iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Plextor PleXWriter PX-W4012TA

Specification of the Plextor PX-W4012TA:
Firmware version 1.00
Recording modes Disc-At-Once, Track-At-Once, Session-At-Once, MultiSession, Packet Writing
Recording formats CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, Photo CD, CD-Text, CD-I, CD-Extra, Video CD
Read/write support in Raw-mode RAW-DAO - supported
RAW-DAO Write Simulation - supported
CD+G RAW-DAO - supported
RAW-SAO - supported
RAW-SAO Write Simulation - supported
Average access time 120 ms
CD-R recording 4x 8x, 16x, 20x (CLV)
24x, 32x, 40x (Zone-CLV)
CD-RW recording 4x, 8x, 10x, 12x
Buffer underrun error prevention technology BURN-Proof
Interface UltraDMA 33
Reading 40x max (6000 KBytes/s)
Buffer size 4096 KBytes
Production date January 2002
Manufacturer Japan
Price as tested up to $190

The drive ships in a Retail package.

The box contains:

  • Quick Installation Guide in 16 languages.
  • Warranty Card and Warranty RMA procedure
  • CD with Nero Burning Rom, InCD 3.2 from Ahead Software
  • CD with PlexTools
  • 5 CD-Rs of Plextor for high-speed recording and High Speed CD-RW 4x-12x
  • 4 scres, a spare jumper and an Eject Stick
  • Analog cable for connecting the drive to a sound card
  • IDE cable.

ATIP: 97m 25s 29f
Disc Manufacturer: Hitachi Maxell, Ltd.
Reflective layer: Dye (Short strategy; e.g. Phthalocyanine)
Media type: CD-Recordable
Recording Speeds: min. unknown - max. unknown
nominal Capacity: 702.83 MBytes (79m 59s 74f / LBA: 359849)

ATIP: 97m 27s 00f
Disc Manufacturer: Digital Storage Technology Co. Ltd.
Reflective layer: Phase change
Media type: CD-ReWritable
Recording Speeds: min. 4X - max. 8X
nominal Capacity: 651.86 MBytes (74m 12s 00f / LBA: 333750)

Character and method of recording:

Plextor is the first company that announced a CD-RW drive with 40/12/40 speeds. The new recorder also supports the PowerRec II and VariRec technologies.

PowerREC II (Plextor Optimised Writing Error Reduction Control) is a technology similar to the JustSpeed from Ricoh which is used to get optimal quality on any type of discs in the whole range of write speeds.

VariRec (Variable Recording). Its principle is similar to the AudioMaster from Yamaha. Both are used to reduce jitter on a recorded CD and make its sound very close to the oiginal.

The VariRec can be enabled for recording of audio CD-DA at 4x in the TAO or DAO modes. A user can set laser power from -2 to 2. But Plextor says that "0" is the most optimal value for the most discs.

The tray is black, because, according to Plextor, it reduces the number of C1 errors on a recorded CD.

The set of accessories is not very rich, but sufficient. It's pleasant that there are 5 CD-Rs meant for 40x recording.

Recording at the maximum speed is not stable. When we completed recording one of three identical discs (Philips Silverspeed 24x by Mitsui) the Nero reported about 3 buffer underrun errors. In case of the two others the buffer load hovered around 50-95%. Phthalocyanine CD-Rs from 4M were always recorded by the PX-W4012TA stably, but the time was over 5 minutes, which is quite much for 40x recording.

Here is what the Nero says you about the drive:

And now take a look at the insides of the Plextor's drive.

The drive doesn't make much noise. Moreover, I think that this is one of the quietest 40x recorders together with the Mitsumi.

The appearance doesn't differ from the predecessors.

The rear panel contains standard connectors and a working digital-out. Unlike the 24x model, this one doesn't have a fan inside.

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