PlexWriter 8/4/32A CDRW - Page 4
Up the Spin Motor and Burn Baby!
Before proceeding to spill the beans on the benchmarks, my
usual system setup as before:
450 @ 558MHz (4.5 x 124MHz)
BH6 MB (LH BIOS)
Master: 01 x 10.1 GB Seagate Ultra-ATA66 HDD (5400rpm);
Primary Slave: 01 x 13.2 GB IBM Ultra-ATA66 HDD
(7200rpm); Connected via Abit HotRod-ATA66 controller
card: 01 x 13GB Quantum CR Ultra-ATA66 HDD (5400 rpm)
x Creative GeForce Pro (32MB DDRAM onboard) using 3.62
reference Nvidia drivers; core/mem settings at 145/355;
Master: 01 x Plextor PX-W8432Ti
CD-RW IDE drive
Slave: 01 x Sony 6X DVD-ROM drive
Platinum (Liveware 3.0 drivers)
1025 ATM card
Mitsubishi DiamondScan 70 monitor (0.28 dpi)
Temperature of 25 degrees Celsius.
- 300W Power Supply
I mainly used gold Ricoh
CD-Rs (max rate of 8x) discs and a Mitsubishi CD-RW (max
rate of 4x) disc as my media for testing.
I performed various tests using Adaptec’s nifty
CD-Writing utilities as seen below.
Unfortunately, despite my DVD-ROM being rated as a
32x CD-ROM, it could only sustain transfer speeds of 8x
copying of Audio CDs and 4x copying of Data CDs.
Hence, my benchmarks were limited by this anomaly…
Erasing / Formatting a CDRW
Formatting took shorter than expected.
The manual quoted some 50mins for a CD-RW full format
but it managed much shorter.
The drive was set to utilize 4x RW speed, although
I’m unsure if it affected the erasing in anyway.
Erase / Format: 56
Erase / Format: 19
On-The-Fly AudioCD Copy (DVD-ROM
PlexWriter 8432 drive):
Even though the manual had warned against performing
On-The-Fly copying with both CD-R/RW and CD-ROM on the same
IDE bus channel, I was inclined to stress it out in that
config to see how well the Plextor’s buffering system
handled the situation.
In addition, I also proceeded to multi-task (surfing
the Internet, downloaded my mail and ICQed) during each
recording process to test the drive’s robustness.
Using 8x setting and Disc-At-Once mode, I managed to duplicate an audio CD
(58:17.62 mins play-length / 512.1MB in size) to a CD-R,
under 8 mins 49 secs. This includes time-taken to prepare the data (approx. 20 secs)
and close the session (another 40 secs).
The Plextor handled this with ease and the buffer never dove below 98% availability!
Under 4x but using a CD-RW disc instead (all other settings the same), I
managed to copy the same audio CD in 16
min 20 secs. Again
this includes data preparation and session closing time.
Similarly, the Plextor didn’t exhibit any problems
To further demonstrate the
time-taken for a full capacity audio-CD source, I reverted
back to 8x speed
+ CD-R media and recorded another audio CD again
(72:29.40mins play-length / 638MB). This took 9
mins 40 secs of writing time in total.
I subsequently verified
that each CD-R pressed was free from random skips or
glitches by listening through them once.
Perhaps it could be my acute hearing, but I found the
pressed CD-Rs having a slightly lower dynamic range compared
to the originals. But
unless you’re comparing disc for disc, I do not believe
this is distinctly discernible.
If you do the sums, at 8x
(1200 Kbytes/sec), an ideal CD-R recording process will
take 9.03 mins to
record 650 MB worth
of data. The
Plextor performs pretty optimally, averaging about 1100
Kbytes/s (i.e. 7.4%
more time-taken) during copy.
Although I did notice a typical slowdown in my other
multi-tasks functions whilst recording, this was expected
and tolerable – I could still surf and ICQ without
summary, recording audio CDs was simply a breeze!
Archiving + Data-CD Recording:
Next I proceeded to see how well it handled writing multiple
data files (ie. creating Data-CDs).
Using Adaptec Easy CD
Creator 4, I proceeded to archive my various digital pics
via the Data-CD utility. As
I also wanted to test multi-session capability, I performed
three rounds of archiving by leaving the CD open after each
session. Using Track-At-Once
and 8x recording speed on 3 sets of data of roughly equal sizes:
- First 200 pictures (151.8 MB) archived
in 3 mins 35 secs.
- Second session consisted
of another 204
pictures (153.9 MB) recorded in 3
min 30 secs.
- Last 192 pictures (145 MB) added in 3
mins 21 secs.
Even though the CD was left
open, the above benchmarks still included time-taken to
prepare data and close each session as usual.
However, it did show that multi-session writing is
not an issue.
Nevertheless, I proceeded
with another set of archiving, but recording only 1 large
set of data files to test if the drive can sustain numerous
multiple transfers without significant speed loss.
In 8x speed, it managed to record 819
files (578.25 MB) in 9
mins 43secs during its writing process.
Invariably, this shows a slow-down to about 1
MB/s, possibly attributable to longer times associated
with seeking / reading and copying multiple files as opposed
to large, contiguous transfer.
However, its performance is still very
Lastly, I tried out On-The-Fly
Data-CD recording from my DVD-ROM drive to the
as highlighted previously, my DVD-ROM source drive can only
sustain transfers to support 4x writing speed under Data CD
mode (strangely enough).
Hence, I tried out the “Imaging”
method instead at 8x
writing speed (i.e. making an image of the source
Data-CD onto the HDD, before copying it onto the CD-R).
This also allowed me to verify if the drive copes
properly under that mode.
The results as follows for 648
MB worth of data:
- Preparing Data: 9
- Writing Data: 9
min 45 secs
- Closing Data: 28
Based on the performance
above, I have no qualms using it for any of my recording /
archiving purposes at all.
Seems that it works to its designated speeds.
In order to test its compatibility with Packet Writing, I
employed the use of Adaptec’s Direct CD 3.0. This
requires your CD-R to be formatted first for use, which took
me just 8 secs. I
subsequently proceeded to archive another round of my
digicam pics by dragging and dropping files via Windows
Explorer onto the CD-R. I
also tried deleting and moving the images within the CD-R,
and experienced no glitches at all.
On reaching the 652 MB of data limit, the
drive took just 40 secs to finalize & render it
compatible with normal CD-ROM drives under Win 95/98/NT4 and
above. In all, this drive performed yet again without any glitches.
Sounds like an
impressive drive. Anything
else I don’t know?