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This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
located at http://www.cdrinfo.com.
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Appeared on: Thursday, December 22, 2005
Plextor PX-755A


1. Introduction

Having recently released the 750A, Plextor follows hot on the heels with the release of yet another 700 series model, the 755A. The Plextor PX-755A model drive is a typical Plextor drive, with all the well known functions enabled, including Q-Check. The drive supports all the max speeds found on most of the recent drives, while it supports up to 10X DVD+R DL writing speed. Note here that this review is the updated version of the Plextor PX-755A preview released a few days ago, and includes all the tests covering the capabilities of this drive.

Having said that, let us move on and have a look at the drive's main features and specifications...

- Features

AUTOSTRATEGY is a self-learning writing technology that determines the standard deviation of any blank disc and automatically optimizes the write strategy for unknown media, enabling high-quality disc recording. AUTOSTRATEGY technology is the culmination of five years of research and development by Taiyo Yuden, a leading Japanese supplier of quality CD and DVD recording media.

PlexEraser is a data destruction utility that makes a recorded CD-R or DVD disc unreadable. The drive will "re-record" over the Lead-in and data sectors of a write once disc rendering the disc data unusable. Initially this feature will support DVD+/-R and CD-R media. Firmware upgrades will add support for DVD+/-R DL media.

Plextor Optimized Writing Error Reduction Control (PoweRec) adjusts laser power and writing speed so they're at the optimum settings for that particular disc. Using real-time monitoring of the write data, PoweRec can increase or decrease write power and speed to guarantee the best possible writing quality with whatever brand media is used.

VariRec provides user adjustment of the recording power above or below a default level. The default level reflects an optimized laser power setting with reduced jitter. Changing this setting will result in a change of sound or sound quality and may increase the playability or compatibility with existing players.

SecureRecording

The SecureRecording function lets you write on a CD-R disc and protect the data with a password. To view the contents of a password-protected disc (or even to see a catalog of files), the user must enter the correct password. The password can be entered with PlexTools Professional or with SecuViewer.

Buffer underrun proof

The buffer underrun proof technologies offer a solution that prevents writing failures during the burning process for CD and DVD media, by pausing the burn if the data to the drive write buffer is slowed or stopped. The drive resumes the burn process after the drive write buffer is refilled.

Silent mode

If the drive needs to be used in a quiet environment, the drive can be switched to silent mode. Unique technology that sets the drive for super-silent operation. By controlling access speed, read/write speed and tray opening and closing speed, you reduce drive noise to a whisper. This technology is excellent for recording studios or offices where low noise is required.

SpeedRead

Enable reading CD-R media up to the maximum speed of the drive. Discs that may be damaged due to mishandling or improper use may shatter due to the higher rotational forces reached at the maximum read speed of the drive. The drive's maximum read speed is therefore limited as a safety function. SpeedRead enables the user to increase the read speed of the drive to the maximum possible. Plextor recommends examining each disc before enabling this function.

GigaRec

GigaRec lets you change the recording capacity of a standard CD-R disc from 70 percent up to 130 percent of its standard capacity. You can use GigaRec for CD-DA or data writing at 4X and 8X disc-at-once (DAO). The feature allows you to get that extra storage on a single disc for a larger project. For smaller projects, like an audio master, the feature enables you to use the entire capacity of the disc, increasing the size of the pits and lands for higher reproductive quality.

Q-Check

PlexTools Professional software provides a suite of diagnostic tests for blank and recorded media. The pre-recording tests of blank media allow you to choose the best media brands and recording parameters for your drive. The post-recording tests quantify the recording session and provide analyzer-type results to guarantee you're getting the best recording possible.

Write strategy creation

This function offers to create a new write strategy for your blank media. The drive will create a new write strategy in the AUTOSTRATEGY database without recording a disc. It is possible to create several write strategies for the same media, which can be useful if there is a quality difference among media with the same MID code.

