NEC 3520 Burning Speeds/Firmware

Ok, I have been thru all the forum, but really wasn’t sure what to do as there was so much info and firmware versions. sigh

I have two NEC burner, a NEC2510 (8X) and NEC 3520(16X). Now I have been using the highly recommended Ritek G04’s DVD-Rs(4X) for burning since I first got my NEC2510 and it takes like 14 mins to burn a DVD.

Well, I just got 300 new blank DVD-R’s, this time Ritek G05’s(8X). There are the ri-data branded silver matte 100 packs available on Well, now I am a little pissed…these 8X DVDRs still take 14 mins to burn. So, if Ritek is supposedly reliable media, why can’t I burn them at 8X? From reading these forums, I am guessing I should update the firmware, but I have no idea which firmare version I would need to get this issue fixed. Both drives should be able to burn these G05’s at 8X. I am currently about to burn 300 DVDs…so the time difference between 4X and 8X will save me so many hours…?

so, what firmware should I use for these two…or if it isn’t firmware, what should I do to get these drives to reliably burn at 8X?

Thanks for any help and suggestions…

Additional Info…I checked NEC’s site…my Ritek G05’s are rated with the base firmware (1.24) to burn at 8X. Also, “Liddy and Dee’s 3520 Beta 2 Modified Media List” says my Ritek’s will burn at 8X and 12X with the hacked Beta Firmware. I would rather not put Beta firmware on my drive though, but if i must to get to at least 8X, I will.

For a setup, I should have no system problems causing this slow speed…I have Antec Cobra ATA133 Round Cables conntecting the NEC 3520 to my onboard ATA100 port. My hard drive is a WD SATA Raptor and I am running 3.2Ghz, 1GB Corsair RAM.

So anyone…why can’t I burn this quality media on this quality drive at 8x???

  1. ritek g05 is not a very good product IMHO (G04 was excellent a year ago)
  2. ri-data brand only sells grade “B” media (or was that ridisc)
  3. your IDE controller might have your drive stuck in PIO mode
  4. You might need new firmware
    4 is most unlikely as my 3500 can burn G05 at 8x wit the original firmware. You can check this with dvdinfopro, inset a blank disk in writer, click media info, see if a 8x write descriptor is listed. 3 is most likely.

Thanks for the info…additional info:

1)I wish I had known that Ritek G05 isn’t as good as the G04’s. I would not have just bought 300 of the damn things if I could’ve gotten something better. I would at least think it could burn at the 8X though.
2) I also wasn’t aware that that ri-data only sells “B” media. All my G04’s were ridata branded as well and they have worked great.
3) I am 99% sure my IDE controller isn’t in PIO mode. I have it set to “DMA if Available” last week…so I wouuld assume installing a 3520 where a 2510 was wouldn’t change that windows setting. And of course the 3520 should have DMA available…I know I can copy a 700MB CD from my 3520 to my Raptor in about 3 mins. That doesn’t seem like PIO speeds at all. UDMA 2 I believe on all channels, but I will double check tonight just incase
4) Well, I will check with dvdinfopro tonight as well. Something isn’t right somewhere.

I know from reading these forums that G05’s burn poorly at 12X, but it seems everyone else can do fine at 8X. So something must be wrong. I would’ve just paid the extra for Fuji or something if I had known that G05s were of lower quality then G04s. Oh well…

If anyone else has ideas please share :slight_smile: I will post more info later tonight after I check the PIO mode and such…

You’re having the EXACT same problem I am.
I even went and bought a spindle of the Fuji/Youden discs just to make sure it wasn’t media, and it isn’t. My drive SAYS it’s writing at 16x, but it’s only pumping out 8x speeds.
I posted my issues in the Beta 2 firmware thread. Hopefully someone can deliver some insights into this problem.


RITEK G05 media is not bad IMO. I am getting excellent results @8x with the 3500A 2.18. I think it’s much better than G04, because RITEK seemed to have sold from A+ to Z- grades of G04, so you never knew what you had… The first G05 also weren’t very good, but in the meantime I’m getting nothing but decent burns!

Like Dr. Grinch said, I think it is not the media, what makes your burns slow. I’d recommend to read the FAQs carefully and to check step by step, what might be the problem or not… especially look at your transfer mode and your jumper settings…

@Dr. Grinch:

When writing @16x the average speed is not much more than 8x. A perfect 16x-burn with the 3500A should take little less than six minutes for a full disc…


1.3GB took a little over 4 minutes last night… It seems to be running exactly 1/2 the speed it should be.

