Plextor recently released their newest flagship CD-RW drive, the PlexWriter 48/24/48A. Obviously, just by looking at the name, it's clear that this drive should offer increased reading and writing speeds over Plextor's previous top-of-line PlexWriter 40/12/40A. The maximum CD recording speed has been raised to 48X (7.2MB/s), from 40X (6MB/s) and by conforming to the new Ultra-Speed CD-RW standard, re-writing speeds have doubled from 12X (1.8MB/s) to 24X (3.6MB/s). Plextor also claims that access times have been vastly improved over their previous products. Needless to say, we wanted to see for ourselves just how significantly these improvements affected "real-world" performance, so we jumped at the chance to review Plextor's finest. What do you say we jump right in and see what the PlexWriter 48/24/48A is made of?
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| Specifications of the Plextor PX-W4824TA |
| Speed Demon! |
| Part # (retail kits): |
- PX-W4824TA/SW (internal)
- PX-W4824TA/SW-BL (black bezel)
- E-IDE (ATAPI) interface
- 3-in-1 drive: 48X CD-R, 24X CD-RW, 48X max CD-ROM
- 65ms Average Random Access
- 4 MB Buffer
- CD-DA, CD-Extra, CD-ROM Mode 1, Mix Mode CD, CD-ROM XA, Photo CD, Video CD, CD-I, Multisession, CD-Text, CD+G, UDF
Supports Disc-at-Once, Track-at-Once, Session-at-Once, Variable & Fixed packet writing modes
- Flash ROM allows for easy upgrade over the Internet
- Windows 98/2000/ME/XP Compatible
- One-Year Full Warranty and Unlimited Toll-Free Tech Support
Minimum System Requirements:
- CPU: Pentium II 300MHz
- RAM: 64MB
- HDD: 1GB free space for writing in CD to Image mode
- ATAPI interface: DMA must be set to ON in every OS. For instructions on how to enable DMA inside operating system. Refer to your motherboard manual on how to set PIO Mode or DMA Mode.
- (Results may vary depending on system configuration)
CLICK ANY IMAGE FOR AN ENLARGED VIEW
Included with the Plextor PlexWriter PX-W4824TA full retail package, we found the following list of accessories:
- 1 - 40-Pin 40-Wire Ribbon Cable
- 1 - CD Audio Cable
- 1 - High Speed Certified CD-R
- Users Guide
- Software CD
- Mounting Screws
The PX-W4824TA offers a few new features that haven't been available on any other Plextor drive to come before it. For example, this is the first Plextor CD-RW drive with full Mount Rainier support. The Mount Rainier standard was established by Philips, Compaq, Sony and Microsoft in an effort to find a replacement for the floppy drive, that is both widely compatible and easy to use. (For a full explanation, on Mount Rainier technology, check out this page) If you take a close look at the specifications, you'll also see Plextor reports the PX-W4824TA as having a 65ms Average Random Access time, which is about twice as fast as their previous top of line 40X product.
Some proven technology found it's way into the PlexWriter PX-W4824TA as well. This drive has Burn-Proof technology to prevent buffer underrun errors and to allow for more reliable multi-tasking during a recording session. Plextor's proprietary PoweRec (Plextor Optimized Writing Error Reduction Control) technology has also been integrated. PoweRec enabled drives basically have an on-board media catalog of all certified media, listed by manufacturer and part number. This information is used to properly configure the drive for optimal burning on the specific media. Plextor's black CD tray also returns on the PX-W4824TA. Plextor claims the black tray absorbs reflected laser light, which increases reliability and reduces the chance of possible errors.
Quality, Features and Installation