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Product: Plextor PX-755SA DVDRW
Provided By: Plextor America
Price: $139.95 CDN @ www.MemoryExpress.com


Plextor is a name that needs no introduction, as the company is well known for bleeding edge technology especially in the cd and dvd rom market. Today, well actually about four months ago, Plextor did it again by combining the SATA interface with a high performing professional series drive. Personally I feel this to be an excellent move by Plextor as motherboard manufacturers will sooner or later say goodbye to IDE interfaces. I hate to use the word future 'proof' but perhaps future 'ready' is a more appropriate term.

Typically when the term SATA is used the immediate thought is speed! In the case of hard drives this is true. It's a well known fact that the SATA interface is much faster and more efficient than the ancient IDE interface. However, because of the physical limitations of reflective media, a jump in speed is not to be expected in the same manner you might expect a performance increase from a hard drive. But just for kicks I decided to do a little bit of comparison in read speeds between the PX-755SA and PX-716AL. I wanted to approach this review in the respect that users aren't going to take this drive home and play Nero CD-DVD Speed all day. Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of CD-DVD Speed screens to show you, but I've also included several real world performance measures.

Here's the test system:

  • Pentium 4 3.0C @ 3.75Ghz
  • Asus P4C-800E Deluxe
  • 1 Gig Crucial Ballistix
  • Sapphire X800GTO
  • Audigy 2 ZS
  • 72 Gigs of WD Raptor RAID
  • Total 370 Gigs Mixed Storage
  • Plextor PX-755SA DVD-RW DL
  • Plextor PX-716AL Slot Load DVD-RW


Unfortunately I had all kinds of problems with this drive because of SATA chipsets not supporting or not *fully* supporting the ATAPI interface. After trying two different onboard SATA controllers, and 1 add-on SATA controller, I finally landed one add-on SATA controller that worked. The first controller wouldn't detect the drive at all. The second detected the drive just fine and after several disappointing read tests, write tests were plagued by buffer underruns. The third controller looked promising with no buffer problems but produced coaster after coaster and system hangs from thirty seconds to minutes at a time. The fourth and final controller is on the approved list and works beautifully. I would highly recommend that anybody looking at this drive check out the compatability list and ensure your system supports this drive. It's important to note that it's not the PX-755SA being picky, it's the SATA chipsets not supporting the ATAPI interface.

The Drive:


Everything you need to get you going is in the box. SATA power adapter cable, instructions, manual ejection tool, software disc, sample media, and more. The norm in the case market has shifted from beige to black so Plextor ships this drive with the black bezel installed by default. If however you're running a beige colored case a spare beige colored bezel is included. One thing that really surprised me is the length of the SATA cable. It's long! It measures in the ballpark of 41". Some may say this is a good thing 'cause you can never have enough cable. Others may think it's excessive and makes it that much harder to hide all that spare cable you have, especially in a SFF system. Personally, I have a CoolerMaster Stacker so that long cable is a definite plus. Here's a look at the rest of the drive in its other dimensions.

You'll notice that the back of the drive is quite bare when compared to an IDE drive. It's almost as if something's missing. To complete the introduction, here are the screen shots of the drives capabilities shown by Plextools and Nero InfoTool. The technical charts published by Plextor can be seen here.