Plextor Premium 52/32/52 Internal CDRW Drive - HotHardware

Plextor Premium 52/32/52 Internal CDRW Drive

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The Plextor Premium 52/32/52 Hi-Performance Internal CD-RW Drive
Exceptionally Fast Performance For Professionals

Jason R. Gibson
July 14, 2003

 
Installation
Slap it in and fire it up...

Installing this drive could not be any easier. The User's Manual included in the package displays just about every configuration possible when it comes to installing this type of drive (Master, Slave, and Cable Select, etc). Once we opened up our case, we secured the drive in place using four mounting screws.  Then we connected the power and the IDE cable, and we were done. After a successful boot (with drive recognition) and some software installation, we were up and running in under 15 minutes.

Software
The Extra Goodies...

Plextor includes a well-rounded bundle of CD Burning Software from Roxio Corp., formerly produced by Adaptec, with this drive.  Easy CD Creator 5 Basic is the CD Authoring Software of choice for Plextor. The HH Crew, however, would have liked to have seen Plextor USA to follow the lead of their European counterparts and ship the drive with Ahead Software's Nero Burning ROM instead. We find that Nero is a more stable program, with features that are targeted at power users, Plextor's target audience.  However, we did install Easy CD Creator 5 Basic during our trials and did not experience any problems.  Easy CD Creator is also a full-featured and useful tool for CD creation.

Roxio Easy CD Creator 5 and DirectCD
   

"DirectCD", allows the CD-RW drive to format CD's for "drag and drop" addition of data just like any other storage media. Once you have completed moving files to the CD, you are given the option of two different methods of closing the session. One, may either leave the CD open for further burning at a later time, or close it completely (no further writing possible) so the CD will be recognized by other standard CD drives.

 

Roxio PhotoSuite
 

Roxio Easy CD Creator 5
Music Compilation
 

Dantz Retrospective
(30-Day Trial Version)

EZ CD Creator 5 allows the user to simply copy from a CD to a CD-R or to plan and organize the layout of your data or music, within its CD Project mode. The interface is fairly simple and easy to use. It does a nice job of keeping the user informed about how much room is used and available on the CD, as well as letting one shift the order of files and tracks with a few clicks of the mouse.

PhotoSuite 5 aids users in transferring photos from digital cameras, editing, organization in albums, sharing through E-mail and printing. This program is very straightforward, with a minimal learning curve. Though this program offers some editing abilities (red eye, auto contrast/color balance, crop, rotation, text addition), it is not what we would call an expert package. If you are a beginner in the world of digital photography, consider starting with this program. The ease of use and easy to follow menu architecture will surely null out any fears of data loss/time wasted fumbling with unnecessarily complicated programs. The added bonus of PhotoSuite's project templates will also allow users to quickly produce cards for those forgotten occasions, "of course I have a card for our Anniversary Dear. It's on the computer desk".

Dantz Retrospective Backup Software provides users with a very simple and cost effective method of protecting themselves from data loss. With the ability to schedule regular backups and restore complete volumes this software was a pleasure to use. Personally, we really liked the "Easyscript" function. By simply answering a few simple questions (type of storage media, time of back up, number of copies, day of the week, etc.), we were able to configure this program for automated backups.  Though we would have liked to see a full version included, we have to give Plextor a few bonus points for including this software.


 

 

PlexTools Professional gives users the ability to control virtually every aspect of the drive, enabling "SpeedRead", turn on/off "PowerRec", adjust eject timing of the CD Tray, test the drive using "Q-Check" and the ability to slow down the drive for quieter operation. Included in this software package is a standard authoring program.  Though it cannot shake a stick at the amount of features Nero or EZ CD Creator offers, it does offer a simple solution for burning a quick data or music CD.  During our testing process we used this software to test the GigaRec feature (covered in more detail a little later), thought we experienced no faults with the burning software, the lack of features left us feeling powerless over the program.
 

Test System and Benchmarks

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