External Enclosures

Hi Ive gone through some threads but it seems that there are no enclosures available at this time to support a nec3500 at 16x… Is that true?

If not which enclosure would allow 16x burning?

Also are there no already manufactured external nec3500’s being made?

Some threads…? There are many threads about enclosures in Recording Hardware Forum section. :wink:

Anyway, here is one link.

Edit. Search button at top of page is your friend. Use it. :cool:

does it work as well with nec 3500. I have only been looking in the nec forum.


I have been testing enclosures for the past 6 months. The only one I have repeatable performance is a case with the Prolific PL-3507 ChipSet on the BridgeBoard.

Firewire + ND3500AG = 16X
USB2 + ND3500AG = 12X

I too was reading threads about enclosures over the past couple of weeks. It finally dawned on me that to get an external 3500, all I had to do was buy the MadDog unit…which I did a couple of days ago from Office Max. With the rebate that’s running this week + one of those Officemax “code” coupons that they always send to me in the mail, the thing only cost $89.00. I downloaded the new 3500 fw and bitsetting software from the Maddog site and I’m set. 16x burns work fine as far as I can tell.

You should run Nero CD/DVD Speed to test the burst rate. It has to be 23MB/s in order to support 16X. Would love to hear your results !!!

I got my Plumax 5.25 combo USB/1394 today. The original firmware in there was 2004.02.12.062 with 20 MB/s using 1394, which I updated to 2004.09.07.162 with 21 MB/s using 1394. Both USB was only 14 MB/s. I believe the limitation is the VIA-based 1394 PCI add-on card. But since I only have a LiteOn 812S@832S in there, the burst rate is good enough, as I’ll leave the 16x burners internally. I had to use the firmware flasher 2.0.4 since 2.1.4 errored out trying to update.

Some existing threads about external enclosures:
[thread]101100[/thread] (highly recommended read!)

@KTL Thanks for the Nero CD/DVD Speed as I get similar results as beach-hobo for 16X DVD drives. You have to have a sustained write rate of 21.09 MB/s (16 x 1350kB/s = 21600 kB/s =21.09 MB/s) to write at DVD 16X. I find it hard to believe that Mad Dog would package an external USB 2.0 drive that wouldn’t write at the claimed speed, but my experience is that USB 2.0 seems to fall a little short of the sustained data rate necessary for burning DVD’s at 16X. That’s why I use firewire (IEEE 1394) in my external enclosure. I would like to be proven wrong. Forget about that 480 MB/s USB 2.0 claims, that’s burst rate, not sustained data rate. The chipsets on both the computer and the drive must work together to accomplish this. The buffer under-run technology may cover-up some of these shortcomings. I would really like to be proven wrong on this.

As beach-hobo says:
Firewire + ND3500AG = 16X
USB2 + ND3500AG = 12X

@LS55: Would you be kind enough to run the test on your MAD DOG?

Cheers BW!

My guess is that most manufacturers use USB 2.0 only is because it’s more widespread compared to 1394, cheaper to build, and native support on the motherboard was way ahead. BTW, here’s what the Prolific chip look like.

On the PL-3507 chip, the 2nd line reads … 04133C.
Does anyone know if the “C” is what was referred to by @crea78 in this post

Apparently, you can upgrade the firmware of the PL-3507 only if one has the B or C according to that post.

I believe so, that’s why I only flashed the 0907 firmware to it.

I just received my StorTecc USB2/Firewire enclosure from Dealsonic.com and the Prolific chip reads the exact same thing (04133C). I believe this is the “C” series is the one that can be flashed to the 9/7/2004 firmware, but I haven’t looked underneath the chipset to be sure.

With no DVD-RW at the moment to test out (currently wrapped up under the Xmas tree), I’m not able to test out the enclosure so will report next week on my status.

Hey guys Im thinkin about getting a laptop.Can I burn from an external usb 2.0 harddrive to an external usb 2.0 dvd burner? I dont really care if I can burn at high speeds 4x is plenty fast I just want a quality burn.

I’m pretty sure you can do this. All of my DVD files are on my ext. HDD (USB2/Firewire combo) and I’m gonna use the Firewire port for the DVD-RW drive to burn to.

CAn you let us know how it turns out?

Sure, you will have to wait until Saturday or Sunday for the results. Btw, most of the DVD files are ISO images so I will be using DVD Decrypter to burn onto DVD+Rs. Don’t have -Rs at the moment.

It seems that someone has run Nero CD/DVD speed on their new MADDOG 16X USB 2.0 burner and go only 14X. See my earlier post. http://club.cdfreaks.com/showpost.php?p=787798

Since there are two other threads about external enclosures, I’ll post my findings since I had a previous post in this thread.

I swapped both the Benq 1620 (as 162I) and NEC 3500A in my Plumax USB/1394 combo and checked burn and burst rates. I have a VIA-based 1394 PCI add-on card. Although the burst rates looked great, but the Benq burned YUDEN000T02 @ 12x PCAV while NEC burned up to 15x. I only obtained 20/21 MBps with a 812S@832S, so it may seem like that the burst rate can be drive dependent. With either Benq or NEC, the USB was only 15 MBps.

Pictures explanation:

  1. Back side of the PCB, seems like a TI USB controller IC.
  2. Benq 162I burn.
  3. Benq 162I burst rate.
  4. NEC 3500A burn.
  5. NEC 3500A burst rate.


You got the right burst rate. I can burn 16X with both 162I and 3500AG with no problems, but I have the 1394 builtin on my motherboard on my laptop.

Some things to check:

  1. HD Defragged ?
  2. Are you trying to burn from a compressed directory ?
  3. Other activity on the PCI Bus ?
  4. Have you checked CPU usage ?