The HotHardware Test Bed, Nero InfoTool and Sandra Tests
Plextor PX-712A DVD+/- R/RW
MSI K8T Neo (VIA K8T800)
Utilities and Media Used For Testing
Nero InfoTool is a handy utility for exposing a CD/DVD drive's capabilities. Below are screen captures from the PX-712A as well as an Artec Dual DVD drive that we reviewed here. Throughout this review we will reference the Artec Dual DVD drive for the sake of comparison of features and performance, since it has similar features and it too comes with 8MB of cache.
|Plextor PX-712A||Artec Dual DVD|
We should note that the Plextor says the CD-ROM drive has a maximum read speed of 48X, as shown in Nero InfoTool. However, by default the actual top speed is 40X. In order to achieve a full 48X read speed, we needed to enable their SpeedRead feature which is only active on a per-session basis. SpeedRead is actually designed to allow users to increase DVD playback speed if so desired, however, it also controls a bit of the CD read speeds as well. Plextor believes that after CDs exceed 40X, problems can occur from vibrations and such. By implementing SpeedRead, this does not limit the user from increasing the drive speed if they so desire. Plextor offers a solid collection of Read/Write capabilities, including support for Mount Rainier, while supporting a comprehensive selection of recording modes too. The biggest advantage to note is the drive's 8MB buffer. This should add to the success of burns, especially with GigaRec which doesn't utilize any kind of Buffer Underrun protection.
SANDRA 4 CD/DVD Tests:
An effective synthetic test of CD/DVD-ROM performance is SANDRA 4's CD/DVD Benchmark. The interesting part of this test is that SANDRA 4 will not let the test run without having very large files on the disc. The goal is to ensure that the buffer of the drive being tested is completely saturated, adding to the accuracy of the results.
|Plextor PX-712A -CD||Artec Dual DVD|
With the CD module, we loaded a CD with one 677MB AVI file. In the end, both drives performed similarly, with the Plextor drive topping the Artec product by roughly 4.5%.
Next we ran the same test with a DVD inserted that was filled with a of collection of large AVI files. This test aims to flood the buffer during the benchmark as well.
|Plextor PX-712A -DVD||Artec Dual DVD|
Here we see the Plextor drive trounces the Artec Dual DVD, topping it by about 40% thanks to its higher speed read capability of 16X vs. the Artec's top speed of 12X.
Next, we are going to run some more intensive read and write tests to get a better handle on the PX-712A's performance...