NEC Or Pioneer , My NEC 3520 died

My NEC 3520 recently took a dump, it wont read anything. In short the light comes on for a while when ever i insert anything, but it doesnt recognize the discs. Double clicking the drive in windows results in a “please insert a disc” msg.

I think it may be time for me to replace the drive and to be honest i have always bought NEC, Pioneer and LiteOn drives. I am currently looking at the…

NEC 3550
NEC 7170
Pioneer 111d

I dont do anything crazy, burn some movies here and there and burn data mostly.

Anyone care to give me their opinion of the above mentioned drives or others.

Thanks and i appreicate your time in advance.


Between those 3, definitely choose the Pioneer, more recent NEC drives are not as good as their older drives although still decent. Very good drive in terms of burn quality. If you are also interested in a drive that does PIE/PIF scanning for testing burn quality of your discs, the Pioneer and NEC drives both will perform the tests but not with very reliable results. For that you would need a Benq 1640, 1650, or 1655 which are great drives but very tough to find at this point (you can get them at CompUSA under another brand), and Liteon drives also work well for testing media. If you just need a burner that burns with good quality then the Pioneer is a very good choice.

Good that you asked but there so many different opinion and experiences-but DVD burners are inexpensive now so you can almost buy any drives that best fits your budget. Figure in your budget and cost of the drive and its reliablity and warranty then you can pick from the various DVD burners avaiable out there to purchase. Also are you looking for SATA or IDE connections? For me I had good experience with LiteOn DVD drives-I would recommend SH-16A7S (SATA) or SHM-165H6S (LightScribe) depending on what media your looking to use.

To be honest with you, last time i used a SATA optical drive it wasnt any faster, but that was a while ago maybe things have changed. If the speeds are similar between SATA and IDE then i rather keep the SATA for the HDs and use IDE.

Its funny how cheap these drives are , i remember i payed close to 70$ for my NEC and close to 300$ for my slow external LiteOn drive which also gave up a month ago.

I dont really care about the warranty becuase in both of my cases they die when the warranty is out anyways.

I should mention that this drive will also act as my primary CD/DVD drive that i use to install stuff, does that make a choice easier at all ?


Yo pete-

Would definitely suggest looking at the LiteOn 160P6s or 165P6s (substitute the P for H if looking for lightscribe capability) or the Pioneer 111d - all of which can be gotten for <$40 from - a very reliable retailer-

The LiteOns will give you the ability to do accurate Disc Quality Scans and very good burns (see below - I own both of them)-

Unfortunately - as others have correctly said - the entire NEC line has suffered severe quality and performance hits since the 3500 era-eh!

Thanks for the opinion, actually i buy from newegg a lot so that isnt a problem.

The pioneer 111d drive does that make ok DL dvds, because many of the newegg customer reviews say it lacks good DL support and produces many DL coasters - is this true or posibly something that has been taken care of.


Thanks guys, i purchased a pioneer drive - hope its as good as you guys say it is.
Should have it in a few days.


And of course the 111D can be flashed easily to the 111 for RAM writing or to the 111L for auto-bitsetting on all +R media.

If you plan to do this , just make sure it works fine first for a couple of weeks.

got two pioneer 111 and they work great.

I flashed my one a couple of minutes after it arrived and Yes if you use good quality DL media they burn it very well. Been using Pioneer for years and never had a problem they all work fine. :slight_smile: