Now let's see just how much better this drive actually is compared to its 16X predecessor. The these synthetic benches I used CD Speed 99 and SiSoft Sandra. First lets check out how they did in the CD Speed 99 tests. The read times are similar but the 24X drive just barely beats the 16X. The seek times are similar as well but the 16X has a better 1/3 seek time. The random seek time is pretty much up to spec with what is advertised. Not sure how much of a difference that will make in the real world but I guess every little bit counts. The CPU usage is definitely an improvement over the 16X drive. This is probably due to the fact that the 24X drive is using Ultra DMA mode 2 (UDMA/33). The read results are pretty much what you would expect them to be. They are both 40X max drives so they should have similar scores at least. Since the 24X is a newer model, improvements were most likely made to increase performance, even if it is just slightly. Will you notice the difference? Most likely not especially on faster systems since it is pretty small. However, if you're a nerd like me where every little bit counts, then yea it will make a difference.
Plextor 16/10/40A Read
Plextor 16/10/40A Write
Plextor 24/10/40A Read
Plextor 24/10/40A Write
The write scores are an interesting story. As you can see the 24X drive doesn't actually write everything at 24X, but within a range from 16 to 24X. Writing at slower speeds at first then the rest at 24X. This is due to the Z-CLV method mentioned earlier. The above picture indicates the drive is using P-CAV, but that's probably because the version of CD Speed 99 I used didn't properly identify the Z-CLV method. The average speed is actually not really the 24X that you might have thought. Even then, it's still an improvement over the 16X drive. This translates to about 3 minutes of writing time for an entire 74 min CD. When I burned my first CD on the drive, I went out to get something to drink, talked a little with my friend and when I came back it was done. That was definitely a satisfying feeling to burn something that fast without worrying about it messing up. With the older burners my friends had, they used to have to stop everything they were doing and let the computer sit there until it was over. It's good to not have to worry about that.
As most everyone knows Sandra scores can be a bit flaky. These scores pretty much match what I got last time for the Plextor 16X drive. You can see a slight increase in speed from the 24X drive. Again, for read speeds, the difference is small enough that you can probably disregard it. The big improvement is the use of UDMA/33, which adds speed and lower CPU utilization. The last test is the real world test of burning a CD using the Roxio software. This test consisted of recording a 650 MB file using each drive. The 16X as always burns within 5 minutes, while the 24X burns within 3 minutes. The difference is noticeable. Oh and if you are wondering, I haven't been able to burn 2 CDs at once. Although I'm not sure if it's really possible or not, every time I try it says recording device in use etc. So probably not.
>> Is It Worth An Upgrade?/Value