- Specifications

Model Plextor PX-755A
Write Speed DVD+R 16X
DVD-R 16X
DVD+RW 8X
DVD-RW 6X
DVD+R DL 10X
DVD-R DL 6X
CD-R 48X
CD-RW 24X
Read Speed DVD-ROM 16X
CD-ROM 48X
Technical Specifications
Interface IDE/ATAPI
Data buffer 2 MB
Access Time <100ms (CD); <150ms (DVD)
Mean time between failures (MTBF) 60 000h
Disc Loading Tray (50.000 times)
Bezel replaceable Black bezel included in retail version
Digital Audio S/P DIF output
Dimensions 146 x 41,3 x 170 mm
Weight < 1Kg
Warranty 2 year Fast Warranty Service (in EU, Norway and Switzerland: Collect & Return)
1 year in other countries
System Requirements PC/AT compatible
CPU: Pentium 4 - 1.4 GHz
RAM: 256MB
HDD: 10GB free space
OS: Windows 98SE/Me/2000/XP
Compatible Formats DVD: DVD-ROM, DVD-Video, Multi-Border, Multi-Session, DVD+VR, DVD-VR, DVD+MRW (by firmware upgrade), DRT-DM
CD: CD-DA (CD-DA/CD+G/CD-TEXT), CD-ROM (Mode1/Mode2), CD-ROM XA (Mode2 Form1/2), Audio CD, Data CD, Photo CD, Video CD, CD-I, CD-I Ready, Mixed CD, CD-Extra, Multi-Session CD, Packet Write CD (Mount Rainier by firmware upgrade)), Bootable CD
Performance DVD+R 16x: 22.160KB/s (CAV), 12x: 16.620KB/s (PCAV) ,6x-8x: 8.310-11.080KB/s(PCAV), 6x: 8.310KB/s (CLV), 4x: 5.540KB/s (CLV), 2.4x: 3.324KB/s (CLV)
DVD-R 16x: 22.160KB/s (CAV), 12x: 16.620KB/s (PCAV) ,6x-8x: 8.310-11.080KB/s(PCAV), 6x: 8.310KB/s (CLV), 4x: 5.540KB/s (CLV), 2.4x: 3.324KB/s (CLV)
DVD+R DL 6x-10x: 8.310-13.850KB/s(PCAV), 6x-8x: 8.310-11.080KB/s(PCAV), 6x: 8.310KB/s (CLV), 4x: 5.540KB/s (CLV), 2.4x: 3.324KB/s (CLV)
DVD-R DL 6x: 8.310KB/s (CLV), 4x: 5.540KB/s (CLV), 2x: 2.770KB/s (CLV)
DVD+RW 6x-8x: 8.310-11.080KB/s(PCAV), 6x: 8.310KB/s (CLV), 4x: 5.540KB/s (CLV), 2.4x: 3.324KB/s (CLV)
DVD-RW 6x: 8.310KB/s (CLV), 4x: 5.540KB/s (CLV), 2x: 2.770KB/s (CLV), 1x: 1.385KB/s (CLV)
DVD-ROM 6-16x (CAV), 5-12x (CAV), 3-8x (CAV), 2-5x (CAV), 2x (CLV)
CD-RW 24x: 3.600KB/s (PCAV), 10x: 1.500KB/s (CLV). 4x: 600KB/s (CLV)
CD-ROM 20-48x (CAV), 17-40x (CAV), 14-32x (CAV), 10-24x (CAV), 8x (CLV), 4x (CLV)

Below are the main specs for the drive as given by NeroInfoTool and DVDInfoPro, VSO Inspector and Plextools Pro:

- Nero InfoTool

- DVD InfoPro

- VSO Inspector

- Plextools Professional

- The Drive

We received the bundled version of the drive, with no extra bezel or any accompanying software. For the purposes of this review, Plextor included a Plextools Pro latest version CD, with version 2.31 included, as the drive could not use its Q-Check functions with our latest Plextools Pro version, (v2.28). Regardless, the retail package contains several software programs, both full and trial, as indicated in the table below.

- Front panel view

- Rear panel view

- Label

We opened the drive to take a look at its internal mechanism. Note here, that by doing this, you void the warranty and so we strongly advise against it. Click on the image below for a larger, more detailed view of the drive internals.

Plextor has turned once more to the Sanyo chipset, after the short break with the 740 and 750 drives. The 755 uses an upgrade of the Sanyo chipset used in the 716A, the LC897496K, which according to Sanyo's official datasheet, offers DVD±R 16X, DVD ±RW 12X writing speed, DVD-ROM 16X reading speed, DVD-RAM 5X reading/writing speeds and 52X/32X recording speeds for CD-R and CD-RW media respectively. As we've seen from the drive's specs though, the 755 does not support any DVD-RAM functions and DVD-RAM will most probably be available in the 760 version.

- Installation

As already mentioned, the 755A came to our labs in its bundled version and with the latest firmware installed, version 1.00. The drive was installed as master under WinXP and was recognized as "Plextor DVDR PX-755A". Note that the PowerRec function can be disabled.

We compared the drive's results (reading-writing times) with the results of two other latest release drives with similar specs and performance, the LiteOn 1635s and the BenQ 1640.


2. Reading Tests

CD Format

For our CD transfer rate tests, we used Nero CD-Speed utility and a set of both Pressed and CDR media. Let's take a look at how the drive performed in comparison to the other two drives.

The 755A supports up to 40X reading speed with CD pressed and CDR media. Not the fastest CD reader on the market, as we can see from the above graphs, where the other two comparison drives support up to 48X for this type of media.

Good reading speed was reported while using USRW media, with the Plextor drive reporting an average speed of 30X and a max speed over 40X.

- AudioCD

For the Audio CD tests, we used a pressed AudioCD and the Advanced DAE CDSpeed feature.

CD-Speed Advanced DAE Quality Test awarded a Quality Score of 100 with an average speed of 29.33X. No Data and Sync Errors were reported, while the drive can Read CD Text and Subchannel Data, and supports Leadin and Leadout reading.

- 90mins Audio disc

- 99mins Audio disc

Unfortunately, the drive cannot read either the 90 or the 99 min audio discs.

- DVD Format

Let's have a look at how the drive performs with DVD media. A set of DVD media was used, both SL and DL.

All three drives reported almost identical high speeds, since the max supported speed with SL pressed media is 16X for the three drives.

The two layers of a PTP DVD-ROM disc are read sequentially with the drive starting reading from the inner part of the disc, which is the beginning of each layer, progressing towards its outer range. With this kind of media, the Plextor 755A and BenQ DW1640 managed to achieve a max reading speed of 12X, reporting an average speed of 9X, leaving the LiteOn somewhat behind as its max reading speed with DL media was just above 8X.

