Plextor's Extreme PX-712A 12x DVD±RW

Article Index
Plextor's Extreme PX-712A 12x DVD±RW
Drive, Bundle, Software and More
Test Setup, Testing Info and Media Compatibility
Testing - CD Read and Write Performance
Testing - DVD Read and Write Performance
Testing the Advanced Features
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Product: Plextor PX-712A DVD±RW
Provided By: Plextor America


It was not very long ago that DVDRW drives were simply a thing to be marveled. Soon after, DVDRW drives capable of writing these blank media at 2x were impressive. Months later demand for faster products pushed the standard up to 4x where it remained for some time. Lately, DVDRW drives have been increasing speed again, as 8x DVD burners can be purchased for a very reasonable price.

Plextor is one of the first, if not the very first company to market with the latest installment to the speed race. Today, we've got the loaded PX-712A on the bench. This drive claims more features than a swiss-army knife, and some of the fastest DVD±RW burning on the planet with it's 12x DVD+R capability. It burns DVD-R's at 8x, DVD±RW's at 4x, and reads DVD-ROM's at up to 16x. It also boasts to be a 48x24x48x CDRW drive; which is currently holds the speed record as far as DVD±RW burners go.

With all of this speed it should be interesting to see how many coasters it makes. On the other hand, given Plextor's track record of reliability and quality, it should be a tremendous drive. Keep reading to see how it all turns out.
Specs & Features:
As I briefly outlined above, the drives 12x capability only is available on the DVD+R format. Also the max DVD Read speed of 16x doesn't apply to any DVD media placed in the drive. Following is a list of the detailed read/write specs of the PX-712A. For a total list of specs and features, you can download the PX-712A data sheet here.

Data Transfer Rate - PCAV and CLV write /CAV read and CLV read
Sustained Read/Write Speeds - 16X (DVD-ROM read only) 9.28-22.16 MB/sec
12X (DVD+R 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), 4.57 – 11.08 MB/sec (Read)
6X (DVD write only) - 8.31 MB/sec
5X (DVD read only) - 2.95 – 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-ROM read/write) - 3 – 7.2 MB/sec
40X (CD read only) - 2.6 – 6 MB/sec
32X (CD read/write) - 2.08 – 4.8 MB/sec
24X (CD read/write) - 3 - 3.6 MB/sec (Write), 1.6 - 3.6 MB/sec (Read)
16X (CD write only) - 2.4 MB/sec
10X (CD write only) - 1.5 MB/sec
8X (CD read/write) - 1.2 MB/sec
4X (CD write/rewrite/read) - 600 KB/sec
Burst Read/Write - 33 MB/sec (Ultra DMA Mode 2), 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

As I said earlier, this drive has more features that a Swiss-Army knife. Below are the "Total Solution" features as posted by Plextor:
  • 8-in-1 Combo drive:12X DVD+R, 8X DVD-R, 4X DVD+RW, 4X DVD-RW, 16X DVD-ROM
    48X CD-R, 24X CD-RW and 48X CD-ROM.
  • High storage capacity – Holds 4.7 GB of storage on DVD media.
  • Lossless linking technology enables users to perform basic editing tasks directly on the DVD disc.
  • Buffer UnderRun Proof technology prevents buffer under run errors.
  • POWERECâ„¢ a sophisticated write strategy for superior quality and stable recording at maximum speed.
  • GIGARECâ„¢ allows high capacity storage up to 900 MB on a 700 MB disc.
  • Q-CHECKâ„¢ checks and reports written disc quality.
  • SECURECâ„¢ password protection for your CD-R discs.
  • SILENT MODEâ„¢ enables user to tailor drive operations for specific environments.
  • Support DVD+RW background format.
  • Support DVD+VR format.
  • Horizontal or vertical mounting orientation.
  • Black CD tray minimizes jitter.
  • OS Support - Windows 98SE/Me/2000/XP.
  • One-year full warranty (parts and labor).
  • Unlimited toll-free tech support.

Minimum System Requirements:
The requirements for this drive are very similar to other DVD±RW drives from Plextor. Obviously the more disk space you have, the more video you'll be able to author.
  • CPU: Pentium® III 800MHz or above.
  • HDD 800 MB - 1 GB free space for copying CD to CD image.
  • 6 GB free space for DVD authoring RAM 128 MB.
  • Monitor Display Resolution 1024 X 768 at 16-bit color.
  • OS Support - Windows® 98SE/Me/2000/XP.
Head on over to the next page as we'll take a look at the actual unit itself, as well as what's in the box.