Well, I decided to do something about the numerous comparisons and questions as to whether the NEC 3500 was that much better than the 3520 so I bought a 3520, flashed it to the most current firmware, Liggy & Deeâ€™s 1.UE and ran som comparitive burns. Keep in mind my scans and conclusions are only for the specific media I have, and that I am sure that others will have varying results but the media I use is some of what is considered the best. All burns are at 8X other than the last Ridata R03 at 4X.
First I compared TYG01. The 3500 wins here; although both had very low PIF totals the 3500 had 1/10 the PIEs and a max of 10 rather than 35. Both burns were excellent.
Next, TYG02. Here again, the 3500 was the winner with scans almost the same as the G01s. The 3520 had lower PIFs.
Next, MCC 02RG20. Here the 3520 beat out the 3500 with Â½ the PIEs and 1/6 the PIF.
Next the MCC 003. Here it was almost too close to call, but the 3500 had 1/3 the PIF. Both had extremely low PIEs.
Now to the Ritek G05. This is from an old batch that has proven to be very good on almost everything. Here, again, the 3500 beat the 3520 with PIEs of Â½ and PIF of Â¼ as much.
Last is the Ritek R03s. These have been a real problem as the older stuff I have burns like gold while the new stuff seems to be bad on everything. Here the 3520 just stunk with well over 1.5 million PIEs. The 3500 was OK but not the best. The surprise came when I burned the R03s at 4x on the 3520. This had not been successful before with other burners but here it worked. The PIEs were cut by 90%.
In all I would conclude that the 3500 was a better burner. When compared to my other drives, the 3520 does a very good job on all these media. While each of the other burners has something it does better than the 3520, it also has 3 or 4 media where it some burns embarrassingly badly.
I would have to say I can now recommend the 3520 to anyone based on the same criteria I used when promoting the 3500. Anything it gets, it does an admirable job burning. None of the burns are five star spectacular but none of them have any problems and they all are significantly better than the quality of burn I was familiar with from the days of 8X burners.
All scans are in my sig. Below; some may not be there tonight but I will get them in tomorrow.