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Appeared on: Wednesday, February 18, 2004
Nec ND-2500A


1. Retail Package - Installation

Nec ND-2500A DVD±RW recorder - Page 1

NEC is probably the leading supplier of chipsets for the latest DVD recording kits of various manufacturers. Having two giants on the oposite side, MediaTek and Sanyo, the company has strengthened its position in the OEM market and offers fully combatible chipset solutions for high speed DVD recorders. The drive we have in our hands is the NEC's own proposal for 8x multi-format recording.

The drive is capable of 8x DVD±R recording and rewrite speed with DVD±RW media of 4x. With CD media, the unit allows recording up to 32x and 24x with rewritable media. As a reader it supports 12x for DVD-ROM, 8x for DVD±RW and 40x for CD.

Features

The Nec ND-2500A recorder uses the Just-Link feature to prevent buffer under-run errors.

Specifications
Drive
NEC ND-2500A
Media
DVD
CD
Transfer Rate Read 5...12x (max 16200 kb/s) 17...40x (2550-6000 kb/s)
Transfer Rate Write DVD-R 8x ZCLV (max 11040 kb/s) CD-R 32x ZCLV (max 4800 kb/s)
DVD-RW 4x CLV (5520 kb/s)
DVD+R 8x ZCLV (max 11040 kb/s) CD-RW 16x CLV (max 2400 kb/s)
DVD+RW 4x CLV (5520 kb/s)
Access Time 140ms 120ms
Mechanism motorized Tray load mechanism for horizonal and vertical use
Interface IDE / ATAPI
Burst Transfer Rate PIO mode 4 / Ultra DMA 33
Cashe Memory 2MB
Audio headphone jack and volume control at front plus digital-out and line-out at the back (MPC compatible)
Media/Modes supported DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-Video, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, CD-Audio, CD Extra, CD Text, CD-IReady, CD-Bridge, Photo-CD, VideoCD, Hybrid CD
Writing methods DAO(disc at once), SAO(session at once), TAO(track at once) with zero gap, variable or fixed packet, multisession
Compatibility MPC Level 3, MultiRead, PC2001
Weight 1.02kgr
Dimensions 148mm x 42mm x 190mm

The drive uses a 2MB buffer memory store and supports RAW DAO 96 writing (CD). However the NEC drive does not support Mount Rainier, nor does it read or write DVD-RAM media.

The drive uses the RPC II region control, allowing a user to change the drive's region at most 5 times. For our tests, we set the region code to 2 (Europe).

- The drive

The european retail package includes an installation guide and two blank media (one recordable and one rewriteable). Also included is Nero 6 software for writing, InCD for packet writing, Nero wave editor for sound editing, NeroVission Express 2 and MyDVD 4.5 for authoring, Cine Player and Showtime for DVD playback, Recode, and Nero Digital (MPEG4).

The IDE cable, audio cable and mounting screws are also included.

The drive's front panel is coloured white. On the tray door are the DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW and CD-RW logos, all located at right. Below the tray door are the headphones jack, volume control and the power/activity led on the left. The power/activity led lights green during playback and orange while recording. The emergency eject hole is found in the middle of the panel, while the eject button is placed on the right, below the logos.

On the rear panel there are the analogue and digital audio outputs (SPDIF), the IDE connector and the power input.

Removing the screws and opening the drive's cover voids the drive's warranty. For reference reasons, we post the following pictures. Click on the photo for an enlarged view.

- Installation

The NEC ND-2500A was connected to our test PC and was identified as "DVD_RW ND-2500A" under WinXP. All tests were done with firmware revision v1.06.

The following pages include the test results for the NEC ND-2500A drive in comparison with the Pioneer DVR-107D, since both drives are capable of 8x DVD recording.


2. Data CD Reading Tests

NEC ND-2500A DVD±RW recorder - Page 2

Data CD Reading Tests

- Pressed CD results (Click for CDSpeed results)

According to CDSpeed, the NEC drive confirms the manufacturer's specifications of 40x reading. In comparison with the Pioneer drive, the NEC was slightly slower reading our pressed test disc.

