The NEC 3500AG was my first 16x DVD burner and it would not have been possible for the countless support and raves in this forum. To those who have spent hours perfecting the firmware, testing the media diligently and providing them to all, I’m very grateful and convince that the NEC 3500AG would not have been all that great if it weren’t for your efforts. Although I’m parting with the NEC 3500AG (Actually gave it to the wife) it has been a very reliable and dependable unit to this day. I have made countless of flawless burns without a hitch. I have recommended this drive to my friends who also enjoyed the same experience that I have received.
The one thing that bugs me about the NEC 3500AG that the CD-R which is rated to burn at max 48x, will only burn at 16x in Nero. I tried different brands 52x, 48x, 40x rated, changed the firmware to OEM and still burns at a measly 16x in Nero. I tried the same media in the BenQ and burn at it’s max 40x without a problem. I asked my friends who bought the NEC 3500AG and they too have the same problem.
I bought a BenQ DW 1620 Retail at Newegg about a month ago for a great price $45 shipped. I needed another DVD burner since the demand for it’s usage convinced me to get another one. My dillema was if I should get another NEC product or get the BenQ. I decided to get the BenQ DW 1620. I did my homework and read up on the BenQ in this forum and other reviews provided by other sites and convinced me this is worth a try. Well I must say that the BenQ DW 1620 surpassed my expectations. It is a fast ripper and encoder. Dependable & reliable so far - No coasters yet! Mt. Rainer support for RW media. Excellent (unofficial) firmware updates in this forum. Excellent tool MCSE by ala42 for creating your own write strategies on different media and a nice database built in. This is probably what sets the BenQ apart from the NEC! Bitsetting, RPC-1 and Riplock support. What more can you asked for. Oh…I bought another BenQ DW 1620…Now I have two…What a burner!