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Plextor PX-W1610TA


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Plextor PX-W1610TA - Write/ReWrite Performance Results

  March 6, 2001 Author: Tim Zakharov  

Write/ReWrite Tests

CD-R Based Duplication

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Using Adaptec's CD Copier utility, we measure how long each tested drive takes to duplicate our audio and data test discs when burning at maximum speeds. All drives are tested as both "source" and "destination," creating results for "imaging" as well as "writing." We present the sum of these in the body of our reviews. Individual "image" and "write" results can be viewed in our database.

The Plextor has a small issue when duplicating audio CDs that appears to be isolated to Adaptec's burning software. When the drive is imaging audio discs, it spins down slightly between each track (this is clearly audible), slowing down its "time to image" results. All other burners previously tested keep RPMs constant throughout the imaging process. This problem does not occur in Prassi's burning software, nor in Plextor Manager 2000's DiscDupe utility. The result: despite the fastest burning times we've ever measured (4% quicker than the Yamaha), overall duplication times end up about 8% slower than Yamaha's CRW2100E. This problem should not occur if you do not use Adaptec's burning software. Still, we hope that Plextor and Adaptec examine this issue, as Easy CD Creator is probably the most widely used burning software today.

We encounter no such problems with our data CD. Image and burn times are both the fastest we've seen, with a total duplication time of 7:59. The next fastest burner - Yamaha's CRW2100E - trails by 20 seconds (4%).

CD-RW Based Duplication

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Here we duplicate our data pressed disc to CD-RW media at the drive's fastest rewrite speeds. While actual rewrite times merely tie TEAC's CD-W512E for the top spot, total duplication time is the best we've measured due to the Plextor's superior read speeds.

CD-R Based Stress Tests

We stress our optical drives by attempting a scripted burn while the testbed runs certain programs. In what we've coined our moderate stress test, we attempt this scripted burn while the testbed is cycling through Unreal Tournament's introductory flyby sequence.

Going into this test, our concern centered around the Plextor's smallish 2 MB buffer. At 16X write speeds, a 2MB buffer lasts less than one second. We worried that this would cause BURN-Proof to activate even during moderate-to-light system loads.

Fortunately, Plextor's latest has no issues completing this test at top speeds. BURN-Proof does not even activate, proving once again that today's burners are very capable of working at full speed under fairly high loads.

Speaking of high system loads, our other stress test is designed as a worst-case scenario. We doubt that most users would put this much strain on their systems while attempting to complete a burn, but we like to test the limits of performance at SR. We attempt the same scripted burn while Winbench 99's CPUmark99 test executes. During the course of this test, the CPU and CPU cache are completely loaded, leaving few resources free for anything else.

How does the PX-W1610TA do? BURN-Proof comes through, allowing us to set burn speeds to 16X without worry. Keep in mind, though, that BURN-Proof kicks in frequently during this particular test. Real-world burn speeds end up closer to 4X with all the pauses factored in. Still, when the going gets tough, would one prefer a coaster or reduced burn speeds?

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DirectCD Formatting

Adaptec's DirectCD is used here to format CD-RW media. We time both full and quick formats. Full formats complete in record time at 12:48. Quick formats, however, lag behind the competition.

DirectCD Packet-Writing Performance

Timing how long it takes to copy a 195 MB folder from the hard drive to a freshly formatted CD-RW via Windows Explorer tests each drive's packet-writing abilities. The PX1610TA's time of 3:08, though right in line with Plextor's PX-W1210 series, lags slightly behind the TEAC.

DirectCD CD-RW Erasing

Finally, we time how long it takes to return a formatted CD-RW to a blank state with Adaptec's CD-RW Eraser utility. The Plextor's score of 43 seconds is speedy enough, though it trails a few other drives.

 Conclusion...


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