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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > DVD Recorders 1-4x

Sunday, May 18, 2003
4x DVD+RW Roundup (Plextor PX-504A, Mitsumi DW-7801TE)

2. Introduction - Plextor PX-504A

4x DVD+R/RW Roundup - Page 2

- Plextor PX-504A DVD+R/RW recorder

Plextor PX-504A supports DVD+R and writing at 4x CLV. For the DVD+RW format, the supported writing speed is the 2.4x CLV. The maximum reading speed for DVD-ROM and DVD Video is 12x CAV for single layer and 7x CAV for dual layer discs.

As for the CD-R media, you can select among the 4x, 8x and 16x CLV writing speeds, and 4x, 8x and 10x CLV writing for CD-RW format. The CD-ROM/-R/-RW reading speed is 40x CAV.

The drive is equipped with a 2MB of buffer, and technology to protect the “buffer underrun errors” during the writing process.

The supported RPCII region control allows the user to change the region code 5 times.

The drive offers the following writing modes: TAO, packet writing, SAO, multisession and according to Nero InfoTool, DAO RAW 96. Of course, it supports DVD+R and DVD+RW for the DVD.

The supported disc formats are: 4.7GB DVD+R/RW, DVD-ROM (single layer/dual layer), DVD Video, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA Mode 2, Photo CD, CD-DA, CD-Extra, CD Video and CD-R/RW.

- The package

The retail package includes one 4.7GB 4x DVD+R disc for data/video by Verbatim, one 4.7GB 2.4x DVD+RW disc by Verbatim also, a multilingual quick installation guide, Plextor RMA form with detailed instructions for the procedure, a warranty card and four software CD-ROM discs.

The software CD-ROM discs are packed in a very elegant package. The first one is the well-known PlexTools CD/DVD utility software. This is not the Professional version included in the latest CD recorder of the company, but includes all the necessary utilities for easy maintenance and efficient usage of the drive. In the same CD-ROM you can find the PX-504A PDF manual.

The CD/DVD burning application is Nero Burning Rom Plextor Version. PowerDVD XP is the bundled DVD player software and for DVD editing / authoring users can use the Pinnacle Studio v.8 SE.

Last, in the retail package you can find the usual internal audio cable, an IDE cable, mounting screws and an emergency eject pin.

On the disc loading tray you can see "DVD+RW" , the "DVD-ROM" and the "HSRW" logos. The disc/busy indicator LED lights up green when the device is active. The drive has also a headphone jack and a headphone volume control.

On the rear panel there are the usual connectors, such as the power input, the ATAPI interface, the device configuration jumper, and the analog audio output. As in the Mitsumi drive, the case was built to accept a ventilation fan but this is not included in the Plextor model.

After removing the screws on the bottom we can see the drive's internal design. Again, both mainboard and chips of the drive are manufactured by NEC.

- Installation

The Plextor drive was identified as "PLEXTOR DVDR PX-504A" under WinXP. The drive was installed to the secondary IDE channel of our test PC as a "Master” and worked in Ultra DMA Mode 2 transfer mode. The model came with firmware version v1.01 installed, as you can see in the Nero picture below:

The PX-504A we have in our hands was manufactured on February 2003 and the TLA version is #0000.

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