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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > DVD Recorders Double Layer

Wednesday, December 15, 2004
PlextorPX-716A Preview

1. Introduction

Plextor PX-716A Writer - Page 1

We finally received the much awaited for drive from Plextor, the PX-716A. The drive supports 16X for DVD±R, 8X for DVD+RW, 4X for DVD-RW, 4X for DVD+R DL, 48X for CD-R and 24X CD-RW. For reading the speeds are 16X for DVD-ROM and 48X for CD-ROM.

- Features

The 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 the recording preparation in order to obtain a more personalized sound tone. The feature is fully controlled from within 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.

The 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

- PX-716A Benefits

  • Writing DVD+R: 16x
  •           DVD-R: 16x
  •           DL DVD+R: 4X
  •           CD-R: 48x
  • Rewriting DVD+RW: 8x
  •              DVD-RW: 4x
  •              CD-RW: 24x
  • Reading DVD-ROM: 16x
  •            CD-ROM: 48x
  • Buffer Underrun Proof Technology: Stops buffer underrun errors
  • GigaRec Technology
  • Intelligent Recording
    - 'AutoStrategy' is a self-learning writing technology to optimize the writing quality on any type of media
    - 'Intelligent Tilt' controls the laser in three dimensions, to ensure high quality writing and reading if the disc surface has imperfections
    - 'PoweRec' is a complex piece of writing intelligence ensuring superior recording quality at high speeds on certified media
  • SecureRecording Technology
  • Silent Mode
  • Q-Check
  • VariRec Technology
  • Supports Lossless Linking (DVD+R/RW)
  • Zero Link (DVD-R/RW)
  • Supports Background Formatting
  • Access Time <100 ms for CD; 150 ms for DVD
  • 8MB Buffer
  • E-IDE (ATAPI) interface
  • PC Compatibility:
    - Pentium 4 1.4Ghz or higher
    - 256MB Memory
    - 10GB of free disk space
  • Compatible with:
    - Windows 98 SE, Windows Me, Windows 2000, Windows XP
  • MultiRead Compatible
  • Supports SPDIF (Digital Audio Output)
  • High Quality Digital Audio Extraction
  • A black tray, to reduce the jitter and to increase the quality of the burned CD
  • Two year fast warranty service (EU, Norway and Switzerland: Collect & Return); 1 year in other countries.
  • Compatible formats:
    CD (Read/Write)
    CD-DA, CD-Extra, CD-ROM Mode-1, CD-ROM Mode-2, CD-ROM XA, Photo-CD, Video-CD, Multisession, CD TEXT, CD-I, CD+G, Mixed CD
    CD-R/RW (Write)
    Track at Once, Disc at Once, Packet Write (variable and fixed), Session at Once
    DVD (Read/Write)
    DVD-ROM, DVD-Video, Multiborder, Multisession, DVD+VR, DVD-VR
    DVD+R/RW (Write)
    DVD+R:Disc at Once, Multisession, Incremental Recording
    DVD+R DL: Disc at Once
    DVD+RW: Sequential Write, Random Access Write
    DVD-R/RW (Write)
    DVD-R: Disc at Once, Multiborder recording, Incremental recording
    DVD-RW: Disc at Once, Multiborder recording, Incremental recording, Restricted Overwriting, DRT-DM

