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    Product Info
    Name: Plextor
    Company: Plextor
    Price: Click To Find Lowest
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    SLCentralHardwareReviewsStorage Aug 3rd, 2020 - 1:14 PM EST
    Plextor 16x10x40a CD-RW
    Author: Tom Solinap
    Date Posted: September 19th, 2001
    Rating: 8.5/10 SystemLogistics


    Ok so now everything is installed and ready to go, let's do some performance testing. For the synthetic testing I use the following applications, CD Speed 99 and SiSoft Sandra. To have some outside comparison for at least just the read speeds, I also benchmarked my Mitsumi 48X CDROM. For all these tests I use a data CD with a 649 MB file that was actually made by the GP Bench/CD program. As with all synthetic tests, these might not translate into real world performance. Unless you're running a system that's identical to mine in everyway, your results will probably vary but hopefully not by that much.

    Mitsumi 48X Read Test

    Plextor Read Test

    Plextor Write Test

    As you can see from the above scores, the Plextor drive really does perform to specifications. It used to be that CD recorders weren't really as fast when it came to just reading data compared to conventional CDROMs, but this is slowly changing. This PlexWriter brings you 40X transfer speeds which are pretty much the standard right now in the high-end burners. The average performance is also not that far from the Mitsumi drive. The Mitsumi is supposed to be faster, but the scores here indicate that it's not THAT much faster. In terms of writing speed, it's pretty much up to specs as well. Also, the drive actually writes at 16X through the entire CD rather than switching to slower speeds. The seek times for the Plextor drive is pretty much up to spec but the Mitsumi scores are superior, and the CPU usage pretty much matches the Mitsumi drive. Now let's see some Sandra scores...

    Mitsumi 48X

    Plextor PlexWriter 16X/10X/40X

    The above SiSoft Sandra scores were a bit surprising. The Mitsumi drive performs at least higher than the 32X reference drive, but it's not as high as it should be. The Plextor actually does worse compared to the reference drive, even though it's supposed to be a 40X reader. I guess the main thing here is that this drive is mainly built to write. I mean don't get me wrong, the read speed is nothing to sneeze at but it's still not up to the increasing speeds of CD drives on the market. If you ask me though, the 40X is plenty fast for normal applications. Ripping music CDs at that speed is sufficient for most people out there, unless you're the most impatient person in the world. The truly geeky or performance hungry will get the higher speed CDROMs to do that for them. Then again this is only a synthetic benchmark, so it will not totally reflect normal working conditions. In the next set of tests I try actual real world tests here. First is the transfer speed. I see how long it takes to copy the 649 MB from the CD to my hard drive for both the PlexWriter and the Mitsumi drive. Hopefully it will show just how much faster a 48X drive is when directly transferring data. I measure from the time I press paste, to the time the copy dialog box disappears.

    Plextor PlexWriter 16X/10X/40X Mitsumi 48X
    2 minutes, 31 seconds 2 minutes, 9 seconds

    As expected the Mitsumi scores higher, a good 22 seconds faster than the Plextor. You'll feel this difference more in stuff like Digital Audio Extraction where transfer speed is the key. Games that still use CDs pretty much run fine with 32X drives or higher. Normal applications that run off CDs probably won't feel any difference in the Plextor drive compared to the Mitsumi one. So, 40X vs. 48X isn't going to make that much of a performance difference there. This second test is actual burning the 649 MB file to a blank CD, and recording the "real" time it took from the time you press record to finish, and not the time displayed by the program. Usually the actual burning doesn't start until everything is prepared, and this can take a little longer. I'm copying at 16X right away here, no testing or anything. The clock starts once I press the copy button and the clock stops once I see that CD was created successfully message. The result? 5 minutes and 39 seconds. Not bad I would say. Not exactly the 5 minute flat record time I was hoping for but with the overhead it's still very fast. I mean I'm used to waiting for my CDs to finish. Now I just turn to the TV and a few minutes later BAM! the CD is ready without any troubles. The Burn-Proof technology is definitely getting a thumbs up from me. I did some hard drive benchmarks as I was burning and playing Q3, and it didn't even flinch. Other CD recorders have large buffers to lessen the chance of buffer underruns, but this drive doesn't need that much. Were was this a couple of years ago so I could have saved some money on ruined CDs.

    This drive also acts as a ReWriter and came with a CD-RW that supports the 10X rewrite speed. You should always make sure the CD-R or CD-RW media you're using is high quality and supports the speed you want to write at. The CD-RWs are great because you can use them pretty much like floppy discs. So the next test was to see how well a ReWriter this drive is. As most people that have used CD-RWs know, it's a pain to erase these things. The software provided two ways of doing this, Quick Erase and Full Erase. Doing a quick one doesn't ensure the entire disc is erased so I decided to test out the full erase. The erase took pretty long, approximately 8 minutes. The quick erase only takes like 25 seconds. I'm not really sure what problems might arise from using only the quick erase, but you know me, better safe than sorry. After the erase it was time to see how fast it recorded on a CD-RW. Same rules applied here, clock starts once the copy button is pressed etc. The entire creation process took 8 minutes and 33 seconds, not bad for 10X.

    The Adaptec DirectCD software allowed you to turn your CD-RW into a floppy type CD. All you do is drag and drop files and it automatically copies over. That sounds like a convenient way to do it so I tried it out. The DirectCD wizard guides you through the whole process. First, you need to format the CD-R/CD-RW, which took me around 18 minutes for my CD-RW. After that I was ready to go. It was pretty cool just dragging and dropping files to the CD drive. It acted just like a normal hard drive. You can remove the disc from the recorder and put it back in again later to have the same functionality. You didn't need to open up EasyCD Creator at all, which I guess is a good thing if you don't want to go through those applications. It's fast and a lot more convenient if you want to just be able to put data to CD quickly and change it whenever you want. I guess that's it for performance. The drive over-all lived up to my expectations. Not the flat 5 minute CD burn I wanted but it was damn close.

    >> So Now That I Have A Burner What Do I Do With It?/Value

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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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