NEC 3520 vs 3500

I love my NEC 3500 so I got my work to buy me one for work and I love it there to. Awesome drive which hasn’t burnt me any coasters (except for Nero which had a DISK to DISK problem!!!) anyhow… two of my friends wanted burners so all I could order was the 3520 drives. So I gave one of them my 3500 and installed the 3520 firmware (1.04). I then decided to get a BenQ cause of what Anandtech said about them and the 1620 just plain sucked. I couldnt write to DVD-R’s at all… on TONS of media. I tried every combination of Retail and OEM firmwares out there so I sent it back.

But my question is how does the 3520 compare with the 3500? Should I have kept the 3500 and gave them the 3520? Is the 3520 faster at burning certain types of dvds?


The ND-3520A produces similar results to the ND-3500A in my tests. The main positive for the new drive is DVD-R DL support.


All individual drives are slightly different. There are probably equal numbers of 3520s that are “better” and equal numbers of 3500s that are better than the average 3520.
Here, my new 3520 is my beloved, and is considerably better in terms of speed and quality with stock FW. It’s so good that I may not decide to even try modded FW on it.
But it’s the luck of the draw whether you get a “Really good” one or just an average one. There are some differences in the FW between the 2, the 3520 will burn MXL RG03 at 16x, the 3500 will not, etc., etc. My 3520 is slightly better with DVDRW media. But mainly it’s just plain better at 16x than the 3500, and it’s an excellent and fast reader too.

You really should do your own testing to determine if your 3520 is better than the 3500 you had.

It’s not the burner unless it was defective or some people with low powered power supply have had problems getting the 1620 to burn to TY -, but normal this burner burns 97-99% Quality Score on quality - media.