2 BenQ 1620s or 1 BenQ and 1 NEC 3500?

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that my NEC 2500 died when I bought a second 1620.

Well, the NEC was under warranty, but as it is no longer manufacutered, the supplier has sent me an NEC 3500 instead.

So now I have a dilema… should I keep the two BenQs or should I keep one BenQ and the NEC.

I’ve read through the NEC forum and there do seem to be more complaints about the 3500 than the 1620, but that could be because more people have them (the overall % of complaints from each camp could be the same…)

Anyway, what would your decision be in this situation? 2 BenQs or one 1620 and one 3500? :confused:


PS I love the quality of the burns/scans I have with MMC003 media on the 1620, but FUJIFILM03 is not as good as I had hoped. I don’t suppose the NEC will be any better… I’ll have to test…

do that . Test it first and a few more times then make a decision.

IMO, if you need TWO burners, keep the 2 BenQs. If you need ONE burner and ONE reader, keep the NEC because it reads +/-R media at 16X! It would allow you to do transfer tests in 5 minutes vs 9 minutes for the BenQ…But, I’d do all the burning on the BenQ :wink:

Personally I’d keep 1 BenQ and 1 NEC if I were to only keep 2 drives. I hate giving any of them up. :smiley: The reason I say this? If you find a media type that the BenQ might have a bit of trouble with then you can burn them on the NEC or vice-versa. That’s why I have both, better compatibility. Sometimes you might even find a batch of discs that burn better in one over the other. It’s always nice to have your options open is my motto.

I am very happy with both Benq and NEC. They each have their own strong points on different media. What good does an extra Benq do?

I did a read test on a disk burned by the NEC 2500 and that the old NEC had propblems reading. The 3500 read it back no problems, and started the read at 6.0x. The BenQ also read it back with no problems but the start speed was just 3.0x.

I think >at this stage< I’ll keep one of each. Use the BenQ for disk quality scans, the NEC for fast ripping (I’ll use hacked firmware), and both for burning.


I use two BenQ DW1620 drives. I can use one drive flashed to one particular firmware, and have the second DW1620 flashed to a different firmware version. This allows me to easily test out different firmware versions quite quickly. Also, you can use one BenQ DW1620 for most of the burning, and use the other DW1620 for mostly error scanning. It keeps your results consistent. Anyhow, I have two DW1620s and wouldn’t change a thing right now. I’m very happy. :bigsmile:

If it won’t put you in the poor house, KEEP all three. :iagree:

Yeah, and put one of BenQ´s in external (USB2) enclosure, then whole your family can benefit.

thats really good advice. not to toot my own horn, but believe it or not, i was going to say the same thing… so…

i’ll give you an off topic word of advice so my post isn’t totally pointless.
-fill your spare tire to at least 5psi over the reccomended pressure for the tire. through time, some of the pressure will be lost, much like an old basketball or soccer ball. its alot easier to take a few psi out of the tire, rather than put a few psi back in when you’re stranded on the side of the road :slight_smile:

Good advice, Braxas. I have post-its on my spindles reminding me in which burner and at what speed they burn best. Saves me a lot of time looking through dozens of scans, seeing as my memory isn’t what it used to be. :slight_smile:

Socrates, clearly this is subjective…so I’m NOT going to tell you you’re wrong…but, I would like to add a couple points to justify the NEC over the BenQ as a second burner. But, first, the consession- your set up clearly DOES allow for better firmware evaluation. Other than that, I disagree. First, I’m not sure why having a second drive for scanning offers more consistant results? Unless you don’t change the firmware as often? If that’s the case, you no longer have the first advantage of firmware evaluation :confused: As long as you do ALL your scanning in the same drive, I think you’ll have consistant results. Next, the transfer rate test is a valuable piece of information regarding burn quality. I would like to have more transfer test results for my burns, but after 9 minutes with the quality test, I’m not too excited about another 9 minutes for the transfer test…I feel that if I could do a transfer test in 5 minutes I would do so, and I would have even more confidence in all my burns- especially by reading them at 16x on not-so-great of a reader. I’m always paranoid that because the BenQ is such a DAMN good reader that it has rose-colored glasses on! I’m really hoping we will some day see a firmware mod (or support from Erik Deppe in CD speed) that will allow a 16x read from my BenQ. Lastly, it might be nice if you find a media that the BenQ doesn’t do well (has that ever happened to anyone with a BenQ??? Probably not, but none the less) then you could try it out on the NEC. The BenQ is MUCH better at reading scratched/dirty discs…but usually thats the exception, not the norm…so in those cases you pop it in the BenQ. Just random thoughts. :slight_smile:

I recently added a NEC 3500 to my system, in addition to my BenQ 1620.

