by June 3, 2005 0 comments

Plextor PX-708A, is an IDE DVD/CD combo writer that can write DVD+R and DVD-R at 8X and 4X speeds respectively. It has 2 MB of buffer memory. On the rewriting front, the drive rewrites minus and plus RW at 2X and 4X respectively. It writes CDR at the speed of 40X and rewrites CDRW at 24X. It has a feature called ‘lossless linking’ for DVD+RW, which allows DVD+RW discs to be edited and played simultaneously in DVD-ROM players. Then it also has a ‘zero link’ feature for DVD-RW, which leaves a zero-byte gap between each session of a multi-session disc, so that the discs are compatible with all DVD players. The drive supports multiple DVD types such as DVD-ROM, DVD-Video, multi-border, multi-session, DVD+ VR for read and write and DVD-VR for read only. 
We tested this drive on a P4 1.6 machine with 256 MB and 40 GB 7200 RPM drive. All the DVD tests were done on Mitsubishi DVDs and the CD tests were carried on a 52X Samsung media. We used Nero 6.3 for writing. On writing 4.33 GB of data on DVD-R and DVD+R, it took around 8 mins 23 secs and 15 mins 14 secs, respectively. 

In the CDR writing test also the drive was slower than other drives with the same writing speeds, such as nu-DDW163 reviewed in Novemeber 2004. It took around 5 mins 28 secs while the old drive took only 3 mins 17 secs to burn 650 MB of data. To create a 73 mins audio CD, the drive took 9 mins 17 secs whereas the nu-DDW163 took only 6 mins 8 secs. On rewriting front, the drive took only 45 secs to format the CDRW media and its data transfer time was 31 mins to copy 447 MB of data in bust mode. 

Bottom Line: Overall, though the drive’s performance is average, it’s a good buy largely due to its attractive price tag. At that price, one can wait for the extra time it takes for writing. 

Sanjay Majumder 

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