The first layer of an OTP dual layer DVD-ROM is read exactly the same way as the first layer of the PTP disc we tested previously, the main difference being the reading strategy of the second layer on the disc. The beginning of the second layer is located in the outer part of the disc, so the drive starts reading from the outer tracks towards the inner part of the disc. Similar performance to that of the PTP media where the Plextor and BenQ drives reached 12X and the LiteOn 8X reading speeds.

With write once media, the Plextor and LiteOn drives support the same speed, reporting an average reading speed of 9X, while the BenQ drive managed the highest speed with all tested media.

If you keep the eject button pressed for three seconds without inserting any disc, the riplock is deactivated and the ripping speed of the drive increases up to 9.6X average (maximum 12.1X).

-Appendix

Nero CD-DVD Speed Graphs

CD Pressed / CD-R / US-RW / AudioCD / AudioCD-R

DVD Pressed SL / DVD Pressed DL PTP / DVD Pressed DL OTP / DVD-R / DVD-RW / DVD+R / DVD+RW


3. CD Error Correction

In the following tests we check the drive's behavior when reading scratched / defective audio discs. The test discs used were the ABEX series from ALMEDIO.

- ABEX TCD-721R

Errors total Num: 1878287
Errors (Loudness) dB(A) Num: 91341 Avg: -72.4 dB(A) Max: -18.0 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples Num: 7916 Avg: 1.0 Samples Max: 26 Samples
Skips Samples Num: 1 Avg: 6.0 Samples Max: 6 Samples
Total Test Result 71.7 points (of 100.0 maximum)

The error total count is very high and there seem to be a lot of spikes hovering around the -18.0dB to -24-dB range. Despite this, there was only one skipped sample and the drive managed a respectable score of 71.7.

Errors total Num: 0
Errors (Loudness) dB(A) Num: 0 Avg: -174.0 dB(A) Max: -174.0 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples Num: 0 Avg: 0 Samples Max: 0 Samples
Skips Samples Num: 0 Avg: 0 Samples Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result 100 points (of 100.0 maximum)

Flawless reading with the 726 Abex series test disc.

- CD-Check Audio Test Disc

The CD-Check Test Disc is a very useful tool for evaluating the Sound Reproduction / Error correction capabilities of a CD player. The disc offers a signal combination with disc error patterns to rate the drive's abilities to read music and reproduce it completely. Five tracks on the disc contain a sequence of progressively more difficult tests. These tracks are referred to as Check Level-1 through Check Level-5.

The tracks are reproduced through a software multimedia player (e.g. Windows Media Player). Each level is considered as passed, if the tone is smooth, continuous without interruptions, skipping or looping. The higher the Check Level passed, the more reliable the sound reproduction of the tested drive.

Error Level 1 2 3 4 5
Plextor PX-755A
5/5 5/5 5/5 5/5 5/5

Excellent performance with the CD-Check Audio Test Disc, where the drive managed to read all the way up to the 5th error level.

- Summary

Even though the CD error correction mechanism was a little shaky with the 721 test disc, the 755A has proved a good CD reader when it comes to faulty media. Very few drives manage to read all five levels of the CD-Check Audio Test disc.


4. DVD Error Correction

In the following tests, we check the DVD reading capabilities of the Plextor 755A drive with scratched / defective DVD media. For our tests, we used CDVD Benchmark and Nero CDSpeed. The reference test media comes from ALMEDIO.

- Single Layer media
ABEX TDR-821

This is a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM with a 4.7GB capacity, and its surface has an artificial scratch varying in dimensions from 0.4 to 3.0 mm.

The following transfer rate picture comes from the CDVD Benchmark v1.21 transfer rate test.

Even though the drive dropped speed over the last section of the defect area, the PX-755A managed to successfully read over the defective area, achieving a 16X reading speed at the end.

ABEX TDR-825

This is also a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM of 4.7GB capacity. The data structure of the disc is exactly the same as that of the TDR-821, the only difference being that there are no scratches on it. Instead, there are defective areas, ranging in dimensions from 0.5 to 1.1 mm.

There are also fingerprints sized between 65 and 75 micrometers.

Excellent reading, with no drops in speed and a smooth line from start to finish. Quite impressive, since most recent drives are only able to read this disc at a max speed of up to 8X.

- Dual Layer media

ABEX TDR-841

This is an 8.5GB dual layer single sided DVD-ROM disc with artificial scratches ranging dimensionally from 0.4 to 3.0mm, on both layers.

Both Layers read successfully, with the reading speed maxing out at 12X.

ABEX TDR-845

The disc is a single sided, dual layer DVD-ROM disc of a 8.5GBcapacity. The only difference between the TDR-845 and the TDR-841 is that the former includes defective areas and fingerprints.

The dimensions of the defective areas range from 0.5 to 1.1 mm and the fingerprints are sized from 65 to 75 micro meters.

Once more good reading in both layers. The artificially defective areas on this media were no match for the drive's error correction mechanism, which read the whole disc with no drops in speed and reached the max reading speed available.

ABEX TDV-541

The TDV-541 is a single sided, dual layer DVD-VIDEO disc, with a capacity of 8.5GB. The disc is based on the TDV-540 series which was designed to inspect and adjust DVD-VIDEO players. The disc checks the layer switch operation from layer 0 to layer 1 and also includes test pictures and test signals on DVD sound files.

The current TDV-541 also checks the error correcting capabilities of the drive. It also includes scratches from 0.4 to 3.0 mm.