Hmmm… indeed, sounds like the beginning of a burn @8x:confused:

12x burn takes 6 mins 30 secs

I myself am using ritek gen 5, was using 4 and had zero probs burning either with my sony burner or my nec3520A.

Setting your drive to the master drive normally solves my burning probs like that. Although right now I have my nec as master and sony as slave.

About ritek, they are A+ media, never had any problems with the discs themselves and i’ve gone thru hundreds. Make sure you get genuine ritek, I get mine at supermediastore dot com. The gen 5 are supposed to have a 30+ yr lifespan, definitly worth while imo.


To answer previous suggestions…
1)My NEC 3520 is set to be the Master Drive at the moment. It has a TDK CDRW drrive as a slave.
2) Drives are connected via Antec Cobra Round ATA133 cable to my Motherboard (Abit IS-7, Chipset 865 IO think?)
3) I double checked…both drives are in UDMA 2 Mode, NOT PIO. My hard drives are SATA to the motherboard and showing up as UDMA 5.
4) I also defragged both my hard drives incase that was a bottleneck.

After verifying all of this…I tried another burn at 8X on my Ritek G05s…still took over 14 minutes to complete (definately a 4X speed). I will post the stats from Nero Info Speed(?) and such tomorrow and hopefully someone might have an additional idea. While I don’t want to think it is the media, my NEC 2520 is in a completely different system…and won’t burn 8X either. Seems suspicious that both PCs could be suffering similar bottle necks. Both PCs are newly formatted XP Pro, Service pack 2 systems too.

Any other suggestions would be appreciated, in the meantime, I will run the tests and post my results…maybe they can shed some light on why my Ritek G05s and NEC won’t place nicely together!

I do have the 3520 as my “Master” Drive. I will check the media type as well. I got them from NewEgg, so I was thinking they would be ok, but I will double check just incase.

Check your CPU load while burning. Is it maxed out at 100%? Also download HD TUNE to test the throughput speed of your hard drive. You need about 17 MB/sec at 12x. To be safe, the minimum speed of the hard drive should be greater than 25 MB/sec.

I would also agree that G05 is not bad media. I have had very good scans in my 3500 and I have seen a lot of good scans from Pioneer 108s. Another benefit is that it seems to be the only media code you get when you buy Ritek -R 8X so there are no surprises.

Maybe it is just me, but no one seems to have asked what software you are using to burn your discs. If it were my system I would try something else and see if that might solve the problem. Clone DVD is a quick download and a free look for 21 days and the current version allows setting various speeds.

ok, new info, and to answer some questions/suggestions I was given:
1)I ran HD Tune as requested to check my transfer rate…being a WD Raptor, I wasn’t thinking this would be a bottleneck and it sure isn’t:
Average Transfer 60.1MB
Burst Transfer 104.5MB
So yeah, I believe that can handle 8X burning just fine.
2) For software I have used RecordNow’s Stomp, Nero 6, and as suggested I will now try CloneDVD. Hopefully that might work.
3) My CPU usage never spikes above 50% while burning…

Now, for additional info, I ran DVDInfo Pro on my media and it gave me the following, which bothers me:

                        Media Information                            

Region information N/A not a DVD-VIDEO
Media code/Manufacturer ID RITEKG05
Format Capacity Not Formatted
Free Blocks 412352512
Free Capacity 4.38GB(4.71GB)
Book Type DVD-R
Media Type DVD-R
Media Id Code Speed 4.0x 5540KBps
Available Write Descriptor CLV 8.0x 11080KBps
Available Write Descriptor CLV 6.0x 8310KBps
Available Write Descriptor CLV 4.0x 5540KBps
Available Write Descriptor CLV 2.0x 2770KBps
Write Strategy Speed 4.0x 5540KBps
2x Speed OPC beta 08
2x Speed OPC power 12
2x Write Strategy field 1 11 98 9A 80
2x Write Strategy field 2 88 80 00 00 00 00
4x Speed OPC beta 06
4x Speed OPC power 18
4x Write Strategy field 1 0D 10 07 07
4x Write Strategy field 2 97 06 0C 0B
4x Write Strategy field 3 80 00 00 00
4x Speed OPC beta multi-pulse 04
4x Speed OPC power multi-pulse 1D
4x Write Strategy field 4 17 B8 88 75
4x Write Strategy field 5 89 AC 98 81 00 10
4x Write Strategy field 6 00 00 D0 00 00
Data area starting sector 30000h
Linear Density 0.267um/bit
Track Density 0.74um/track
Number of Layers 1

