CMC MAG AE1 DVD-R and NEC 3520



I purchased the NEC 3520 as it was recommended in this forum and also a benq 1620.

I flashed the NEC with the U.6 firmware to allow 12 speed burning

I then ran nero cd speed which read the cd in using the nec 3520 and had a smooth read up until 3.5 gig when the reading speed dropped down to around 1 or 2 speed.

I then used the benq to perform its disc quality check.

I have used 4 dvd-r’s with similar results from different batches.

  1. Datawrite grey titanium
  2. Datawrite Yellow
  3. Datawrite Titanium hub printable.
  4. Datawrite printable

Here are the results which suggest to me that these discs should not be written above 8 speed.

I tried writing these using the benq and got very good results.

General Information
Drive: BENQ DVD DD DW1620
Firmware: B7T9
Disc: DVD-R (CMC MAG. AE1)
Selected speed: Maximum
PI errors
Maximum: 2079
Average: 318.54
Total: 5072572
PI failures
Maximum: 1623
Average: 225.06
Total: 3394054
PO failures: 2336831
Maximum: 23.7 %
Average: 12.83 %
Scanning statistics
Elapsed time: 9:50
Number of samples: 17483
Average scanning interval: 8.45 ECC
Glitches removed: 0

Any comments please

Has anyone in the uk owning a NEC 3520 had sucess with CMC.MAG.AE1 at 12 speed (Discs from SVP)

Would a NEC 3500 given better results?


There must be something different wrong.
PI average 318.54 is much to high! Never saw a 3520 that high with AE1.
May i ask how the Titanium or Yellow differ to the printables?


They were all very high, maybe I have a bad drive?
I will try at 8 speed and post back.


Note I am using Nero Dvd speed 3.70 to burn the data dvd and scan the disc.


Just checked a disc I burnt today. Its sold as Infiniti but it is the same CMC MAG AE1 code.

Scan is a lot better than your results. My guess would be that you’ve got a bad batch of discs. There is some suggestion that the consistency of the discs being sold by Datawrite et al is a bit dodgy. Some people get good discs, some get bad ones.


What speed did you burn and what firmware?


While i have had zero problems with Datawrite Yellow and Grey (CMC MAG AE1 and PRODISC R03) on this 3520. i would never recommend them unless the buyer likes spinning a roulette wheel.


Ok, how can you explain why they burn ok on the benq?


Call me a Datawrite fuzzy but i like their products. My Yellows are now more than 30 ones from 2 packs with no problems. The PI scans i took by random look all very similar.
At work i only use Verbatim and from time to time there is a coater. No brand can protect you from this.
The Datawrites always have a very good and stable top surface. The grey ones are nearly unbreakable! I can´t say this about the so called “Top Brands”

just my 2 cent


What speed are you writing the yellows and with what writer and firmware?


3520A 1.U6 12x i already postet here:


First, CMC is not that good and at 12X you are pushing it. Second, the BenQ 1620 should be scaned at 8X speed not MAX as you set. Third, I would not expect any better results with the 3500. While NEC does OK with cheap media like CMC, it has its limits and I would suggest that 12X exceeds them. Try a burn at 8X and then scan it at 8X and see what you get.


Here we go CMC MAG AE1 Datawrite 8x printable
burnt in 6 mins 40 secs at 12x on NEC3500 with Quikee Benchmark Extreme V3 firmware

Now tell me ,if this isn’t as good as it gets, I love this media
(Datawrite 8x printable, Datasafe 8x printable, Datawrite Titanium, Datawrite Yellow all give me very similar results. I do not include the Hub printable version, as this is made by a different process and I have not tried them)


Not bad, but not a great burn. I see degradation above the 2.3GB mark. Good stuffs tend to drop off around 4GB. CMC media is weak in the consistency and quality control department. I have seen many discs with de-bonding line near the center of the DVD’s hub. Others are not perfectly flat/balanced. The result is more noise during disc playback. Some will also skip during playback when burned @ 12X.



Yeah i agree, their fake TY (Datawrite red) discs are crap but their yellow and grey discs have never let me down.


One thing i am not sure about. Not only the material, also the manufacturer is important. Datawrite gets something like a master and produces its media out of it, isn´t it? So the quality control is there and not at CMC.
Or is the production process only putting a label on already finished discs?


“Or is the production process only putting a label on already finished discs?”
answer YES, silk screen printing done in original factory.
Datawrite are distributors not manufacturers.

12x burn starts at the 2.3gig mark, every burn I have ever made looks like that at the 12x burn area. I would hardly call a PI error rise from 12 to 24 degradation. Verbatim does not look any better, and at most times worse. I have not had any CMC MAG AE1 skip on movies, I burn em all at 12x.
Show me a better 12x scan then? You choose the -R media.


Question: Is this media, certified at 8X, so bad writing at 8X ?
(why risk it at 12X, to save 1-2 minutes?)


6 mins 40 secs … thats a 33% saving over an 8x burn approx 9 mins 30 secs
Why risk it, I have had no fails at 12x with this media, so I see no risk.
I find 8x burns are generally worse than 12x burns (on a 16x writer)
the 12x “solid” yellow PI fails that are a “feature” of my 12x burns do not appear to have any performance impact.
PI errors above 100 seem to have a far greater negative impact.


While 33% is large number in %, the absolute 3 minutes are not that important to me, personally, as I backup on average maybe 3-5 DVDs per week and maybe 1-2 data backups.

The big question to me, is if you re-check burnt DVD 12 months later, will there be different results for the ones burnt at 8X Vs the ones burnt at 12X.(I am talking specifically on certified 8X media from same batch)