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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  • n0d3 - Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - link

    Just one thing i'd like to say (half a year later he he he)

    Plextor burners always have been slow with their access times. There's a good reason for that aswell. Anyone who has ever owned any plextor knows this. Plextor makes high quality drives. You can 'feel' that when you pick them up. Quality components are heavier. The head and those moving parts, aswell as other parts I'm sure, are heavier then the other manufacturers drives. That's where the quality comes from. That's the price you pay.

    And I don't blame them at all. Sure you can use your burner as reader aswell ... but why? I don't wanna wear out my laser for reads. I get a reader to do just that, read. That way, my laser will last me even longer.

    I must say though, I got the PX116 DVD-Reader and it's not that great. I read that it's a pioneer drive internally, and allthough denied by plextor, it just doesn't seem to be of the same quality. For example, I burned a mp3 cd with my 24x plexwriter, and then the dvd-reader couln't read the cd fully. And no firmware upgrade or any firmware on their page what so ever. Oh well ...can't have them all I guess. I'll just e-mail them again.
  • hjstaruk - Thursday, October 23, 2003 - link

    I entered coupon code "ANANDTECH10" at CompuHQ. No $10 off, only message "Sorry, we were unable to validate the Coupon Code you entered"
  • KristopherKubicki - Saturday, September 20, 2003 - link

    #32: Im not sure if you even read the review.

    The good thing about the burner is that it burns 8X on most 4X media. It also does a lot of things the A06 cannot, like 40X CDR, 4X DVD+RW, etc, etc.

  • Anonymous User - Saturday, September 20, 2003 - link


    the guys at www.cdrinfo.com reviewed a newer revision of the Plextor 708A, hardware and software wise. You might enjoy reading their thoughts about this burner.



    - who has nothing to do with the mentioned website.
  • Anonymous User - Friday, September 19, 2003 - link

    Any news on the TDK drive? Will you test just the internal version, or their combo USB2/1394a version as well?
  • Anonymous User - Friday, September 19, 2003 - link

    nice on paper i must say but if you check on forums for feedbacks it's not the same story, pionner stays the champs.
    and what is the utility of a x8 burner when there are no medias x8 and when your hard disk is too slow, and i'm not talking about compatibility problems when you play the video...
  • blackjack - Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - link

    attn TIA (post no 29)

    In answer to your questions, I would recommend the 708A. Relatively it ejects quickly (much better than my previous plextor cd writer which was really slow (24/10/40a - see my last post).
    I find the drive really quiet, infact just watching a dvd and its virtually silent, my cpu fan is much louder (although I do have my case temporarily open).
    Finally, it is smooth operating and it seems pretty robust.
    I don't think you will be disappointed, I'm not.
    Thank god I held on for a bit longer and didn't buy the pioneer a06 (even though its not a bad drive) Hope that helps
  • tazdevl - Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - link

    1) Who really cares. The difference when you eject a disc between the drives is literally less than a second.

    2) The AVR06, 708A and 510 are all very quiet drives. I've been very impressed with the lack of noise levels. I've got a case lined with Pax Mate and low speed papsts, the drives are very quiet, though I'd have to say the 708A and the 510 are the quietest of the bunch.

    3) Trays are meant to be opened and closed and are tested as such for thousands of cycles. They break if you screw around with them. Don't screw around with them.
  • Anonymous User - Monday, September 15, 2003 - link

    For those of you who have used the 708A (or the Sony 510 or Pioneer A06 as well), would you recommend any of these drives as a primary, all-purpose optical drive? Specifically:

    1) How fast to eject a disk (relatively speaking)?
    2) How noisy is the drive (I have an older Plextor CD burner, and when it spins up is sounds like a freaking electric string trimmer its so loud!). If this 708A is this loud, you could never use it to play a DVD movie or CD music!
    3) Smooth operating, substantial tray construction (not likely to break if used daily).

  • stanislav_kosev - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    for the cd manufactured purpose we are using just plextor, check our web site for mote info: http://www.insightvision.biz/cd-manufacturing

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