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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > DVD Recorders Double Layer

Thursday, September 29, 2005
Plextor PX-716SA

1. Introduction

Several months ago, Plextor released the PX-716A drive, an internal 16X DVD recorder with many features and capabilities. Today we will be reviewing its twin, the PX-716SA, same burner but with different connection interface, Serial ATA instead of IDE. The PX-716SA supports up to 16X burning speed with DVD±R media and 8X/6X with DVD±RW media. The PX-716SA also supports up to 6X burning speed with both DL formats (DVD±R DL media).

Note here that the drive will not be posted with the full CDRinfo test suite, since several tests reported same results as the 716A drive. We only present the writing quality for the PX-716SA with the most recent firmware revision, that of 1.08. For further investigation of the drives capabilities, you can take a look at the full review of the PX-716A which can be found here.

- Features

The Plextor 716SA supports the same set of features as the 716A IDE burner...

supported for recording at high-quality and optimum speed.

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.

controls the laser in three dimensions, to ensure high quality writing and reading if the disc surface has imperfections. Below is a graph, which according to Plextor shows the Jitter improvement with the IntelligentTilt technology:

The VariRec feature can be applied not only to Audio CD-R discs but also DVD±RW media. The user can select some settings during recording preparation in order to obtain a more personalized sound tone. The feature is fully controlled from within the PlexTools software, available in the Plextor retail package, and works for CD at 4X and 8X and for DVD at 2X and 4X writing speeds. Nero and other programs support this feature as well.

The PoweRec technology ensures the quality of CD and DVD recordings. Low quality media is often the source of disc errors during high speed recording. PoweRec checks the quality of the inserted CD/DVD media and automatically selects the optimum (maximum) writing speed, giving the highest quality results.

- GigaREC allows high capacity storage of up to 900 MB on a 700 MB CD-R disc. With this advanced feature, you can increase the maximum writing capacity by up to 30%.

- SecureREC offers password protection for your disc and other valuable data

- Q-Check checks and reports written disc quality - C1/C2 for CD, PI/POF and TA for DVD (Time Analyzer checks T3-T11 and T14), track and focus errors, beta and jitter.

- Silent Mode which enables users to vary tray load/unload speed, spin up/down speed and write/read speeds

- Specifications

Data Transfer Rate
Burst 66MB/s
16x: 22.160KB/s (CAV) 12x: 16.620KB/s (PCAV) 6-8x: 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) 2.4x: 3.324KB/s (CLV) 16x: 22.160KB/s (CAV) 12x: 16.620KB/s (PCAV) 6-8x: 8.310-11.080KB/s (PCAV) 6x: 8.310KB/s (CLV) 4x: 5.540KB/s (CLV) 2x: 2.770KB/s (CLV) DVD-R DL 6x: 8.310KB/s (CLV) 4x: 5.540KB/s (CLV) 2x: 2.770KB/s 48x: 7.200KB/s (CAV) 32x: 4.800KB/s (PCAV) 16x: 2.400KB/s (CLV) 8x: 1.200KB/s (CLV) 4x: 600KB/s (CLV)
6-8x: 8.310-11.080KB/s (PCAV) 6x: 8.310KB/s (CLV) 4x: 5.540KB/s (CLV) 2.4x: 3.324KB/s (CLV) 4x: 5.540KB/s (CLV) 2x: 2.770KB/s (CLV) 1x: 1.385KB/s (CLV) 24x: 3.600KB/s (PCAV) 10x: 1.500KB/s (CLV) 4x: 600KB/s (CLV)
6-16x CAV 5-12x CAV 3-8x CAV 2-5x CAV 2x CLV 20-48x CAV 17-40x CAV 14-32x CAV 10-24x CAV 8x CLV 4x CLV
Access Time <150ms (DVD) <100ms (CD)
Data Buffer 8MB
Error Rate Mode1: less than 10-12bits Mode2: less than 10-9bits
Eject Auto Eject / Manual Emergency
Disc Loading Slot Loading mechanism (caddy)
Power Supply DC +5V and DC +12V
Audio Connector Rear: Analog output
Rear: Digital SPDIF output
Dimensions 146 x 41,3 x 178,7 mm
Weight 1 kg
MTBF 60.000 POH
Disc Loading Eject 20.000 times
Warranty 2 year Fast Warranty Service (in EU, Norway and Switzerland: Collect & Return); 1 year in other countries

Specifications as reported with the aid of various tools...

As we can see with Nero Info Tool and DVDInfo Pro, the drive uses the RPC II Region control which allows up to five region changes. We changed the region on our drive to "Region 2" for the purposes of this review.

The drive uses the standard front loading tray mechanism. The sample we received from Plextor was black. The eject button is located on the left side while in the middle, there is an emergency eject hole A green led is also present and lights up depending on drive activity.

The only difference with the PX-716A is the rear panel, where the SATA interface and power connectors are located.

The drive is Sanyo based, using the following chipset.

- Installation

The drive was installed under WindowsXP and was recognized as "PLEXTOR DVDR PX-716A". It arrived with the most recent firmware revision, v1.08. Below is a screenshot from Nero Burning Rom's specs for the drive.

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