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Plextor PX-W1210TA - Write/ReWrite Performance Results

  September 28, 2000 Author: Tim Zakharov  

Write/ReWrite Tests

CD-R Based Duplication

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The 12/10/32A's superior DAE (as documented in the CD-ROM performance section) helps it to image our audio CD over 15% faster than the SCSI Plextor. Write times, though, were nearly identical, with the ATAPI unit enjoying a less than 2% advantage. Total duplication time for our CD-DA was 14:47, roughly 10% faster than the 12/4/32.

In our data CD duplication tests, results were much closer since both drives have nearly identical data CD read speeds. Although the 12/10/32A once again came out ahead, differences of less than 2% are well within margin of error. It can be said with confidence that both drives perform equally in duplicating data CDs, but the ATAPI unit's superior DAE help it to duplicate CD-DA's significantly faster.

CD-RW Based Duplication

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This is where Plextor's 12/10/32A shines compared to its 4X rewritable competition. As you can see, the ATAPI Plextor finishes the burning portion of our test in less than half the time that the 12/4/32 did. For those who use a lot of CD-RW media, this drive's 10X speeds alone will make it worth serious consideration. Remember that special high-speed media (one included with drive, but still hard to find in stores) must be used to get these speeds. Otherwise, the 12/10/32A rewrites standard 4X CD-RWs at 4X speeds.

CD-R Based Stress Tests

We've told you about the BURN-Proof technology. Let's see if it really works. In our first stress test, we expected this drive to pass easily at the highest speeds, since the BURN-Proof-less 12/4/32 had no problems burning at 12X in this test. Indeed, Plextor's 12/10/32A was able to successfully burn at 12X while Unreal Tournament's intro flyby loop sequence played. This gives you an idea of what these drives are capable of doing under higher-load conditions.

As you may recall, it was under our second stress test that Plextor's SCSI unit met its maker. Attempting to burn while Ziff-Davis' CPUmark99 test ran resulted in buffer underruns at all speeds higher than 2X. What happened when the ATAPI 12/10/32A was faced with the same situation? Success! We knocked the burn speed up to 12X, set the test up to run, and watched as the buffer meter slowly drained in Easy CD Creator. When it hit 0%, the drive paused as the buffer slowly started to fill, then the burning resumed. This continued until the burn completed. We checked the finished copy and all files were intact and readable in the 195MB folder we use for this test. One important thing to note, though: when you factor in the pauses, burn speeds were actually closer to 4X according to our best estimates. This is still a bit faster than the 12/4/32 was able to do. But really, the point here is that the BURN-Proof technology works, even under the highest loads!

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DirectCD Formatting

A full format of the included high speed CD-RW disc took 18:49, almost half the time it took Plextor's 12/4/32 with 4X CD-RW media. Subsequent quick formats were completed in a speedy 34 seconds.

DirectCD Packet-Writing Performance

Here again is an example of how much benefit the 10X rewrite speeds can net you. Copying our 195MB folder from hard drive to CD-RW via Windows Explorer took a little over 3 minutes, over twice as fast as the 12/4/32 was capable of with its slower 4X rewrite speeds. Those who use DirectCD or other packet-writing software with rewritable media will welcome the extra speed that Plextor's 12/10/32A offers.

DirectCD CD-RW Erasing

Finally, when it comes time to erase your CD-RW to a blank state, the 12/10/32A does it in under 34 seconds with the included high speed disc. This is nearly twice as fast as the 12/4/32 can erase the fastest-rated media it can support.

It's clear from our CD-RW Duplication and DirectCD tests that the 12/10/32A, with its 10X rewrite speeds, offers greatly enhanced speeds over the previous generation's 4X rewrite maximum.



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