As we can clearly see in the graph above, while the drive managed to complete the reading of this test media, it was with a severe cost in speed. Drops in reading speed occurred in both layers, while the major drop is just after the start of the second layer on this disc, indicating not very good layer switching.

ABEX TDV-545

The TDV-545 disc is based on the TDV-540 series. It is a single sided, dual layer DVD-VIDEO disc with a capacity of 8.5GB. The TDV-545 includes artificial black dots on the data surface, sized from 0.4 to 1.0 mm. It has also 65 - 75 micro meter fingerprints.

Quite different from the previous reading, the drive managed to make quick work of the 545 test disc.

- Summary

Overall, good DVD error correction capabilities from the Plextor 755A drive with our test discs. Apart from the TDR 821 and TDV 541 discs, all other media were read at the maximum available speeds, indicating good error correction and generally good performance.


5. Protected Discs

At this point we will check the drive's ability to read and backup protected CDs.

- AudioCD protections

For the test procedure we used three audio discs with different audio copy protections. The ripping process on all protected Audio discs was carried out with Exact Audio Copy v0.9 beta5.

The protected Audio discs used, were:

Audio Discs Protection
Celine Dion - New Day Has Come Sony's Key2Audio
Natalie Imbruglia - White Lilies Island Cactus Data Shield 200
Aiko Katsukino - The Love Letter Cactus Data Shield 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a

The Cactus Data Shield 200, contains artificial errors that are not easily bypassed by the reader, while the Key2Audio contains a second session causing problems to readers when trying to read the Table Of Contents (TOC).

The tested tasks are:

- Recognition of the inserted disc (Yes/No).

- Ripping all wav files (with EAC's Burst Mode) to the hard disk through copy&compare function.

- Listening to the produced wav files to detect any possible click/skips.

The drive recognized up to the 12th Audio track in the CDS200 disc,

and with the "Retrieve Native TOC" option removed, the drive recognized the 13th track.

The test results are shown in the following table:

Plextor PX-755A Key2Audio CDS200
Ripping process completed, EAC reports no problems, Read&Test CRC comparison successful for all tracks. Ripping process completed, EAC reports no problems, Read&Test CRC comparison successful for all tracks

Both protected Audio discs were ripped successfully and reproduced successfully.

- Cactus Data Shield 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a (Aiko Katsukino - The Love Letter)

This is a "special" CDS200 build, since it doesn't contain any artificial errors which create problems during the ripping process. Most problems occur when trying to write the ripped wav files, since the produced CD-R disc contains C2 and CU errors! This "problem" is rumored to be connected to specific chipset weaknesses.

Plextor PX-755A CDS 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a
Reading performed without any errors.

- Games Protections

To create the image of the various protected titles onto the hard disk, we used Alcohol 120% software and the appropriate settings, in accordance with the protection type of the inserted discs. Below you can see the duration of each process as well as the transfer rate in each case.

With the PSX and SecuROM protected media, the Plextor drive did quite well, achieving good ripping times, even in comparison to the BenQ and LiteOn DVD-Burners, which are known to be excellent rippers. With SafeDisc, it fared brilliantly. Generally, very good, steady performance with all protection schemes.

- Writing Tests

The Plextor PX-755A supports the DAO-RAW writing mode. To check the drive's EFM correction status we used 5 different game titles with different SafeDisc 2 versions, having the latest software patches installed. After making the images of the various titles onto the hard disk, we burned them (at maximum speed) with Alcohol 120% v1.9.2.3105. Two different discs were recorded for each title; one with the "Rectify Sub-Channel Data" enabled and one with the function disabled.

- Quake 4 SafeDisc v4.6

- Fifa 2004 - SafeDisc v3.1x

The drive failed to create working backups of the above protected games.


6. CD Writing Tests

- CD-R Format

The drive supports 8X, 16X, 24X, 32X, 40X and 48X writing speeds.

According to Nero CDSpeed, the reported average speed when recording at 48X is 36.73X.

- CD-R Recording Times

We created an 80min data compilation with Nero Burning Rom and recorded it on a 700MB disc. The writing performance varies according to the inserted media. Below is a chart depicting all recording times with various media.

Best burn regarding speed, came with Ridisc media, burned in 2:46mins.

- Other features

The drive supports CD Overburning up to 99mins.

- CD-RW Format

The Plextor 755A supports 24X (Z-CLV) rewriting speeds, with Ultra Speed Rewritable Media (US-RW).

Below you can see the Nero CD-DVD Speed writing simulation test with blank 24X US-RW media.

The drive, when recording at 24X, reported an average 23.47X writing speed. You will notice in the above graph, that due to a bug with the CD-Speed and Plextor CDRW strategy, the speed reported at the end of the test refers only to the starting speed and not the end speed as it should.


7. CD Writing Quality - Plextools

We measured the C1 / C2 error rate on the recorded discs we burned at the various supported writing speeds. The software we used is the latest PleXTools Professional , and in particular the built-in Q-Check utility. The Plextor PX-716A was the reader.

