Please help in choosing between NEC-nd3540 and BenQ-1640?

Hi All,
I’m new to DVD burning and after reading the reviews and threads on a bunch of burners I am now more confused then when i started. I’m looking to buy my first DVD Burner. I would like to

[li]Rip DVD’s
[/li][li]Burn DVD’s
[/li][li]author DVD’s
[/li][li]use dash media
[/li][li]and some CD writing

What is most important to me is quality of the burns at the expense of speed(30 secs is not a big deal for me) as well as the durability of the player. Mod’s to FW is a plus. I understand that different media performs differently on the burner, if possible when recommending a burner please suggest the media that over time has proven to work best with. Feel free to recommend other brands.

Thank you all very much for your time and thoughts!!

P.S. If NEC should I wait for 4550, if so why?

Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m almost positive that NEC firmware has the most unofficial support around, and therefore is very easy to modify and definitely has the largest number of modified versions of DVD+/-R drive firmware on the Internet. Well, Lite-On may be tied with NEC when it comes to customization and the amount of firmware available, but NEC makes better drives anyway.

Beyond that, NEC makes really good drives to begin with; great compatibility overall, and the ND-3540A also supports 8x Dual Layer writing… not sure if the BenQ does.

I see no need to upgrade from my ND-3540A, it’ll be the last DVD+/-R drive I’ll own… not until Blu-Ray/HD-DVD comes around will I consider something new.

i second that, plus i think i saw somewhere 1640 tends to create reading curve dips at the end of 16x writing, or am i wrong?

Yes you are :wink: - the reading curve is affected on the 1640 but it’s not due to the writing quality, if your perform the test of a 1640 burn on a 3540A there is no dip. Also I think it was a firmware thing as my own 1640 doesn’t do that neither with BSLB nor BSMB f/w.

I have both drives and I like both, but the 1640 beats the 3540 by a fair margin for all high-speeds burns (12X and 16X). Also it can be used to test for jitter.

“Out of the box”, the 3540A is better at handling cheap media than the 1640, but with solid burn enabled the 1640 does just as good a job.

Then Benq is a very good choice, bitsetting out of the box, very fast and very good burner. It is a slow reader when you want to rip or copy dvd’s. Nec has very good “unofficial” support with bitsetting enabled plus very fast write- and readspeed. Now with the latest cd/dvd speed you can also PI/PIF scan and DVD-RAM support with the latest 4550 burner. I would go for a NEC 4550 or an LG 4167, also has slow readspeed but it is the fastest writer. Liteon 1693 and 1635 are also good writers, with a lot of support and awesome firmware patches thanks to the Codeguys. Whatever you choose you will always get enough support at cdfreaks. :slight_smile:

FW support is of course a good thing. NEC’s need riplock removed and bitsetting enabled, both of which are supported out of the box on Benq’s. Also, since ala42 made MCSE available there has been no need to use other FW versions. Personally after my nec 2510, I switched to Benq for the high writing quality. :slight_smile:

The NEC is easily the better drive for -R media and outstanding CD-R write quality.

Not a great deal of difference in ripping speed with modified firmware. In any case the 3550 and 4550 are not riplocked.

Edited. Sorry.

OK, the 4550 to my understanding is not avail. in th US yet(and from browsing around here the consensus is to wait a few months before getting a new drive, price and fw wise), the 1640 seems to do better job with +R but is also very good with -R, I also have a seperate 16x DVD-ROM I think it is Lite-On ??163 maybe, can’t recall. So if it was between the 3450 and 3550, what is the difference and better choice, can the 3550 do as good as 3450 with diffrent media?
I also read at I think that you can pretty much throw anyhting at the 3450 and does a good job, so you can probably guess where I’m leaning. Any other input? Thank you all very much!!!

Depending on what -R media you will be using. In my experience the NEC’s are better than the Benq with TY media. But with crappy -R media, I think the 1640 does a better job.

Also, I think the only place online to get the BenQ anymore is

I think you mean 3540 (not 3450). 3550 and 3540 are the two current drives, 3550 being newest (and possibly crossflashable to a 4550!).

yes 3540, typo?

Opposite experience here. :confused: :bigsmile: All crappy media burn great on the 3540A, the 1640 needs to ‘learn’ a bit with solid burn enabled.

With TYG02, I never could get with the 3540A the results I get with my Pioneer 109 and Benq 1640. :frowning:

I forgot this, and I concur: lower jitter with the 3540A at high writing speeds with CDRs. :cool: - my best CDR writer here.

Given the chance I’d exchange my ND-3540 to DW1640 :slight_smile: While I have no serious problems with it, I’m just not convinced by the burning quality (perhaps i read too many hypes…)

I agree… had to change my 3540a after less than a month, and I sense there are more than a few 3540a problems on these pages vs other NEC models…
Edit: I was lucky, they swapped it for a 3550a! :smiley:

Actually having both is great. :bigsmile:

3540A for ripping, audio CD writing, 4X & 8X DVD writing, CMC mids writing, transfert rate tests, @12X PIE/PIF quality scans, audio CDs ripping with the C2 feature that is compatible with EAC.

1640 for 12X & 16X DVD writing, data CD writing, testing for DVD and CD jitter, FE/TE tests, alternate PIE/PIF scanning.

Now that I have the Benq I don’t use my Nec 4550 and my Pioneer 109 anymore (until I need DVD-RAM), but I wouldn’t drop the 3540A. :disagree:

Actually my main complaint with the 3540A DVD writing quality is that despite the most excellent PIE/PIF figures with good media and L&D’s 1.W7 f/w, I discovered (since I also use the Benq for scanning) that induced jitter is fairly high for the 6X area of Z-CLV burns. :a

An example hereunder, hall-of-fame PIE/PIF figures, but disappointing jitter figures (6X burning area).

TYG02 / Nec 3540A 1.W7 / @8X

I was facing the same problem a few weeks ago. I read a lot of articles and forum threads about DVD burners and I only became more confused. After all I went to a shop and purchased a NEC 4550A. I have no complains but I really can’t say that I‘ve used it a lot. So my advice to you is just go to a shop and pick one of the above mentioned burners. I think that the differences are too small to make any real difference.