In the next round of tests, we ran a few real world examples of CD/DVD recording performance. With each test we compared performance with different brands of media and the CD-R performance included scores from the PlexCombo PX-320A as a gauge. Each one of the tests was completed using Ahead Software's Nero v126.96.36.199.
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| CD/DVD Write Tests - Plextor PX-504A |
| The Burning Question... |
Nero CD-R Write Analysis:
The first test we ran was a CD-R write test. With this test we recorded a folder with 700MBs of MP3s from the hard drive to 48X media from Verbatim and Philips.
While the PlexCombo is faster than the PX-504A, we found the performance difference minimal. Regardless of the media, the PX-504A averaged the same speed, while the PlexCombo reported better results with the Verbatim brand disk. It seems that the PX-504A has been fine tuned to run more consistently with various media, showing no noticeable difference.
Nero DVD+R Write Analysis:
Next we recorded 4.45GBs of MP3s to DVD+R media from TDK and Verbatim. The TDK media was rated at 2.4X and the Verbatim was rated at 4X. We were anxious to see how much of a difference the two speeds would make in our results.
While there doesn't seem to be a huge difference between 2.4X and 4X from a rating perspective, the difference is rather large. The increase in speed from 2.4 to 4 is 69.4% and the difference from 14:18 to 23:26 is virtually identical. So what looks like a small increase in speed at first can ultimately result in big gains. The only thing I can say is burning 4.45GBs of data in less than 15 minutes is awesome!
Nero DVD+RW Write Analysis:
Next we ran two tests with various DVD+RW media. We used TDK and Philips DVD+RW media, both rated for 2.4X. We were curious to see how the results can vary with different brands of media.
At the end of the test, the Philips media posted a better overall score, but we don't necessarily think that most users will balk about a 22 second difference.
Some may feel that Plextor was a little late getting into the DVD+R/RW market, but it's hard to dispute that they came up big with their first offering. The PX-504A proved to be a capable drive with solid features and useful complimentary software. We were quite pleased with the PX-504A's overall performance and Plextor covered all of the bases by providing a complete DVD+R/RW package as well as traditional CD-R/RW functions. While we didn't think the drive had quite the same feel as other Plextor models, it's difficult to argue with its performance. Who wouldn't like burning 4.45GB of data in a little over 14 minutes at 4X? That's an average of over 325MB per minute and would be similar to burning a 700MB CD in under 2:30. In each test the drive posted solid performance and we never encountered a single problem writing to any of the media. This reinforces Plextor's reputation for producing products with superior reliability and compatibility. Nonetheless, we think there is room for improvement.
Along with adding support for Mount Rainier, we would like to see a new revision of the PX-504A with support for the DVD-R/RW format. Adding this format would offer greater compatibility with set-top DVD players, although dual format drives often exceed a $350 price tag. As it stands, the Plextor PX-504A DVD+R/RW CD-R/RW is an good choice for users looking for a quality DVD/CD burning solution. We recently paid a visit to our HH/Cnet search engine page and found the PX-504A selling for around $259, which in our opinion, is a great price for a great drive.
We give the Plextor PX-504A DVD+R/RW CD-R/RW drive a Hot Hardware Heat Meter Rating of a 8.5.
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