DAE, CD/DVD Write Testing and The Verdict
To round out the transfer tests, we set up a couple of recording tests using CD-R, DVD-R and DVD+R media. There are two things we should note here. The first is that while Plextor is capable of writing at 8X speeds with 4X media, 12X burning requires approved 8X or higher rated media (see this page for the complete list of compatible media). Also note the excessive burn times in the 4X DVD-R tests with the Artec Drive. As we noted in its review, the drive has an issue with the Memorex media we used for testing.
|Write Test||Plextor PX-712A||Artec Dual DVD|
Burning a CD at 48X resulted in 703MBs being recorded to the disk in under 3 minutes with the PX-712A. Compared to the Artec drive's 24X speed, we shaved 1:16 off the completion time. With the DVD tests, even though the PX-712A is rated for 8X DVD-R, we were only able to run at 4X, resulting in 4.36GB completing in 15 minutes. With the DVD+R we recorded a full DVD in almost half the time of the DVD-R, completing 4.36GB in 7:35. 12X burning completed the test in 6:11, shaving 1:24 off of the 8X results. Currently there is no 12X media available on the market, but Plextor does have a list of approved 8X media that will run at 12X. In the end, with 12X DVD+R write capability and 48X CD-R write speeds, the Plextor 712A is just about the fastest all around burner you're going to find at the present time.
The last test we ran was Digital Audio Extraction, recording how quickly each drive can extract a full audio CD to the hard drive.
|Plextor PX-712A||Artec Dual DVD|
Each drive completed the task at under two minutes, with the better score being posted by the PX-712A. The drive peaked at 25.5X, allowing it to complete the process in a snappy 1:43.
As we bring this review to a close, we can't help but feel a sense of deja-vu. Once again we have reviewed the latest Plextor CD/DVD burner, and once again we've come away completely impressed. The PX-712A did have stiff competition from the cheaper Artec Dual DVD, but when it comes to overall features and performance, the PX-712A wins hands down.
Along with its excellent performance, we were impressed with the GigaRec feature that managed to squeeze almost 900MB onto a standard 700MB disc. It's innovative ideas like this that help keep Plextor ahead of the pack, amidst ever increasing competition. The inclusion of PlexTools Professional was a nice touch as well, giving the avid enthusiast a robust recording package, as well as the ability to take complete control over how the drive behaves in their system.
The Plextor PX-712A is a top notch product, with a solid feature set and premium performance. If you are looking to upgrade your current drive or have been waiting for the right one to come along, you'd be hard pressed finding a better product than the Plextor PX-712A.
We'll give the Plextor PX-712A a HotHardware Heat Meter Rating of a 9 and our Editors Choice Award for Being a "Best of Class" DVD +/-R/RW Drive.