While the above shows 8X as an “Available Write Descriptor”, it also shows:
“Media Id Code Speed 4.0x 5540KBps”

Shouldn’t this be 8X? Are these real RitekG05s? I got them from NewEgg, and they were shrinkwrapped Ritek (Ridata branded silver matte finish) 100 packs, with 8X on them, etc. If I can’t get this issue fixed, I will be flashing to the current Beta (4?) of the hacked firmware for the 3520 that is on this site. I just would prefer to get it working first since G05s 8X are supposed to be supported with the 1.04 Firmware that comes with the burner. sigh, not going well.

Ok, now I ran “DVD Identifier” on these supposed Ritek G05’s and it gives me:

Unique Disc Identifier : [DVD-R:RITEKG05]

Disc Type : [DVD-R]
Manufacturer ID : [RITEKG05]
Disc Application Code : [Unrestricted Use : Consumer Purpose]
Recording Speeds : [1x - 2x - 4x]
Blank Disc Capacity : [2,298,496 Sectors = 4,489.3 MB = 4.38 GB]

[DVD Identifier -]

So, DVD Identified is saying these can only burn at 4X? They are supposed to burn at 8X? What am I missing? :a

Not sure why you’re pounding the table over 3 minutes (4x vs 8x). If you want to eliminate media issue, go to and send them an email requesting a sample of #1633 (8x Taiyo Yuden that will burn at 16x).

Also, if you are going to archive DVD movies, you should get high quality media and burn at the lower speed. Why? Long shelf life and reliable playblack with most DVD players.

I am pouding the table over the speed difference for a lot of reasons…

  1. My 4X burns are taking near 15 mins. 8X I can get 9min flat. That is 6 mins different Per DVD
  2. While 6 mins may seem small, I have 500 to 600 DVDs to burn. That 6 mins adds up insanely fast.
  3. When buying in the quantites I am buying (500+ DVs), buying the expensive Yudens made no sense
  4. I am not trying to burn a 8X at 16X or anything like that…I just want to burn a 8X DVD-R at 8X LOL.
  5. Some people consider The G05s to be high quality media. Granted, they are not Yudens, but they aren’t cheapo junk either. Regardless, I have already purchased the Riteks and I am stuck with them.
  6. I just want to the faster burn time so I can get all my Dvix/Xvid onto DVD for storage and be done with it. I have a great life outside of PCs and I just dont’ want to spend hours and hours and hours burning DVDs when I don’t have to.
    7)Finally, since the media is already bought, I just need to maximize what it can do and get it over with. The media was already bought. I don’t have the cash to just discount the 600Riteks I already have and buy Yudens. So I will do my current project with the Riteks, I just want to know why they aren’t doing what they are built to do. Ritek 8X’s should burn at 8X. Period.

So summary, I was recommened to buy Riteks, I didn’t have the money to buy Yudens, and I dont’ have the time to spend sitting in front of my PC for 15 mins per burn for 500 to 600 DVDs. If I had known 8X Yudens could;ve burned 16X, I might’ve saved up and done it. Too late now.

But seriously, I do appreciate the input. If I had the extra money and I didn’t already have the Riteks, then I would certainly maybe go for the Yudens.

Finally, at long last I have apparent success. And the solution was what I first thought of trying, but didn’t want to until I explored other options.

For whatever reasons, these Riteks G05s are only detectable at 4X. I installed the latest firmware from this site(hacked from the 1.24 version) and instantly I was able to now select 8X and even 12X from Nero.

Now since I want reliable burns, I am not goign to push it to 12X. That would be asking for trouble. So I burned at 8X and got a clean DVD. I tested it with Nero CD-DVD Speed and it came out perfect. Just for the sake of it, I had nero verify the burn, did a surface test on the DVD and then copies the DVD contents back to my HD. All went along perfectly.

So in the end…I am burning at 9mins per DVDs now, and coming up with clean burns on media some people say are great, others say are so-so…in anycase, it is not bottom of the barrel crap…middle of the road media i would say, but for only $36/100 it was a good buy at the time.

Thanks everyone for the help…

I’ll say it again. Stay away from DVD-R discs. The DVD+R have come down in price and most places are giving you a choice for their sale DVD’s. Most writers are faster and have less errors using +R discs. You should have been able to write an 8X disc at its rated speed without the firmware bump. I don’t think you got what you paid for. Talk to Newegg they’ll do you right.