BenQ 80min 52X @ 48X

MMore 80min 52X @ 48X

Ridisc 80min 52X @ 48X

TY 80min 52X @ 48X

Verbatim 80min 52X @ 48X

Media Label Manufacturer Name Lead Out TIme
BenQ 52X Daxon 79m59s70f
MMore 52X Moser Baer India 79m59s74f
Ridisc 52X CMC Mag 79m59s74f
TY 80min 48X Taiyo Yuden 79m59s72f
Verbatim 80min 52X Verbatim 79m59s74f

- Summary

According to Plextools C1/C2 measurement test, the quality of the burned CD media is good, with the exception of the TY media, which reported High C2 Values. None of the discs reported CU errors.


8. CD Writing Quality - Clover System

The Clover System CDX Compact Disc Analyzer is a high-speed tool to quantitatively measure the quality of a CD. It will analyze CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, CD-I, CD-R, Photo-CD, Enhanced CD and CD-RW discs at 4X, 8X, 24X, 32X or 40X speeds. It effectively measures disc quality by examining the quantity and severity of CIRC errors generated during playback. It also provides the capability to measure signal parameters related to pit geometry, such as asymmetry and reflectivity. When put together, all these facts provide a thorough analysis of disc quality. The Clover System Analyzers can also perform various format-checking tests on data discs, and do bit-for-bit data comparison on all types of CDs. All tests are carried out at a maximum speed of 40X.

CIRC error correction uses two principles to detect and correct errors. The first is redundancy (extra information is added, which gives an extra chance to read the disc), and the second is interleaving (data is distributed over a relatively large physical area). The CIRC error correction used in CD players uses two stages of error correction, the well known C1 and C2, with de-interleaving of the data between the stages.

The error type E11 means one bad symbol was corrected in the C1 stage. E21means two bad symbols were corrected in the C1 stage. E31 means that there were three or more bad symbols at the C1 stage. This block is uncorrectable at the C1 stage, and is passed to the C2 stage. Respectively, E12 means one bad symbol was corrected in the C2 stage and E22 means two bad symbols were corrected in the C2 stage. E32 means that there were three or more bad symbols in one block at the C2 stage, and therefore this error is not correctable.

BLER (Block Error Rate) is defined as the number of data blocks per second that contain detectable errors, at the input of the C1 decoder. Since this is the most general measurement of the quality of a disc, you will find BLER graphs for all media tested below. If you click on the images you can see a more detailed table, indicating error levels. The Red Book specification (IEC 908) calls for a maximum BLER of 220 per second averaged over ten seconds. Discs with higher BLER are likely to produce uncorrectable errors. Al low BLER shows that the system as a whole is performing well, and the pit geometry is good. However, BLER only tells us how many errors were generated per second, and it does not tell us anything about the severity of those errors.

BenQ 80min 52X @ 48X

MMore 80min 52X @ 48X

Ridisc 80min 52X @ 48X

TY 80min 52X @ 48X

Verbatim 80min 52X @ 48X

- Summary

Unfortunately, only Verbatim media managed to pass the CDX test as the results above show. This means that only Verbatim media was written with levels able to meet the strict criteria of the CDX Quality measurement test. TY media did not manage to pass the test and did not get a very good rating, which confirms the Plextools results, carried out in the previous page.


9. DVD Writing Tests

- Writing Performance

Now we will check the burning performance with DVD media. Below, the available writing speed list as reported by Nero Burning Rom can be seen.

Using Nero CDSpeed with DVD-R and DVD+R media, we are able to see the 16X writing strategies.

- DVD+R media @ 16X CAV

- DVD-R media @ 16X CAV

- Burning Tests

DVD-R media

As we can see from the above table, all media were burned at their certified speeds, although the reported time does not match the burn speed, with either 16X effective media or 8X media. Note here that the drive can overspeed TY 8X -R media to 12X and as we will see later on, it can still produce a good burn even at that speed. Best burn (speed-wise) came with Optodisc media, burned in 7:34mins.

As with DVD-R media, the drive fails to produce burn times typical of a 16X burn which usually range between 5:30 to 6:00 mins. Same performance with 8X effective media, too. This performance indicates that the drive is a slow burner, but as we will see later on, it is a good burner. Most media were burned at their specified speeds, with the exception of Ricoh 16X media burned at 12X (even though the burn time is more or less the same as with all other media) while the drive managed to overspeed the Maxell and Ricoh 8X media at 12X burning speed. Best burn came with Plextor media (Yuden000) burned in 6:06mins.

- DVD Overburning Test

DVD+R

The drive does not support the Overburning feature, being able to reach 4482MB out of the 5000MB threshold.

DVD-R

Unfortunately, the drive does not support DVD overburning for -R media, producing the above message.


10. DVD Writing Quality - Page 1

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media, we used two readers equipped with two software applications:

- The LiteON SOHD-167T with patched firmware being able to read DVD5 up to 16X CAV and DVD9 up to 10X CAV. For the transfer rate tests we used the latest Nero CDSpeed version.

- The Plextor PX-716A with the latest available firmware. For scanning the disc, we used the latest PlexTools version at 2X CLV reading speed, BURST mode, with middle accuracy.

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times however, even though a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth containing dropoffs. Due to the fact that we oversped the reading capabilities of the LiteON SOHD-167T, such drops are expected, especially near the outer area of the disc.

The measurements below should not be taken as the absolute criterion of the burning quality, but as an indication level.

