Bought NEC drive - look at the difference in the scans over my old Sony!

Well after owning a Sony DRU-500A for a couple of years I decided to upgrade to the NEC-3540A.

I’ve been using the new drive to perform quality scans on some of the media I burned with the Sony - is this a valid way to compare performance between the drives (as I couldn’t do quality scanning with the Sony anyway)?

If it is a valid guide to the media quality, then the burns I’ve been doing with my Sony are terrible, especially the earlier burns on poor media. Indeed, these earlier discs no longer play all the way through on my DVD player. Even the recent burns I’ve been doing on the MCC media looks pretty bad and I thought these were fine (as they play fine in the DVD player). The scans of the new burns done with the NEC are a complete contrast.

Any comments on these (posts to follow)?

  1. Princo (marketed as Ritek at the time!) media burned 18-24 months ago, the worst of the lot:

  1. RITEKG04 burned on the Sony about 12 months ago:

  1. MCC media burned with the Sony 1 week ago:

Finally, scans of my two first burns on Verbatim MCC media with the NEC. I think both were burned at 16x. Should I worry about the spikes in the PIFs?

It’s perfectly valid to scan burns from burner A with burner B. Just don’t compare PIE/PIF scans from burner A with scans from burner B (but your Sony can’t scan, so basically that’s of no concern to you).

The burns made with your Sony don’t look good at all, however I would recommend to also perform a transfer test of the burns (preferably with both drives). Maybe they aren’t as bad as they look.

Regarding your burns with the NEC 3540, I would say the first one is very good, though PIE is a little high at the end. Nothing to worry about though. The single high PIF spike can be ignored. The second burn looks less good, there is a cluster of PIFs in the 0.6-0.7 region which I don’t like and the PIF tops 300 near the end, though by my standards this isn’t a bad burn either.

IIRC quality scanning on NEC’s should be done at 5x speed with 1 ECC sum. :slight_smile:

But I’m not surprised about those bad scans on princo :Z media…

Whats do you mean by a transfer test?

Not sure why first and second are so different. First was burned direct from DVDShrink (but should still use Nero’s engine) at max speed (I wasn’t present to witness how fast it burned though), second was a ISO burned with Nero at 16x. In the latter, the buffers were jumping about alot which I’ve mentioned in anothed thread on this board. I’ll have to see how things pan out as I try different speeds.

Also, I realised another important difference between the Sony burns and NEC burns above - all the Sonys had printed labels applied. So I tried a DVD I burned on the same media with the Sony but without a label, but to be honest it still looked pretty bad. However when I scanned an MCC03 disc (opposed to MCC02) burned with the Sony recently, the results were alot better. Suppose the Sony is VERY sensitive to media, but pity I had no means to test this before.

I might try these again with those settings…

Oops, I mean a transfer rate test. In Nero CD-DVD speed, go to “run test” and then select “transfer rate”. The result should be a smooth curve.

BTW, if you’re planning on burning more MCC 03RG20, I would recommend flashing to the latest 1.01 firmware (fifth release) or an unofficial firmware based on this latest 1.01 (like 1.01ebt or LD35401.W5). These FWs can be downloaded from Scorpiosoft’s website. With my NEC 3540, I noticed an increase in quality using this latest firmware.

Almost forgot: you got me thinking about the difference in between the burns done with DVDShrink and those done with Nero. Are you using a 80-conductor IDE cable?

As I only just got the drive, is it possible I might already be running the fifth release? Infotool just shows 1.01, how can I find out the exact version? I don’t think I have any need for any modified firmware features at this point, so I’d probably stick the latest official.

I think so - is that the higher density cable with thinner wires? If so then yes, but depends how many different types there are.

You can check the release date of the firmware with Necdump. If I recall correctly the release date of the fifth 1.01 firmware is may 17th 2005. (Or was it june 8th 2005? Do’h, can’t remember!)

The cable with the thinner wires is indeed a 80-conductor cable.

April 21st, so its probably worth an update…