Just Purchased NEC 3520 & Disappointed



Well, I’ve just received my 3520 from Newegg today. I upgraded from my Pioneer 106. I justified my purchase of the 3520 due to the fact that i’m burning movies all the time. I thought purchasing a 16x burner would save me a whole bunch of time on the ripping/burning. However, I feel like i’m not really saving time @ all. I put in a bit of research thinking of which drive I was going to go with and I narrowed it down to either the NEC 3520 or BENQ 1620. In the end, I went the NEC route because of it’s increased support of dvd-r’s ( I like -R’s because I burn a lot of PS2 and more dvd players seem to accept the -R format.)

Now that i’ve installed the burner, I realize the ripping speed is TERRIBLY slow. Maybe even slower than my Pio 106. When I ripped with the PIO, which is labeled a 4x burner, i seemed to always go @ 4x. NOw with this 16x, I seem to rip @ the same speed. IN DVD Decrypter, it starts off fat a crawl @ 2x then about 30 percent it’s up to around 4x and just sits there. Is everybody’s NEC like that? Why is this thing so slow @ reading?? Did I install this thing incorrectly? Are there any special instructions I should know? Also, is there a chance that a new FW upgrade will help? I’m thoroughly disappointed and I hope that you guys can help me out. Cause if not, I may have to just go out and get myself a BENQ. Or anything with a better rip speed.


btw, i’m using 1.U8 fw


Ripping speed is slower with the NEC than some, 16x is for writing speed. With firmware that removes the riplock you can rip at full 6-16x speed from single-layer DVDs and DVD+R/-R media. For dual-layer media it rips at max speed of 3-7x. Pioneer and Plextor drives can rip dual-layer at 5-12x speeds or you can add a cheap $25 DVD-ROM like the Aopen model and use it to rip at up to 6-16x speed (though it slows down around the layer change). I get typical DL rips with the Aopen around 10-11min, while the NEC takes 19-20min. The Benq with new firmware reportedly can now rip at high speeds too, but may also slow down with some discs. You need to use riplock removed firmware and use the latest DVD Decrypter and enable max read speed.


My ND-3520A is most definitely slower at ripping than my old Pioneer slot load DVD-ROM, but that drive and my old CD-RW drive both got replaced, one by the NEC and the other by a Rosewill combo drive (which I haven’t ripped with yet, so can’t tell ya if it is better or what). When ripping a movie now, I just start it and go do something else (dinner, brush the cat, whatever) til it’s done. No biggie…


I’m using the RPC1 and Riplock firmware from TDB and it seems to rip at a pretty pace.


what do you mean by pretty pace? How long does it take for you to rip a full length DL pressed dvd?

Is there a chance that some FW down the road will improve the 3520’s reading speed? Or is it a hardware limitation that there is no way around?


Well in CD/DVD Speed in Nero, it does read at 16x.


On DVD-9 format?
That would really surprise me.



We need confirmation that you talk about ~8GB rip from DL.


There are two types of riplock
One for pressed DVD’s with a VIDEO_TS folder
The other is media riplock.

VIDEO_TS is easy to remove, as far as i’m aware no one has been able to remove media riplock for NEC drives, hence DL media (max 7x)

BTW, without riplock removed. 4-5X is all it will manage with SL or DL on a pressed DVD-VIDEO


Strange, I don’t experience any slowness in ripping. Pretty fast here.


“Pretty fast” is subjective. Number are more to the point, so people can compare …


I never said it was a pressed disk. Just take a gander…


Yes the NEC can read at speed of 6.5x-16x with DVD+R and -R media, also SL pressed DVD video discs. But for dual-layer DVD video - it can rip at 3-7x speed if riplock firmware is used, its even slower if using standard firmware. This allows ripping of full SL media in about 5min and full DL media in about 20min.


When you so no one, you mean that nobody has been able to crack the media riplock for any NEC or just the 3520? If you mean that nobody has been able to crack NEC’s media riplock on any model, I’m gonna go ahead and buy myself a dvd rom specifically for ripping (AOPEN perhaps). If there is a possibility they may unlock the NEC media riplock, i’ll stick around and see what happens. I have 3 harddrives right now and I wouldn’t like to lose one.


This applies to all NEC drives, as far as i’m aware.


You might also want to consider the Lite-On, if you buy a DVD-ROM. By default, it reads DVD+R, DVD-R and DVD DL at a speed of 8x, but there are unofficial firmwares available to unlock the speed at 16x for SL and up to 12x for Dual Layer media. Furthermore, it is considered as a good reader for hardly readable medias. Finally and most important IMO, it can do media quality tests for DVDs. True, the results are not as accurate as with some DVD-RW drives, but it will surely give you a good indication on what media burns fine with your recorder and in what speed.

As for the NEC-3520A, my experiance with the 3500A and the RIP-locked removed firmware, is that dual layer media is read at either 2.0x - 5.0x CAV, or 3.0x - 7.0x CAV. I can’t tell why it sometimes rips at 2-5 speed only, but when it does, I can unlock it at the normal of 3-7 with Nero drive speed.


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