Toshiba read that which the NEC couldn't.

I seem to have some trouble getting the NEC out of the PIO mode so I'm going to fool around with that arrangement. I might get a Rockethead 100 for my PATA HDD making both IDE cables available for the opticals. Then I can put the Toshiba as slave on the same channel as the Memorex and let the NEC be a sole Master.

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Postby CowboySlim on Sun Dec 05, 2004 11:20 pm

Well, I'm past that PIO issue now. The NEC and the Memorex are both at DMA2 as the Toshiba always was when installed.

I'll repeat that rip with the NEC as sole Master as a science project.

Later
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Postby Markz2k on Sun Dec 05, 2004 11:55 pm

I'll put in my two cents also. Until last week, I owned a NEC 3500 for about 3 months. A friend offered to buy it for the same price I paid 3 months ago. (he didn't want to wait for delivery) Naturally, I took that deal. Since it's after thanksgiving, and BestBuy and other stores have extended return periods, I thought I'd take this opportunity to try some other drives.

First trial was a Plextor PX-716A, TLA 0101. Just about completely useless. Even the Fuji yuden000t02 media got poor results in the PI/PO scan in plextools. Other discs that the NEC had no problem with were completely unreadable when written/read by the PX716. I scanned a Fuji written by the NEC, got an excellent scan. 2 days later, the drive went back.

I stopped at Staples on the way to see if they had the IOMagic BENq re-badge. They had one 16X in stock, but it said 48X CD-R on the box, meaning it was the BTC, so I passed on that.

So, while at BB, I returned the Plextor, and got a Pio A08XL. Got it installed, and discovered there is a nx4all 1.14 firmware for it by >NIL. Flashed it with that, and did some burns. I don't have a Lite-On or other scan-capable drive, but the A08 is FAR better than the Plex. I wrote a G04 at 8X, and it read back perfectly. I can't do better than 6x in the NEC without problems reading it back. (Haven't tried the latest Quikee/Liggy firmware though, I know they've made many tweaks since the last time I tried.) Then I tried a fujifilm03 from shop4tech, and let CDSpeed do a data disc at full speed. (16X) I fully expected it to abort, they've never worked well at above 8X in the NEC. But the burn finished, and the transfer rate graph was fine.

One benefit of the Pio over the NEC is the Pio is faster at 8X burns. (Cause it does 2 zones, and starts at 6X.) The NEC is faster at 12x and 16x burns.

I had to burn an .ISO image of a CD-R, that was slighlty oversized . (704M), I used 80 min media, and Nero prompted about overburning, I clicked ok. The burn failed near the end. I tried a different media, and did a simulate, failed again. Hooked up my external Plextor 48/24/48, used the same disc, no problemt with the burn. I've burned this same .ISO on the NEC before, and had no problem. That's kind of a minus for me.

Overall, I still prefer the NEC. Bitsetting, 48X CD-R with overburning, fast performance at 12x/16x, and cheap availability of high-quality TY media makes it the better deal for me. Plus, it sells for around $10 cheaper than the Pio. And with the PC Connection deal, it's even better. ($60 after rebates for a black retail NEC 3500, AND a 50-pack spindle of Fuji -R)
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Postby CowboySlim on Mon Dec 06, 2004 12:33 am

OK, repeated the rip with NEC as Sole Master - same stop about 90% through. I'll just keep the Toshiba installed as a reader.

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