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Nathan Edwards Jun 25, 2008

Plextor PX-810SA

At A Glance

Fighting Cock

Decent double-layer and rewriteable burn speeds; EasyMediaCreator 9.

Cock Fighting

No SATA cable; average burn speeds; higher cost.

Ever since Plextor stopped manufacturing the PX-755SA DVD burner, we’ve been on the hunt for a worthy replacement. We loved the Plexy’s SATA interface, so we’re not settling for anything less going forward. (It’s just plain foolish to opt for a drive with an oversized, outdated parallel connector when SATA models are available.) Since SATA drives from Lite-On and Asus failed to win us over in the August issue, we corralled a couple new contenders, including Plextor's new PX-810SA.

We were a little perturbed to find that the PX-810SA doesn’t come with a SATA cable; it’s a negligible expense, but seeing as this is one of the more expensive DVD burners we’ve tested of late, the cable really should be included (as it has been with other drives). The PX-810SA boasts a DVD+R write rating of 18x, so it’s not surprising that it took almost a full minute longer than Samung’s drive to write 4.38GB of data to a single-layer disc (5:57). But Plextor’s drive also fell behind the 18x Asus drive we reviewed in August in both read and write speeds (see chart below).

The PX-810SA regained its composure somewhat when burning to double-layer media. It took 15:37 to fill a DVD+R DL disc, which is faster than the Lite-On and Asus drives we reviewed in August but not up to the speed of Samsung’s burner. The drive also fell within the middle of the pack with DVD+RW burn times of 15:12.

The bundled EasyMediaCreator 9 is a nice addition, but it’s not enough to bridge the gap between this drive’s average burn speeds and its premium price.

Benchmarks
  Samsung SH-S203B
Plextor PX-810SA
DVD+R Write Speed Average 13.45x 11.39x
DVD+R Read Speed Average 12.13x 9.36x
Access Time (Random/Full) 116/198ms 123/222ms
DVD+DL Write Speed Average
9x
8.05x
Best scores are bolded. All tests were conducted using the latest version of Nero CD-DVD Speed and Verbatim media. Our test bed is a Windows XP SP2 machine using a dual-core 2.6GHz Athlon 64 FX-60, 2GB of Corsair DDR400 RAM on an Asus A8N-SLI motherboard, an ATI X1950 Pro videocard, a Western Digital 4000KD hard drive, and a PC Power and Cooling Turbo Cool 850 PSU.
THE VERDICT

Plextor PX-810SA

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