All the reported seek times for the NEC drive were quite good. Comparatively, the Pioneer had a very high full seek time at 295ms, being almost double that of the NEC.
- CD-R results (Click for CDSpeed results)

We made a copy of the previous, pressed CD in order to test the drive's behavior with a CD-R media. Again there isn't a lot between the drives and the resulting speeds are very close to those of the test with the original pressed media above.

Here too the NEC ND-2500A had low seek times, a little higher than in the previous test, but still good. The Pioneer drive again returned a very slow full seek time.

- ReWritable Media (Click for CDSpeed results)

For the reading test we used 24x High Speed rewritable media from Mitsubishi Chemicals.

This time the NEC drive was slightly faster than the Pioneer in average and final speeds although there was little difference between them.


3. CD Error Correction Tests

Nec ND-2500A DVD±RW recorder - Page 3

Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we check the drive's behaviour when reading scratched / defective audio discs. The test discs used were the ABEX series from ALMEDIO.

- ABEX TCD-721R

Errors total
Num: 3621791
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 592873
Avg: -72.1 dB(A)
Max: -18.4 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 127881
Avg: 1.0 Samples
Max: 89 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 10538
Avg: 6.3 Samples
Max: 12 Samples
Total Test Result
65.0 points (out of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy
99.6 %

The performance with this disc is not the best. The total error count was extremely high, as was the maximum loudness error level at -18.4dB and the number of skipped samples. The final score of 65.0 is rather low and is indicativee of the poor performance of the drive.

- ABEX TCD-726

Errors total
Num: 4100
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 6622
Avg: -84.4 dB(A)
Max: -25.1 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 63
Avg: 4.2 Samples
Max: 102 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result
81.2 points (out of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy
100.0 %

The Abex TCD-726 test disc is much easier for drives in general to read. The NEC ND-2500A managed to do better this time, but the score of 81.2 is low, especially when most drives score somewhere in the 90's and the better drives close to 100.

- CD-Check Audio Test Disc

The CD-Check Test Disc is a very useful tool for evaluating the Sound Reproduction / Error correction capabilities of a CD player. The disc offers a signal combination with disc error patterns to rate the drive's abilities to read music and reproduce it completely. Five tracks on the disc contain a sequence of progressively more difficult tests. These tracks are referred to as Check Level-1 through Check Level-5.

The tracks are reproduced (played) through a software multimedia player (i.e. Windows Media Player). Each level is considered as passed, if the tone coming out from the speakers is smooth, continuous without interruptions, skipping or looping. The higher the Check Level passed, the more reliable the sound reproduction of the tested drive.

Error Level
1
2
3
4
5
NEC ND-2500A
5/5
5/5
0/5
0/5
0/5

The drive successfully passed only the first two out of the five check levels for this test. Once again the drive had poor performance. While it is accepted that the 5th level is difficult to read with almost all but the very best of drives, most drives will pass the third level and a good drive the 4th.

- Summary

Test Disc
Reading Speed
Score
ABEX TCD-721R
Max
65.0
ABEX TCD-726
81.2
Average Score
73.1

The NEC ND-2500A managed an average score of 73.1 out of 100. This is a very low score and poses some doubts as to the abilities of the drive to read and correct defective discs.


4. DVD Reading Tests

Nec ND-2500A DVD±RW recorder - Page 4

DVD reading tests

- Single Layer DVD-ROM (Click for CDSpeed results)

In the DVD single layer reading test, both drives performed well with the Pioneer drive being slightly faster. The NEC drive however, did not manage to reach the 12x final speed, falling just short at 11.93x.

The NEC drive's seek times were good, being faster than those of the Pioneer, especially in the full seek time where the NEC drive's time was almost half that of the Pioneer.

- Dual Layer PTP DVD-ROM (Click for CDSpeed results)

The two layers of a PTP DVD-ROM disc are read sequentially with the drive starting the read process from the inner tracks on the disc, which is the beginning of each layer, and progressing outwards towards to the outer tracks for each layer.

