Horrendous Performance Mad Dog MegaSTOR 7-in-1 16X DL External with Toshiba Laptop

On sale for $79 after rebate for one day at CompUSA. Have been toying with the idea of the LG 513D external because of firewire…but the price of the External Maddog (NEC 3520) was too attractive. Brought it home…hooked it up to my Toshiba Satellite 5205-S705

P4-2.4 GHZ
512 MB 266 MHZ SDRAM
Toshiba 60 GB 5400 RPM HDD
Three USB 2.0 Ports
1 4 Pin Firewire

Anyway…long story short…ran a burn on TY 8X +R using Nero CD / DVD Speed 3.80 …the burn started out nicely…then tanked around 9X…continued to go down…meanwhile…kept jumping up and down from 4X to 8X back down to 4X back up to 9X back down to 8X and so on…all the way to the end.

Figured that maybe it was the TY media (which by the way burns at 16X on both my Plextor PX-716A and my NEC ND-3500A with no issues)…

Then got out my Verbatim 16X DVD+R disks (MCC)…started the burn test again…nice curve upward to 9X this time…then started a downward slide to 4X…then the up and down from 4x to 8x to 4x to 10x to 4x to 9x…in very small increments…

The long and short of it…I defrag my HDD daily and have quite a bit of the 60GB free…around 50 GB. On USB 2.0…the machine must be choking…I can’t believe how badly this burner performed.

Threw up my hands and took it back immediately…obviously…past stories of External USB 2.0 drives is ringing true…can’t reach full speed. I am back to contemplating the LG drive…which also does firewire…which is much more stable for transfer rates. In addition, according to the review by cdfreaks…the LG is also the fastest and DOES reach full speed…as long as you use 16X media…I do …




I dont know if the drive is NEC or not, the internal version is NEC and it says on the barcode “Made in Malaysia”. For the external version, it says “Made in China, Assembled in the US” So I dont know if it is really NEC drive or not because I bought 3 NEC drives and all of them are made in Malaysia.

Firmware was 1F3…if that helps…just never expected such awful performance…looked like a polygraph test rather than a speed test…totally unstable and all over the road. I expected that maybe I’d choke off at 12x and flatline…never even got close…


laptops suck for hd speed. too bad you took it back i would have suggested first that you do a burst rate test to see what the speed was. hammering at 9x to me suggests that your computer is somewhat overwhelmed as usb uses system processor

I just got one of the internal versions at CompUSA and put it in an external USB2/FW Bytec enclosure. It uses the Prolific chipset and has the latest flash on it. I can burn at full 16X with FW, but top out at arround 13.5-14X when using USB2. The only problem I had was flashing via FW, wouldn’t work with Dee and Liggy’s firmware, but I just switch to USB to flash and then back. I am still testing, but so far about half the media I have that is sped up is fine (Prodisk R02 is awesome) and some bad (CMCMAG E01 @12 is bad). I am not worried though, as the only time I burn over 8X is just for testing, 8X still seems to be the best for me.

Ran HD Tach on my laptop HDD…says burst rate 70mbps…Hmmm!

Here’s the chart…

The trick to getting good performance with this drive is where you put the cache. The faster the cache can read and write, the better your performance. I got only 4X write performance when the cache was on my main hard drive. I moved the cache to a 128MB USB flash memory drive (AKA Thumbdrive or memory stick) and was able to get reliable 12X writing performance. It probably depends on how big and how fast the flash memory is. This one uses USB 1.1 .The newer sticks are USB 2.0 and go up to 2GB so are probably faster. Give it a try if you have one.