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Preview - Plextor PlexWriter 48x24x48x CD-RW
By Aaron Yip
Category : Optical Storage
Published by Jimmy Tang on Thursday, 29th August, 2002


Features of a Plextor

As with its other brethens, the PX-W4824TA supports Plextor's proprietary PoweRec and VariRec, as well as Sanyo's buffer-underrun protection "BURN-Proof" technologies. Never seen before in any Plextor drive are the inclusions of 48x Full CAV writing strategy, SpeedRead and Mount Rainier (finally) support. The PW-4824TA also supports the new Ultra Speed 24x Re-writing format.


About PoweRec

PoweRec stands for Plextor Optimised Writing Error Reduction Control.

According to Plextor, the most important challenge of a CD-RW drive is to write high-quality discs with perfect readability on available CD-ROM drives. Plextor writers have a substantial database of parameters that allow the writing of currently available CD-R media. This will assure compability with a wide range of media and players. But not every media is suitable for recording at high speeds. For this reason, Plextor has developed a new technology that will guarantee the highest possible recording speed and quality.

How PoweRec works is very much similar to LITE-ON's SMART-X or Yamaha's Optimum Write Speed Control: PoweRec technology will identify and test the target disc and select an optimized write strategy for this media. Running OPC will overcome the varieties in dye characteristics over the disc. During writing, real-time write quality monitoring ensures the best write quality for the selected speed. We'll show you more in the burning tests over the next few pages.

If you're wondering why the PX-W4824TA is using the original PoweRec instead of PoweRec II, well, we have the answer. PoweRec II is nothing different from PoweRec and is usable only in drives that uses the Z-CLV writing technology, as the write quality at the end of a zone will determine the recording speed in the next zone.


About VariRec

VariRec allows CD recording enthusiasts to tweak laser-beam power-levels in order to achieve particular audio playback characteristics or enhanced disc compatibility with home/car CD players. VariRec is only available with Track-at-Once and Disc-at-Once recording modes at 4X-writing speed.

According to Plextor, a black tray minimizes jitter and reduces C1 error rates.

Other features in VariRec also help increase recording quality, including a black CD-holder tray, which Plextor lab tests found minimizes jitter and reduces C1 error rates. Plextor drives with VariRec also comes built-in with optimized PCB circuits near the power supply, to help decrease spark noises and provide a clean power supply to the drive. Thus, improving both jitter and deviation levels.


48x Full-CAV Writing


Click me!! A summary of the Plextor Original 48x Full CAV writing strategy.

Full-CAV (Constant Angular Velocity) writing strategy is nothing new to us, as seen before in the TDK 48x24x48x and Yamaha CRW-F1 drives. To put it in layman's term, the PX-W4824TA maintains a constant rotation speed from the beginning of the recording process, on the inner tracks of the disc, all the way to the tracks at the outer edge. Plextor's original 48x Full-CAV technology seems to be a little more complicated, as explained in the picture above, where it also monitors the heat level within the drive and adjust the write speed where appropriate. This will no doubt slow down the writing speed, especially in humid and high temperature environments. But where speed is sacrificed, the quality of the writing is sustained.


SpeedRead

SpeedRead aims to provide maximum speed with data reliability and user safety in mind. It enables the user to maximize read speed without sacrificing data integrity and ensures safe operation of the drive.

According to sources in Plextor, this means that although the drive is able to read at 48x, the default setting will be 40x. One reason to implement SpeedRead is to maintain the life expectancy of the pickup lens, as 48x-reading speed will shorten it faster. The second reason is one of safety. Plextor claims that CDs with scratches or bad quality can really explode at 48x (wow!). In the case of such incidents, the PX-W4824TA writer has an extra strong front bezel to prevent debris from flying out - and striking the poor soul backing up his data. To enable 48x read, a user will just need to access the SpeedRead function through software such as PlexTools.

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