I'm new to DVD burning, need help!

Ok, so I got the NEC ND-2510A and I got a few questions:

  • How do I get new firmware? The website said to get the firmwares from the place you bought it from, but I got it OEM from newegg. What do I do here?

  • What’s the difference between -R and +R media? Is the difference negligible?

  • Now I will have 3 CD/DVD drives: The new NEC, my Lite-On 52x CDRW burner and my Lite-On 16x DVD-Rom. Would it be good to have all 3 of those drives in my computer at the same time? How would this affect system performance?

  • What are some good brands of DVD media? After reading a few reviews of my drive, it said that some cheap media won’t work with the drive. How do I know what are the good brands

  • What are some good deals on DVD Media? Can I get like a 20 pack for maybe $10 (Good quality media, that is).

  1. Get firmware from NEC’s site, an all-in-one firmware site like http://forum.rpc1.org/portal.php , or get modified firmware like herrie’s legendary firmware for the NEC right here in the CDF forums.

  2. Some people think that technical differences give DVD+R a leg up for long term growth and overall robustness of the underlying technology. For practical purposes though, use whatever works best for your drive. If you use a bitsetting utility, DVD+R is at least as compatible with standalone players as -R if not more so.

  3. If you are running an SATA hard drive, then you can spread the burners out among your 2 PATA channels and have no problem. If you are using PATA hard drive(s), you should make a choice and only keep two optical drives installed; mixing a hard drive and a CD/DVD drive on the same PATA channel is asking for bad news and will negatively impact performance. If you backup copy protected PC games, you might want to keep the CDRW (Lite-Ons are some of the best for that sort of work). Otherwise, you can use the DVD-ROM as an everyday reader and save the NEC for burning duties.

  4. The best of the best is Taiyo Yuden. It is sold under a variety of brand names as well as OEM through some online retailers like rima and accaproducts. I’ve tried others and can honestly say that there is no substitute for genuine TY. There are some alternatives: RICOHJPNR01 and R02 and pretty good. People have been getting better results lately using PRODISCR02 and R03. Ask around the NEC and media forums for good stuff for your particular drive.

  5. The aformentioned TY can be had for around $.70 USD a piece if ordered in quantities of 50 or 100. Problem is, that price was for Samsung branded TY at Newegg and Samsung recently changed suppliers- you will probably get OPTODISC if you try that deal now. Otherwise, $.50 USD is not uncommon for quality media.

Good Luck and welcome to CD Freaks.

Thanks for your help, but now I have another problem. I hear that the ND2510A isn’t good at reading CDs/DVDs. Should I then keep the Lite-On DVD-Rom? Also, couldn’t I still use CD images to back up copy protected games?

Successful copy-protected game backups need three elements- a good image, a good burn, and a good reader. The DVD-ROM is ideal for the ‘good reader’ part, but the ‘good burn’ part depends heavily on the burner (along with the media quality). The latest Safedisc and Securom protections really test a burner’s ability- just being a 2 sheep drive isn’t good enough anymore. Your 2510 may turn out to be good enough to burn good, readable backups, but there should be no doubt about the Lite-On CDRW.

Thanks again. One last question: Can the ND-2510A burn at 8x speeds on media that’s supposed to be 4x? I know the Plextor 8x can do it, but what about this NEC?

It can with certain media. The modified firmwares that herrie puts out enable the feature for more media types that are known to burn well at the higher speed, but aren’t officially certified by NEC.