In this test the NEC drive was a little on the slow side comapred to the Pioneer, managing a final speed of 7.28x as opposed to 8.46x for the Pioneer.

For both drives the seek times were slightly up in comparison with the single layer DVD, as is to be expected. However, the Pioneer drive once again had a poor showing with the full seek time. NEC's was much better at 213ms.

- Dual Layer OTP DVD-ROM

The first layer of an OTP dual layer DVD-ROM is read exactly the same way as the first layer of the PTP disc we tested previously. The difference here is the reading strategy of the second layer on the disc. The beginning of the second layer is located at the outer tracks of the disc, so the drive starts reading from the outer tracks inwards towards the inner tracks of the disc.

As can been seen from these screenshots, the drive returned similar speeds with the OTP dual layer DVD test disc as it did with the PTP disc. The seek times are also very close if only slightly higher.

- DVD Ripping Tests

We measured the DVD-Video ripping speed for the NEC ND-2500A using the latest version of DVD Decrypter. The DVD Video title is the "Matrix" pressed DVD-Video.

It's not one of the fastest ripping speeds, especially when we consider that some drives have managed speeds above 9000kbs, but at 5125kb/s it is an acceptable tranfer rate. The Pioneer drive was slightly faster at 5816kb/s.

- DVD Recordable / Rewritable reading Tests

The chart below shows the Nero CDSpeed average reading speed results with the following media:

The NEC drive is very consistent in its average speeds shown in the graphs above, with DVD±R and DVD±RW media. The range was from a minimum of 5.89x with DVD-RW up to a maximum of 5.91x with DVD+RW media. However, while it is reported as being an 8x reader, none of the final speeds in each instance above managed to reach 8x.


5. DVD Error Correction Tests

NEC ND-2500A DVD±RW recorder - Page 5

DVD Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we examined the DVD reading capabilities of the NEC ND-2500A drive with scratched / defective DVD media. For the tests we used CDVD Benchmark and Nero CDSpeed. The reference test media come from ALMEDIO.

- Single Layer media
ABEX TDR-821

This is a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM with a 4.7GB capacity, and its surface has an artificial scratch of dimensions varying from 0.4 to 3.0 mm. The following transfer rate picture comes from the CDVD Benchmark v1.21 transfer rate test.

The drive read the contents of the 821 test disc without reporting any reading error. There were no speed deviations while reading the defective areas on the disc's surface. The resultant graph is clean and smooth.

ABEX TDR-825

This is also a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM of 4.7GB capacity. The data structure of the disc is exactly the same as that of the TDR-821, with the difference that there are no scratches on the surface and instead defective areas ranging in dimensions from 0.5 to 1.1 mm. There are also fingerprints with height between 65 and 75 micrometers.

Again a very clean effort. The drive managed to successfully read the defective areas on the disc.

- Dual Layer media
ABEX TDR-841

This is an 8.5GB dual layer, single sided DVD-ROM disc with artificial scratches of dimensions ranging from 0.4 to 3.0mm, on both layers.

Once again the disc was read without any reading errors. However, the drive had a few more problems reading this disc. The yellow dots which have formed what is almost a second line below the main, thicker line over the defective areas, especially in the second layer, are the drive's attempts to read through the defects by changing (droppping) speed.

ABEX TDR-845

This disc is a single sided, dual layer DVD-ROM disc with capacity of 8.5GB. The only difference between the TDR-845 and the TDR-841 is that the first includes both defective areas and fingerprints. The dimensions of the defective areas range from 0.5 to 1.1 mm and the fingerprints have height sized from 65 to 75 microns (micrometers).

The test finished successfully without reporting any error. Again a very clean output.

ABEX TDV-541

The TDV-541 is a single sided, dual layer DVD-VIDEO disc, with a capacity of 8.5GB.The disc is based on the TDV-540 series which is designed for inspection and adjustment of DVD-VIDEO players. The disc checks the layer switch operation from layer 0 to layer 1 and also includes test pictures and test signals for DVD sound files. The current TDV-541 also checks the error correcting capabilities of the drive and includes scratches sized from 0.4 to 3.0 mm.

