Can 4550 be upgraded to 16x RAM burning?

I’m in the process of getting my first DVD burner which I plan on putting in a firewire/USB enclosure (Prolific).

I wasn’t that interested in DVD-RAM at first, but the more I read about it the more I want it :slight_smile:

Because of this I have pretty much decided on going with the NEC ND-4550 (I would prefer to get 4551 but need a drive now) drive which supports all formats, with RAM burning up to 5x. Recently, I read that DVD-RAM format will soon be able to support 16x burning, and wondered if the 4550 could support 16x RAM burning through firmware upgrade in the future.

Anyone know if this will be possible ?

Also, am I making a good decision getting the 4550 instead of my other shortlist drives of Plextor 740, Pioneer 110 (with RAM support), LG 4167, Sony DRU-810, BenQ 1640 ?

I have heard that the NEC can produce discs with errors (not too knowledgeable about this stuff but PIF’s and PI’s, I believe) when burned at higher speeds. Is this still the case if I don’t over-burn, and only burn at the media’s rated speed ?

One last thing about media - Does the 4550 happily support the following media (ie. produces good, reliable burns)…

  • Verbatim (MCC) for all formats including RAM (I read somewhere it only liked Panasonic RAM media)

  • TDK for all formats

  • Ritek (RITEKG05) for printable DVD-R/DVD+R

What about other media types ?

Sorry for all the questions in my first post. I look forward to reading all the replies :slight_smile:

Welcome to the forum. I can only address the first question; people have sacrificed their 4550 to try 4551 firmware and see if this was possible and they have reported failure. If it will be doable through firmware it would have to be official from NEC and as they are selling the 4551 for this purpose the odds of this ever happening are close to zero.

I thought the 4551 was only adding LabelFlash, not 16x RAM burning ?

Oops…you are right. Some early reports spoke of 4500 series writing RAM at 16X and I missed the change. Thanks for the correction.

The following post is where I got the impression that the 4550/4551 could be upgraded to 16x RAM burning through fw

The first announcements already said 16x RAM, but delay to get the standards probably made NEC to go forward with the 4550 before those were agreed, and had to be 5x.
NEC makes the 16x hardware so it could be possible or not, depending on some technical aspects we don’t kow and/or marketing options.
At least firmware should allow to read the 16x discs, if writing proves not to come…but, who knows?..
I never saw any remark about this from NEC.

can’t see you being able to get 16x out of an external enclosure anyway, why do people want to go the external route anyway - is it fear of opening the case or what?

From what I’ve gathered through my research, 16x is very possible when the enclosure uses the Prolific PL-3507 revision ‘B’ or ‘C’ (preferably ‘C’) chipset, after being updated with the latest firmware (although admittedly this can still be somewhat drive dependent).

I have no fear :cool:

I have a laptop :bigsmile:

Or maybe you want to use it with more than one PC…considering that the machine will “see” the DVD-RAM as an external HDD if you format it using FAT32, with no need of packet writing software…

I can confirm this. I have two, that’s right two, drives in external cases using the Prolific PL-3507 C chipset. They burn at 16X without a problem…over firewire, not USB.

Also, as you see in my sig, I have a Shuttle, which doesn’t hold more than one optical drive. So I do need the externals, which can also be used on my laptop.