Compact: ND-3500A vs DVR-108

I know this has been done several times before, I know you can find all the info somewhere in this forum (and somewhere else), but I’m running out of time and after 6+ hours yesterday and another 2+ today, I decided to make open a new thread to

  1. Ask some questions about the NEC 3500A compared to the Pioneer 108
  2. Try to collect the answers in this post to make it easier for people like me who are overwhelmed by all the information.

K, things I’d like to know or have some clearification on:

  • Does the NEC 3500A have true 4x or is it just overclocked (most stores report it as 2.4 DL, some as 4x, reviews differ as well)?
  • Which one has the better writing qualities for DVD+R/-R (from what I read that would be the NEC)?!?
  • Which one has better support/official firmwares (eg RPC-1, Bitsetting, no rip-lock) (I get the impression this might be the 108?)?
  • Which ‘hacked’ firmware is the best if you’re looking for an all-inclusive (very good writing strategies, RPC-1/region free, Bitsetting for SL/DL, rip-lock) (2c8se (TDK?) for the 3500A (why is 2C8 better than 2F8?)? Where can I find it (if it’s not one the list already)???
  • Which one is most likely to support 8x DL when it comes out Q1/2005?

ND-3500A: CDRInfo cdfreaks write results
DVR-108: CDRInfo
Comparison: ExtremeMhz

ND-3500A: The Firmware Page (official FW only, 2.17 (DL bitsetting?), TDB (RPC-1, rip lock disabled, 4x DL, based on TDK1616N), Herrie’s firmware page is offline, but it’s supposed to do it all (PRC-1, no rip lock, SL/DL bitsetting)?
DVR-108: The Firmware Page (official FW only, 1.14 (features?)), Gradius’ FW (RPC-1, no rip lock), >nil:'s FW (beta 4) (RPC-1, no rip lock, -R bitsetting (not +R), speed overburning)

ND-3500A/DVR-108: ?!?

Please help me update this and tell me where one drive has the edge over the other (personally, I don’t care that much for speed, but it is also considered an important factor). I will edit this post when I get additional info or find out that I was wrong. I especially appreciate any links where this has already been discussed and didn’t take 10+ pages as I tend to forget what I read first when I approach the end. :o

Thanks in advance!


I have two 3500’s and am well satisfied with their performance (specs below)-

I use only good media Taiyo Yuden and Ritek and get excellent burn results - every time-

So - am I satisfied - yes!!

Happy Burnin’


Is that +R or -R? Which firmware do you use?
I remember reading that the 3500A has excellent writing capabilities, but then some say that the Pioneer is an even better writer. People in the NEC forum enthusiastically disagree, but I don’t know what to believe anymore.

Plus, I have around 40 low quality medias flying around and I’d like to be able to burn them (they didnt’ work on a 2500A).


Use both -R and +R in Tayio Yuden 8x - get good burns from both and -R only from Ritek-

Firmware in signature-


Damn, didn’t get the the “with Herries 2.17”.
Does this firmware have improved writing strategies (especially for lower quality discs)? How about the reading? I heard it’s supposed to be pretty picky?

Mmh, I ordered the ND-3500A now, I hope I won’t regret it!

I was leaning towards the 108 for a while, but this ‘realnewbie’ guy really pissed me off :a plus I’m counting on this community to make up for the reduced official support. :wink: