Is Plextor's glory days over

I remember the days when you either had a plextor, or you didnt :smiley:

Actually that was 18 months ago. They were on the cutting edge, they had stuff like gigarec and 8 meg buffers. Now they are the only company with SATA. god bless them for that( I have 6 SATA HD’s)

And I would love to get a plextor SATA and am willing to spend the extra dough, especially i build my shuttle type machine.

so here are my three questions.

A) Does PLextor manufacture their own stuff, I always thought they did, are they asian or american?

B)Are they up to par quality and technology wise with BENQ, NEC, Pioneer, LG, Lite-On. etc. OR are they all hype and 8 meg buffers?

C)Is SATA drive burning safe? Suprised none of the other comapnies are taking the chance, frankly i think the other companies are morons, especially Pioneer, and LACIE(for not demanding their suppliers to engineer one)

IF only Plextor could merge with benq and pioneer, life would be good

PS-Plextor will always be pimp, lets just hope they take us seriosuly and make a drive tailore for us Freaks!

A) &
a visit to the official site would’ve helped you with the answer to that question. other than some/older DVD-ROM drives, they produce their own products (in various Asian countries…e.g. Japan & China) and are not rebadged drives like Sony/Lite-On.

B) READ the forums (in particular the Recording Hardware section)

C) READ the forums with regards to SATA controller chips and compatibility. there are several posts with owners of ASUS A8N mobos with compatibilty issues (i.e. forced UDMA 2, etc.). other than convenience/ease of setup/lack of avail IDE channels… there is no benefit to SATA versions of optical drives. no current drives can take advantage of the additional bandwidth of the SATA interface. SATA controller compatibility is still hit or miss but refer to the compatibility table on the official site.

Not sure what you mean by merging with BenQ (formerly Acer Peripherals) and/or Pioneer (read Pioneer HW section for current news/issues with newer drives).

Plextor still has one of the best customer support programs (not 100% great all the time of course). The Plexwriter Premium is still the top-dog CD burner and the additional features on most all of the recent Plextor burners are tailored to power-users (i.e. GigaRec, VariRec, SecurROM).

I have read the forums, over time, ive read this and that, and guess what i paid 120$ for a plextor 48x less than 1.5 years ago. I love the company, it was just through my FORUM reading I heard here and there that they didnt stay on top of burning like some of the other companies. Which in my opinion they should have done to maintain the reputation they had. I will admit I dont think I was lurking on this site till I got my first dvd burner last May. And I came in expecting it to be PLextor as standard, the top and only pick.

I am only using SATA for ease of use, there is only ONE Sata deice that has increased performance that is the Western Dig Raptor, and not because it sata, because it is 10000 rpm, basically a scuzzy drive with sata port instead of scuzzy

ok let me be a little more specific, Does plextor support bitsetting? fo they support PIE/F scanning. I dont think so

Now I am sure you are ready to type, “search the forums” well i learned most of stuff reading the forums for hours for days before i switched from my worn LG to a benq. Answering that way implies that you think i am stupid or lazy. Also I know the perspective of those who dig other drives, but look I AM A PLEXTOR FAN and if there cost TWICE as much, I would buy them. They are like the german car of optical, I remember that the last CD one had full customibility, even the speed of the tray

The real important reason I am trying to get your guys opions, is because I run a media reproduction company, and accuracy and compatibility are MOST important.

I am going to put another post up, to ask something else being that i am ready to buy one

I’ve been a Plextor fan since the early 90’s. I’ve had the SCSI models and the Atapi’s. I’ve always been pleased until I bought the PX-716A. I’ve bought 5 and had to take 4 of them back to Best Buy. There has been something wrong with every one of them except the one Plextor sent me back on an RMA. It was a TLA 0101.

After 5 drives, 2 hardware revisions (from the original 0000) and 4 firmware upgrades, I’ve had it with this drive. I retired it last night and hooked my trusty PX-712A back up. I could burn a piece of toast in this drive and it would scan pristine. It will burn my crappiest media with great quality. I won’t say that I won’t hook up my PX-716A again, but it won’t be until they REALLY fix it. My personal opinion is that it is a total piece of CRAP. Mayte they should change their name to CRAPSTOR. I’ve yet to see a bad review of this drive though. Are people afraid to tell the truth about this drive, that it’s not right? I’ve done countless burns and scans with this drive, and I’m totally disappointed with it. That’s my view of Plextor at the moment. I think they’ve abandoned excellency. Will they return to their roots? Who knows . . .


@charm: im not sure what you can’t gather from the dozens if not hundreds of posts with scans from the PX716A. The WD Raptors do benefit from SATA but not because it’s a SCSI drive with a SATA bridge - they’re actually IDE drives with a SATA bridge.

Yes Plex’s support bitsetting and PIE/F scanning - you would realize this (quite obviously) if you did actually READ the forums.

As far as the “stupid or lazy” comment…read into things as you will…I’m not going to point out the obvious again. FYI, it’s pretty obvious from the drives I own that I’m a fan of Plextor as well. Please also look at the Data sheets for the drives on the official site…many of your questions can be answered quite easily if you did in fact take the time to read more, use google, or look in the obvious places.

@MarkA: sorry to hear about your experiences, but you seem to be one of the exceptions. you’ve every right to believe what you do based on your experiences, but assuming that every other PX-716 out there is crap too is a little unjustified.

a lot of people hear may think I’m a Plex fan-boy and/or I’m harsh when saying “READ” or “SEARCH” but majority of times I see people asking questions when the answers are PLAINLY available if you look in the OBVIOUS places (Google,, Plextor HW section).

Ewww. I paid less than $100 for my first Premium less than a year and a half ago.

I am only using SATA for ease of use
I am curious about this oft-quoted “ease of use”. In what way is it easier to use than an IDE drive? All you get is (potential) compatibility hell.

ok let me be a little more specific, Does plextor support bitsetting? fo they support PIE/F scanning. I dont think so
Bitsetting is supported - read the Plextor FAQ. If Plextors could not do error scanning why would there be the sticky thread titled Post your Plextor DVD quality scans here? Are were even reading the same forum? =)


I’ve been a Plextor fan for years. I’ve had 5 now and none are up to Plextor standards.
I’ve given this drive every benefit of the doubt. I’ve hoped and pulled with all my might wanting this drive to be what it should. Maybe the drives sent to Best Buy were all crap, I don’t know. I do know this: the BenQ 1620, the NEC3500A, and every other Plextor drive I’ve ever owned puts the PX-716A to shame. That’s just been my experience with 5 drives. I can’t speak for every PX-716A, but I can for the ones I’ve owned. :slight_smile:


w/out a doubt, i agree with you and, again, im sorry you’ve had such a bad experience with this particular drive. i directed my response to you based on your comment: “I’ve yet to see a bad review of this drive though. Are people afraid to tell the truth about this drive, that it’s not right?” where you assumed that every PX716A was crap and your experience was the truth. that’s all. :slight_smile:

I’ve read many other people’s posts with similar comments as mine. You’ll have to agree that there have been quite a lot of problems with this drive, and not just my problems. Probably the best I’ve heard is that the drive has “potential”. Is the drive up to par in your opinion? You’ve seen Plextor quality over the years just as I have.


P.S. The PX-712 A has much more media speed ups than the PX-716A. I would think that a cutting-edge writer would build on what thy had already attained from the 712A. Is that unreasonable? I can burn at 12X on a lot of media with the PX-712 A in 6 minutes and 16 seconds with excellent results. With firmware 1.04, I only saw the Sony D11 speeded up to 12X. The quality was quite bad at 8X or 12X. The same disk has really good results with the 712A. So have many other media that weren’t all that great with the 716A, and that’s being kind. I’ve burned probably 100 disks or so testing the drive out.

keep in mind that people generally only post if they are having issues with a drive and it’s a very one-sided view of things. it doesn’t speak to the number of people who are perfectly satisfied with the drive and just don’t post to say such. if i were JUST to look at zevias scans, i’d say this drive beats every other out there (except maybe BenQ 1620) but i know better than to infer such a thing from just one drive in particular. i think there are several knowledgeable people that post here that are satisfied with the drive.

Plextor has never been just about speed and i think the quality of my burns have been on par with past performance, but definitely not blowing anybody out of the water. my DL burns have scanned far better than any other DL burns on other drives i’ve seen posted here at CDF and that coupled with the fastest DL speeds is one area where this drive is better (obviously the price of DL media sucks and has prohibited many from taking advantage of this capability though). i also take into account all the additional features and control Plex gives you with their drives that other manufacturers don’t. sure you pay a premium and that premium is arguably unjustified, but that’s a personal choice in my view.

all i have to say is i see many more (yes proportionally) complaints about other drives than i do about the PX716. i agree that TLA 00XX was a big mistake but i’d be hard pressed to say that other manufacturers/drives don’t have similar if not worse issues with the newest models (lite-on 1633, pioneer 109/A09, NEC 3520, etc.).

Is Plextor’s glory days over?

-I believe it’s just started with FW 1.04. It’s a bit late though.

Is the drive up to par in your opinion?

I can only compare with two BenQ 1620 (and a 712A.)

  • DVD+R burn quality: YES
  • DVD-R burn quality: BETTER
  • Write Speed: YES, (712A write faster @12x among all)
  • Read Speed: BETTER
  • Media compatibility: YES
  • Media overspeeding: YES
  • Features: BETTER (Plextools bundle)
  • Official firmware support: YES

Another thing that I feel about comparing PX-716 vs BenQ1620, it is like buying a “point and shoot” VS “manual” camera. PX-716 is made for “Pro User”, where you can set almost all tools and features manualy, you can make the burns better if you know how to set the features. BenQ is more for “average user”, everything is set by default and you can’t go wrong with the burns. The BenQ owners in BenQ forum were debating whether they want a tool to disable WOPC or not, while Plextor already has this feature with PR on or off.

and probably one of the most experienced with this drive and its top competitors here at CDF offers his highly respected opinion. thank you zevia…very nice camera analogy…some prefer ease of use and some prefer control but both offer similar good results.

I have thought Plextor’s “glory days” in optical storage recording were somewhere in the mid-1990s. As soon as Taiwanese like Acer and Lite-On IT and South Korean manufacturers like Samsung and LG started making much cheaper CD writers, mostly working with top Japanese companies like Hitachi, JVC, Ricoh, Sanyo, and so on, Plextor’s glory days were gone. However, Plextor survived in the field much longer than Yamaha, Sanyo, Ricoh, Sony, Philips, Mitsumi, Daewoo, and many others and amazingly still seems to do very well considering the high cost of their retail prices. So why did Yamaha, Sony, Ricoh, Philips, and other top makers stop? Because they couldn’t make better consumer optical media recorders than Plextor? Any special reason why Plextor can make DVD writers better than NEC, Philips, Toshiba, Hitachi, Pioneer, Matsushita? (Their combined market share is close to 90%, including those of their respective partners.)


If I’m not mistaken, isn’t this your fifth PX-716A? You didn’t have very good luck with four of them,did you? That’s a 20 percent chance of getting a good one. How I found this forum was by doing a search to see if anyone else was having problems with their 716A’s like I was. If my first Plextor PX-716A had been what it should have been, I would only have a PX-716A and a PX-712A right now. I would have never known about the BenQ or NEC, nor would I have one of each now.


That’s one of the reasons why Plextor survived. Most people at least in South Korea bought PX-716A because it’s Plextor who never bothered to look at LG, NEC, Pioneer, BenQ, TSST… It might be very different in other countries as Japanese manufacturers are not that tightly boycotted in countries other than South Korea. Here, no chance to get anything other than South Korean brands through “proper” channels.


This place has been a real education for me. I think from now on I’ll do more research before spending my money blindly. I’m glad I have the BenQ and NEC. I’ve not seen any LG’s here in Tampa. Best Buy is the only one here with the Plextor’s. I would have bought a Pioneer too, but from what I’ve been reading, this isn’t a very good choice at the moment either: no bitsetting and slow write times . . .


This is my third one. The first two were TLA0000 and 0001.

I’ll bite. I’m currently on PX-716A #6. Brief history:

TLA#0000: D.O.A.
TLA#0000: D.O.A.
TLA#0000: Disgusting 12x-16x burn quality.
TLA#0101: Just plain bad 16x burns.
TLA#0103: Mediocre 16x burns, not up to Plextor’s rep.
TLA#0203: Great 16x burns, BEAUTIFUL now that FW 1.04’s here.

I agree with the gist of what Kenshin’s saying. There really isn’t anything Plextor offers in a DVD writer that cannot be purchased for half the price from a large ODD player like NEC or Pioneer. Out of the hundred or so DVD writers I’ve purchased for myself, the offices, or clients during the last year there have been 10 RMAs… one Lite-on, one Pioneer, one BenQ and seven Plextors. That’s much too small a sampling to make a definitive statement, but one brand doesn’t look too good.

My latest PX-716A is an excellent drive. It’s even my favorite amongst the DVD-RWs I own. But I wish I’d never bought PX-716A #1 in the first place. The King of Initial Quality Plextor is not.

If Plextor is going to survive in the “elite” niche, I think they need to do two things: build innovative drives, and ship drives that aren’t lemons. There’s currently so little that Plextor offers beyond what others are turning out that no one’s going to keep paying premium prices for just another ODD, no matter how many colored faceplates they include in the package.

AutoStrategy is a nice feature exclusive to the PX716. i don’t know if there are any other drives as feature laden (at stock) as the PX716: overburning capabilities & GigaRec, first 6X DL, UDMA 4, VariRec, bitsetting, Qcheck features, SecureROM, yada yada.

i’m trying to find a post by either OCFreak or GAMEFREAK with some failure/defect stats as reported by a drive distributor. both NEC and Plextor came in at about 0.5% of drives whereas Lite-On and Pioneer were like 5% and higher.

I’d like to see that. Of the 7 Plex RMAs last year, five of them were the PX-716A which definitely had a bad initial run and skewed my sample pool.

You’re right about Giga-Rec, Auto-Strategy, etc., being nice features of the PX-716A. They’re the things that set it apart from the 16x drives churned out by the big guys. I believe it’s innovations like these that will either make or break Plextor–without these new techs you’d have no reason to buy a Plextor instead of the cheaper but reliable alternatives.

Personal Confession: Part of the reason I own a few Plextors is that they look cooler than most other ODDs. The DW-1620’s a great burner, but just LOOK at it… talk about Plain Jane.