PX-712A Dual DVD±RW Recorder -
was the first manufacturer to release a dual-format 8X/4X DVD recorder,
the PX-708A. Now, Plextor has released the first 12X/8X burner,
PX-712A. This is the first drive to support 12X DVD+R recording in combination
with 8X DVD-R. In addition, it is the first DVD recorder with 48X maximum
recording speed for the CD-R format. Plextor usually puts a lot of effort in
the correct hardware implementation and firmware design, so our expectations
are high for this model.
VariRec feature can be applied not only with Audio CD-R discs but also with 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 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.
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.
Other interesting features of the PX-712A, used only with PlexTools are:
- allows high capacity storage of up to 1 GB on a 700 MB disc. With this advanced feature, you can increase the maximum writing capacity up to 40%*
- offers password protection for your disc and other valuable data*
- checks and reports written disc quality ? C1/C2, PI/PO, track and focus errors*
- enables users to vary tray load/unload speed, spin up/down speed and write/read speeds*
* More information about each function later at its own pages.
course, the most awaited feature of the new Plextor PX-712A is the supported
higher reading / writing speeds. The new drive offers 12X DVD+R (6~12
P-CAV) recording, the highest DVD recording speed available today. Not many
manufacturers will jump on the 12X DVD+R writing speed wagon, since there is
no official standard. It must be noted that in the next couple of months, 16X
full CAV DVD+R writers will hit the market.
DVD-R can be written up to 8X and DVD±RW at 4X
CLV, while. DVD-ROM reading
goes up to 16X CAV - for SL (single layer) media - and 12X for DL (double
layer) media. This drive has also very impressive capabilities when viewed
as a CD-RW
recorder, offering 48X/24X/48X speeds.
E-IDE/ATAPI (Ultra DMA Mode
DVD+R: 12X / -R: 8X, DVD+RW: 4X, DVD-RW: 4X
CD-R: 48X, CD-RW: 24X
DVD-ROM: 16X, CD-R/RW: 40X/48X
DVD: 150msec, CD: 100msec
Supported Disc Formats:
DVD: DVD-ROM, DVD Video,
Multi Border (closed disc read only), Multi-session, DVD+VR, DVD-VR
CD-R/RW: CD-DA, CD-Extra,
CD-ROM Mode 1, CD-ROM Mode 2, CD-ROM XA, Photo CD, Video CD, CD-I,
CD-Text, UDF, CD+G
Supported Writing Types:
write, Random access write, Multi-session and DVD+MRW (Mt. Rainier)
DVD-R/ -RW: Disc-at-once,
Incremental recording, Multi-border recording, Restricted overwriting
|CD-R/RW: Track-at-once, Disc-at-once,
Session-at-once, Multi-session, Fixed and Variable Packet Writing, CD-MRW
Apart from the specifications mentioned above, Plextor PX-712A supports Mount
Rainier for CD-R/RW and DVD+R/+RW (DVD+MRW). The drive also uses RPC II
region control, allowing a user to change the drive's region at most 5 times.
For our tests, we set the region
code to 2 (Europe). Below are the drive's main specs as taken from NeroInfoTool
v2.13 was used to support the drive's new testing abilities as well. Below
you can see the supported subpages for the PX-712A drive.
A new interesting feature of PlexTools v2.13 is that after right clickingn
on the drive and selecting the "Status" option, you can check
the drive's main features, such as reading/writing speeds and GigaRec/VariRec
When a blank DVD recordable/rewritable media is inserted, the user can check
which writing speeds are supported under the CD/DVD Info page. When an already
burned disc is
inserted, PlexTools will report various information about the disc:
Below you can see all the available CD reading speeds, according to the data
type of a disc as presented within PlexTools. The maximum reading speed for
CD-R is 48X when SpeedRead is enabled, and 40X for the remaining CD formats:
The maximum CD writing speed for CD-R is 48X P-CAV and 24x P-CAV, when using
Ultra Speed CD-RW media:
Single layer DVD-ROM media can be read up to 16X CAV, which is quite impressive.
discs will be read up to 12X CAV. As PlexTools reports, DVD-Video will be
played at 2X CLV to avoid noise and vibrations, which however can be overcome
Below, all the available writing
speeds for DVD and the various supported media types are illustrated:
- European Retail package
European retail package includes the Plextor PX-712A IDE drive, one E-IDE cable,
a quick install guide, an RMA form and a warranty card. As for all the Plextor
the PX-712A offers a 2-year warranty for Europe, Middle-East and Africa. There
is no blank DVD±RW media included with the retail package, which could
be annoying for an amateur user. Perhaps this decision was made by Plextor
to reduce the cost (180 Euro) of the retail package.
The bundled CD/DVD mastering software comes from Ahead , and includes
Nero Burning Rom and Nero InCD for packet writing. PowerDVD by CyberLink is the
included DVD player software, and Pinnacle Studio 9 SE is available for video
editing / authoring.
The second CD-ROM available in the package contains PlexTools Professional
CD/DVD v2.12 utility software and a detailed manual in several languages.
Let's take a look at the drive itself.
The PX-712A model resembles the previous 708 drive and it has all the
appropriate logos indicating the supported formats. The only difference between
the front panel of the 708A and the 712A is the lack of the head-phone jack
and the volume control button. The black tray, according to Plextor, reduces
the optical distortion of the laser beam while reading/writing, producing higher
quality burns. The activity indicator lights up green when the device is
active and yellow when reading / accessing a disc.
On the rear panel you can see the analogue and digital outputs (SPDIF), the
and the power connector. Another version of PX-712A planned to arrive shortly
with S-ATA interface and codename PX-712S.
Our drive was manufactured in April 2004 with a TLA#0001 (hardware revision).
Removing the screws and opening the drive's cover voids the drive's warranty.
For reference reasons, we post the following pictures. You can click on the mainboard
picture for a higher resolution image:
Below you can see Sanyo's latest LSI chipset, the LC897491. According to
Sanyo, the new chipset supports 12x DVD+R, 8x DVD-R, 8x DVD±RW, 52x
CD-R and 32x CD-RW recording speeds. In addition it supports Sanyo’s
HD-BURN and BURN-Proof technologies. With reading, the chipset offers
16x DVD-ROM, 52x CD-ROM and 2x DVD-RAM.
The drive was installed as secondary master and under WindowsXP was recognized
as "PLEXTOR DVDR PX-712A". The drive arrived with
firmware v1.00. Plextor released a newer firmware (v1.01)
that was being used for all reading/recording tests. Below is a picture from
Nero Burning Rom, showing the drive's specs.
We have only tested one other 12X DVD+R burner, that from CyberDrive, so
we decided to compare the drive with its older brother, the PX-708A and
- Testing software
In order to perform our tests we used:
- Nero CD-DVD Speed v3.00
- CDVD Benchmark v1.21
- ExactAudioCopy v0.9 beta5
- Nero Info Tool v2.21
- KProbe v2.1.0 (Reader: LiteOn LDW-811S firmware vHSOK, Reading speed 8X CAV)
- PlexTools v2.13 (Reader: Plextor PX-712A firmware v1.01, Reading speed 8X CLV for CD-R)
- DVDInfoPro v2.47
- Nero Burning Rom v126.96.36.199