16X DVD+R Writing Speed

- BenQ 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Optodisc 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Philips 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Plextor 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Prodisc(R05) 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Prodisc(R04) 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Ricoh 16X DVD+R @ 12X

- Ridisc 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Traxdata 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Verbatim 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Summary

According to CDSpeed and Plextools Quality checks, the writing quality was good with most of the tested media. Almost all media produced low error values but the speed graphs could be smoother in some cases. If we compare it to the PX-750A, we could say that the burning quality has undergone serious improvement, at least with 16X media. Three media were added since the Preview released a few days ago, those of Traxdata, Prodisc (R04) and Philips. Only Traxdata media reported average quality while the other two media were of good quality.


11. DVD Writing Quality - Page 2

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media we used two readers equipped with two software applications:

- The LiteON SOHD-167T with patched firmware being able to read DVD5 up to 16X CAV and DVD9 up to 10X CAV. For the transfer rate tests we used the latest Nero CDSpeed version.

- The Plextor PX-716A with the latest available firmware. For scanning the disc, we used the latest PlexTools version at 2X CLV reading speed, BURST mode, with middle accuracy.

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times however, even though a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth containing dropoffs. Due to the fact that we oversped the reading capabilities of the LiteON SOHD-167T, such drops are expected, especially near the outer area of the disc.

The measurements below should not be taken as the absolute criterion of the burning quality, but as an indication level.

8X DVD+R Writing Speed

- BenQ 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- CMC 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- Maxell 8X DVD+R @ 12X

- Optodisc 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- Prodisc 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- Ricoh 8X DVD+R @ 12X

- Traxdata 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- TDK 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- TY 8X DVD+R @ 12X

- Summary

As we can see from the above quality scans while using the Plextools Pro and CDSpeed utilities, the reported quality is more than satisfactory with 8X certified media. In most cases, the reported quality was good, while only a few media reported average quality results. Note here that three media managed to overspeed, Ricoh, TY and Maxell, and all three reported good quality results.


12. DVD Writing Quality - Page 3

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media, we used two readers equipped with two software applications:

- The LiteON SOHD-167T with patched firmware being able to read DVD5 up to 16X CAV and DVD9 up to 10X CAV. For the transfer rate tests we used the latest Nero CDSpeed version.

- The Plextor PX-716A with the latest available firmware. For scanning the disc, we used the latest PlexTools version at 2X CLV reading speed, BURST mode, with middle accuracy.

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times however, even though a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth containing dropoffs. Due to the fact that we oversped the reading capabilities of the LiteON SOHD-167T, such drops are expected, especially near the outer area of the disc.

The measurements below should not be taken as the absolute criterion of the burning quality, but as an indication level.

16X DVD-R Writing Speed

- BenQ 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Optodisc 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Philips 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Prodisc(S05) 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Prodisc(F02) 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Traxdata 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Verbatim 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Summary

As we've already seen in the drive's preview, the 16X -R media burns are quite similar to the 16X +R media. As stated earlier, the CD-Speed graphs tend to be not quite as tidy as the Plextools graphs. On the other hand, all Plextools graphs reported values within limits, while a couple of media reported PO values that extended above 280. Overall good quality burns.


13. DVD Writing Quality - Page 4

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media we used two readers equipped with two software applications:

- The LiteON SOHD-167T with patched firmware being able to read DVD5 up to 16X CAV and DVD9 up to 10X CAV. For the transfer rate tests we used the latest Nero CDSpeed version.

- The Plextor PX-716A with the latest available firmware. For scanning the disc, we used the latest PlexTools version at 2X CLV reading speed, BURST mode, with middle accuracy.

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times however, even though a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth containing dropoffs. Due to the fact that we oversped the reading capabilities of the LiteON SOHD-167T, such drops are expected, especially near the outer area of the disc.

The measurements below should not be taken as the absolute criterion of the burning quality, but as an indication level.

8X DVD-R Writing Speed

- Bulkpaq 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- CMC 8X DVD-R @ 8X

Datawrite 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Maxell 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Optodisc 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Prodisc (F01) 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Prodisc (S04) 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Ridisc 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- TDK 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Traxdata 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- TY 8X DVD-R @ 12X

- Summary

With a quick glance at the above graphs, it is obvious that the reported burned media quality is good, with some exceptions where the PO values were very high, above the limit, as in the case of Maxell -R media. A few media reported good quality, with the best burn being that of Prodisc (S04) media.


14. DVD Writing Quality - Page 5

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media we used two readers equipped with two software applications:

- The LiteON SOHD-167T with patched firmware being able to read DVD5 up to 16X CAV and DVD9 up to 10X CAV. For the transfer rate tests we used the latest Nero CDSpeed version.

- The Plextor PX-712A with the latest available firmware. For scanning the disc, we used the latest PlexTools version at 2X CLV reading speed, BURST mode, with middle accuracy.

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times however, even though a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth containing dropoffs. Due to the fact that we oversped the reading capabilities of the LiteON SOHD-167T, such drops are expected, especially near the outer area of the disc.

The measurements below should not be taken as the absolute criterion of the burning quality, but as an indication level.

DVD+RW and DVD-RW Media

- MKM 8X DVD+RW @ 8X

- MKM 6X DVD-RW @ 6X

- Traxdata 6X DVD-RW @ 6X

- Summary

Even though the above scans cannot be described as excellent, or in some cases even good, they certainly can be classified as good to average. MKM+RW media reported high PI values, which could render the media (or its data) unreadable in the near future, due to the high error count, even though the CD-Speed graph shows a calmer situation. With the two -RW media, the results are better, with both media being within the PI limit and with average CD-speed scan lines.


