So long for now Plextor, best alternative?

Okay, I’m not going for the thread of the year here. But I do think this can be of interest to other users also.

I have 210GB worth of HDD space, and I can’t remember the last time I had 10GB of free space. I can’t keep up with burning CD’s anymore, and it’s too time consuming…time to buy my first DVD writer, I thought.

Now, originally I was planning on buying myself a Plextor DVD+R writer, because I’ve always been very happy with my PX-W4012 and the service Plextor has offered me in the past has been excellent too. Plus it is said that most Plextor drives offer very good writing quality, and that’s what interests me most. I’m not an engineer, so all I can do is take other people’s word for it.
I almost went and buy a PX-712A. The reviews looked good. But when I searched on the forums here, I saw that a lot of people had problems with it. So I decided to wait for the upcoming PX-716A.
Now it’s here and it seems this drive has even more issues than the previous one, although admitted…there’s no ‘professional’ review yet, or any statement from Plextor on this matter (then again, the ‘pro’ reviews of the PX-712A didn’t mention its problems either).

So…what drive to buy then? I’m not willing to wait yet another 3 (?) months for Plextor to sort out their problems, I’m in need of an alternative and burn quality is the most important factor, price is not really an issue.
I’ll be using Plextor spindles of Taiyo Yuden DVD+R’s, and writing speed isn’t really important. I’m not really the type of person who goes quali checking every disc he burns, but I still like my grand kids to be able to use them. :wink: (hell, when that time comes we’ll all be using holo cubes)

According to you, the more experienced users, which drive will suit my needs best?

I hope I posted this in the right forum.
Kind regards.

I,m not an expert but reading through the threads looks like benq
is a good drive.

Might wanna go through different sections of this forum and see too.

I recommend you NEC ND-3500A. It has very good quality of writing and it can read recorded media back at 16x, that is 5 min for full DVD±R! Also reading is very improved over previous model, if anyone tells you NEC is not a good reader, he is not familiar with 3500 model. You can get a lot of unofficial firmwares, like Auto BookType, RPC1, no Riplock (if you like to backup movies, it comes handy). Really, very good drive. Only thing I miss is ability to do PI/PO scans like some other drives can.

About backups - not only they are done faster but also cheaper. You can put 6-7 CDs on 1 DVD. Even quality media is now very affordable and if you calculate cost for same amount of CDs you are in fact saving money.

If you’re gonna use Plextor DVD+R discs any drive will perform great. The Plextor DVD recorders work excellent with Taiyo Yuden media and so will, or rather should, any other drive as TY is top quality media. The PX-716A so far doesn’t look like a bad drive. There is something going on though, that’s for sure but the results are contradicting…

Welcome to the forums Hitokiri.

Ps. You might want to check out this BenQ DW1620A review. It seems to be a great drive with good media support and quality.

I am in the same position of you and i was awaiting the px 716 like lotto winnings :d
I was a fan of plextor , but now they seem to have died. Thei last perfect product was the 708. Now i recommand you benq 1620 or the new Philips. Two reasans good quality /speed and most of all extremly good support(firmware).

BENQ is cool too, you can do PI/PO tests etc… But for me reading back recorded data fast is important since I need to access backups a lot. So I went for NEC and I don’t regret it. But of course, read reviews and most important other threads and forums and then decide. You can’t go wrong with NEC or BENQ for sure.

From newegg


I would say go for the BenQ 1620 it loves DVD+R media and if reading speed is an issue for you get a seperate DVD Rom Reader like the Aopen 1648/AAP.

I have a Plextor 708A and a 712A and have never had a single problem with either.

Well you said writing speed is not important…
Also if DVD+R DL is not your interest, then I would suggest to buy 712a… yes I know you all gonna shout at me… but I have no problem with my 712a, and sometime it even burns full disk @12x 6:10 minutes (on average 6:15), comparable to 716a @16x !!

Plus you can get it for much cheaper now. :bigsmile: :bigsmile:

Just by looking at forum with a handful of users I wouldn’t say that you can classify a product as bad. I would go for a PX-716 if I would buy a burner today, excellent service (especially the on-site warranty if you live inside EU) and it burns very well. Sure, Plextools appears to have some issues with the drive but that is most likely going to be fixed in the future. If you’re into ripping Audio CDs Plextors units usually have an advantage over NEC for instance. It’s all about compromising more or less.

