Review: Plextor PX-W4012TU (USB 2.0)
Provided by: Plextor Europe
Firmware: version 1.02
Production date: June 2002
Plextor is a name well known in the CD-Recordable world. Many years Plextor has absolutely dominated this market when it came to quality writers and they're still one of the top manufacturers of CD-writers today. Although Plextor is facing some heavy competition from other manufacturers they're still known for their quality products and excellent service.
A few weeks ago we already presented you with our review of the Plextor PX-W4012A drive and now it's time for a follow-up. Plextor Europe was kind enough to send us a sample of their latest external recorder, the PX-W4012TU (40/12/40). As the letter 'U' already suggests this drive uses the USB interface, or to be exact, the USB 2.0 interface. USB 2.0 is a new technology that extends the speed of the peripheral-to-PC connection up to 40 times over existing capabilities. USB 2.0 can reach speeds up to 480 Mb/sec, 40 times faster than USB 1.1.
In this review we will take a thorough look at this latest external Plextor drive and see if it can live up to the 'Plextor standards'. The Plextor PX-W4012TU supports both the USB 1.1 and 2.0 interface. We'll test its performance mainly using the USB 2.0 interface but we'll (of course) also do some tests when using the drive under USB 1.1. Besides that we will also be looking at the features this drive offers such as the PoweRec II and VariRec technologies. Read on to find out what we have to say about this drive...
For the tests we'll be using the following configuration:
- Motherboard: ASUS K7V
- Processor: AMD Athlon 700Mhz
- RAM: 256MB (PC133)
- GFX: ASUS V8200 (GeForce 3 Ti200)
- Hard Disk: Maxtor 30GB 7200rpm (UDMA66)
- IDE Controller: PCI UDMA100 Controller
- USB Controller: NEC USB 2.0 Controller
As you can see the Plextor PX-W4012TU was hooked up to the NEC USB 2.0 Controller and identifies itself as "PLEXTOR PX-W4012A". As you can see this Plextor USB 2.0 is thus just a normal PX-W4012A drive but with an external case. Autorun was disabled for every device. All other drives support UDMA33.
The Windows XP Professional operating system is installed on our test machine. We'll be using the following software to perform the various tests:
- Ahead InCD v3.31.0
- Ahead Nero Burning Rom v22.214.171.124
- Ahead Nero CD Speed v0.85e beta
- Ahead Nero DVD Speed v0.53
- Ahead Nero InfoTool v1.01
- Elaborate Bytes CloneCD v126.96.36.199
- Exact Audio Copy v0.9 beta 4
- G&M CDR Identifier v1.63
On the next page we'll take a look at the package of the Plextor PX-W4012TU...