Lite-on SOHW-1633S or NEC ND-3500A, and why?

Does NEC have a list of supported / compatable media for this drive?
I can’t find one on their site.

The newegg reviews for this drive indicate problems with some Ritek disks.

Also how does the book type setting for this drive work?
Information on this is next to imposible to find and emailing NEC proved fruitless.

The Lite-on has book type support from the factory.
It appears the NEC needs a hacked bios to support this.

Lite-on releases new bios’es, NEC not so much…

Anand’s review stated a lot of errors with the Lite-on, the NEC not so much.

This will be my first DVD-R/W and the only one I will be able to purchase.
Don’t want to end up with a lemon that is picky about media and has to use hard to find or expensive media.


EDIT: Sorry about originally posting this in the General Hardware forum

I have a Nec 3500 with what you called a hacked f/w n i couldn’t be more happier. Even with stock f/w Nec has more media compatibility n burn quality, so what i would recomend is to go to Nec forum n read the stickys n i think you should do the same in the Liteon forum.


The NEC 3500 is just plain a better drive burn quality wise and the drive to drive variations are minor. It writes better quality to more cheap media and the drive itself is dirt cheap, NEC now even started selling it in NEC boxes instead of just OEM with Nero softeware. It reads OK, not as good as some drives but way better then the older 2500 drives did.
The 1633 is very variable between units, you might get a excellent one, or a really bad one, hard to say, and the firmware doesn’t always seem to help.
The 3500 works well with the original firmware and there are many hacked versions that work as well or better and have bitsetting and RPC1

Have you seen a retail boxed NEC yet?

No, I haven’t but it was announced here and elsewhere recently that they were going to sell them retail for 99 bucks with a possibly full version of Nero included.
All my local geek shops sell the OEM NEC so far for 83 bucks last I checked. Mine came with a bundled Nero OEM suite, a full retail version of Nero would be much nicer I think.

Some Ritek discs? If you are referring to RITEK DVD+R DL discs, I think that MOST drives have problems with it! Verbatim DVD+R DL media seems to be much better.

@Dartman, yes a full version of Nero would be nice, but the NEC retail packages actually come bundled with a Ulead DVD suite. :wink:

Stephen,9/23/2004 3:09:56 PM

Apparently this drive is very picky about DVD media. If you look at the official release document for compatible/suggested media. Not a whole lot of media can be run at 8x or higher on this machine. I previously order Ridata 8x-RDSW, media code was Ritec-03. I cannot get it to burn at 8x. However, Ritec-04 media can go at 8x. I also tried memorex CD. Somehow it can only go 16x whereas I did get 48x burn when I was same media on optorite 12x dvd burner. Overall, it is quiet. I just wish NEC can somehow update the firmware to make it more compatible with other media.

N/A,9/23/2004 9:45:32 AM

Doesn’t burn Ritec R05

Just a couple I’ve seen.

I’m thinking of waiting a bit longer.
Let firmwares mature a bit more.
And see if NEC will support book type from the factory.

Do you think (or know) that NEC USA will now support firmware upgrades on their website? I am still waiting for anything official from EU.

Never mind, I just answered my own question. Bravo NEC, finally you are recognizing your US customers. Now if you would just recognize your 3500 as well as all the other drives…

Ritek media on 3500A with oem Mad Dog firmware 2.F9 (with official bitsetting support):
48X Ritek CD-R burns very well at 48X
8X DVD+R RITEKR03 revision 01 burns at 4X
8X DVD+R RITEKR03 revision 02 burns at 8X
16X DVD+R RITEKR04 no support :frowning: ( 4X max )

LiteOn 1633S has better “speeds support” since they support all of this Ritek media at its’ rated speed.

BTW, please post future “brand A vs. brand B” questions in this thread:

I’d go with the NEC 3500. Less errors from what I’ve seen.

I have seen it in a local store.


If you smoke while using your pc (espcially spliffs) get an NEC they survive in smokey atmospheres a lot better than liteon drives.

I thought NEC retail drives have been in the European market for long, but not in many other countries. NEC often refuses their drives to be sold in the retail market.