Plextor's latest SCSI burner is a solid performer in all of our tests, at or near the top of all of our performance measures. Even in areas of heat and noise, the 12/10/32S is excellent. Subjectively, this is the quietest, coolest Plextor we've yet seen. Along with the Sony CRX160E, this PX-W1210TS is the quietest drive we've ever run through our testbed. Seeks during high speed random reads were nearly silent-we had to eliminate all extraneous sound sources and put our ear nearly against the drive to hear it seeking during the Winbench 99 access time test.
The retail accessories give further reason to recommend this drive. Included are thick, complete manuals for both the drive and the Plextor Manager/CD-ResQ software suite, a bag of screws and emergency eject pin, a 12X CD-R disc and 10X CD-RW disc, and the most comprehensive software package we've seen for a burner. The software comprises of the latest versions of Adaptec's Easy CD Creator and DirectCD, CD-ResQ (an imaging/disaster recovery program), and Plextor Manager 2000. We particularly like PM2000. Among other things, it lets you rip songs off of audio CDs and convert them to .wav files on the fly just by dragging and dropping from Windows Explorer. Our other favorites include the CD duplicator (DiscDupe 2000) and the Drive Properties tabs. For further details on the software, click here. And finally, ALL of the software programs work in ALL Microsoft operating systems, unlike other offerings we've seen that sometimes do not support NT or Win2k.
We were quite surprised to see this drive for less than $300 online. Although that's still a little on the high side compared to other burners, prices have dropped significantly in the past few months. For example, when we reviewed the 12/4/32 SCSI Plextor not too far back, it was over $300. Today, it can be had for $265. That puts the 12/10/32S only $24 higher. Although you can get an equally spec'd ATAPI burner for significantly less, the price premium of the SCSI interface appears to be dropping slightly.
If your interface of choice is SCSI, the 12/10/32S is the burner to get today. However, those on a tight budget and/or those who have a dedicated IDE channel free should seriously consider other offerings. After all, Plextor's own ATAPI offering shows nearly identical performance for about $70 less. We feel, though, that those who are dedicated to the SCSI interface will be extremely pleased with this drive.