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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > DVD Recorders Double Layer

Friday, September 02, 2005
NEC ND-3540A

1. Introduction

NEC's latest addition to the market is the NEC-ND 3540A and as one can see from the specs in the table below, not many things have changed since the previous model, the 3530A. DVD±R burning speed is maxed out, so, no changes there. DVD±RW burning speed remains the same. So what does the new NEC model have to offer? Well, NEC has moved a step forward and much like all latest models, has introduced 8X +R DL burning speed.

So, the ND-3540A is a 16/16X DVD±R recorder, supporting up to 8X/6X DVD+/-RW burning speeds respectively and up to 8X for DVD+R DL and 4X for DVD-R DL media.

- Features

The WOPC feature continues to exist in the ND-3540A for optimized writing performance. Furthermore, the drive can overspeed a wide variety of media.

- Specifications

NEC ND-3540A
Transfer Rate read and write
DVD +R: 16x max.
DVD-R: 16x max.
DVD +RW: 8x max.
DVD-RW: 6x max.
DVD +R9: 8x max.
DVD-R DL: 4x
CD-R: 48x max.
CD-RW: 32x max.
Access time
DVD 140ms, CD 120ms
motorized tray load mechanism for horizontal and vertical use
Burst transfer rate
PIO mode 4 / Ultra DMA 33
2 MB
Media supported
DVD-ROM, DVD-R (DL approx march 2005), DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW,DVD+R9,CD-ROM, CD-R and CD-RW with 80mm and 120mm diameter
Modes supported
DVD-ROM,DVD-Video,CD-DA, CD Extra,CD Text,CD-ROM,CD-ROM XA,CD-I,CD-I Ready,CD-Bridge,PhotoCD, VideoCD
Writing methods
DAO, SAO,TAO with zero gap,variable or fixed packet, multisession
MPC Level 3, MultiRead, PC2001
148mm x 42mm x 190mm

The RPC II region control is used, allowing a user to change the drive's region at most 5 times. Below are the drive's main specs as given by NeroInfoTool, VSO Inspector and DVDInfoPro:

- Nero InfoTool

- DVD InfoPro

-VSO Inspector

- The Drive

The ND-3540A comes in two faceplate colors, typical white and black. We received the bulk version with a white faceplate. The front of the drive is a typical NEC, with a minor difference from the other NEC drives with the inclusion of the DVD+R DL logo next to the DVD+RW logo on the far right.

On the rear panel you will find the analogue and digital audio outputs (SPDIF), the IDE master/slave/cs selector pins, the IDE connector and the power input.

It is not recommended that you open the drive up, since you will void the guarantee. Instead, you can take a look at the inner workings of the drive with the help of the pictures below. Click on the below images to see a larger, more detailed photo.

click to enlarge!

The drive uses the same NEC D6364 chipset as the previous model, the ND 3530, which is known for its good burning quality capabilities.

- Installation

The drive came in with the 1.01 firmware release which happens to be the latest one so no further flashing was needed. It was identified as "NEC DVD_RW ND-3540A" under WinXP. Below is a screenshot of Nero Burning Rom's specs for the drive.

Throughout this review, we will be comparing the 3540A's test results against those of two other drives, the BenQ 1640 and the LiteOn 1693S.

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