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Posted: September 6, 2000
Written by: Tuan "Solace" Nguyen
What About Plextor (cont.)
This is no longer a problem thanks to Plextor's inclusion of Session-at-Once writing method. Session-at-Once answers the problems mentioned earlier by allowing the user to control the pause length between tracks in track-at-once written CDs. For the pack-rat in all of us, Plextorís Disc-at-Once allows us to write an entire CD in one pass, perfect for duplicating our favorite audio CDís in case the cousins visit.
It should be noted that the SCSI interface makes writing CDs much more enjoyable in comparison to ATAPI/IDE interface. With IDE/ATAPI interface drives, such as those made by Plextor and Hewlett Packard, the system resources of the computer are used relatively high, approximately 85% Iíve been told. This means that while a CD is being written, I am unable to do a number of CPU intensive activities; activities such as playing my most recently purchased DVD, or working on a new file in Photoshop. Now, itís true that this is for only the 6-12 minutes that the CD is writing, a relatively short time perfect for visiting the facilities or retrieving a beverage; however, for the power users out there who crave efficiency like a Microsoft CEO craves monopolies, this is unacceptable. SCSI, the power userís godsend, is the answer. With a SCSI interface, it means that all the applications aforementioned can be running at the same time with little decrease in speed as SCSI allows the information to bypass parts of the computer that it would otherwise pass through, causing blockages like those found in the arteries of patrons of McDonald's. SCSI allows for many previously CPU intensive activities to be run at once, so that while I backup my Anemia CD directly from SCSI CD-ROM drive (I suggest the Plextor 48X), I can play a couple games of Unreal Tournament without having the CPU break a sweat.
Whether youíre buying this drive for its sheer speed and SCSI interface or just because you require "Plextor Inside", both reasons are good reasons.
Plextor bundled this drive with heaps of software. The usual Adaptec EasyCD Creator shipped with the drive but for some reason only version 3.5 was included. Perhaps Plextor is including version 4.0 as I write this... I hope so. Also, other utilities such as the CD ResQ software is shipped which lets you image your hard drive or parts of your hard drive onto CD for system restore when something goes weary.
Another useful utility is the PlexManager, which lets you turn on Windows DAE. This lets Windows see an audio CD as a CD with .wav files so all you have to do to extract them is just drag and drop them somewhere. This is a useful feature to have when you donít have proper audio extraction software to rip CDís.
If you have another Plextor drive, you can use Plextorís PlexDupe software to create "bit-for-bit" accuracy duplications. If not, then duplication will just be a "normal" dupe. But so far I havenít had any negative experiences when using just a single Plextor drive.
Another good feature is the ability to play back Audio CDís through the SCSI bus. This feature is good for people with USB speakers and no soundcard who still want to listen to their audio CDís.