Unfortunately the drive did not manage to read the contents of the ABEX TDV-541 test disc. As can been seen from the graph above, reading failed while reading the beginning of the second layer of the disc. We made several attempts but the drive failed each time.

ABEX TDV-545

The TDV-545 disc is based on the TDV-540 series. It is a single sided, dual layer Video/S-2 disc with a capacity of 8.5GB. The TDV-545 includes artificial black dots on the disc's surface, sized from 0.4 to 1.0 mm. It also has 65 - 75 micrometer high fingerprints.

 

 

This test disc posed no problems for the NEC drive, which read past the black dots and fingerprints on the disc's surface. The maximum speed of 4.59x however was a little slow.


6. Protected Disc Tests

NEC ND-2500A DVD±RW recorder - Page 6

Protected Disc Tests
- Reading Tests

To create an image of the various protected titles onto a hard disk, we used CloneCD v.4.3.1.9 software and the appropriate settings, depending on the protection scheme of the inserted discs. Below are summarized the capabilities of the NEC drive, according to CloneCD software. As can be seen, the drive supports writing of CD+G under RAW DAO:

The game titles we used with their respective protection schemes are given in the table below:

Game Title
Protection Scheme
PSX "NBA Jam Extreme"
Lybcrypt
Serious Sam The Second Encounter v1.07
SafeDisc v.2.60.052
VRally II
SecuROM v.2
Lybcrypt

SafeDisc v.2

SecuROM v.2

The NEC drive managed to rip the contents of all the game titles successfully. Apart from SafeDisc v2, where the ripping speeds for both drives are very slow, times for the other two protection schemes are very good.

- Writing Tests

The NEC ND-2500A supports the DAO-RAW writing mode. For checking the drive's EFM correction status, we used 3 different game titles with different SafeDisc 2 versions with the latest software patches installed. After making the images of the various titles to the hard disk, we burned them (at maximum speed) with CloneCD. Two different discs were created for each title; one with the "Amplify Weak Sectors" enabled and one more with the function disabled.

The table below shows the results of the attempted backups and whether they ran (game installed / played normally), or not.

Drive
Game Title
SD2 Build
Settings
Amplify Weak Sectors On
Amplify Weak Sectors Off
NEC ND-2500A
Max Payne
v2.51.020
Yes (only in Nec ND-2500A)
Yes
Serious Sam - The Second Encounter v1.07
v.2.60.052
No
Yes (only in Nec ND-2500A)
The Sims Unleashed
v.2.8
No
No

The NEC ND-2500A was not all that impressive in making working backups of protected game titles. The drive managed to copy only up to version 2.6 of SafeDisc. Moreover, the working backups were playable only in the NEC drive. No other drive managed to playback the NEC drive's backups.


7. CD-DA - DAE Tests

NEC ND-2500A DVD±RW recorder - Page 7

DAE Tests

- Pressed and CDR AudioCD results

The NEC ND-2500A uses 40x CAV reading strategy for CD-DA. Below is the resultant output from the CDSpeed transfer rate test with a pressed audio CD:

According to Nero CDSpeed, the average reading speed was only 25.72x, while the final reading speed reached was 33.97x. This indicates that the drive supports 32x read with AudioCDs. The seek times however were good.

 

 

 

We ripped the contents of the same audio disc to our hard disk, using the CD-DAE software.

The average ripping speed (burst mode) of 24.2x, was slow. The Pioneer drive was only slightly faster than the NEC, but these speeds are slower than what we would expect.

The same pressed audio disc was copied onto CD-R media and was read again with CDspeed.

No real difference from the original pressed disc. Again the times are a little slow.

- Advanced DAE Quality

In the Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test, the NEC drive returned an average speed of 24.29x, which is an acceptable performance, and a quality score of 98.1. CDSpeed reports that the drive can read CD Text and Subchannel Data. Leadin and Leadout are not supported.

