Plextor PlexWriter 16/10/40A CDRW Drive - HotHardware

Plextor PlexWriter 16/10/40A CDRW Drive

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The Plextor PlexWriter 16/10/40A CD-RW Drive
Quick cuts and speedy reads...

4/4/01 - By  Dave Altavilla

Installation of this drive is a total non-event.  That is to say it is no different that setting up any other CD-ROM drive.  There is really only one thing you should note, when installing any CD-RW drive for that matter.  It is best to give a recordable drive its own EIDE channel if you can.  If you have another CD-ROM in your system, slave it to the hard drive and put the CD-RW in master mode on its own channel.  This will also help prevent buffer under-runs and give the CD-RW all the bandwidth on the channel.  On the other hand, Plextor's burn proof technology will supposedly guard against that.  In our opinion however, if you have the spare channel, give the CD-RW its own connection.  Better safe than sorry. 
 

This is a quick snapshot of all the connection that are made on the back of the drive.  Just for your reference.


 

 
Installation and Software
Plextore delivers the tools 

Plextor does a nice job of bundling in the tools you'll need to get most any job done.  Here are just a few screen captures from the various applications that came with our drive.

 

Plextor's Manager 2000 suite comes with a number of nifty utilities including a "CD Ripping" utility that allows you to convert CD Audio to wave files.  DiscDupe does just what you might think. It makes exact replicas of a standard CD and also allows you to use the PlexWriter as a source and destination drive in the system with its drive "image" capabilities.  This is a nice touch for those that wish only to have one CD drive of any kind installed but specifically need to make copies of CD's.

Adaptec's CD Copier
    

Adaptec's CD Creator 4 (Audio Mode)

And then there are the Adaptec ad-ins.  CD Copier is essentially just a CD Duplicator but we found it to be a little more reliable and stable when multi-tasking while cutting a CD.  CD Creator on the other hand, is a very intuitive GUI driven CD Mapping and Creating Tool, that really does a nice job of giving you a good picture of the layout of the CD you are creating.

In the above screen capture, we decided to create an audio CD but creating a data CD uses very much the same interface.  This utility lets you drag and drop files to the layout window in the bottom.  It then tabulates the time in minutes that are left on the CD that is available for recording.  All told, the bundle with the PlexWriter series of CD-RW drives is excellent and just about all you would need to get any job done.
 

Hot Hardware's Test System
Pentium 4 with all the trimmings

- Asus P4T Motherboard with Pentium 4 Processor @ 1.5GHz.

- Intel D850GB Motherboard with Pentium 4 Processor @ 1.5GHz.

- 256MB of Samsung PC800 RAMBUS DRDRAM,

- IBM DTLA307030 30Gig ATA100 7200 RPM Hard Drive

- nVidia GeForce 2 Ultra 64MB AGP Graphics Card,

- Intel 100tx PCI NIC, 56K PCI Modem

- Sound Blaster Live Sound Card,

- Pioneer 10X/40X DVD/CD ROM Drive,

- Plextor 16/10/40A CD-RW Drive

- WindowsME 

- Direct X 8.0 and nVidia reference drivers version 6.50

- Intel chipset drivers version 2.80
 

Benchmarks  with The PlexWriter 16/10/40A
Read performance... none too shabby

The first area we'll look at is the read performance of this drive.  SiSoft Sandra will give us a baseline metric versus our Pioneer DVD-104S drive.

    Pioneer 10X DVD / 40X CD                      Plextore PlexWriter 16/10/40A
                   

We were very impressed with the fact that the PlexWriter 16/10/40A could keep up and even surpass a standard 10X DVD / 40X CD ROM drive.  Our impression of the Pioneer drive was that it was fairly speedy.  Next to the Plextor drive, it pales somewhat now.  So far so good Plextor.

Let's dig in a little deeper, shall we?
 

CD Speed, Write/Re-Write Performance and the rating

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