Testing the Drive

We used the following configuration to test our DRW-0402P/D:

Gigabyte GA-7VRX
AMD Athlon MP 2100+
2 x 128 DDR Corsair XMS 2400
Maxtor 80GB 7200RPM 8MB Cache
Windows XP SP1
Using CD Speed 2.02 and DVD Speed, we had run a battery of read, write and rewrite tests on the drive. The following read speeds are for a pressed HP System Recovery CD.

Click to enlarge.

The drive has no problems with CD media, as obtaining 40X CAV was no challenge. In fact, since we only used a 70min CD, reading speeds for 80min CDs might be even closer to 48X read. However, take notice of the horrible access times. What good is a 22MB/s burst rate if it takes 339ms to seek? Below is a table of some media read times and their respective mappings in Nero CD Speed.

Average Transfer Seek Random Seek 1/3 Seek Full Media Length
Pressed HP System Recovery (Turbo) 30.25X 110ms 116ms 339ms 69:18.41
Pressed DAE Global Underground 24 CD2 31.85X N/A N/A N/A 73:20.15
Burned PNY 48X CDR Dummy File 31.95X 112ms 119ms 119ms 74:00.05
Burned Mitsubishi 32X CDRW Dummy File 30.85X 86ms 110ms 168ms 71.28.40
Pressed DVD The Matrix 6.12X N/A N/A N/A 7.82GB
Pressed Mixed DVD The Animatrix 6.14X N/A N/A N/A 7.92GB
TDK 4X DVD-R Data CD 6.03X 88ms 102ms 181ms 4.38GB
FujiFilm 4X DVD+R Data CD 6.05X 91ms 102ms 182ms 4.38GB
Imation 4X DVD+R Data CD 4.61X 136ms 164ms 311ms 4.38GB
FujiFilm 4X DVD-RW Data CD 4.62X 139ms 170ms 316ms 4.38GB
FujiFilm 2.4X DVD+RW Data CD 6.11X 387ms 421ms 717ms 4.38GB

We never really saw the 12X DVD read claimed by Plextor. On the other hand, the read speeds certainly do not disappoint either. Typical reads ended up around 8X (6X average), which out-performs the only 4-5X capable A06. For whatever reason, the CPU usage seems slightly excessive, and we really have no idea what is going on in the DVD+RW read test.

DVD access times are very good. The drive clearly seeks on DVDs 10-15% quicker than the Pioneer A06.

Specifications PoweRec
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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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