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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > Combo

Monday, June 03, 2002
PleXCombo PX-320A

2. CD/DVD Reading Tests

PleXCombo PX-320A IDE DVD/CDR-W- Page 2

Data Tests

- SCSI Mechanic v3.0x results

The PleXCombo PX-320A is a 40x (CAV) reader. The drive is slower than its big brother (PX-W4012A) but faster than the Ricoh MP9200A in both "Average Random I/O" and at the "Average Sequential I/O" tests.

- Pressed CD results: (click here to see the CD Speed graph)

Using Nero CD Speed 0.85, we confirmed our previous results. The PX-320A is slower than the PX-W4012A but faster than the MP9200A.

The "seek times" results are out of the drive's specs. Plextor states 100ms average seek time but using both CD-R and pressed discs we got much higher results. It's also noticeable that PX-320A has lower seek times than PX-W4012A at the "Random" and "1/3" seek times test. However at the "Full stroke" test, PX-320A is slower. The Ricoh MP9200A is faster than both Plextor drives in this test...

- CDR Media: (click here to see the CD Speed graph)

In the CDR media test, the PX-320A continues to be faster than the MP9200A drive. There were some problems with the Seek Time test results, since either the drive returns read errors, or produces high full stroke seek times (685ms)!

- HS-RW media: (Click here to see the CD Speed graph)

The PX-320A is much slower than other drives, due to a lower supported HS-RW reading speed (32x CAV max). Ricoh MP9200A is quite fast, but slower than the PX-W4012A:

- DVD Tests: (DVD Speed graphs for DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RW , DVD+R, DVD+RW)

Both Ricoh MP9200A and PleXCombo PX-320A support 12x DVD maximum reading speed. The Ricoh drive is faster, since it ends at 15705Kb/s, while the Plextor drive stays at 10929Kb/s.

Again in the seek time test, Ricoh drive is faster in both "Random" and "1/3" tests. The DVD Speed v0.53 reported 48ms for the "Full Stroke" test, which is impossible. Probably it's a software bug…

As you may have read in the specifications, Plextor PX-320A lowers its reading speed when playback DVD movies to avoid noise and vibrations. This also affects the drive's DVD ripping speed, which stacks to 2710Kb/s. The Ricoh MP9200A is much faster with an 8309Kb/s average DVD ripping speed.

Let us now check the drive performance when reading DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R and DVD+RW media. The Plextor PX-320A drive can read DVD-R, DVD+R and DVD+RW media without any glitches. We had problems with DVD-RW media. The drive denied recognize our usual DVD-RW test disc. When used a brad new DVD-RW disc, written either by Pioneer DVR-A03/A04, the drive recognized it without any problems. This may be a firmware issue...

- DVD Playback Tests

We used various DVD movies to test the reading performance of the PX-320A. The drive didn't have any problem with normal and slightly scratched DVD discs. The noise from the drive is kept in low volumes due to its 2X reading speed. Remember that only 1X DVD speed is necessary for DVD playback




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