Plextor's PX-708A DVD±RW - Performance - DVD Read and Write Tests

Article Index
Plextor's PX-708A DVD±RW
The Drive, Bundle and Software
Test Setup, Info and Media Compatibility
Performance - CD Read and Write Tests
Performance - DVD Read and Write Tests
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

DVD Read Tests:
Finally we're on the the good stuff. For these first batch of tests, I made Data DVD's with Nero CD Speed that created full disks. I then read these disks back using Nero CD Speed to analyze the read.
This first test shows how the drive handles a Data DVD+R disk. I must admit, these are pretty decent times for a DVD Burner. All results are well within acceptable parameters.
This next test is of the same data, but this time it is read from a DVD-R. The drive struggles a little bit at the end of the disk, and the seek times and CPU usage are a little elevated. Strange that a DVD+R takes less horsepower to read.
This screenshot shows the drives performance when reading from a DVD+RW. Again, the seek times, and CPU usage are a little high for my liking. I rebooted and ran this test again on a different OS (I dual boot WinXP and Win2K) and the test yielded the same result.
This screenshot shows the same data, but this time as read from a DVD-RW. Interestingly enough, the CPU usage has dropped, although the Full Seek time is very high.
To test this drives ability to reach it's 12x rated speed on a DVD-ROM, I had to do some scrounging. I finally came up with the PC Gamer DVD Ed. DVD-ROM. By the time I found it, it had been well used and abused. I took my trust epoxy CD/DVD repair kit and went to work. I got most of the scratches out of it, but there are still a few along the outside edge. As this test well shows. This drive would have no problem hitting 12x DVD read on a disk that was in decent shape. . . unfortunately my DVD-ROM disk was not.
These next few test are of DVD Video disks. The first next two screenshots are of the DVD "The Princess Bride." It is a single layer DVD that is a little over 4.2GB. This DVD has been well used, and also has some scratches in the middle of the disk. Here is the first shot with "SpeedRead" disabled. When disabled, SpeedRead limits the drive to read Video disks at 2x. It keeps it nice and quiet for watching movies.
This shot here is of the same DVD-Video with SpeedRead enabled. This is enabled by pressing and holding the eject button (with no disk in the drive) for about 3-5 seconds. The LED on the drive will flash three times, then when you let go of the button the tray ejects, and ta-da! SpeedRead enabled. It is reset to default when you eject the disk or power off your computer. Scratches on the disk drop the speed, but the drive tops out over 12x on a video disk! Smokin'!!
The last of the read tests wind up with these two screenshots. It's the "Behind Enemy Lines." It a dual-layer DVD-Video, and the first shot shows SpeedRead disabled.
SpeedRead is enabled in this test, and the drive is able to read the dual-layer DVD at almost 8x. Not bad at all. A vast improvement over Plextor's PX-504A which in it's own right was a great drive - this one's just better!
DVD Write Tests:
Enough of the reading, let's get on with the Burning! We'll start off with a DVD-RW. This is probably the media most likely NOT to be used on this drive as it burns DVD-RW's the slowest. It finished a 4.38GB burn in just under 30 minutes.
Next up DVD+RW. While this drive is rated to burn DVD+RW's at 4x, I was unable to acquire any 4x or compatible media for this review. You'll have to be happy with a shot of 2.4x. An improvement in write time of over 5 minutes compared to the DVD-RW.
Now we'll take a look at a DVD-R 4x burn. It is quite an improvement over 2x, or 2.4x with the disk finished in under 15 minutes. Keep in mind that these tests are not simulations - they are the real thing. Not a bad showing of speed, but really, if you buy this burner, I'm sure that you'll want to do most of your burning at 8x on a DVD+R right?
This last burn test, shows the drive at is super 8x speed. It starts out at 6x with the disk making about 9,000 rpm's. At about the 700MB mark the drive changes speeds, and continues burning at 8x the rest of the DVD. This yields some pretty impressive burn times. Just under 8:00 minutes for a completely full 4.38GB DVD is incredible!! Way to go Plextor!
Now that you've seen how this drive performs in almost every conceivable situation, let's head on over and finish up with some conclusions.