15. DVD Writing Quality - Almedio

The AEC-1000 consists of a DVD Drive and the "ALChecker" error measurement application which can check the written data quality. The application is capable of 1X CLV measurement as well as 4X CLV on DVD-Video/ROM and finalized DVD+R/-R media.

There are three measurement modes:

- Fine Mode: checks a series of eight consecutive ECC blocks,

- Rough Mode: checks eight consecutive ECC blocks every 100h ECC blocks

- Quick Mode: checks three specified areas

The checking status is shown graphically in real time while you can save the error graph at the end of the test. The reported errors are the PI and the UncPO. The PI counts the number of rows corrected by the PI error correction in each group of eight consecutive ECC blocks. The UncPO counts the number of ECC blocks in which more than one bytes are uncorrectable in eight consecutive ECC blocks. For our quality scans, we set for 1X CLV and Fine Mode which is the slowest and produces the safest results. Also, we chose to measure all the media burned at the maximum available writing speed, namely 16X.

- Plextor 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Prodisc (R05) 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Verbatim 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Philips 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Prodisc (S05) 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Verbatim 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Summary

According to the Almedio AEC-1000 error checker, all of the tested media were found to be of good quality, indicating good writing capabilities from the PX-755A drive with 16X certified media.


16. DVDR DL - Page 1

- Writing Tests

We burned some DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL discs with data content. For this task, we used "Create Data Disc" from Nero CDSpeed in order to fully burn the discs.

According to Plextor, this is the writing strategy that the PX-755 follows to achieve a 10X +R DL burn. Now let's see how the drive performed when MCC DVD+RDL 8X media was used.

Mitsubishi Chemicals DVD+R DL 8X @ 10X

Using the Z-CLV strategy, the test started at 5.99X and burning speed maxed out at 7.99X, reporting an average speed of 6.79X. The test was completed in 17:54mins. Good time and speed, although the writing strategy is not the same for both layers. This might be a failure of the drive to utilize the full potential of the writing strategy on the second layer as well.

Traxdata DVD+R DL 8X @ 8X

Using Z-CLV strategy, the test started at 6.07X and was finished within 15:45mins, reporting an end speed of 8.05X and an average speed of 7.54X.

Mitsubishi Chemicals DVD-R DL 4X @ 6X

Using CLV strategy, the drive managed to write at 6X burning speed, which is the maximum speed with the drive for -R DL media.

Traxdata DVD-R DL 4X @ 4X

While using CLV writing strategy, the drive managed to complete the writing test within 27:56mins, reporting an average speed of 3.98X. The media was burned at its certified speed...


17. DVDR DL - Page 2

- Writing Quality

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media, we used two readers equipped with two software applications:

- The LiteON SOHD-167T with patched firmware being able to read DVD5 up to 16X CAV and DVD9 up to 10X CAV. For the transfer rate tests we used the latest Nero CDSpeed version.

- The Plextor PX-716A with the latest available firmware. For scanning the disc, we used the latest PlexTools version at 2X CLV reading speed, BURST mode, with middle accuracy.

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times however, even though a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth containing dropoffs. Due to the fact that we oversped the reading capabilities of the LiteON SOHD-167T, such drops are expected, especially near the outer area of the disc.

The measurements below should not be taken as the absolute criterion of the burning quality, but as an indication level.

- Verbatim DVD+R DL 8X @ 8X

According to the above scans, the reported quality with MKM 8X @ 10X is very good. Some drops in speed occurred while reading with the LiteOn drive but nothing severe that would indicate a faulty burn. Low PI were reported, while the PO levels were within limits.

- Traxdata DVD+R DL 8X @ 8X

Even though the CD-Speed utility reported a good quality scan with smooth line, according to Plextools Pro, the media has several errors due to its high PI values, especially during the layer change.

- MKM DVD-R DL 4X @ 6X

Once more good quality, more or less same as with the 10X.

- Traxdata DVD-R DL 4X @ 4X

According to the CD-Speed utility, the Traxdata-R DL media reported good quality, with a smooth scanline all the way to the end of the reading, while according to Plextools, the media reported high PI and PO values.

Overall good quality scans, especially with Verbatim media.


18. Booktype Setting

The booktype setting is a feature widely supported by almost all recent drives, as it enables the change of the booktype of specific media (DVD+R,+RW,+RDL to DVD-ROM), to achieve maximum compatibility with stand alone players (mostly the outdated ones). This can be achieved prior to burning the inserted media or during the burn process (at the beginning with Nero or another burning software).

Unfortunately, the Plextor 755A does not support this feature for all media, and can only change the booktype of +R DL media to DVD-ROM.


19. 755A vs SA300 - Page 1

For checking exactly what the PX-755A reports, we used three different media, burned with other recorders. The three media have been measured with the well known AudioDev SA300 DVD CATS system at 1X.

The drive is capable of reporting PI/PIF errors, so we will compare those measurements at 8X reading speed.

Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested Plextor DVDR- PX-755A drive. Using other drives, even another PX-755A, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

#2nd Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 4X Reading speed

As we can see from the above graphs, the trend lines are more or less identical to the original CATS scan trend lines.


20. 755A vs SA300 - Page 2

For checking exactly what the PX-755A reports, we used three different media, burned with other recorders. The three media have been measured with the well known AudioDev SA300 DVD CATS system at 1X.

