Plextor's PlexWriter 8/4/32 CDRW Drive!

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The Plextor PlexWriter 8/4/32 CD-RW Drive
Turning and Burning

CD Recordable Drives have matured greatly in the past few years and have become an extremely cost effective and viable back-up, storage and duplication solution for professional and home use.  Plextor has been known for highly reliable leading edge products ranging from standard CD drives to CD-R and CD-RW drives. 

With a standard CD-R drive you can only write to a CD once and if there is an error during the process, you have made yourself and expensive drink "coaster".  CD-RW is a fairly new type of Recordable Drive technology that allows one to Write and Re-Write information on the same CD which has to be a CD-RW format CD.  It allows for limitless Re-Writing of the same CD. 

The Plextor PlexWriter 8/4/32 records CDs at 8X speed, can re-write a CD at 4X speed and read a CD at 32X speed.  These are top end speeds currently for CD-RW drives. 

We evaluated an internal unit.  Here are more details on the product...

 
 
PlexWriter 8/4/32 Specifications
Do it yourself duplication
 
  

Disc:

Usable Formats Read & Write

CD-DA; CD-ROM (Mode 1); CD-ROM (Mixed Mode); CD-ROM XA; Mode 2 Form 1 and Form 2; Mode 2 CD-I; Photo CD; Video CD; CD-Extra; CD+G; CD Text

Writing Modes

Track-at-Once, Disc-at-Once, Session-at-Once, Multisession, Fixed and Variable Packet Writing

Performance:

Data Transfer Rate

CLV Write/CAV Read

Sustained Read/Write

32X (read only)

4.8MB/sec ? Outer Track

 

14X (read only)

2.1MB/sec - Inner Track

 

8X (read/write)

1.2MB/sec

 

4X (read/write/rewrite)

600KB/sec

 

2X (read/write/rewrite)

300KB/sec

 

1X (read/write/rewrite)

150KB/sec

Burst Read/Write

10MB/sec (synchronous)

 

5MB/sec (asynchronous)

Average Random Access

170ms

Front Panel:

Eject

Auto Eject; Manual Emergency Eject

Lights

Power On/Disc Access

Disc Loading

Auto

Headphone Jack

Stereo Minijack, 0.8V at 32 Ohms

Volume Control

Wheel Knob

Rear Panel:

Power Supply

DC +5V: 500mA
DC +12V: 600mA

Interface Connector

IDE host adapter and 40-pin Flat E-IDE cable

Audio Output

Stereo Analog Output, Molex Connector (L*G*G*R), MPC3 Standard

Jumper Switches

Master; Slave; Cable Select


 

As you can see, the PlexWrtier 8/4/32 does it all and fairly snappy too, although the random access time could be a little quicker, this is typical for 32X readers.
Installation / Setup 
Cool breeze...

 

Set up of the PlexWriter 8/4/32 was a breeze.  It went as easy as installing any other drive in a system.  One note of caution however, is that Plextor recommends installing the drive as a "Master" and preferably on its own EIDE channel.  This is standard procedure for most EIDE recordable CD drives, for best reading and writing performance.
Plextor also bundles lots of good software in with the drive including a full suite of Adaptec's "CD Copier Deluxe", "Easy CD Creator" and "Direct CD".  Direct CD allows you to set up a recordable CD very much like a floppy, allowing for incremental writing. 

Plextor also includes a host of their own very competent software with the drive as well.  

Disk Dupe 2000 is the first "vendor supplied" CD Duplicator that actually worked for us as advertised.  Usually, these types of quick copy programs aren't worth the CD they are released on, often times ruining blank disk after disk.  Not so with Disk Dupe 2K.  We had no problem whatsoever duplicating CDs with this tool and it did the job extremely easily with minimal user intervention.  Nicely done Plextor.

 

This is Plextor's default multi-media player that is installed with the other tools.  It isn't much to look at but gets the job done.  It plays MPEG, AVI, CD Audio, MP3 and various other formats.  You can toggle between the Audio and A/V Players.

 
 

Audio Capture and performance...

 

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