If you’re getting it for dual layer burning (now, or in the future) then you should get the ND-2510A. If you get the ND-2500A and for whatever reason you can’t brun dual layer media, you have no recourse because the drive is not supported for dual layer media.
NEC has said that while it may work, having the ND-2500A write dual layer media could not work correctly. If the optical pick-up unit on the drive is slightly off, then you could end up writing some expensive coasters.
As for bitsetting, the drives are identical. Neither ship with firmware that has bitsetting. Both drives can do it, though, as NEC added that functionality into the firmware for HP’s OEM version of the drive. The beta firmwares from Herrie use the bitsetting code from the HP firmware to enable it for the drive. So there’s no difference there.
To me, you shouldn’t even have this question. If you want guaranteed support for dual layer media, you spend the extra $16 and get the ND-2510A. Its great to get something for free. Since I’ve had an NEC ND-2500A since it first came out, it was a wonderful bonus for me. But if I had to buy a drive right now, I wouldn’t think twice. That $16 is nothing, and money well spent.
I read somewhere. There’s really no difference in SVR or whatever right. That’s just the color code, I believe?
I bought 6 silver (svr) 2500a’s from newegg.com several months ago. So I imagine svr=silver and bk=black. I upgraded the firmware on one to the stock 2510a firmware and have burned 4 DLs so far (all I could find). Three turned out perfectly and one only plays on the pc (I may have forgotten to finalize it, but the finalize option doesn’t show in nero and I can’t record anything else to it).
Two of the discs were the same project…a 7.1gb project that I created with Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop, and Encore DVD. Created ISO with Encore (img > iso) and let Encore choose the split point. It chose a precise chapter point and the split was noticable but not disturbing.
I then recreated the same project choosing my own split point at a fade out/fade in point and the layer change was not noticable.
The other two DLs were an experiment in making a copy of my Independence Day dvd. The first one, as I mentioned above, plays well in all my computer drives, but in no set top players. I spent a little more time creating the second one and it plays well in all PC players and also in the panasonic dvd vr31 and vr32 table tops.
If one wanna burn on DL media (usu. copying DVD-9 movies I guess), he’d better get 2510.
But for guys who don’t really need DL, 2500 will save them 16 bucks (not many though). Wants DL some time later??? Still hopes to burn on DL media with 2500.