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TDK 1616N or NEC 3500A

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TDK 1616N or NEC 3500A

Postby norbertofh on Mon Sep 20, 2004 11:08 am

Hi,

I need to buy a new DVD burner. Considering its specs, either the TDK or the NEC seem to be the best choice.
As both these burners are similar (isn't the TDK a NEC clone?), I would say that the TDK would be a better choice due to the support TDK provides. Besides that, the TDK unit seems prettier to me.

What would you advise?

And how about the price of the TDK unit, how much will it cost? I didn't see any price yet.

Best regards,
Norberto Henriques
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Postby Ian on Mon Sep 20, 2004 1:16 pm

Yeah, the TDK is an NEC clone.

Here in the US, the NEC drives are sold only on the grey market (OEM). So, if money isn't an issue and you're looking for better support, than go for the TDK. If you're on a budget and don't mind not having tech support to lean on, then the NEC is fine too.
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Postby Vanderlow on Mon Sep 20, 2004 3:25 pm

You can also flash a NEC with TDK firmware making it a TDK and back again. It would have to be in DOS mode. It read this in a thread at cdrinfo.
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Postby Ian on Mon Sep 20, 2004 3:27 pm

Yep, there are a few utils out there that will let you do that. With NEC being slow to release a new firmware update for the 3500, people have been using the TDK and Mad Dog firmware.
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Postby Wesociety on Mon Sep 20, 2004 7:53 pm

The MadDog 16X retail package comes with a 2 year warranty. :)
At CompUSA this week they have it for $99 after rebate.
Last edited by Wesociety on Wed Sep 22, 2004 8:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby norbertofh on Mon Sep 20, 2004 9:18 pm

Ian wrote:Yep, there are a few utils out there that will let you do that. With NEC being slow to release a new firmware update for the 3500, people have been using the TDK and Mad Dog firmware.


Yeah, I read some threads about that, but I didn't quite understood if it is possible to put official firmware from TDK or if I will need to use some un-official firmware (something like TDK modified).

About the price, is there any forecast? I would be happy to spend as least as possible, but it the TDK isn't much more expensive than the NEC, I wouldn't mind going for it. Just for reference, at the moment the NEC 3500A is being sold at 89,99€, either white or black, here in Portugal.
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Postby Ian on Mon Sep 20, 2004 9:51 pm

wesociety wrote:At CompUSA this week they have it for $109 after rebate.


Rebate is the key word here. Mad Dog doesn't have the best reputation when it comes to rebates.
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Postby Vanderlow on Tue Sep 21, 2004 12:31 am

in the US it's cheaper to get a NEC3500 at Newegg and get an extended warranty for $6 for a total $81 shipped with 2 year warranty amd no rebates!
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Postby Wesociety on Tue Sep 21, 2004 12:50 am

Ian wrote:Rebate is the key word here. Mad Dog doesn't have the best reputation when it comes to rebates.

Yeah I've heard that before...
Fortunately it wasn't a big risk here as it was only a small amount ($20 rebate).
The MadDog bundle would be good for someone who also needs burning software.
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Postby norbertofh on Thu Nov 11, 2004 7:33 pm

I'm about to order the NEC 3500A this friday, but I'm still asking myself if I should go for the TDK 1616N instead, although this drive is more expensive than the NEC.

One other thing that is confusing me is that if the TDK is a rebranded NEC burner, why is there such a huge difference between the TDK and the NEC performances on the Tom's Hardware test? If I was to decide just upon those tests, the NEC seems to be a much better choice than the TDK.
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Postby noycan on Thu Nov 11, 2004 8:20 pm

OfficeMax has the 16x Mad Dog DVD-writer for $79.98 after a $30.00 rebate from OfficeMax. From what I hear, OfficeMax is not all that much better than MadDog when it comes to paying rebates, but who knows. This deal is good until November 13th.

I've often wondered why anyone would call their company Mad Dog :o
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Postby KTL on Fri Nov 12, 2004 12:35 am

NEC had always been an OEM supplier, and never had a retail package, until now. Thus, companies like Mad Dog, TDK, IOData, or Freecom repackaged the 3500A in retail packages with software, cables, manual, etc., driving the prices higher.
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Postby norbertofh on Fri Nov 12, 2004 9:02 am

I live in Portugal (Europe), so around here NEC has been selling their drives for some time.

So what do you think, should I go for the NEC or should I pay the premium price of the TDK drive (here it is 77€ vs 107€)?
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Postby LoneWolf on Fri Nov 12, 2004 12:31 pm

norbertofh wrote:I'm about to order the NEC 3500A this friday, but I'm still asking myself if I should go for the TDK 1616N instead, although this drive is more expensive than the NEC.

One other thing that is confusing me is that if the TDK is a rebranded NEC burner, why is there such a huge difference between the TDK and the NEC performances on the Tom's Hardware test? If I was to decide just upon those tests, the NEC seems to be a much better choice than the TDK.


Confucious say "He who base purchasing decisions on Tom's Hardware Guide Reviews may get burned".
There are only a few truly huge hardware review sites on the web. Anandtech and Tom's are probably the two biggest. While they have some good things to say, in becoming as big as they have they have evolved into a "jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none" setup. For certain products, their reviews are pretty good. However, their tests often leave things out that a site with a narrower focus wouldn't. Or, they use software tools to do their benchmarking (in the case of optical drives at least) that an optical drive review sight might have found to not do the job adequately when reporting results. Finally, differences in drive firmware can make for variations in results.
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