New Replacement 716A - Initial Report

vbimport

#1

I just got my replacement drive from Plextor in Ohio: TLA 0308, dated June 2005, made in China and appears to be in pristine unused condition (ie new!). Took 5 business days from the moment they received my malfunctioning drive. The packaging was a superbly manufactured top and bottom shelving consisting of a unique cardboard and thick plastic wrap window within which the pink plastic bag containing my drive was locked tight in suspension within the box. No styrofoam or packing peanuts required. The drive was well protected suspended in the plastic wrap window snugly like a baby in it’s mother’s womb. Absolutely ingenious! Well done Plextor.

So far I have burned one Verbatim 24X CD-R with pleasing results. This is 4 years old blank media stored in a room where temperatures range from 45 F in winter to 110 F and humid in summer. The data was burned using Nero 6.6.x set to burn at max speed and took 5:46 from start to finish.

Interestingly, the blank disc scanned with Nero CD-DVD Speed’s Transfer rate test only reaches 16X speed while the burned disc in the same test reaches nearly 43X by the end. Can someone explain? I also fully erased an old Memorex CD-RW disc and burned a couple of videos onto it which performed flawlessly in my Philips DVP642 DVD player. I get a little antsy when using pre-used RW media with a new burner because I have had issues with unable to erase the disc or read the data with a new drive. The new 716A never even hiccuped. Smooth as silk so far.

The 3 images below depict this media’s results. First, the Nero CD-DVD Speed’s Transfer rate test on the blank disc. Second is Nero CD-DVD Speed’s Transfer rate test on the burned disc. Third is the PxScan of the burned disc. Can someone explain the “sawtooth” appearance to the red beta graph? I have not experienced this before.

Overall, I’m pleased so far. More testing to come, including a head-to-head disc quality study when my new BenQ 1640 arrives. It will take a while, it will be fun, and maybe there will be some good data out of the comparison.


#2

Yes I can :slight_smile: You cannot perform a read test on blank media, for the obvious reason that there isn’t any data to read. When you select the Speed Test in Nero CD-DVD Speed on a blank disc, the drive will write the disc and you will the a write speed graph. Now, once that CD-RW disc has been written you can perform the Speed Test again but now you will the the read speed graph.


#3

G@M3FR3@K:

DOH! I feel like Homer Simpson. It was right there in front of my own beer-addled eyeballs: The progress window in the “Transfer Rate test” image cleary says “Write Transfer Rate Test”! At the risk of sounding like my brain is bacon frying on a grill (another Homer Simpson reference), does this mean that the 24X media will be written to at a maximum speed of 16X?

Also, can you tell me what the spikes in the “Beta” graph mean? Considering the low error rate I wouldn’t have expected these.


#4

Spikes in Jitter (and Beta) in scans with the 716a are currently under investigation by Plextor engineering:

http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=142339 (see especially postings 4, 5 and 9)


#5

The 716A doesn’t have a 24x write strategy for CD-R, only CD-RW, so yes, 24x CD-R media will be written at 16x. IMO Verbatim Super-AZO CD-Rs aren’t a good fit for Plextor DVD writers as the max speed you can seem to get out of them is 32x (even for the ones rated 40x and above). The old deep-blue dye Metal AZO discs work well (up to 16x), but if you want speed, go with TY.


#6

HWP:

I need to get more CD-R’s to do further scanning and see if this is related to just this type of disc or not. I just RMA’ed a 100 pak of Taiyo Yuden 52X CD-R’s back thinking they were the reason for errored-out burns/scans before my last 716A died. Maybe it wasn’t the discs after all! :frowning: If this is a global issue, how does this affect the quality of playback and longevity of the recorded data, assuming the data is audio/visual in content?

Two Degrees:

That’s what I figured based on the drive’s specs. But, I could have sworn I was overspeed burning these discs in my last 716A with same firmware. They are Verbatim DataLifePlus Colors 700MB 80min 1X-24X, Super AZO, Made In (Yikes!) Mexico discs, with reorder # 94224 and received as a gift in 2001-2002. I’ve never been a fan of discs of various colors so they get used only when I’ve run out of my primary stash. They have always done well from a playback point of view, so no complaints there. I also agree with you about TY media. That is what I am waiting to be shipped!


#7

I think it is purely a scanning result issue, not a burning issue. Notice how the scans in a 712a for 716a burns in those thread are showing perfectly ok.

We’ll see if Plextor adresses this in FW 1.09. for the 716a.


#8

Thanks for the info. I feeling a more confident in this new drive as I start to test it out.


#9

That’s exactly how mine came shipped. My drive is likely new as well, having the same TLA and manuf date as yours.


#10

Two Degrees:

Yep. I was pretty impressed with the packaging. Probably less expensive and more environmentally friendly then styrofoam. I read somewhere recently that once the drive is manufactured, it takes about one month for the cargo ship to make it to the USA plus a few days to truck it to its final distribution point. If that’s accurate then I would say we have a couple of the newest drives in the country! (well, at least I’d like to think so.)