Plextor PX-750A - Plextors Super Multi

Article Index
Plextor PX-750A - Plextors Super Multi
Test Setup and CD Performance
DVD Tests and Final Thoughts

Product: PX-750A DVDRW
Provided By: Plextor America
Price: ~ $100CDN @ Pricegrabber.ca

Introduction:

The last few Plextor drives I've reviewed have left me feeling a little flat so when Plextor asked me if I wanted to review their somewhat older PX-750A drive I wasn't super excited at first.  Then I got looking at this drives specifications and realized that this was the drive that also could read and write DVD-RAM at 5x.  This picked my interest up a bit as I have used a DVD Recorder that uses DVD-RAM disks, and while DVD-RAM is not the fastest format around, the technology behind it is really incredible.

PX-750A - Box

I say that this is an older drive, but in reality it was officially launched in March of this year.  It is now late July, that is old in terms of today's technology.  Since launch, this drive has only seen a couple of firmware upgrades which means one of two things.  1) Either Plextor has ignored this drive largely and hasn't fixed issues with it.  2) This drive is pretty solid and hasn't needed a lot of attention.

Today we're going to take a look at this multi-format drive and see if it's a good choice for those that want a Plextor drive and want DVD-RAM functions as well.  Can this drive bring back our faith in Plextor?  We'll soon see.

Bundle & First Look:

As we open up the box we are met with a typical Plextor ODD bundle.  We get an 80-pin IDE cable for this ATA-66 drive, a quick install guide, a software DVD, an interchangeable beige faceplate, and a bag with some screws and an emergency eject tool.  Pretty much standard fare.

PX-750A - Bundle
 PX-750A - Bundle

Included Software
 Included Software

Plextor has included the "DVD Writing Software" CD Rev.14.0.  This disk contains Roxio Easy CD & DVD Creator 7, CinePlayer, PlexTools Pro, a demo of Retrospect Backup, Adobe Reader, and a full user guide and manual in PDF format.  While this particular unit included PlexTools Pro, according to Plextor's Box Contents, PlexTools shouldn't be included as this is not a "Premium" drive.  Oh well, free PlexTools is not a bad thing.  ;-)

The PX-750A is a standard tray load DVDRW drive that has quite a few logos to decorate the front of the unit.  It has a single button and a single LED that flashes when the drive reads or writes CDs or DVDs.  Some new drives have ventilation, and I've seen a few upcoming BluRay and HD-DVD drives even have a fan located on the back.  The PX-750A has neither.  The back is as plain as an IDE Optical drive gets.  There is the standard Digital Audio Out, Analog Audio Out, Jumper Block, IDE Connector and finally the power connector.  Plextor engineers have determined that this drive will not get warm enough during operation to require ventilation.  We'll see as we burn through a stack of media later on.

PX-750A - Black Front
 PX-750A - Black Front

PX-750A - Back View
 PX-750A - Back View

PX-750A - Label
 PX-750A - Label

Although Plextor's official North America launch for this drive was March 20, 2006 this drive was actually manufactured back in December of 2005.  The TLA is 0001 so this is a very early revision of the drive.  The drive shipped with the 1.01 firmware, and we updated it to the latest which is 1.02 at the time of writing.


Specs & Drive Info:

Below is a list of specs and information about this drive. 

Performance
Data Transfer Rate CAV, CLV, PCAV, ZCAV, ZCAV write / CAV, CLV read
Sustained Read/Write Speeds DVD 16X (read/write) 22.16 MB/sec
  12X (read/write) 16.62 MB/sec
  8X (read/write) 11.08 MB/sec
  6X (read/write) 8.31 MB/sec
  5X(write only) 6.93 MB/sec
  4X (read/write) 5.54 MB/sec
  3X(write only) 4.16 MB/sec
  2.4X (write only) 3.32 MB/sec
  2X(write only) 2.77 MB/sec
  1X(write only) 1.39 MB/sec
Sustained Read/Write Speeds CD 40X (read/write) 6.0 MB/sec
  32X (read/write) 4.8 MB/sec
  24X (read/write) 3.6 MB/sec
  16X (read/write) 2.4 MB/sec
  12X (read/write) 1.8 MB/sec
  10X (read/write) 1.5 MB/sec
  4X (read only) 600 KB/sec
Burst Read/Write 16.6 MB/sec (PIO Mode-4/DMA Mode-2); 66 MB/sec (Ultra DMA Mode-4)
Typical CD/DVD Random Access <150 MS Typical DVD Ramdom Acces> 140ms
Buffer 2 MB
Error Rate CD-ROM Mode 1: 1 block/10^12 bits
CD-ROM Mode 2: 1 block/10^9 bits
DVD-ROM: 1 block/10^12 bits

As you can see by this chart above, the PX-750A is not the fastest at writing CDs or DL DVDs.  Other DVD Writers can manage 10x DVD+R DL, and 48x CD-R writing, but the PX-750A is limited to 8x DVD+R DL and 40x CD-R speeds.  That being said, I would far rather have a drive that writes a little slow but does it with god quality, than have a drive that writes blazing fast with poor quality.

Before we head on to our test system specs and start testing, we'll take a quick look at Nero Info Tool and DVDInfoPro to determine more of this drives capability.

Nero Info Tool
Nero Info Tool

DVD Info Pro
DVDInfoPro (click for full-size)