Friday, July 1, 2005
Plextor, well known in the optical storage market, has released its latest model burner, the 740A, featuring 8X +R DL writing speed along with -R DL media support. Apart from this, Plextor also chose to change its chipset from Sanyo's to Philips', a chipset we saw used only in BenQ and of course, Philips drives. The new Plextor drive has other improvements as well, as we will see later on in this review.
Apart from the 8X+R DL and 4X-R DL support, the drive also offers 8X DVD+RW and 6X DVD-RW media burning speed. It can also write +R and -R media at the max speed of 16X.
- Drive Features
The Plextor 740A also supports the following unique features:
- Buffer Underrun Proof Technology to ensure maximum burned media quality avoiding any unrecoverable errors due to burning process.
- Lossless Linking : In the DVD+RW Video format, video can be encoded with a variable bit-rate (VBR).
Because the writing process takes place at a constant bit rate, the writing
process needs to be suspended and continued frequently. Normally, this would
result in a linking loss, making the disc incompatible with read-only devices
like DVD Video players and DVD-ROM drives. With DVD+RW it is possible to perform
lossless linking, i.e. to suspend and continue the writing process without
- Zero Linking : The technology used for DVD-R/RW media.
||DVD+R : 16x: 22.160KB/s (CAV), 12x: 16.620KB/s (PCAV), 8x: 11.080KB/s, 4x: 5.540KB/s (ZCAV), 2.4x: 3.324KB/s
|DVD-R: 16x: 22.160KB/s (CAV), 12x: 16.620KB/s (PCAV), 8x: 11.080KB/s, 4x: 5.540KB/s (ZCAV), 2.4x: 3.324KB/s
CD-R : 48x: 7.200KB/s (CAV), 40x: 6.000KB/s (CAV), 32x: 4.800KB/s (PCAV), 24x: 3.600KB/s (PCAV), 16x: 2.400 (ZCAV), 12x: 1.800 (ZCAV)
|DVD+R DL : 8x: 11.080KB/s (PCAV), 4x: 5.540KB/s (ZCAV), 2.4x: 3.324KB/s
|DVD-R DL : 4x: 5.540KB/s (ZCAV), 2.4x: 3.324KB/s
||DVD+RW : 8x: 11.080KB/s (ZCAV), 4x: 5.540KB/s (ZCAV), 2.4x: 3.324KB/s
|DVD-RW : 6x: 8.310KB/s (ZCAV), 4x: 5.540KB/s (ZCAV), 2.4x: 3.324KB/s
|CD-RW : 32x: 4.800KB/s (PCAV), 24x: 3.600KB/s (PCAV), 16x: 2.400KB/s, 10x: 1.500KB/s, 4x: 600KB/s (ZCAV)
||DVD-ROM : 16x CAV, 12x CAV, 8x CAV, 6x CAV, 4x CAV
|CD-ROM : 48x CAV, 40x CAV, 32x CAV, 24x CAV, 16x CAV, 10x CAV
||CD (Read/Write) CD-DA, CD-Extra, CD-ROM Mode-1, CD-ROM Mode-2, CD-ROM XA, Photo-CD, Video-CD, Multisession, CD TEXT, CD-I, CD+G, Mixed CD
Track at Once, Disc at Once, Packet Write (variable and fixed), Session at Once
| DVD (Read/Write)
DVD-ROM, DVD-Video, Multiborder, Multisession, DVD+VR, DVD-VR
DVD+R:Disc at Once, Multisession, Incremental Recording
DVD+R DL: Disc at Once
DVD+RW: Sequential Write, Random Access Write
DVD-R: Disc at Once, Multiborder recording, Incremental recording
DVD-RW: Disc at Once, Multiborder recording, Incremental recording, Restricted Overwriting, DRT-DM
||<100ms (CD), <150ms (DVD)
||146 x 41.2 x 177.5 mm
MTBF: 125.000 POH (20%)
Tray Loading Eject : 35.000 times
The following information is from Plextools 2.23 (which is included in the retail package) for the 740A drive.
DVD InfoPro provides its own detailed information about the Plextor 740A.
- Retail Package
The Retail package includes:
the PX 740A DVD recorder, an E-IDE (ATAPI) cable, mounting screws, a comprehensive Quick Installation Guide.
Finally there's the software bundle, consisting of full and trial versions, including :
PlexTools Professional (ver.2.23), PlexTools Professional XL, Cyberlink Solutions as it is labeled, which is a collection of software for your DVD authoring and viewing needs, Nero OEM, Pinnacle Studio 1.3.18 Trial version, Sonic solutions recording software and DVD Viewer software.
The front bezel is the typical white with the DVD+RW and the DVD+R and -R DL logos on the bottom left hand side.
On the rear panel you can see the analogue and digital outputs (SPDIF), the
IDE connector and the power input.
Once more, as we did in all our reviews, we opened the drive to take a closer look under the "hood". We don't recommend you do this with your drive as it will void the warranty. Clicking on the image below will open a larger, more detailed view of the drives inner parts.
Here is a picture of the drive's main chipset from Philips.
The drive was installed under WindowsXP and was recognized
as "PLEXTOR DVR PX-740A". The 740A came with 1.00 firmware revision and we flashed it to the latest firmware, v1.01 as can be seen in the Nero properties screenshot below.
Changes to the latest 1.01 firmware upgrade.
In this review, we will be comparing the Plextor 740A drive with three other drives of similar characteristics and technology. These are the LiteOn 1693S, the BenQ 1640 and the NEC 3530A, all being latest releases.