CDFreaks presents: NEC ND-4551A review

You can find it here:

Feel free to comment the review in this thread.

Very nice and thorough review!

There’s one thing I have always wondered about these reviews; you test the CD-DA ripping capability for protected Audio CDs in EAC, but which extraction mode (Secure, Paranoid, Fast, Burst) and speed is used?

I’m guessing it’s Fast or Burst mode at no faster than 24x, since I cannot rip correctly from Cactus Data Shield protected CDs with my NEC 4551 using Secure mode, and I cannot reliably do it in Fast or Burst mode faster than 24x (this may depend on the specific CD of course).

Hey hey, finally.

So this is the retail version then.

Thanks, Jan70! :wink:

Thanks Jan for this review!

One little type in the Conclusion:

[I]During our tests the NEC ND-4551A excelled at ripping audio CD’s. The reading performance is excellent, and the DAE quality is also excellent, making the NEC ND-455[B][U]0[/U][/B]A an excellent choice for audio ripping.[/I]

Hi :slight_smile:
Great stuff Jan70. :clap: :cool: When I first looked it appeared to stop at RAM permformance. :doh: Now complete. :clap:
My little aside is that on the negative side no support for DVD-R DL 4x media with Ritek MID. Are you sure that’s negative. :stuck_out_tongue:

Maybe they are already supported with the newly released 1-08 firmware. Just check here.

Again (as in the ND-4550a review) the issue of DVD-RAM write speed is clouded by the inclusion of manual and redundant verification. If you include graphs for such verification of DVD-RAM why is it not done for the other formats? It gives the impression that reliable write times are much longer for DVD-RAM than the rated speeds (which include default read-after write verification via firmware). Yes, 5X speed are lower than 6X-8X (for DVDxRW) but if verification passes were included for these other media types then DVD-RAM write speeds are more competetive than the review implies. Also it should be noted that while using the FAT32 filesystem eliminates the need for additional (3rd party) drivers in XP, the UDF formats are typically faster in common use, and blank disks typically come preformatted UDF.
Kudos are in order for at least mentioning that multiple formats are available though.
While DVD-RAM has in the past been an expensive niche format (due in large part to cartridge requirements and single format drives), the new multi-drives offer an opportunity for wider adoption. This is at least in the context of data backup and archival storage where the other formats would require a seperate follow up verification and/or compare pass. This won’t happen if prospective users see it as being a lot slower than the other RW formats in the real world. It’s unfortunate that the current 5X ratings don’t compare well for the uninformed consumer who doesn’t know that it includes on the fly verification. Reviews such as this one present an opportunity to educate the consumer otherwise.

Hi Gentlemen. I’m a newbie, so bear with me.
I’m wondering if I can purchase an NEC 4550/51/70/71 here in the U. S.?
I don’t know why NEC prefers to keep their newest and best DVD burners from our market.
I’ve queried vendors in the UK which seem to have an abundance of these burners. But none, will ship to San Francisco.
Any help would be appreciated!


You can get the NEC ND-4550 by purchasing the Mad Dog MegaStor 16x Triple Format drive. Model # MD-16X3DVD9-8X.

Mad Dog will probably follow this one up with the 4570 model as their next drive but is yet to be seen.


I have NEC ND 4551A with original firmware

I try to decrease a speed my DVD drive NEC ND-4551A , because there’s a noise during play of DVD disk.

I type in Linux

hdparm -q -E1 /dev/dvd

#setting cdrom speed to 1

but nothing happens - the speed doesn’t change.

is it possible to make it - to decrease speed of my dvd drive ?
in what way can I see in Linux real speed my dvd drive ?

So, If you don’t know Linux, please answer - is it possible to lock the speed DVD drive in Windows , does the drive support that possibility ?

Yes, but first of all, try same command line without -q, as it may give you some useful information about hidden errors :slight_smile:
I would rather use 4x or 8x instead of 1x. Do not forget this is DVD not CD. :cool:

I’m interesting only DVD-video mode.

>>Do not forget this is DVD not CD

please, clarify that moment - what do you mean, what’s different ?
By the way, is there any information about speed during DVD-video ?
I read, that max speed can be 1x or 2x ? Is it true for Nec 4551a ?

What speed do you mean? rip/read/play mode???

play of DVD disc

Ooops, dunno how “fast” it performs with DVD VIDEO under Linux.

on page 2 of the review it says that the drive supports Bitsetting but on the conclusion it says it doesn’t.
can someone explain it in simple words?
thanks alot…

On page 2 it clearly states:

BookType (Bitsetting):

The NEC ND-4551A supports Bitsetting, and will as default write [B]DVD+R DL[/B] media with DVD-ROM BookType.

Here is how you can check if your discs are really written with the DVD-ROM BookType:

Start Nero CD-DVD Speed and click the Disc info tab and you should get something like this

On the conclusion:

No Bitsetting support (BookType - DVD-ROM) on [B]DVD+R/RW[/B] media

What about a Logo like “NEC - The King Of Quality”?

hi, sorry i missed the fact that it’s only for DL media.
however i searched and found the firmware made by Liggy which is supposed to enable the bitsetting for regular +R media so i’ll buy the drive today and use Liggy’s firmware.

Ah, another happy end.