|Review: Plextor Premium (IDE)|
Provided by: Plextor Europe
Firmware: version 1.01
Manufactured: April 2003
As some of our visitors will know, when Plextor announced their PX-W4824TA recorder, they also gave out signals that 48x writing was the maximum speed a PlexWriter would support. As you can imagine it was quite a surprise when we spotted a 52x PlexWriter during our CeBIT 2003 coverage.
Perhaps due to the heavy competition in the CD-RW drive market Plextor was forced to release a 52x writer but we’re of course speculating here. In order to make sure that their latest 52x writer doesn’t just have improved read and (re-)write performance, Plextor has put in some very unique and innovative techniques into their latest writer.
Because of these unique features, such as GigaRec and SecuRec for example which we’ll of course get back to later on in this review, Plextor has dubbed their latest writer, the PlexWriter Premium (in some countries the drive is promoted as Plextor PX-W5232TA) indicating that this drive will support the best that Plextor has to offer.
In this review we’ll see if this new PlexWriter is indeed a ‘premium’ drive and how it stands up to the competition. We’ll of course also test the drive’s unique techniques. Besides that we’ll also take a look at the new PlexTools Professional software with which it’s possible to perform advanced tests (C1/C2 error measurement, Focus/Tracking error tests and Beta/Jitter tests) using the Premium drive.
For the tests we’ll be using the following configuration:Hardware:
- Motherboard: GigaByte GA-7VAXP
- Processor: AMD AthlonXP 2100+
- RAM: 512MB (PC2700)
- GFX: ASUS V8200 (GeForce 3 Ti200)
- Hard Disks: DiamondMax 40GB (7200rpm)
The Plextor Premium drive was hooked up as Master to the (onboard) secondary IDE-controller and identifies itself as “PLEXTOR CD-R PREMIUM”. DMA (Direct Memory Access) was enabled and autorun was disabled for every device.
The Windows XP Professional operating system is installed on our test machine. We’ll be using the following software to perform the various tests:
- Ahead InCD v220.127.116.11
- Ahead Nero Burning Rom v18.104.22.168
- Ahead Nero CD/DVD Speed v1.02.17
- Ahead Nero InfoTool v1.03.2
- Elaborate Bytes CloneCD v22.214.171.124
- Plextor PlexTools Professional v2.02