Plextor PX-712A DVD+/- R/RW ATAPI Drive

Article Index

The HotHardware Test Bed, Nero InfoTool and Sandra Tests

The HotHardware Test Machine

Plextor PX-712A DVD+/- R/RW
Artec Dual DVD+/-R/RW

MSI K8T Neo (VIA K8T800) 
AMD Athlon
64 - 3200+
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra
512MB Kingston HyperX PC3500 CAS 2
Integrated Audio
Western Digital ATA100 30GB - 7200RPM

VIA 4-in-1 v4.51
DirectX 9.0b

Utilities and Media Used For Testing

  • SiSoft SANDRA Pro 4

  • Nero InfoTool

  • Nero CD DAE

  • Nero CD-DVD Speed

  • Nero Burning ROM 6

  • An audio CD 44:08:02 in Length for DAE Tests


  • 3.9GB of AVI files for all DVD Data Read Tests

  • 677MB AVI file for All CD Data Read Tests

  • Underworld on DVD for all DVD Movie Tests

  • Media Used:
    -Maxell 40X CD-R
    -Memorex 4x DVD-R
    -TDK 4X DVD+R

Nero InfoTool:

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.


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...

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