PlexWriter 40/12/40A CD-RW Drive Review

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Introduction

Plextor has always been known to make really great CDRW drives and today I take a look at their PlexWriter 40/12/40A. The PlexWriter drive features a black CD-holder tray which has found to reduce C1 error rates. They have optimized the PCB circuits near the power supply to help decrease noise and provide clean power to the drive. The PlexWriter 40/12/40A features the most advanced design and engineering, including BURN-proof technology.

BURN-proof technology prevents buffer under run errors so you can multi-task while recording a CD. The PlexWriter 40/12/40A also features PowerRec II which is a sophisticated media strategy that guarantees recording results across a brand base of certifited media. A unique feature calibrates the drive to each media disc to ensure the highest quality write operation using Zone-CLV servo positioning. This process produces the highest quality written disc possible.

“Buffer-UnderRuN-Proof Technology” was patented by Sanyo Electric Co. to prevent Buffer UnderRuns. BURN-Proof™ is accomplished by a combination of drive hardware, firmware, and supported writing software. This technology makes it possible for the user to write and multitask on their PC, where previously they could not. Lower performance PCs benefit by being able to perform high-speed recording, and do not have to suspend their work, close applications, or remove network connectivity when they are recording.


PoweRec technology is something relatively new from Plextor. PoweRec stands for Plextor Optimized Writing Error Reduction Control. PoweRec identifies the media when it is inserted and compares it to a list of media stored in the firmware.

The firmware includes a large database of supported media.  This database includes a lot of information about the media including its maximum speed. Because Plextor can’t test all media and include it in the firmware they have added another solution.

The drive will run a Optical Power Calibration test, which checks the characteristics and current conditions of the media which will decide the best laser power and speed for the media. The drive will also monitor the media on the fly while it is writing to ensure the best data transfer possible. Plextor has taken the original PoweRec technology and made it even better. PoweRec II adds the ability to test the write quality of the zone it has completed. If the drive feels the write quality was good enough, it will increase the speed and laser power and continue writing. If not, the drive will continue writing at the same speed.

VariRec lets users adjust the laser power for discs that allow for some manual audio quality. A setting of 0 is what the OPC (Optical Power Calibration) believes the laser power should be for the blank disc you’ve got in the drive. VariRec lets you play with the relative settings of the laser power (-2, -1, 0, +1, +2) so users can do some comparison tests on their high-end audio equipment to find the best setting for the type of media you have on hand.