Plextor is one of the top manufacturers of optical drives. In fact, many consider their drives to be the best available. Over the years, we've had the opportunity to review quite a few models, with virtually all of them receiving our "Editor's Choice" award. The reason for this was simple; Plextor consistently produces drives with features and performance, that either set the standard, or perfected current standards.
As hard drive capacities continue to grow, the need for larger removable storage solutions has increased. Naturally, it was only a matter of time before the CD market started shifting from CD-R technology to the higher capacity DVD format. While standard CD-Rs have become common place, DVD media offers capacities six times that of common CD-Rs, making it an attractive upgrade. Initially, like most new technologies, DVD burners tended to be out of the price range of the common user, often exceeding $600 for first generation models. Today, DVD burners are becoming more popular and more manufacturers are creating competitive solutions. Plextor is one of the latest manufacturers to get into the game with their first offering, the Plextor PX-504A. Ever since DVD writers first emerged, we've been looking forward to seeing what would come out of the Plextor camp. Now that wait is over. Let's take a look and see what the Plextor PX-504A has to offer.
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| Specifications of the Plextor PX-504A |
| This Drive Does it All! |
| Specifications: |
- PX-504A/SW (internal), PX-504A/SW-BL (black bezel)
- 6-in-1 drive: 4X DVD+R, 2.4X DVD+RW, 12X DVD-ROM, 16X CD-R, 10X CD-RW, 40X max CD-ROM
- Buffer Under Run Proof technology prevents errors in CD-R/RW writing
- Lossless Linking prevents errors in DVD writing
- High capacity - Holds 4.7 GB of storage on DVD media
- 120ms Average CD Random Access
- 140ms Average DVD Random Access
- 2 MB Buffer
- Black tray minimizes jitters
- Flash ROM allows for easy upgrade over the Internet
- Supports DVD+RW background format
- Useable DVD Formats: DVD-ROM, DVD Video, Multi Border (closed disc read only), multi session
- Useable CD Formats: CD-DA; CD-ROM Mode 1; CD-ROM Mode 2; CD-ROM XA, CD-I; Photo CD; Video CD; CD-Extra; CD Text; Multi-session, UDF
- Recording DVD+R/RW Modes: Sequential write, Random access write and Disc-at-one
- Recording CD-R/RW Modes: Track-at-once, Disc-at-once, Session-at-once, Multi-session, Fixed and Variable Packet Writing
- Windows 98SE/2000/ME/XP Compatible
- One-Year Full Warranty and Unlimited Toll-Free Tech Support
Minimum System Requirements:
- CPU: Pentium III 800 MHz or equivalent (minimum)
- CPU: Pentium 4 1.6 GHz or equivalent (suggested)
- RAM: 128MB
- HDD: 800MB-1GB
- Monitor display resolution: 1024 X 768 16-bit color (requires a graphics card with minimum 16MB of memory)
CLICK ANY IMAGE FOR AN ENLARGED VIEW
Included with the Plextor PX-504A full retail package, we found the following:
- 1 - 40-Pin 40-Wire Ribbon Cable
- 1 - 48X Speed Verbatim CD-R
- 1 - 4X Speed Verbatim DVD+R
- 4 - Mounting Screws
- 1 - Emergency Eject Pin
- 1 - User's Manual
- 1 - Quick Reference Guide
- 1 -Software DVD including:
-Roxio Creator DVD Edition
-Roxio PhotoSuite 5 SE
In true Plextor fashion, the drive came with an excellent array of items. A 40-pin data cable and 4 mounting screws are included to get the drive installed and working quickly. We were disappointed to see that no audio cable was provided to connect the drive to a sound card however. We found the Quick Reference Guide and User's Manual to be quite thorough, giving the user detailed information about their new DVD+R writer. We think that an informed customer is a happy customer and Plextor does a fine job of covering all aspects of the PX-504A, from installation of the drive to software installation and use.
ROXIO Easy CD CREATOR 5 DVD Edition
One of the more noteworthy programs included with the PX-504A is Roxio Easy CD Creator DVD Edition. While this isn't the newest Easy CD Creator available, we found the software quite capable, with a clean interface and intuitive layout. Immediately after we completed the installation, we were burning a Data DVD in no time. Roxio did a great job at designing a simple user interface that is easy to understand. The software has a clean menu that gives easy access to the CD and DVD writing applications. The software also comes with DirectCD which lets a user treat a CD like a floppy disk using packet writing technology.
ROXIO PhotoSuite 5 SE
Another great piece of software is Roxio PhotoSuite 5 SE. This program is a terrific freebie that lets you create Calendars, Custom Pictures, and Picture Disks. There are also good photo editing functions and authoring software for creating custom picture DVDs. This program is loaded with options and is a breeze to learn. Roxio segments the program into several sections, each dealing with different CD/DVD authoring features. This is an extremely useful package that will allow users to get creative and design great looking custom DVDs.
Now that we've got the package contents covered, let's take a closer look at the quality of the drive itself.
Quality, Features and Installation