I dont care about on-site warranty, I want quality and NEC is providing that. I would like to recommend Plextor since I was Plextor fan for few years but with all problems nowadays it’s better to wait a bit with Plexor. For audio ripping there is no problem with any drive, in case you are not sure about quality you can do CRC check with all rips. If you really want best drive for ripping audio all day then go for Plextor Premium CDRW, it can copy anything with great accuracy.

I RMA’d my Plextor 712A, couldn’t even burn one DVD-R disc. Worked with some DVD+R discs. I had the Plextor 708A before this and still works great. I went with the Pioneer DVR-108, 16X speed for both DVD +R and -R discs. Of course right now I haven’t seen any 16X media out there, but it’s coming soon. This drive has worked flawlessly, and not one coaster!! TDK, TY, Memorex, Prodisc Inkjet Printable, Ritek Inkjet Printable. In fact, burns 8X Ritek and TY at 12X, at least that what Nero shows, but more like 10X, faster than 8X, but certainly not up to 12X. All those brands by the way are DVD-R. Burns Memorex DVD+R discs great too. Haven’t tried any other DVD+R. I would highly recommend this drive, and with 16X media coming soon, I can’t wait to see how it handles them.

Forgot to mention, Pioneer DVR-108 also burns Dual Layer DVD+R discs and reads DVD RAM discs.

Of course right now I haven’t seen any 16X media out there, but it’s coming soon.

VERBATIM 16x MEDIA is already on sale at BEST BUY $27.99 for a 25 pack spindle.

I’ve had nothing but success with my 712a when using (8x) Taiyo Yuden DVD+R’s. Its 12x burns takes only seconds longer than other drives 16x burns. Something I didn’t pay much attention to when buying the drive, that I’m glad I got lucky with is how quickly the 712a reads DVDs. It reads much faster than most. It has great error checking abilities which is very nice to have. I think that if you resolve to only use Taiyo Yuden DVD+R’s, you’ll be quite happy with this drive.


Thanks for tip DVD Addict, didn’t realize DVD+R 16X were out already. I prefer DVD-R discs, seem to work better with my Panasonic DVD player, but plays DVD+R discs too. I hear Prodisc is supposed to be shipping 16X DVD-R soon.

I actually agree with G@M3FR3@K that Plextor in general is not that bad. How many people having problems in this forum? 40? 100? Remember this poll? Only 59 people responded. Anyway, most of the problems here are solveable (DMA settings, conflict drives etc), only insignificant numbers are actualy bad drive, insignificant if compare to Plextor owner around the world (thousands, millions?). If you visit other brand forums, you will also see problems there.

My first experience with Plextor was my recent purchase of a 712A. What a disappointmen! I’ve had great success with Pioneer burners and I highly recommend them. I’ll be switching back to Pioneer. I had heard that Plextor made good burners, but after trying the 712A, it appears they are too finicky and unreliable.

Steve Smith

While many people here have reported problems with the 712A (myself included), many others have not had any problems. If you go with a Plextor drive, buy from a reputable dealer that will offers a no-questions asked refund/exchange policy.

I will still give Plextor credit for their outstanding customer service. Is it perfect? No, but then again their support is lightyears ahead of most other companies I have had to deal with (in the US).

Good Luck!

A good burner should work well with a large spectra of media, not only with TY and maybe a handfull of other expensive brands if you’re lucky.

This is FALSE. A 12x burn in PX712A will take an average time of 6:30. A 16x burn on NEC3500 takes an average of 5:50. Hence we’re talking about 40 seconds difference here, not just few seconds as you imply. PX716A or any other 16x CAV drive won’t be much faster (if at all) than NEC either, since all use 16x CAV writing, which is the fastest writing mode currently available.

Sorry to say, but this is also grosely FALSE. PX712A and PX716A has a maximum reading speed of 12x. NEC3500 for example has maximum reading speed of 16X and is a very good DVD reader. Pioneer 108 is based on the same chipset as NEC3500. Benq 1620 is one of the best if not the best reader available. Liteon drives are also very good readers. On top of that, early user tests show that PX716A is a rather poor reader, not to mention all the other issues.