PleXCombo PX-320A


Go to Plextor website

Review: Plextor PleXCombo PX-320A
Reviewer: G@M3FR3@K
Provided by: Plextor Europe
Firmware: version 1.01
Production date: May 2002
TLA#: 0001

What comes to mind when you hear the name Plextor? Most people owning a Plextor drive will immediately say: quality!
Plextor has been known to produce quality drives for a long time and has build up a great reputation amongst the burning
community. In the early days Plextor produced mainly SCSI drives but as demand for IDE/Atapi models increased Plextor
switched to these models (to the discomfort of some people). With Plextor’s latest IDE/Atapi devices such as the
Plextor PX-W4012A CD-writer they have once
again proved to be one of the best manufacturers of CD-RW drives out there today.

One area where Plextor had yet to infiltrate is the one of DVD-ROMs. Like mentioned before, Plextor has build up
quite a reputation with CD-ROMs and CD-Writers but before Plextor would start bringing out DVD-ROMs, they had to make
sure these drives would live up to the standards people are used from Plextor. The first model that Plextor has released
combines CD-writing as well as DVD-reading: the Plextor PleXCombo PX-320A. This drive (20/10/40-12A) can write CD-R’s at
20x, re-write discs at 10x and read them at a maximum of 40x. Also, this drive is able to read DVD’s at 12x.

In this review we will take a thorough look at this drive and see if it can live up to the ‘Plextor standards’. One
important issue for instance is DAE (Digital Audio Extraction) for which Plextor is known to produce
the fastest devices. Besides DAE we will of course also be looking at the features this drive offers such as the PoweRec
II and VariRec technologies. Read on to find out what we have to say about this drive…

Test Machine:

For the tests we’ll be using the following configuration:


  • Processor: AMD Athlon 700Mhz
  • Motherboard: ASUS K7V
  • RAM: 256MB (PC133)
  • GFX: ASUS V8200 (GeForce 3 Ti200)
  • Harddisk: Maxtor 30GB 7200rpm (UDMA 66)

System set-up:

    System set-up

As you can see the PleXCombo PX-320A was set-up as MASTER on the Secondary IDE Channel and identifies itself as “PLEXTOR
CD-R PX-320A”. DMA (Direct Memory Access) was enabled and Autorun was disabled for every device. All
drives (including the PleXCombo) support UDMA33.

Used Software:

The Windows XP Professional operating system is installed on our test machine. We’ll be using the following software
to perform the various tests:

On the next page we’ll take a look at the package of the PleXCombo PX-320A…