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 Write Tests
So...just how fast can this thing go?

Nero CD-R Write Analysis:

Since CD-Rs are still widely available and cheap, we started our burning tests there using Nero Burning ROM 6.  In this test, we recorded 702MBs of MP3 music files from the hard drive to Memorex CD-Rs rated for 48X.  The CD was finalized as a non-multisession disc.  We wrote down the times shown at the end of the burning process for both drives and compared the two:

As we have mentioned in the past, one of the major detractions of the Teac DV-W50D drive was its slow CD writing speed.  16X really doesn't cut it anymore, although 5 minutes probably isn't too long of a wait.  The Plextor PX-708A sacrifices nothing, and we were able to completely load up our CD in just over 3 minutes.

Nero DVD+R Write Analysis:

Next, we set out to backup all of the files from our a volume on our testing drive.  The assorted large and small files on this drive totaled 4.43GBs, just enough to mostly fill up our TDK DVD+R discs rated for 4X burning.  Again, we timed burning the same set of files on both drives.

You'll notice that we said we used 4X TDK DVD+Rs for burning, but yet we've come out with the Plextor drive well ahead of the Teac.  How can the Plextor be that far ahead, when it should be limited to the media?  It's done by Plextor's PoweREC technology, which doesn't simply identify the kind of media, but rather monitors the media and the laser during the burn.  Therefore, the 4X media is burned as if it were 8X, but should it start producing errors, the drive speed and laser strength decrease. This is particularly handy since we haven't seen any 8X media available yet, which would make the PX-708A too far ahead of its time.  


It seems that Plextor has done it yet again, coming up with the best of both worlds.  On one hand, we have a drive that's right at home with both DVD+R and DVD-R formats, and supports just about all formats in between.  It is also one of the fastest DVD burners we've seen, with fast enough CD burning on the side to satisfy your CDR needs as well.  In order to keep up with everything a user can throw at it, Plextor has given the drive a 2MB buffer for underrun protection, although an 8MB buffer would have been better, especially during long DVD sessions.  Plextor's PoweREC technology is definitely a solid solution however, allowing us to produce steady burns, even at higher speeds than the media is rated at.  By getting an 8X drive out there so sooner, Plextor will really grab market share, especially as its price has dropped down as low as $220 in most U.S. markets at the time of this article.  The PX-708A is a job well done by Plextor, and a well-deserved Editor's Choice Award.

We give the Plextor PX-708A 8X DVD+R/RW CD-R/RW drive an 9.5 on the HotHardware Heat Meter.

 

 

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

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