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

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Benchmarking with Ahead's Nero CD-DVD Speed

CD/DVD Performance Testing - Plextor PX-712A 12X DVD+/- R/RW ATAPI Drive
Getting the Low-Down

Ahead software, the makers of Nero Burning ROM 6, have an excellent selection of free utilities to test the functionality of various types of optical drives.  Each of these small applications perform a number of specific tasks that show us what each drive is capable of.  In the next section we ran several of these tests on the Plextor PX-712A DVD +/- R/RW Drive and included the results from the Artec Dual DVD +/- R/RW Drive for comparison where applicable.  Please note that in each test, the Green line represents Transfer Rates while the Yellow Line represents the drive's Rotation Speed.

Nero CD-DVD Speed - CD Data Test:

First we are going to take a look at each of the drive's CD-ROM performance.  Once again we loaded a CD-ROM with a 677MB AVI file for this test.

Plextor PX-712A Artec Dual DVD

The Plextor PX-712A fell slightly short of the 48X mark, topping out at 47.60X CD read speed.  When it came to the Seek tests, the Plextor PX-712A managed better overall performance as well as more efficient CPU utilization than the Artec drive.  The lopsided part of the test was the burst rate test where the Plextor peaked at 22MB where the Artec topped out at 1X.

Nero CD-DVD Speed - Movie Playback Test:

Next, we are going to focus on DVD performance.  This part is a two-fold test since a Movie DVD and Data DVD will perform quite differently.  First up we loaded Underworld a let the test run.

Plextor PX-712A Artec Dual DVD

When it comes to movie DVD playback, there are two schools of thought.  One is to have the drive run at a constant speed and let the buffer control the flow of data.  The other is to have the drive mechanism manage the flow of data and throttle rotation speeds accordingly.  The latter appears to be a more efficient design, and the one that Plextor adopts with their DVD capable drives.  This can be seen in the CPU utilization test where the Artec peaks at 40%.  To better prove the point, look at how the PX-712A has a steady green transfer rate while the yellow line shows the drive starting at 2X, dipping below 1X and completing around 1.5X.  This results in the drive averaging a steady 2X speed and peak CPU usage of 19%.  When we enabled SpeedRead, which is designed to increase the playback of CSS protected DVDs, we saw no discernable difference in the results.

Nero CD-DVD Speed - DVD Data Test:

With Data DVDs the picture is totally different from that of the Movie test.  Here we see each drive attempting to perform at the fastest rate possible.  

Plextor PX-712A Artec Dual DVD

The Plextor PX-712A managed a top speed of almost 12X, averaging 8X overall.  The average seek tests were comparable to the Artec Dual DVD drive but, once again, CPU utilization and burst rate was a strong point for the Plextor PX-712A.

Next we'll do some recording tests and assess each drives recording prowess.  Then we'll follow that up with DAE testing and our final thoughts.

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