- Support of 90/99mins AudioCDs

The NEC drive recognized the 99min disc but failed to playback or rip the contents of the disc. On the other hand the 90min disc was not a problem for the drive where it managed to rip the contents.

- Reading/Ripping Protected AudioCDs

For the test procedure we used two audio discs with different audio protection schemes. We tested for both recognition and ripping to the hard disk. The software used was Exact Audio Copy.

* Pressed Audio disc protected by Nec Key2Audio (Celine Dion - New Day Has Come)

* Pressed Audio disc protected by Cactus Data Shield 200 (Natalie Imbruglia - White Lilies sIsland)

Key2Audio
CDS200
EAC
NEC ND-2500A
OK
OK
Pioneer DVR-107D
NO
OK

Both AudioCD protection schemes tried were not a problem for the drive. The NEC drive managed to recognize, playback and rip the contents of both discs.


8. CD Recording Tests

NEC ND-2500A DVD±RW recorder - Page 8

CD Recording Tests

- CD-R Writing Tests

The NEC ND-2500A supports 4x, 8x, 16x, 24x and 32x writing speeds. Below is the CDSpeed writing simulation graph with Taiyo Yuden 48x CD-R media.

The simulation test under Nero CD Speed confirmed the manufacturers specifications for 32x recording which uses Z-CLV. The average speed was 27.43x.

 

 

 

- Recording Times

We created an 80min data compilation with Nero Burning Rom and recorded it on a 700MB disc. The NEC drive returned a time of 3:39 minutes, with 32x writing speed selected, which is a very good time (for 32x). The Pioneer drive, due to its 24x supported writng speed, was slower at 4:49 minutes.

Below are the best writing times for the Nec ND-2500A drive at 4x, 8x, 16x, 24x and 32x with a Taiyo Yuden media.

In the following graph you can see the recording times with various media brands.

- CD-RW Writing Tests

The NEC ND-2500A supports 16x CLV maximum rewriting speed, with Ultra Speed rewritable media. Below are the results from the CDSpeed writing simulation test with blank 24x US-RW media from Mitsubishi Chemicals.

The test confirmed the drives specifications for 16x rewriting. The burning procedure started at 16.01x and finished at 16.44x having an average speed of 16.02x.

 

 

 

For comparison, we provide the rewriting times of the NEC and Pioneer drives.

We also used Nero Burning Rom software to burn a data disc using 24x US-RW media from Mitsubishi Chemicals. The data compilation burnt, had a size of 651 MB. The duration of the recording process was 5:11 minutes for NEC and 4:01minutes for the Pioneer.

Click on the link below for official media list provided by NEC:

Media list for ND-2500A

- Packet Writing Tests

Using InCD and Mitsubishi Chemicals 24x US-RW media for all Packet Writing tests, quick format took 37sec. The formatted disc had 530mbs of free space. We copied a 403 MB file (412.822 KB) from Hard Disk (on the same PC as the recorder) to the formatted RW media through Windows explorer (drag and drop).

 
Operation
Duration
Average speed
Read
2:37 min
17.5X
Write
3:31 min
13X

- Other features

Overburning
Up to 89:57
CD text reading/writing
Yes


9. 3T Jitter Tests - Page 1

NEC ND-2500A DVD±RW recorder - Page 9

Writing Quality Tests - 3T Jitter Tests

On an 80min 48x CD-R disc from Taiyo Yuden we burned the same AudioCD project at 4x, 8x, 16x, 24x and 32x. The 3T Pit & Land Jitter graphs are presented here.

- 3T Pit results

Looking at the graph above, we can see that the NEC drive performed well within limits, where at all speeds the jitter was well below the Red Book limit. These are amongst the best Pit Jitter measurements we have seen from any drive.

The average 3T Pit Jitter values for all recording speeds are illustrated in the following table.

The average Pit jitter values for all recording speeds are very good.

