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Plextor PX-W2410TA - CD-ROM Performance Results

  August 27, 2001 Author: Tim Zakharov  

For an overview on methodology, click here.

CD-ROM Performance Results

Low-Level Measurements

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Ziff-Davis' CD Winbench 99 measures sustained transfer rates and random access times.

In the transfer rate measure the PX-W2410TA performs nearly identically to its predecessor, finishing just ahead of the PX-W1610TA in both beginning and ending transfer rates. Its end result of 6180 KB/sec computes to an optimistic 41X average.

In the access time test the PX-W2410TA nearly meets specifications with a 140.3 ms result. This betters the previous Plextor (which also specs at 140 ms) by 4% but still keeps the drive well back of the rest of the competition.

CD-ROM Winmark 99

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CD Winbench 99's CD-ROM Winmark test runs through a timed script of routines from a variety of popular software programs. The presented score is an average from four different test discs obtained from Ziff-Davis. This tests each drive's ability to read from a range of discs pressed with identical data.

Impressively, the PX-W2410TA makes a big improvement over the 16X Plextor here. Not only does the 24X Plextor average 1268 KB/sec (19% quicker than the 16X), but scores deviate by less than 1% as well. This indicates that the Plextor reads a variety of pressed discs consistently at full speed. The previous Plextor had problems maintaining full spindle speeds with some of the test discs. Still, the PX-W2410TA trails the Ricoh and Teac drives significantly here thanks to the other drives' speedy access times.

File and Disc Copy

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The file copy test places emphasis on sequential transfer rates by copying a single, 634 MB file. Once again we see a significant improvement over the previous-generation Plextor. The 24X completes the file copy in 2:38. This not only improves vastly on the 16X Plextor, it even edges the Ricoh for top honors. The PX-W1610TA could not maintain full RPMs in this test; hence its copy time of over 4 minutes.

The disc copy test introduces random accesses, due to the multiple files and folders on the test CD. Here the PX-W2410TA again does respectably with a copy time of 3:19. This result trails the top performer by 6%, while edging the previous Plextor by 4%. The small improvement over the PX-W1610TA is likely due to the slightly quicker measured access times we see in the CD Winbench tests.

Digital Audio Extraction

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SR measures DAE using two programs: CDSpeed99 and CDDAE99. CDSpeed99 measures low-level DAE capabilities, while CDDAE99 is an actual audio ripping program that converts audio tracks on CD-DAs to .wav files on the hard drive.

With CDSpeed99, the PX-W2410TA edges the 16X Plextor for the top spot in the comparison. Average DAE breaks 30X; making it the 3rd fastest audio extractor SR has ever tested. CDSpeed reports perfect extraction quality and support for accurate streaming. However, in informal tests with more severely scratched media, we found the 24X model to sometimes drop speeds to 32X max DAE. The interesting part is that when testing the same discs head-to-head with the 16X Plextor, the PX-W1610TA always extracts at 40X max with perfect extraction quality - even where the PX-W2410TA falters a bit as demonstrated in the screenshot above.

Extraction quality remains excellent in CDDAE99 as long as extremely scratched discs aren't used. The PX-W2410TA extracts our standardized test disc in 2:15 - 5 seconds quicker than the PX-W1610TA. There are no errors detected and extraction quality remains excellent. When we try with highly scratched media, though, we do notice occasional errors detected by CDDAE99 (see screenshot). At no point are any of these errors detectable audibly, though. We listened carefully to all areas that CDDAE highlighted with errors but at no point could we hear any pops or clicks. While the PX-W2410TA continues to provide excellent extraction speed and quality in most situations, it still is a small step behind its predecessor when more beat-up CD-DAs are used. Even so, at no point can we actually hear any of the errors that are detected. To purists, however, this may not matter.

CD-DA Error Correction

Digital Recordings' CD-CHECK tests each drive's error correction abilities with audio CDs. CD-CHECK is a reference disc with five levels of error gap sizes, each isolated to its own track. Error size and other details may be viewed by clicking here.

In each track, a continuous 20-second tone is played. The larger the error gap, the more difficult it is for the drive's error correction to mask the error without an audible pop or click occurring during playback of the tone.

All drives are tested by playing each track five times with each successful playback (no audible pops or clicks) noted. A result of 5/5 indicates that no pops or clicks were heard in 5 out of 5 playbacks of a particular track. A result of 0/5 indicates pops or clicks occurred during all 5 playbacks of a particular track. Digital Recordings indicates the following interpretation of results:

  • Level-1 Pass: Player meets minimum requirements
  • Level-2 Pass: Average error correction
  • Level-3 Pass: Good error correction
  • Level-4 Pass: Very good error correction
  • Level-5 Pass: Excellent error correction
CD-Check Performance
Error Level 1 2 3 4 5
Plextor PX-W2410TA 5/5 5/5 5/5 5/5 0/5
Plextor PX-W1610TA 5/5 5/5 5/5 5/5 0/5
AOpen CRW1232A 5/5 5/5 4/5 0/5 0/5
Ricoh MP7200A 5/5 5/5 0/5 0/5 0/5
Yamaha CRW2200E 5/5 0/5 0/5 0/5 0/5
Teac CD-W516EB 5/5 5/5 5/5 5/5 0/5
Lite-On LTR-16101B 5/5 5/5 3/5 0/5 0/5

The PX-W2410TA upholds the standard set by the 16X Plextor and Teac drives, providing the best CD-DA playback error correction SR has yet seen.

CD-R Media Compatibility and Performance

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To test each drive's ability to read from a variety of CD-R and -RW media, we duplicate our pressed test CD to these discs and measure low-level performance with them.

The PX-W2410TA equals its pressed CD performance, maintaining a slim lead over the rest of the competition. Maximum read speeds clock in at 6180 KB/sec, or 41X. Access times improve to 132 ms. There are no issues reading from a variety of brands and speeds of CD-R media.

CD-RW Media Compatibility and Performance

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With CD-RW media read speeds drop to 32X CAV, but access times remain at 132 ms. Drives from Ricoh and Yamaha maintain their 40X CAV transfers, leaving the two Plextors trailing in this category. The PX-W2410TA has no issues reading from various brands of both low and high-speed media.

 Write/ReWrite Performance Results...


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