Below is a quick overview of specifications on the drive:

 Plextor 708A DVD-/+R Drive
Interface IDE
CD Write Speed 40X, 32X, 24X (CAV)
16X, 12X, 8X, 4X (CLV)
CD Rewrite Speed 24X, 16X (CAV)
12X, 8X, 4X (CLV)
CD Read Speed 40X Max (CAV)
DVD-R Write Speed 4X, 2X, 1X (CLV)
DVD-RW Rewrite Speed 2X, 1X (CLV)
DVD+R Write Speed 8X (Z-CLV)
4X, 2X (CLV)
DVD+RW Rewrite Speed 4X, 2.4X (CLV)
DVD Read Speed 12X Max (16,620KB/s) (CAV)
Supported Modes DAO / DAO-RAW 16 & 96
SAO / SAO 16 & 96
Packet Write
Supported Formats DVD+R (DAO, incremental, seq)
DVD+RW (random)
DVD-R (DAO, incremental, seq)
DVD-RW (random)
CD-ROM XA, Mixed Mode, CD Extra
Photo CD, CD Text, Bootable CD, UDF
Access Time CD: 130ms
DVD: 180ms
Buffer 2MB

Specifications on the drive are quite impressive. Aside from 8X DVD+R, also note that the drive is capable of high speed 40X CD-R (something the Pioneer A06 severely lacks), DVD+RW 4X (again, something the A06 lacks), and 40X CD read. We were a little disappointed that the drive only came with 2MB of cache. Plextor made a name for themselves with 8MB buffers on their CDR drives. It’s a shame that they did not continue the tradition with the 708A.

In fact, just by looking at the stats, the only thing we are concerned with is the DVD access time, which seems a little high at 180ms. Remember, access times are typically “best time” specifications, so testing the device might yield much higher results. Also, for whatever reason, the website access times are much lower, claiming CD response times under 100ms and DVD response times under 130ms.

Click to enlarge.

At time of publication, we were stuck with the 1.00 BIOS. Plextor has been fairly good about regular BIOS updates on their other drives, so we expect a full line of continuing support.

Construction Testing the Drive
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