- 3T Land results

Once again we can see the excellent CD writing quality of this drive. Only in the case of 4x recording the jitter levels were slightly high, but none the less did not go over the 35ns limit. Besides, there are not going to be many users who will purchase this drive for 4x CD recording.

The following average values graph confirms the very good burning quality of the NEC recorder.

Recording Speed
Average 3T Pit Jitter (ns)
Average 3T Land Jitter (ns)
> 35ns
Max 3T jitter values (ns)
4X
25.88
32.22
No
28 Pit, 35 Land
8X
24.49
28.46
No
26 Pit, 30 Land
16X
22.78
25.37
No
26 Pit, 28 Land
24X
22.20
24.29
No
25 Pit, 26 Land
32X
22.83
24.95
No
25 Pit, 28 Land
- Summary

Judging from the results presented on this page, the NEC ND-2500A has proved one of the best CD recorders with regard to quality that we have tested. The jitter levels with Taiyo Yudon media are very low for all speeds. The results on the following pages will show exactly how good a recorder the NEC drive is.


10. 3T Jitter Tests - Page 2

NEC ND-2500A DVD±RW recorder - Page 10

Writing Quality Tests - 3T Jitter Tests

The same Nero compilation used in the previous jitter tests was used once again, this time with media from different brands. The recording speed was the maximum 32x in all cases. The following graphs show the 3T Pit & Land Jitter results.

- 3T Pit results

Once again the NEC drive showed it is a quality writer. No matter what the media brand used, the jitter levels were all low.

The average 3T Jitter values for all manufacturers discs are illustrated in the following graph.

- 3T Land results

The drive continues to impress with regards to its writing quality.

The average values presented below illustrates the drives recording ability.

Recording Speed
Average 3T Pit Jitter (ns)
Average 3T Land Jitter (ns)
> 35ns
Max 3T jitter values (ns)
Mam 52X
26.39
24.54
No
27 Pit, 26 Land
HiSpace 48X
25.83
27.83
No
29 Pit, 31 Land
CMC 48X
24.46
25.44
No
26 Pit, 27 Land
Ritek 48X
22.29
22.15
No
24 Pit, 23 Land
SKC 48X
27.24
27.61
No
29 Pit, 29 Land
- Summary

Generally, from this series of tests, we can conclude that the drive is a high quality CD recorder. All the discs we burnt produced very low jitter values, regardless of manufacturer or speed.

On the following page we check the C1 and C2 error rates for the same discs. These are the last of the quality tests.


11. C1 / C2 Error Measurements

NEC ND-2500A DVD±RW recorder - Page 11

Writing Quality Tests - C1 / C2 Error Measurements

The C1 / C2 error rate was measured for the recorded discs burned during the previous writing tests (jitter). The software used was UMDoctor Pro II, and the reader was the Optorite DD0203 drive.

  • CMC Magnetics 48x recorded at 32x

  • Ritek 48x recorded at 32x

  • SKC 48x recorded at 32x

Below is presented information on the CD-R media used in this test.

Disc
ID Code
Capacity
Taiyo Yuden 48X
TaiyoYuden 97m24s01f
79:59:72
HiSpace 48x
97m25s07f
79:59:00
CMC Magnetics 48x
CMC Magnetics 97m26s66f
79:59:71
Ritek 48x
Plasmon 97m27s18f
79:59:74
Mam 52X
Mitsui 97m27s58f
79:59:74
SKC 48X
SKC 97m26s26f
79:59:73
- Summary

According to our measurements, the drive's CD writing quality is very good with all media brands. The C1 levels are all quite low and consistent in their levels. No C2 errors were reported.


12. DVD Recording Tests

NEC ND-2500A DVD±RW recorder - Page 12

DVD Recording Tests

- Writing Performance

The NEC ND-2500A supports DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/RW writing. The maximum supported speed for both DVD+R and DVD-R is 8x (4x~8x Z-CLV), and 4x CLV for DVD+RW and DVD-RW media.

