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Review: Plextor PlexWriter 12x4x32 Ultra SCSI Internal (Page 1/4)

Posted: September 6, 2000
Written by: Tuan "Solace" Nguyen


I’ve recently had the good fortune to come in contact with the latest SCSI CDRW drive from Plextor. A long-standing name with a well-respected tradition in SCSI CD-ROM and CDR drives, Plextor has recently entered the IDE/ ATAPI CDROM market with some success with such drives as the 8/4/32A CD-RW and more recently the 12/10/32A. Both of these drives, while aimed at the average user, possess many of the traits of Plextors earlier drives that won them such acclaim in the SCSI market.


- Ultra SCSI Interface
- 3-in-1 drive: 12X CD-R, 4X CD-RW, 32X max CD-ROM
- 160ms Average Random Access
- 4 MB Buffer
- Records highest quality audio CD’s
- Capable of Digital Audio Extraction at 20X max
- Supports CD-DA; CD-ROM (Mode 1); CD-ROM (Mixed Mode); CD-ROM XA (Mode 2, Form 1 or Form 2 and Mixed Form); CD-I; Photo CD; Video CD; CD-Extra (CD-Plus); CD+G; CD Text
- Compatible with a large number of CD-R and CD-RW media
- Flash ROM allows for easy upgrade over the Internet
- Windows Plug & Play Compatible
- Supports Disc-at-Once, Track-at-Once, Session-at-Once, Variable & Fixed packet writing modes
- One-Year Full Warranty and Unlimited Toll-Free Tech Support

What About Plextor?

Plextor is a company that is well known for making the world’s best optical drives. It’s sad to see Plextor not producing any DVD drives but hopefully they will soon. Throughout the years, Plextor has gained a tremendous audience and in the processor, many accolades. But rest assured, they are well deserved. In this industry, Plextor is known as the manufacturer that produces the most reliable and highest performing CD-ROM drives and CD writers.

Plextor is not a company that rides on its name, and the specs of the 12/4/32 prove it. Besides being the fastest SCSI writer available, it also boasts many other fantastic features. The Plextor boasts a 20X audio “ripping” speed, which, for those of us with AudioCatalyst and Music Match JukeBox, is very attractive. Another useful feature the Plextor has (and there are many) is the capability to “overburn” CD’s, allowing users to pack in that much more info on the disc. A 4 MB buffer basically guarantees that “buffer underruns” never occur, thus drastically cutting down on the number of coasters put out, as well as allowing it to burn at top speed without worry.

The 160 ms random access average and 20 MB/s burst speeds mean that the drive can easily double as a second CD-ROM drive. Other notable mentions are support of Disc-at-Once, Track-at-Once, Session-at-Once in both variable & fixed packet writing modes. What does this mean the buyer? It means that he/she has the option of adding data to already used CDs thanks to the track at once feature. On prior drives this meant that in audio CDs, a minimum two second space was placed between each of the tracks, possibly with a degradation of sound quality in the appearance of pops and snaps in such spaces due to pore :run-out, run-in" block placement.

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