If you're new to the DIY scene, you might not even recognize the name Plextor, a company who carved out a following by offering best-in-class optical drives. But as prices for CD/DVD burners have hit rock bottom in recent years, the high end optical maker has, for the most part, slinked into the shadows. Now the company is making a comeback.
"Plextor continues to strengthen its position in the optical storage market with the addition of these new drives to its already robust line of products," said Bob Gronski, vice president of sales and marketing for Plextor. “Now more than ever, people are going out less and taking advantage of home entertainment more, so it’s a perfect time for us to introduce such an extensive line of products."
Plextor gets back into the optical game with several new drives covering a variety of connection options, including USB, SATA, and even PATA. Models include the PX-610U 8X Slim External USB Super Multi Drive, PX-B310SA (6X internal SATA), PX-B310Q (6x external USB), PX-850SA (22x internal SATA), and PX-850A (22x internal PATA).
Minus the Mac version of the PX-610U, each of the new drives ships with Plextor's PlexUTILITIES, which gives end users the ability to control specific drive functions, view drive information, and includes a utility to destroy data on CD and DVD media.
We expected LG’s new 6x external Blu-ray burner to perform similarly to the company’s GBW-H20L, what with the two having identical read/write speed ratings, but we were wrong. The external drive is a bigger, more expensive letdown.
Hit the jump for the reason we're crying into our corn flakes.
When we reviewed LG’s GGW-H20L Blu-ray burner in December 2007 we applauded its superior BD-R write speeds and ability to also read HD DVD media. Now that the latter feature is irrelevant, we welcome LG’s new GBW-H20L. It boasts all the same DVD and BD read and write specs as its predecessor, sans the HD DVD reader—and comes with a healthy price cut.
And thus, the grand story of the Dream Machine 2008 comes to its final edition. And do we have a reveal for you! We're going to show you the ultra-secret case that encloses the mighty guts of our speedy Skulltrail machine. We're also giving you a first-look at the not-quite-as-secret videocards powering the graphics of this hefty rig. Before it catches ablaze, we'll also show you the cooling setup and what we used to rock out whilst checking the cooler for leaks.
That's right. Today, you're getting the case, the graphics, the cooling and the sound--an epic conclusion to the most powerful rig we've ever built. If you're just joining us, you'll want to check out the beginning of the story as well as the second edition of the Dream Machine saga, where we officially showed off this machine's spankin'-fast processors.
But enough small-talk. Click that little "read more" link and prepare thyself for greatness.
It doesn’t matter a lick to us that Blu-ray has prevailed in the high-def format war if the hardware remains expensive and uninspiring. We have to admit, we thought the tide was turning when we reviewed LG’s GGW-H20L Blu-ray burner back in December. That drive represented a dramatic price drop (falling to $500 from its predecessor’s $1,200 price tag in a matter of months—and now settled at $400 MSRP), and its 6x rating for BD-R media resulted in burn times we could actually live with (22.5GB in a little over 20 minutes).
Sadly, Lite On has not followed LG’s lead. Instead, they've released a drive that's made zero strides since its aged predecessor.
Here we go again! It's time for our second look at what's going into the Maximum PC Dream Machine 2008! If you're just joining us, here's the skinny: once a year, the Maximum PC staff descends to its underground lair. After a number of bizarre and dark technological rituals (we sacrifice an iMac), the team emerges with a gift blessed by the Gods of Technology themselves: the Dream Machine. It is, hands-down, the single-greatest computer you could ever hope to assemble based on the year's best (and sometimes unreleased) products!
This is an epic three-part series, and you're on step number two. If you want to start from the beginning, check out our unveiling of the rig's keyboard, mouse, display and hard drive(s). If you're ready for more Dream Machine action, we're taking a look at the system's CPU(s), motherboard, optical drive, and memory this time around.
Grab a cold beverage and prepare to feast your eyes on splendor by clicking that little "Read More" link.
One of the most obvious differences between an external optical drive and its internal brethren is in appearance. A device that’s going to sit out in the open for anyone to see, after all, has to look the part. Lite-On’s latest EZ-Dub optical drive accomplishes this with a fashionable white and black aesthetic that would surely do Apple proud. It’s an update from the more staid look of the previous EZ-Dub model, which was also nearly two inches longer and a half-inch taller. As with the older model, this EZ-Dub comes with a stand, so you can set the drive on its side to save desktop space.
It’s no surprise that high-def optical drives are getting less expensive while their specs improve—that’s the trajectory of all emergent technologies—but we are still taken aback by the dramatic strides LG’s GGW-H20LI represents. Just a few months ago, in our September issue, we reviewed this drive’s predecessor, the GGW-H10NI, and not only is its follow-up better in every respect, it’s half the price!
As far as we’re concerned, the Blu-ray burner to beat these days is LG’s GGW-H20L1 (reviewed December 2007). Unfortunately for Sony, its BWU-200S isn’t the drive to do it. We pretty much knew this before we even began testing the drive—after all, the BWU-200S is rated for 4x Blu-ray write speeds compared to the LG’s 6x speed rating.