Currently, only a few 8x certified DVD-R media are available on the market. The supported 8x DVD±R media which we tested came from Mitsubishi Chemicals, Taiyo Yuden, JVC and CMC Magnetics.

8x DVD+R

An 8x DVD+R disc from Mitsubishi-Kagaku was used to check the 8x writing strategy of the drive. The software used was Nero CDSpeed, and its "create disc" function.

The drive started writing at 4.13x, maintaining this speed until the 800MB address mark on the disc, where the drive steps up to a little over 6x until 2.2GB where once again the step up to 8.29x writing for the rest of the recording (hence Z-CLV). The average speed is 6.81x.

 

 

 

8x DVD-R

Just as with the previous DVD+R media the drive started the writing at 4.13x, with steps up to 6x at the 800MB address mark and 8x at 2.2GB. The average speed was 6.81x.

 

 

 

4x DVD+RW

4x DVD-RW

- Burning Tests

The best recording times are illustrated in the following table after burning 4315MB of data on various DVD±R, DVD±RW media, using the maximum allowed writing speed for each disc. For comparison, we also include the writing times for the Pioneer DVR-107D.

The NEC drive was faster with DVD±RW media and the Pioneer with DVD±R. The times are quite fast.

The following screen shots were taken from Nero, after successful burnings. The amount of data is the same for all the tests.

Media
Code
Speed
Mitshubishi Chemicals 8x DVD+R
MCC003
8x
CMC Magnetics 8x DVD+R
CMC MAG E01
8x
Plextor 4x DVD+R
YUDEN000 T01
8x
Taiyo Yuden 4x DVD-R
TYG01
8x
CMC Magnetics 8x DVD-R
CMC MAG AE1
8x
TDK 8x DVD-R
TTG02
8x
Mitshubishi Chemicals 4x DVD-R
MCC 01RG20
8x
Ritek 4x DVD-R
RITEKG04
4x
Mitshubishi Chemicals 4x DVD+R
MCC002
4x
Mitshubishi Chemicals 4x DVD+RW
MKM A02
4x
Mitshubishi Chemicals 4x DVD-RW
MCC 01RW4X
4x
Maxell 4x DVD+RW
PHILIPS 041
4x
JVC 4x DVD-RW
JVC0VictorD7
4x

The table above presents the writing speeds, media name and media code for the various discs used.

Click on the link below for official media list provided by Nec:

Media list for ND-2500A

- Packet Writing Tests

For this test we copied a 403 MB file (412.822 KB) from the hard disk (on the same PC as the recorder) to the formatted RW media through Windows explorer (drag and drop).

DVD-RW
Duration
Average speed
Read
2:14 min
2.3X
Write
1:52 min
2.7X

DVD+RW
Duration
Average speed
Read
2:33 min
2X
Write
1:39 min
3X

13. KProbe PI/PO Error Measurements

NEC ND-2500A DVD±RW recorder - Page 13

PI/PO quality results

The following screenshots show the PI/PO results for various DVD-/+R and DVD-/+RW media, recorded with the Nec ND-2500A at the maximum allowed speed.

The software used for the measurements was KProbe v1.1.28, the ECC was set to 8 and the reading drive was the LiteOn LDW-811s. The specific methodology is very dependent on the drive used as a reader, while the reliability of the PI/PO provided output is also not technically confirmed. Hence as a result, we cannot safely come up with conclusive results, although we do make a comparison of the drive's behaviour when using various DVD recordable/rewritable media.

The recording discs used came from Mitsubishi Chemicals, CMC Magnetics, Plextor, Taiyo Yuden, TDK, Ritek, Maxell and JVC. Further details about each disc are presented at the bottom of this page.

