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    SLCentralHardwareReviewsStorage Jul 24th, 2014 - 7:24 AM EST
    Plextor 16x10x40a CD-RW
    Author: Tom Solinap
    Date Posted: September 19th, 2001
    Rating: 8.5/10 SystemLogistics

    Introduction

    I remember about 3 years ago when a friend of mine was the first one in my dorm to have a CD burner. It was a slow 2X burner but at the time it was the cutting edge of technology. Everyone would go to him and ask him to burn them CDs. They would usually provide their own CDs or pay him for one of his. He'd usually tell them that the CD will be ready in half an hour. Back then that was considered fast. It's funny how things have changed since then. Burning CDs only takes a few minutes with today's technology. Nowadays all my friends have CD burners and I was the last one to break down and buy one. I figured, well my friends have then so I'll just ask them to make me a CD if I need to. I know what you're thinking, damn free loader, but let's face it, I don't burn CDs often enough to justify getting a burner. I know many of you probably don't either. So what made me decide to get my own? Even though I only burn maybe a CD a month if that at all, every time I would my friends would give me a hard time. I did provide my own CDs but I also felt guilty about bothering them about it. To make matters worse, when I go back home at the end of the semester I don't have their burners at my disposal anymore. Without my own burner I never really backed up my important data. That caught up to me when I lost my data drive a couple months back. So it was time to finally get a burner, and no more begging and doing "special favors" either... :)

    Well at the time the fastest burner my friends had was the Yamaha 16x burner. I was very much tempted to buy that except for one little problem, it didn't have BURN proof technology. I know, I know what could go wrong in 5 minutes... Well I've seen things go wrong with his burner and I wanted a little insurance. My goal was to be able to still do everything I normally do and burn a CD at the same time. I decided to get Plextor's 16x burner, the PlexWriter 16/10/40. That's where this review comes in. Although I said I didn't really have a need to create my own CDs, just having the burner makes me want to use it. I've gotten quite a lot of use out of it by backing up my data and programs, and creating music CDs. We've come a long way from the old 2X burners, with 24X drives already hitting the market. The Plextor PlexWriter 16/10/40 is still a top contender, especially with the reduced prices. The release of the new 24X PlexWriter will surely lower prices even more. It's very fast, and perfect for those that want speed but don't want to spend over $200. Plextor has been providing high quality CD drives for some time now and this drive is no exception. Hopefully this review will give you some insight into the PlexWriter from a first timers perspective. So let's see what this baby has to offer.

    Specifications And Features

    Plextor PlexWriter 16/10/40A Specifications

    Dimensions

    5.75 in x 1.63 in x 7.95 in (without front panel)

    Weight 2.65 lbs
    Useable Formats CD-DA, CD-ROM Mode 1, CD-ROM XA (Mode 2, Form 1 or Form 2 and Mixed Form), CD-ROM Mixed Mode, Photo CD, Video CD, CD-I, CD-Extra (CD-Plus), CD+G, CD-Text
    Disc Diameter 12 cm (74, 79 minutes)
    Recording Modes Track-at-once, Disc-at-once, Session-at-once, Multisession, Fixed and Variable Packet Writing
    Data Transfer Rate CLV write/CAV read or PCAV read
    Sustained Read/Write Speeds 17X/40X (CAV read only) 2.6-6 MB/sec (Mode 1, XA Mode 2 Form1, and CD-R)
    16X (write only) 2.4 MB/sec
    14X/32X (CAV read only) 2.08-4.8 MB/sec (CD-DA and CD-R)
    10X/24X (PCAV read only) 1.56-3.6 MB/sec (CD-RW)
    12X (write only) 1.8 MB/sec
    10X (rewrite only) 1.5 MB/sec
    8X (read/write/rewrite) 1.3 MB/sec
    4X (read/write/rewrite) 600 KB/sec
    2X (rewrite only) 300 KB/sec
    1X (read/write) 150 KB/sec
    Burst Read/Write 16.6 MB/sec (PIO Mode 4/DMA Mode 2)
    Average Random Access 140 ms
    Buffer 2 MB
    Error Rate Mode 1:block/1012 bits, Mode 2:block/109 bits
    Other Features
    • Burn-Proof technology eliminates buffer underrun errors in fast write modes, allows for multi-tasking
    • Flash ROM allows for easy upgrade over the Internet
    • Windows 95/98/2000/ME and NT4.0 Compatible
    • Capable of Digital Audio Extraction at 40X max
    Minimum System Requirements
    • CPU: Pentium MMX 200MHz
    • RAM: 64MB
    • ATAPI interface: DMA should be set to ON in operating system. IDE controller must be set to PIO Mode 4 or DMA Mode 2.
    • HDD: 1GB free space for writing in CD to Image mode

    As you can see the drive supports a wide variety of CD formats as well as read/write speeds and methods. Not only is it a 16X writer, it also rewrites at 10X, and acts as a 40X CDROM drive. You'll see a little later in the review whether or not the drive lives up to the specs. The software that comes with the drive is your basic Adaptec Easy CD Creator, Direct CD, and Plextor's own PlextorManager and Liquid Player. Of course, you can install your favorite CD burning software instead. Since I'm just using the burner for regular stuff like data CDs and audio CDs, the Adaptec software is fine by me. The more advanced user will want to use other CDR software out there such as Nero or CDRWIN. As stated earlier, this drive has Burn-Proof technology that eliminates buffer underrun errors, so you don't get that coaster effect on your CDs. The 2MB buffer doesn't seem like much, but it's enough because of the Burn-Proof. For those not in the know, the coaster effect is when you ruin a CD, as a result turning it into a coaster. Burn-Proof was developed by Sanyo and is present in this drive. Other burners out there also use this same Sanyo drive and have the Burn-Proof technology as well. You can rest easy and continue with your daily routine knowing that most anything you do won't damage the CD. I know you music enthusiasts out there are going to want to be able to extract your audio fast, and this drive certainly satisfies those cravings. Although not as fast as other dedicated CDROM drives on the market, it still adds a valuable feature to your system.

    >> First Impression and Installation

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    Article Navigation

    1. Introduction/Specifications And Features
    2. First Impression and Installation
    3. Performance
    4. So Now That I Have A Burner What Do I Do With It?/Value
    5. Pros & Cons/Conclusion

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