Plextor's 708A 8X DVD+R/RW Drive

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The Plextor PX-708A 8x DVD+R/RW Drive
Plextor fulfills the need for speed!

By Robert Maloney
December 28th, 2003

CD/DVD Performance Tests
Nero Burning ROM Ultra 6

Ahead software, the makers of Nero Burning ROM, have an excellent selection of free utilities to test the functions 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 this next section we ran several of these tests on the Plextor PX-708A  and included the results of the Teac DV-W50D drive for comparison.  Please note that in each test, the Green line represents Transfer Rates while the Yellow Line represents Rotation Speed.

Nero CD-DVD Speed - CD Data Test:

In our first run of Nero CD-DVD Speed we'll focus our efforts on standard CD-ROM performance.  With this benchmark, we loaded a 703MB CD-R in the drive and let CD-DVD Speed run through its cycle of tests.

Plextor PX-708A
Teac DV-W50D

The graphs are remarkably similar from start to finish, except the Plextor's was shifted higher than the Teac's due to its higher CD Read rating.  The PX-708A started reading around 20X and slowly but surely made it's way up beyond 40X, finishing at 42.73X with an average speed of 32.40X.  The DV-W50D followed the same pattern, from 15X to 33X, with an average speed of 25.33X.  Seek times were generally much better on the PX-708A, about half those found on the Teac DV-W50D at 1/3 and full stroke. The Burst Rate on the Plextor drive was also greater than that found on the Teac (22MB/s > 15MB/s).

Nero CD-DVD Speed - CD Audio Test:

To test each drive's audio extraction performance, we placed in an audio CD by Shania Twain.  The CD ran over 73 minutes, and although the test runs similar to the CD data test, it also measures how well the drive can extract audio tracks.  In order to do this, audio sectors are extracted to the hard drive at three different locations on the CD.  The same sectors are read again and compared to the sectors written to the hard drive.  Depending on the number of differences, the DAE quality will be rated from 0 to 10, with 10 being a perfect score.

Plextor PX-708A
Teac DV-W50D

We got identical results when using a pressed audio CD on the Plextor PX-708A that we got with the data CD.  The start, average, and end speeds may have dropped off slightly, but at negligible amounts.  If there's any concern here, it would be the access times, which almost doubled across the board.  Although the access times were higher than data CD scores, they do match up evenly with the Teac's access times.

Nero CD-DVD Speed - DVD Data Test:

In the next two tests we focused on the drive's DVD reading performance.  Each drive is configured to perform differently based on whether a DVD movie or DVD data disk is inserted in the drive.  We started by placing in a DVD+R containing over 4GB of AVI files.

Plextor PX-708A
Teac DV-W50D

On the Teac, the rotation speed held steady as the transfer rate went from 2.5X all the way up to 6X.  The Plextor drive started off well, at about 3.3X and marched on up to just under 8X, it's rating for reading DVD+R discs.  However, at about 3.5GB of data, the rotational speeds, and hence the data transfer, took a dip.  Whether or not this was due to the media, we could not say, but the results were repeatable using the same DVD on both drives.  Seek times were well within reported limits on the PX-708A, but the 40ms seek time at full stoke must be a function of the weirdness we saw at the end of the graph.  Generally speaking, we were surprised by the high CPU usage on the PX-708A, especially at 4X where the Teac DV-W50D was only using 26%.

Nero CD-DVD Speed - DVD Movie Playback Test:

In the final Nero CD-DVD Speed test we wanted to check the performance with a double-layered movie DVD.  We inserted a copy of Daredevil, grabbed a snack, and clicked on the Start button to get the results.

Plextor PX-708A

Teac DV-W50D

Both drive's implement CLV technology for reading the DVD movie, in which the data rate remains constant while the rotation speed decreases.  In doing so, data transfer is sustained while the drives remain noticeably quiet.  Although it appears that the 2X rating is slow compared to what the drives are capable of doing, rest assured that this is an ample transfer rate for watching a movie.  Both drives are close in the seek times and CPU utilization.  A small win, if you will, for the Teac drive is its quicker load time, a full five seconds quicker than the Plextor PX-708A.

CD-R/DVD+R Write Tests & Conclusion  

Tags:  DVD, drive, Plextor, XT, Ive, plex, Tor

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