Media
Code
Mitshubishi Chemicals 8x DVD+R
MCC003
CMC Magnetics 8x DVD+R
CMC MAG E01
Plextor 4x DVD+R
YUDEN000 T01
Taiyo Yuden 4x DVD-R
TYG01
CMC Magnetics 8x DVD-R
CMC MAG AE1
TDK 8x DVD-R
TTG02
Mitshubishi Chemicals 4x DVD-R
MCC 01RG20
Ritek 4x DVD-R
RITEKG04
Mitshubishi Chemicals 4x DVD+R
MCC002
Mitshubishi Chemicals 4x DVD+RW
MKM A02
Mitshubishi Chemicals 4x DVD-RW
MCC 01RW4X
Maxell 4x DVD+RW
PHILIPS 041
JVC 4x DVD-RW
JVC0VictorD7

 

Mitshubishi Chemicals 4x DVD+RW and JVC 4x DVD-RW media were the worst performers with excessive totals and average counts for both PI and PO.

Plextor 4x DVD+R (recorded at 8x), Taiyo Yuden 4x DVD-R (recorded at 8x), Ritek 4x DVD-R media were a little better. The other brands are all acceptable with the best media being CMC Magnetics 8x DVD+R and Mitshubishi Chemicals 4x DVD-RW.


14. Conclusion

NEC ND-2500A DVD±RW recorder - Page 14

Conclusion

Pros

Cons

  • 8x DVD±R writing
  • 4x DVD±RW writing
  • 32x CD-R writing
  • Excellent CD writing quality
  • Good DVD writing quality
  • Low 3T jitter
  • Long supported DVD media list
  • Supports CD-Text (reading/writing)
  • Good DVD ripping speed
  • Low CD/DVD seek times
  • Supports audio protected discs
  • Very good price
  • Low CD error correction ability
  • Cannot read or rip 99min Audio CD's
  • Mount Rainier is not supported
  • Failure with Abex TDV-541 test disc
  • Low DAE speed
  • Cannot create working backups with SafeDisc protected games over v2.60

As a reader, the NEC ND-2500A returned acceptable speeds for both CD and DVD with good seek times. But we would like to see the drive with a higher average reading speed for DVD±RW media. Generally the drive performed well in the series of reading tests and confirmed the manufacturers reading specifications for all formats.

In the CD error correction tests, the drive had poor performance. It managed to playback only the first two levels of our CD-Check Audio Test Disc. Most good drives can easily play the first four levels, with the best managing all 5 check levels. The behaviour with the Abex-721R test disc was also quite disappointing. The -18.4 dB(A) maximum value for the loudness error level is high. We were hoping for a good score with the Abex-726 disc, but here too the drive did not perform anywhere near expectations..

The drive's error correction capabilities with DVD media was better than with CD media. It managed to playback almost all of our test discs. However it failed to read the ABEX TDV-541 which checks a drive's ability to switch between layers.

The drive failed to make SafeDisc v2.9 working backups, and backups of earlier versions were playable only on the NEC drive itself but not on other drives. Apart from this, the drive is fast in ripping process with all the game protection schemes we tried, except of course for Safedisc.

According to the DAE test, the drive had average performance and we would like to see faster operation. On the other hand the drive managed to playback and rip both Key2Audio and CDS200 protected Audio CDs. The fact that the drive doesn't play or rip 99 minutes AudioCDs is a minor issue.

Despite the fact that the drive could not overburn 99min CDs, the unit performed extremely well as a CD writer and the 32x supported CD recording speed is good. What was most impressive however was the drive's CD writing quality which can only be described as excellent! It registered very low jitter values with all the discs we tried, and the C1 levels were low while no C2 errors were reported.

In the DVD recording tests we would like to congratulate NEC regarding the drive's compatibility with all the media we tested. It managed to burn at the speed of 8x most of our 4x DVD media. Also the DVD writing quality was very good, with low PI/PO levels.

All in all, we can characterise the drive as being a very good quality writer, but it does have problems with game protection schemes and defects on the disc's surface, even minor ones.

The drive is currently availiable on the market at the price of around €100. At such a low price, with the performance we saw and 8x dual DVD recording, we feel that the NEC ND-2500A is a very good purchase, being better than other, more expensive recorders. As long as you don't need to read scratched or troublesome discs, but you need a good writer, then this is a good choice.



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