I had about 25 Prodisc S03 discs lying around that I hadn’t bothered to use up because the 1620 would only burn them at 4X. This equates to a burn time of about 16 minutes, followed by a verify time of about 9 minutes totalling just over 25 minutes.

With the NEC 3500, I’ve been using Quikee’s hacked firmware http://freeweb.siol.net/tvajng/Quikee_FW.html, and burning my 4X -R Prodisc S03 discs successfully at 12X. The end of the burn is a little bit dirty, but not enough to matter. The burn completes in about 6:45 and then the verify adds an additional 5:00. So I get a complete burn that’s fully verified in just 11:45. That gives me plenty of time to do a CDSpeed transfer rate test if I want to. The transfer rate test takes an additional 5:00 and straight lines up to a maximum of 16X when done on the NEC, indicating a good burn. Or if I want more detailed info, I just pop the disc in the 1620 drive and use CDSpeed to quality scan it.

I think the BenQ 1620 burns a little bit cleaner than the NEC, but so far all of my NEC 3500 burns are working really well.

I keep hoping that someone will successfully hack the 1620 to give us 16X read capabilities, and allow a successful overspeed for some of our media. But so far this has not happened.

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve used up all 25 of my remaining Prodisc S03 discs and the ones I’ve tested have all played fine in my Philips 642 set top player. Next up, I’ve got about 40 HP CMC Mag F01 discs lying around, and it’s looking like the NEC 3500 can successfully burn these at 12X as well.

As far as reading is concerned, a movie rips in about 6 - 12 minutes on the NEC 3500. So far I’ve ripped about six movies without any reading issues at all. It’s just the opposite - the movies generally rip faster. I suspect that the BenQ probably is more reliable when it comes to reading scratched discs - but the real winner here has to be LiteOn. I have a LiteOn 451 burner that’s on another system, and I’ve seen it read more than one disc that will NOT read back on my 1620.

Over the last three weeks, the NEC 3500 has impressed me far more than I expected. I would strongly recommend keeping one of each.

thats the point the NEC3500 needs hack firmware…opps i cannot comment here as i have 3 BenQs and 1 NEC…lol…

…but then again as what socrates007 pointed out having a drive just purely for scanning is a plus point as what i am doing…if you have read up on GR&R keeping the measurement tool the same is needed…so irregardless of firmware changes on that drive for scanning…the PUH is still the same…just that you have to take note when the firmware was upgraded and compare from that point in time onwards…if not…you can always take your previosly scanned disc and rescann again using the new firmware…but then again the media might have degraded over the weeks left in the harsh enviroments of our rooms…( labelling the disc properly is needed to do this…lol ) …imagine having to burn 4-5 burns on beta drives and you need to scan concurrently…while doing some more burns…

my 2 cents views…

You and socrates007 have both said this now…but wouldn’t the PUH be the same if you used the same BenQ to scan as to record? Why does having a “dedicated” scanner offer more consistancy? It’s still the SAME drive every time :confused:

well…yes PUH is the same…but is the calibration the same??..anyway its a six sigma rule to keep measurement tool if you want consitency…

Is the 6 - 12 minutes ripping time for the NEC 3500 for SL discs? My
NEC 3500 takes ~ 17 mins for DL discs.

I don’t think this was suggested above, but I would keep one of each for a very simpe reason. The 3500 burns flawlessly and the BenQ will do quality testing with CDSpeed; as well the BenQ has very good error correction. My Liteon is junk when it comes to burning anything and I would trade it for a 1620 in a second. If you are going to get two great burners then at least on should do things the other cannot.

They were probably double layer, but now that I think about it, my speed is likely exagerated. This is because I ripped the movies with DVD Decryptor in “IFO mode”, so I only ripped the main movie itself rather than the complete disc including all of the extras. I did it like this because I like to then further compress it to XVID, rather than leave it in standard DVD format, since my Philips 642 set top player can play this format well.

My ripping speed never exceeded 8X, and it was usually lower than that. So 17 minutes would probably be about right if you were to rip an entire DVD.

Agreed. As far as writing is concerned, you definitely want to use something other than LiteOn.

But they do read well…