The drive is capable of reporting PI/PIF errors, so we will compare those measurements at 8X reading speed.

Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested Plextor DVDR- PX-755A drive. Using other drives, even another PX-755A, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

#2nd Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 4X Reading speed

The trend lines produced by the 755A, to some degree follow the CATS trend lines but only in the case of PIF errors..


21. 755A vs SA300 - Page 3

For checking exactly what the PX-755A reports, we used three different media, burned with other recorders. The three media have been measured using the well known AudioDev SA300 DVD CATS system at 1X.

The drive is capable of reporting PI/PIF errors, so we will compare those measurements at 8X reading speed.

Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested Plextor DVDR- PX-755A drive. Using other drives, even another PX-755A, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

#3rd Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 4X Reading speed

Lastly, in this case, the trend lines differs from the CATS original trend lines.


22. Q-Check TA Function

Plextor PX-716A Burner - Page 29

Q-Check TA Function

PX-755A, as the PX-716A in the past, supports the advanced Q-Check function with the two letters "TA", that are the initials for Time Analyser. Plextools explains exactly what the test measures:

In a few simple words, this advanced Q-Check function checks the geometry of pit and lands on a recorded disc. As most of you know, the DVD specifications specify the length of both pits and lands as multiplies of the T time period of the clock. The Q-Check function checks whether there are any variations in the size of the pit/land spots on a recorded disc, compared to the theoretical values (3T-14T). In extreme cases where these variations are significant, reading could result in read errors.

We checked this function with two different discs, one single layer (MCC DVD+) and one dual layer (MCC DVD+R DL). Both discs were those we also scanned in the PI/PO Test in order to make a comparison with the SA300 CATS analyzer.

Single Layer Disc

After choosing the test and pressing start, you can select from three zones to "scan", inner/middle/outer for the appropriate disc zone:

The test results will vary from disc to disc and from zone to zone, however user can easily test a full disc in only 40secs, since each zone takes approximately 10 seconds to finish:

Dual Layer Disc

If the inserted disc is a dual layer (DL), user can select inner/middle zone at Layer 0/1, as the following picture illustrates:

Plextools offers the option to save the results as HTML format with some additional information, as in case of PI/PO Test:


23. Conclusion

Plextor's latest release, the Plextor DVR PX-755A DVD Burner, is here. Apart from supporting all the basic functions found on all Plextor drives, it also supports 10X +R DL writing speed. Some tests were pending but now are completed and we can evaluate the drive as a whole, with all its capabilities and features.

CD reading speed is not one of the drives "strong" features, as there are a lot of market drives out there that can outpace the 755A. On the other hand, the drive is a fast DVD reader that can read up to 16X SL media while offering 12X reading speed for DL media. This is not to be taken lightly, as most of the latest drives offer only up to 8X for DL media, so the extra 4X reading speed is sure to please a lot of users. With write-once and RW media, the drive was good in as far as reading speeds achieved are concerned. As a ripper, the 755 yielded some amazing results, with a max ripping speed of 12X! However for this you'll have to keep the eject button pressed for three seconds without inserting any disc.

The error correction mechanism is good. The results with the 721 test disc were quite good but it was the CD-Check Audio Test Disc, where the drive read up to the fifth level, which is a deed rarely achieved, that impressed us. DVD error correction gave good results, with the drive being able to read over all artificial defects on all our test discs. However, with two discs, it dropped speed substantially, although it didn't affect reading precision. Before moving on to the writing quality, we complete this section by saying that the PX-755A is quite the ripper when it comes to protected media, as it managed to rip all the audio protected media CDs, as well as all the protected games (CD-media) inserted. Unfortunately though, the drive cannot accurately backup SafeDisc 3.1 and the latest SafeDisc 4.6, making it a poor backup drive for the latest protected games.

Writing quality is one of the things that render this drive as a very good device. Autostrategy worked in many cases. As we saw in the previous pages, the 755A managed to burn all inserted media, for all DVD formats and speeds, producing good to very good burns in the majority. With specific media, the performance could be improved through a new firmware release. The 755A among other things, supports up to 10X burning speed for DVD+R DL media. There were some anomalies with the writing strategy though, with some drops in speed occurring during our tests with Verbatim +R DL 8X effective media, during the second layer. We performed the burning test twice, just to make sure. But the results were more or less the same. The drive dropped its writing speed just after the start of the second layer, even though CD-Speed (Create Data Disc function) reports an end speed of 10X. Nevertheless, the achieved burning quality was good, as it was with all media burned.

Last but not least, the Q-Check functions are back and with a blast. For the needs of this review, Plextor provided us with the latest version of Plextools Pro, which apparently is specifically designed to work with the PX-755A drive as well as with the drive to follow. The drive was tested with the latest available Plextools Pro (version 2.28) and could not perform Q-check, giving a warning message that the drive does not support this functions. The latest Plextools Pro(2.32v) is available from the Plextools web site and supports all the Q-check functions of the PX-755A drive. In the drive's features, we should add PlexEraser, a utility that makes a recorded CD-R or DVD disc unreadable.

Overall, a good drive, with good writing capabilities while the return of the Q-Check features in the Plextor drives are more than welcome.

- The Good

- The Bad

- Like to be fixed

 

Reading
Error Correction
Protected Discs
Writing
Features


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