- Specifications

Data Transfer Rate
Burst 66MB/s
16x: 22.160KB/s (CAV)
12x: 16.620KB/s (PCAV)
6-8x: 8.310-11.080KB/s (PCAV)
6x: 8.310KB/s (CLV)
4x: 5.540KB/s (CLV)
2.4x: 3.324KB/s (CLV)
4x: 5.540KB/s (CLV)
2.4x: 3.324KB/s (CLV)
16x: 22.160KB/s (CAV)
12x: 16.620KB/s (PCAV)
6-8x: 8.310-11.080KB/s (PCAV)
6x: 8.310KB/s (CLV)
4x: 5.540KB/s (CLV)
2x: 2.770KB/s (CLV)
48x: 7.200KB/s (CAV)
32x: 4.800KB/s (PCAV)
16x: 2.400KB/s (CLV)
8x: 1.200KB/s (CLV)
4x: 600KB/s (CLV)
6-8x: 8.310-11.080KB/s (PCAV)
6x: 8.310KB/s (CLV)
4x: 5.540KB/s (CLV)
2.4x: 3.324KB/s (CLV)
4x: 5.540KB/s (CLV)
2x: 2.770KB/s (CLV)
1x: 1.385KB/s (CLV)
24x: 3.600KB/s (PCAV)
10x: 1.500KB/s (CLV)
4x: 600KB/s (CLV)
6-16x CAV
5-12x CAV
3-8x CAV
2-5x CAV
2x CLV
20-48x CAV
17-40x CAV
14-32x CAV
10-24x CAV
8x CLV
4x CLV
Access Time <150ms (DVD)
<100ms (CD)
Data Buffer 8MB
Error Rate Mode1: less than 10-12bits
Mode2: less than 10-9bits
MTBF 60.000 POH
Tray Loading Eject 50.000 times
Warranty 2 year Fast Warranty Service (in EU, Norway and Switzerland: Collect & Return); 1 year in other countries
Dimensions 146 x 41,3 x 170 mm
Weight 1 kg


From the Info Tool and DVDinfoPro screenshots above, we can see that the drive doesn't support the DVD-RAM format or Mount Rainier. The buffer size is 8MB while the drive uses the RPCII region control and allows the user to change the region five times. For our tests we set it to region 2 (Europe).

- Tested Kit / Software Bundle

The retail package includes an IDE 80pin cable, four mounting screws, an extra jumper, an extra front bezel colored black along with front bezel replacement guide, an eject pin, the installation guide and various installation media which includes the following:
Ahead CyberLink Pinnacle Sonic Ulead
CD/DVD Mastering
Nero Express 6 SE Power2Go 3.0
(30 days trial)
Instant CD/DVD 8.3 LE
(Limited Edition)
(30 days trial)
Burn Now
(30 days trial)
Video Editing
Nero Vision Express 2
(30 days trial)
PowerDirector 3.0
(30 days trial)
Studio 9
(30 days trial)
(30 days trial)
Video Studio 8
(30 days trial)
DVD Authoring
Nero Vision Express 2
(30 days trial)
PowerProducer 2.0 Gold
(30 days trial)
Studio 9
(30 days trial)
(30 days trial)
DVD Movie Factory 3.5 SE
(30 days trial)
DVD Player
Nero ShowTime
(30 days trial)
PowerDVD 5.0
(30 days trial)
Instant Cinema
(Limited Edition)
MultiMedia Player
Nero Media Player Media@Show 2.0
(30 days trial)
Instant Audio    
    Instant Copy    
Nero Recode 2
(30 days trial)
PowerBackup 1.0
(30 days trial)
Instant Backup    

The front bezel continues in the tradition of Plextor front panels.

On the rear panel, we have the analogue and digital outputs (SPDIF), the IDE connector and power input.

Removing the screws and opening the drive's cover voids the drive's warranty, so don't do it. Instead, for reference reasons, we post the following images. You can click on the mainboard picture for a higher resolution image:

The drive is Sanyo based with the following chipset in it.

Below is shown the difference between Plextor drive models 712 and the 716. As you can see, the latest model is shorter.

- Installation

The drive was installed as secondary master and under WindowsXP was recognized as "PLEXTOR DVDR PX-716A". The drive arrived with firmware revision v1.02.

Below is a screenshot from Nero Burning Rom's specs for the drive.

- Testing software

In order to perform our tests, we used:

  1. Nero CD-DVD Speed v3.55
  2. CDVD Benchmark v1.21
  3. Nero Info Tool v2.27
  4. PlexTools v2.18
  5. DVDInfoPro v2.63
  6. Nero Burning Rom v6.6.0.3
  7. CopyToDVD 3.0.35


1/12/2005 Click here for full review

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