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Plextor PX-W1210TA - CD-ROM Performance Results

  September 28, 2000 Author: Tim Zakharov  

For an overview on methodology, click here.

CD-ROM Performance Results

Low-Level Measurements

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In our sustained transfer rate tests, the 12/10/32A starts off at nearly 16X on the inner tracks and increases to just under 33X by the outer edge of our test CD. This is right in line with specifications and ever so slightly faster than Plextor's SCSI unit.

Our random access measures puts the 12/10/32A at about 141ms, 6% faster than what Plextor specifies and nearly 10% faster than the SCSI 12/4/32. Let's see if this advantage holds when we move to the Winmark tests.

CD-ROM Winmark 99

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The 12/10/32A pulls in an average score of 1110 in the CD-ROM Winmark test, roughly 19% faster than the SCSI 12/4/32. Since the transfer rate results of the two drives are nearly equal, we attribute the ATAPI drive's advantage to its superior access times.

File and Disc Copy

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In the file copy test we see the 12/10/32A finish with an impressive 3:16, nearly a minute faster than the SCSI Plextor. Our 12/4/32 article hypothesizes that the reason for the slow times in this test was a more stringent read error detection algorithm. However, given the ATAPI Plextor's fine scores in this test, either our hypothesis was wrong, or the ATAPI drive's error detection is not as picky as the SCSI version's. Either way, our results up to now show the 12/10/32A to be a superior reader to the 12/4/32.

In the disc copy test it's a much closer race. Here the ATAPI Plextor is only 3% faster than the SCSI. While the 12/10/32A's superior access times most certainly account for this difference, it's still not as great as we expected, considering its 10% advantage in access times and 19% advantage in the Winmark test.

Digital Audio Extraction

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We were quite pleased with the 12/10/32A's audio extraction abilities. Minimum extraction rates on inner tracks were nearly 15X. By the end of our test CD-DA, the ATAPI Plextor had broken 24X and the graph revealed P-CAV extraction rates. P-CAV, or "partial-constant angular velocity" refers to the drive starting off as a CAV reader (see the extraction graph starting at 15X and moving upward to 24X), then leveling off to CLV (constant linear velocity), which keeps the extraction process at the same speed (24X in this case) for the remainder of the disc until the outer edge is reached. The average extraction rate was 22X (weighted heavy because of the P-CAV transfers), 40% faster than the SCSI Plextor. Remember, most CDs (data or audio) are seldom filled to the rim with data or music, so inner and middle track reads are emphasized. This is one reason why the (relatively) modest 17% difference between these two drives at the outer tracks doesn't mean very much in our extraction tests.

The 12/10/32A provides outstanding extraction quality as well. CDSpeed99 rates the extraction quality 10 out of 10 and detects support for accurate streaming. In addition, CDDAE99 detects no errors when extracting our test CD-DA to .wav files. The extraction rate graph reveals no unusual dips or valleys and .wav playback sounds excellent. No discernible pops or clicks were noticed.

CD-R Media Compatibility and Performance

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Again the ATAPI Plextor slightly edges by its SCSI counterpart, this time in CD-R reads. Recorded speeds are about equal to its pressed CD reading performance. We encountered no problems reading a variety of CD-Rs, including the 80-minute variety.

CD-RW Media Compatibility and Performance

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In our CD-RW tests, however, the 12/10/32A distances itself from the 12/4/32; starting out a full 16% faster at the inner tracks and finishing 13% faster by the outer edge. Read speeds averaged 12X-24X, compared to the 12/4/32's 10X-22X recorded measures. Again, there were no issues with readability--the 12/10/32A had no problems reading Verbatim, Sony or Memorex rewritables.

Now that we've examined reading performance, let's take close look at how Plextor's first BURN-Proof drive does in our writing tests.

 Write/ReWrite Performance Results...


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