Plextor PX-716A Dual Layer 16X DVDRW

Article Index
Plextor PX-716A Dual Layer 16X DVDRW
The Drive, Bundle and Software
Test Setup, Info and Media Compatibility
Testing - CD Read and Write
Testing - DVD Read and Write
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Product: Plextor PX-716A DVD±RW
Provided By:
Plextor America
Price:
~$180.00CDN (PriceGrabber.ca)

Introduction:

It's been a few months since I've looked at a new burner, and the first time I've ever looked at a Dual Layer DVD±RW. It is with great enthusiasm and expectation that I opened the box and started the journey that is the PX-716A review. This drive has some Plextor trademark features such as GigaRec, VariRec, and SecuRec which I've talked about extensively in past reviews. This drive also adds the ability to set the booktype of DVD+R and DVD+R DL disks. This can be especially handy in fussy drives with want DVD-ROM disks, not DVD+R disks. We'll get into that more later. For now let's take a look at this unit and what you get in the package.




As you can see, Plextor has dropped their super flashy box and went with a more professional look to their product this time around.  You may also be able to see some of the read and write specs on this drive.  It writes DVD±R's at 16x, DVD+RW's at 8x, and DVD-RW's at 4x, and DVD+R DL at 4x.  It reads DVD-ROM's at 16x, and DVD±R media up to 12x.  It also reads and writes CD's at 48x, and writes CD-RW's at 24x.  This is one of the fastest units on the market.

Specs & Features:

As I mentioned above, although this drive claims to read DVD's at 16x, and CD's at 48x there are some exceptions.  Below is a list of the read and write speeds on different formats of media.

Data Transfer Rate - CAV, PCAV, CLV write/CAV read and CLV read
Sustained Read/Write Speed 16X (DVD read/write) 9.28 - 22.16 MB/sec
12X (DVD read/write) 8.31 - 16.62 MB/sec (write) - 6.92 - 16.62 MB/sec (read)
8X (DVD read/write) 8.31 - 11.08 MB/sec (write) - 4.70 - 11.08 MB/sec (read)
6X (DVD write only) 8.31 MB/sec
5X (DVD read only) 2.90 - 6.92 MB/sec
4X (DVD write only) 5.54 MB/sec
2.4X (DVD write only) 3.32 MB/sec
2X (DVD read/write) 2.77 MB/sec
1X (DVD write only) 1.38 MB/sec
48X (CD read/write) 3.18 - 7.2 MB/sec
48X (CD read/write) 3.18 - 7.2 MB/sec
40X (CD read only) 2.71 - 6 MB/sec
32X (CD read/write) 3.18 - 4.8 MB/sec (write) - 2.17 - 4.8 MB/sec (read)
24X (CD read/write) 3 - 3.6 MB/sec
16X (CD write only) 2.4 MB/sec
10X (CD write only) 1.5 MB/sec
8X (CD write only) 1.2 MB/sec
4X (CD read/rewrite/write) 600 KB/sec
Burst Read/Write 66 MB/sec (Ultra DMA Mode 4) 16.6 MB/sec (PIO Mode 4/DMA Mode 2)
Typical CD Random Access <100 ms Typical DVD Random Access <150 ms
Buffer 8 MB Error Rate Mode 1: block/1012 bits
Mode 2: block/109 bits

 

What is interesting about this drive is that it is UDMA4 - a 66MB/sec interface as opposed to many UDMA3 - 33MB/sec units.  This should allow more headroom for the high 16x DVD reading and writing.  Listed below are Plextor's "Total Solution Features".  This is what you get with this drive.

Double layer allows you to record up to 4 hours of high-quality MPEG-2/DVD video on a 8.5 GB disc
Intelligent Recording Technology supported for recording at high-quality and optimum speed
AUTOSTRATEGY®. Writing technology for unknown media with uneven quality.
Intelligent Tiltâ„¢ Precise laser control via liquid crystal and three-dimensional tilt adjustment for uneven disc surfaces.
PoweRec® technology is a sophisticated write strategy providing superior quality recording at maximum speed for your chosen media
Buffer Underrun Proof Technology prevents buffer underrun errors
Buffer Memory - 8MB
Achieves 16x write performance with recommended 8x DVD±R media
Support DVD+RW background format
Support DVD±VR format for direct disc recording
Horizontal or vertical mounting orientation
Replaceable black front bezel included
OS Support - Windows® 98SE/Me/2000/XP
One-year full warranty (parts and labor)

Lastly, we'll take a look at minimum system requirements.  Although these really shouldn't be a factor for most people with current machines, I know quite a few people with older machines that want to get into DVD Writing, and their machines aren't up to the challenge.  Here's what Plextor says you need to get going.

CPU: Pentium® 4 1.4GHZ (minimum)
HDD 800 MB - 1 GB free space for copying CD to CD image
10 GB free space for DVD authoring
RAM 256 MB
Monitor Display Resoution 1024 X 768 at 16-bit color
OS Support - Windows 98SE/Me/2000/XPâ„¢

I recommend a 2.0GHz machine and at least 512MB of RAM if you are planning on doing any video editing with the included software.  It will work on a lower-end machine, but you'll need lots and lots of patience.

On the next page we'll take a look at the wonder that is Plextor's PX-716A, and what you get with the unit.