DVD Burner - NEC - 3540A

Review

http://www.cdfreaks.com/article/214

SPECIFICATIONS (from Nec.de):

Transfer Rate read and write:
DVD +R: 16x max.
DVD-R: 16x max.
DVD +RW: 8x max.
DVD-RW: 6x max.
DVD +R9: 8x max.
DVD-R DL: 4x
CD-R: 48x max.
CD-RW: 32x max.

Access time DVD 140ms, CD 120ms
Mechanism motorized tray load mechanism for horizontal and vertical use
Interface IDE / ATAPI
Burst transfer rate PIO mode 4 / Ultra DMA 33
Cache 2 MB

Media supported DVD-ROM, DVD-R (DL approx march 2005), DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW,DVD+R9,CD-ROM, CD-R and CD-RW with 80mm and 120mm diameter

Modes supported DVD-ROM,DVD-Video,CD-DA, CD Extra,CD Text,CD-ROM,CD-ROM XA,CD-I,CD-I Ready,CD-Bridge,PhotoCD, VideoCD

Writing methods DAO, SAO,TAO with zero gap,variable or fixed packet, multisession

Compatibility MPC Level 3, MultiRead, PC2001
Dimensions 148mm x 42mm x 190mm

Today I have a unique opportunity to test this drive. I decided to test the drive with the firmware that it came with instead of Liggy & Dee unofficial firmware because the drive isn’t mine and the owner probably wouldn’t want me to void the warrany. =)

Test #1
Fuji branded YUDEN000T02 (TT001158)
Burned @16x

Compare with:
Philips 1640 P3.4 @ 16x
Nec 3500 2.TC @16x
LG 4163 @12x

Comment:
The drive didn’t burn this somehow problematic YUDEN000T02 discs well… both LG 4163 and Philips 1640 burned it a lot better. Also the transfer rate test showed problems while reading at the end.

Test #2
Verbatim branded MCC004 (Made in Taiwan)
Burned @16x

Compare with:
Philips 1640 P3.4 @16x
Nec 3500 2.TC @ 16x
LG 4163 @ 16x

Comment:
The quality of MCC004 @ 16x was good… but not the best. LiteON 411 showed very good overall quality but at the end was catastrophic. Nec & Philips showed a graph that is within the limits. Transfer rate test showed no slowdown… but it’s still better to burn this discs at a lower speed just to be at the safe side.

Test #3
Maxell branded RITEKR03
Burned @8x

Compare with:
Philips 1640 P3.4
LG 4163 A102
Comment:
This are IMHO not very good disc… but Nec 3540 burns them well as LG 4163. Transfer rate shows no trouble but I wouldn’t recommend them… PIF levels are way to high for a 8x disc burned at 8x.

Test #4
Verbatim branded MCC03RG20
Burned @16x

Compare with:
Philips 1640 T3.4
LG 4163 A104 @ 16x #1
LG 4163 A104 @ 16x #2
LG 4163 A104 @ 16x #3

Comment:
Nec 3540 likes this discs very much… low PIF on all three scans. However LiteOn and Philips saw 2 high spikes near 3.7 but I wouldn’t worry too much about them. Very recommended discs.

Test #5
Verbatim branded MCC003
Burned @8x

Compare with:
Philips 1640 P3.4 @ 8x #1
Philips 1640 P3.4 @ 8x #2

Comment:
The quality with this discs looks great… but for some reasons LiteOn didn’t liked it very much. Transfer rate doesn’t show any slowdowns.

Test #6
Fuji branded TYG02 (GG000041)
Burned @12x

Compare with:
Philips 1640 P3.4 @ 16x
Philips 1640 P3.4 @ 8x

Comment:
Not very nice scans with this discs… Philips 1640 can burn them at 16x by far better than Nec 3540 at 12x… with lower jitter and PIF. However in transfer rate graph the drive shows no slowdowns so it looks like Nec 3540 is quite a good reader.

Conclusion for today:
I’m a little disappointed in Nec 3540 with official firmware… with the best discs I have it didn’t even once beat my Philips 1640 or LG 4163… even worse… on discs like TYG02 or YUDEN000T02 the quality was very poor. If you wan’t good quality burns the use of unofficial firmware is necessary for this drive.

If I have time I will try some more scans tommorow.

Note: If somebody is wondering… the disc burned with another burners (the scans in the links) are all from the same batch as the one tested on Nec 3540.

Hmm, interesting results you got there Quikee! The impression of your results makes me wonder if your system is unstable or if you got one of those “bad-operating” 3540’s.

So far, my personal impression of the NEC ND-3540A is very impressive - maybe there is somebody out there that has similar experiences and thoughts?

I’ve also been very impressed with ND-3540. With the media I have its burning as well if not better than the other drives in my system.

I burned many discs before starting to modify the firmware, so I don’t think it’s a firmware issue. But not all drives are equal, and I know I’ve seen some poor burns with this drive as well.
Quikee; It looks like the one you tested is less than perfect. :bigsmile:

I think either your system is amiss or you indeed like Jan says have a bad drive. I have just been testing the 3540 I have with Taiyo Yuden media and my results are far better.




Miflop TYG03@16x
Compare Here




MBIPG101R04[TDK]@12x LD1.W3 - Another good result!




MCC-004 Verb made in taiwan@16x LD1.W3




Last one:
MCC03RG20 - Verb Made in Taiwan LD1.W3@16x




Well… there is nothing wrong with the system. =) The system is far superior to mine… the windows are fresh… drivers are MS… brust rate is 26 MB/s… so I guess it’s the drive.

At least I didn’t buy this drive (hehe)… and it looks like that now I won’t. =)

Still… it doesn’t look good for Nec if such drives as this exist.

I think its fair to say the odd rogue writer exists regardless of brand Quikee. Your m8 got unlucky it seems. I have had 3 plex 716s and I am on BenQ 1620 number 4. I actually like the 3540 and I am gad I have had it to test.

Of course they do… however I think there are more and more odd rogue drives… one day you will tell you’ve got a good rouge new drive. =)

However such a drive can be even worse than a dead drive… you can return a dead drive and get a new one… however try to return this one… they would try it… saw that nothing’s wrong with it (if something like burn quality doesn’t exist in their language) and tell you “hey dumbass… it’s nothing wrong with the drive”. =)

BTW. It’s not my luck… as I said the drive is not mine. =P I’m happy with my Philips 1640, LG 4163 and Nec 3500… however I considered selling my Nec 3500 and buy a Nec 3540 instead.

However such a drive can be even worse than a dead drive… you can return a dead drive and get a new one… however try to return this one… they would try it… saw that nothing’s wrong with it (if something like burn quality doesn’t exist in their language) and tell you “hey dumbass… it’s nothing wrong with the drive”. =)

Then I would expect the user to excercise their right to a refund! of course this could be a pain in the backside but as long as you hold your ground it will be replaced or you will get a refund.
Anyway - don’t wanna turn this into another ‘whos best drive’ thread so I will keep my fingers crossed that your friend can get it replaced and recieve a better one. :slight_smile: