Upgrading from 3500 t0 4550

Is there any justification to replace the existing my NEC 3500 to 4550 if yes what are the benifits and value added to do so?.

Just compare the specs.

The 4550 offers many improvements including:
Increased DVD-Video ripping speeds with stock firmware.
PI/PIF disc quality scanning.
DVD-RAM reading and writing.
DVD-R DL support

Yes these are nice to have features and functions but is it reasonable to retire or even through aways one of the most liked burner (3500) with all these improvements and well established repitation just to have the next generation of this drive, may be so, that what I like to find out.

If you absolutely must have one of the new features, then upgrade.

Otherwise, why fix what’s not broken?

I’m still having like 300 blank DVD+R disc which,most of them are mmc003 or ricoh j01, I can burn at 12x on 3500A. I won’t consider to upgrade the DVD burner untill the price for dual-layer media comes down.

3500 also supports dual-layer

interesting thread
“DVD-RAM Reading/Writing”
WoW, like teaching an old dog new tricks
Liggy and Dee, if you are reading this, we need your inputs–can you lay down pros and cons
thank you

Throw away for no good reason? I think not. If you’re the kind of guy who must be always the technological cutting edge “have to own” type, go for it. $60US this week at Circuit City (Mad Dog 16X3DVD9-8X); nice thing about MD is the atypical 2 year warranty (good thing, as my Mad Dog MD-16XDVD9 – AKA NEC 3500 — smoked itself the other week; I just bought the MD unit and already did the 1.X3 reflash).

Hell, I keep my old Pioneer DVR105 around for the simple reason it can read discs that have adhesive labels previously applied; I stopped doing that because a lot of home DVD players and PC readers/writers “choke” on such. No reason you can’t have the 3500 and the 4550 cohabitate in the same PC unless you’ve not no room or IDE connectors left for it as well…

I have been using Lite On dvd burners for the past two plus years and very happy with them too by the way but I now need something that can do dual layer burns and while my Lite ON 812s flashed to a 832s can do dual layer burning, the speed is only 2.4 max.

Being that the Mad Dog 16X3DVD9-8X is on sale locally (Crcuit City) for $59 this week and appears to be an actual re-packaged NEC 4550, it’s the best choice I believe right now for me to get a drive locally.

Unfortunately mail order is not an option at the moment as I live near New Orleans and even to this day (going on 4 months after the hurricane!) all types of delivery services are not reliable which is why I would prefer buying a drive locally (which would be a 1st).

Since I’m new to the NEC world, I’d like to know if it is possible to flash the MD 16X3DVD9-8X using the current “stock” native 4550 firmware?

Then would the drive simply continue to operate (show up in device manager) as a true NEC 4550 after flashing the drive with the NEC 4550 firmware?

I’m not looking for anything special right now at all (like mods to the write strategy’s bit-setting etc.) -I just want to know if the drive can be flashed and operate as a true 4550.


@ mastercca,

Suggest viewing the below Forum posting.


Also suggest visiting the below Web Links for NEC Firmwares.



Best Regards,

bjkg -i saw the 1st thread and hoped that would have my answer but there was a lot of confusion in that thread, no definite answers which is why I posted in this thread as this thread seems to be frequented by owners of the drive.

(example: from Dee on that 1st thread link wrote: “Note Please don’t try this at home, its quite tricky and has to be changed in several locations in the firmware, and the checksums recalculated.” -that doesn’t make it sound really easy, though it may be no problem if it’s done correctly. i have cross-flashed Litey’s many of times, all with no problems thankfully. I’m new to the NEC world of burners.)

As far as the NEC firmwares are concerned, I have already downloaded the stock NEC 4550 firmware, I know which firmware I “want” to use on the Maddog IF it will work with no issues.

Before I give it a try, I was hoping to hear a more definitive answer as to simply whether or not it will work.

Thanks for the links though.

Ha. You can delete this post. :rolleyes:

You can flash the Maddog to any 4550 firmware you choose. You can flash it back to the Maddog firmware anytime. There are no problems with this, all you need is Binflash and the appropiate bin or the .exe flasher’s that you can get on Liggy and Dee’s page. There are no hardware differences between the Maddog and the 4550. There may be slight firmware differences like the ID string.

I can can confirm this having picked up a MD this week and it’s now working fine (!except with CMC M01 Mem DVD+R discs! -I don’t believe this issue has anything to do with the 4550 firmware being used as it cannot also read the CMC M01’s using the default MD firmware either).

For me it was important to be able to purchase a drive locally & finding a hi quality drive at a decent price at a local retail store isn’t often very easy. Basically it came down to the Sony DRU-810 and the MD.

The Sony (which is a BenQ 1640) was around $20 more (after the Sony rebate, up front the Sony was $40 more than the MD). It was a toss up with the NEC and BenQ drives for me (coming from Lite-On) overall (not just what is available retail, luckily they were both available locally at this time) and with significantly lower price, the Maddog 4550 was my choice.

I just have to get by knowing it’s a “Maddog” product as I swore I would never buy one of their products again after I purchased my 1st ever Maddog product. I rarely buy anything locally & Cmp UA had some Maddog “supposedly high quality / heavy duty series” power supplies at a killer price so I bought one instead of an Antec & the junk P/S nearly fried my entire system on it’s second day of use -I have dealt with power supplies simply failing (mostly in other people’s machines after the P/S fan goes out and the users don’t know causing the P/S to overheat and die) -but this MD power supply fried while I was actually away and when I got home the entire house smelled like there had been a fire!

The only reason I bought the MD burner is because I know it is an NEC product and Maddog had nothing to do with manufacturing the drive.

Once I knew this and that I could use real NEC based 4550 firmware right away, I convinced myself that it would be OK in this instance to get a MD product. :slight_smile:

Just ordered a (black) NEC 4550. :cool:

Mastercca; I agree with on hesitation of buying MD product, I myself have had one bad experience with MD and decided to avoided buying MD any more at all cost. So with this in mind I hesitate to buy MD even know it is NEC 4550 at the same time NEC 4550 is not officially in US market yet plus there is another newer generation of this drive 4550 out in Europe and Asia with Light Scribe capability and that also has to be in consideration for waiting little longer.

I’d pass on this MD 4550 for the reasons i mentioned as well as your reason(s) above.
the 4550 current generation may only find its way into the US as the Maddog, with the newer gen. you mention that’s already out in Europe / Asia -with the 4550 being essentially skipped all-together for the US.

while it’s an ok drive, it’s not as good of a writer (consistent) as i was expecting from a NEC produce (this being my 1st NEC drive). there’s for instance a really weird quirk where the drive cannot read any CMC M01 DVD+R discs burned by the drive itself -though other drives / players can read the discs (note: they also have a poor KProbe scan according to my Lite-On).

if it wasn’t for the fact that the largest natural disaster in the history of the United States has my area still all hosed up, I’d order a drive mail order -either a tried and true NEC 35xx or a BenQ 1640

-but all delivery services are severely hosed up (forget about the USPS -3 weeks for NetFlix discs which come from about 65 miles away & used to take one day max!)

-retail stores like Wal Mart for instance are still only open until around 7p and are not stocked “normally”, it really bites & I live in an area that was actually not nearly as damaged as all around me! So when CC actually had the MD in stock, it was either that or a $99 Sony BRU-810 and I wasn’t paying the extra $$$ for a “hampered” 1640. ha!

it’s like the Twilight Zone -most people don’t realize the long-term effects of the hurricane, it’s not like 9/11, there’s over 450,000 PEOPLE that are homeless and “gone” -and that’s just in New Orleans, not counting Miss… enough of that…

my advice: pass on the MD and perhaps the 4550 as a whole.

mastercca You are right I am waiting for either NEC4551( may be 4555)with LabelFlash or BenQ 1650 and 1651 also with LabelFlash.

Yes, I’m doing the same exact thing as you! I was able to find some nice MCC004 DVD+R’s that burn near perfectly (better than with the 4550) while using my “old” Lite-On 812s. I’ll just have to wait it out a little bit more like you until I can get something with hi-speed Dual Layer burning performance.

In the end it will be worth the wait (but you know how we CD Freaks hate to wait). :slight_smile:

Just got the 3550! I don’t need the RAM function and the 3550 can be crossflashed to a 4550/but not me! I have already trashed a good 3530 trying to make it a 3540.
So that is my R&R for my 3500! Doing tests this weekend! $38 shipped if it works and that is a great deal TCAS! Tempted for 10 secs to get a 1693 but it passed.LOL
I would have got a 110 but some Dell systems will only accept one UDMA4 device! :sad: