Plextor PlexWriter 8/4/32A CDRW - Page 5

Other Interesting Results…
Having done enough real-life benchmarking, I thought I’d run it through CD-Speed’99 just to get a glimpse of the various facets of the drive... The picture below tells it all:

However, the transfer speeds look rather low (roughly a 10x/24x drive) and on second verification of the CD Speed ’99 official web-site, their PX-W8432Tx benchmarks seemed much higher.  In any case, having returned the drive I couldn’t perform a retest to see if an inadvertent setting had caused the anomaly.  On the other hand, the seek times were quite consistent with its specs in the manual of 170ms.  However, the main issue to note is the significant CPU utilization of the drive (32% for 8x writing).  Guess this what caused the discernible slowdown from my multitasking experience during copying.

Other results not shown in the graph are indicated below:

Spinup/Spindown Time(s)

  • Spin-up Time: 2.51 sec
  • Spin-down Time: 2.40 sec

DAE (Digital Audio Extraction) Quality Tests
This test typically highlights the drive stability in ripping out audio from CDs. No errors reported extracting audio from front, center or rear sections of the Audio CD. In fact, DAE quality indicated a perfect score of 10 (no easy feat)!! In addition, the drive exhibited accurate digital streaming, rendering no problems in reading out audio tracks at any instance….

So do ya think I should rush out and get one!!??

Recommendations
Well, having taken the PX-W8432Ti for a test-spin, I must say that I have no qualms recommending the drive at all. From a practical perspective, the only physical benchmarks that had me concerned were the anomalous transfer speeds (probably due to some erroneous setting hopefully) and the high CPU utilization (which is probably representative of most IDE drives). In any case, the former isn’t that important unless you’re planning to use the drive for regular CD-ROM reading as well (not advisable as CD-R/RW drives have typically shorter MTBFs than plain CD-ROMs). Similarly, unless you plan to do some serious processor crunching jobs whilst writing, I don’t believe the CPU utilization is that big a deal afterall. Furthermore, my experience showed that the drive still manages to cope just fine (esp with its 4MB buffer) and usage doesn’t bog down drastically. 

In terms of practical writing capabilities and speeds, it excels and performs up to par expected of Plextor drives. However, admittedly I do not have experience yet with other upcoming CD-RW drives from competitors to do a detailed comparison.

But the only thing that really bothered me is the lack of a decent software package. I guess unless Plextor does bundle a better CD-Writing software pack, I’m afraid you’ll be compelled to scurry off and pick up Adaptec’s Easy CD Creator / Direct CD before gaining practical usage from the drive.

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