The future is here and it's not what you'd think... Sure this drive is
one of the fastest on the market but that's not what has brought the future to
us. It's the BURN-Proof (TM) technology my
friends. With this one drive Plextor
has made the coaster epidemic a thing of the past No longer will the
masses have to wait around for their system to burn a cd-rom.
- E-IDE (ATAPI-4) interface
- Writes CD-R media at 12x
- Writes/Rewrites CD-RW media at 10x
- Reads all media at 32x max
- 2MB Buffer
- Uses BURN-Proof (TM) technology to eliminate
buffer underrun errors
BURN-Proof simply stated is a new technology that allows the system to
recover from a buffer underrun error. Well what's a buffer underrun error
then you ask...
Well in the old days (before the BURN-Poof technology that is!) burning
requires a continuous action. In other words once you start you can't stop
it till it's done. If it does stop before completion then you've just made
a "coaster". To be able to burn the drives contain a buffer,
usually from 1-4MB of ram. Data is first sent to the buffer and then it
gets burned on the disk. You system then must be able to feed the data
quickly as the drive burns... this buffer helps by allows a few small hiccups
in data transfer but if you get too large of a hiccup then the buffer runs out
of data and thus the feared "buffer underrun error".
So how does this oh so great technology work? Well the drive and it's
associated software (it should be noted that for this technology to work the
burning software must also be designed to use it) keep track of where it is the
burning process and if a buffer underrun error occues, instead of just giving up
it will wait for the buffer to refill and then figure out where exactly it stopped
burning and restart at that point. So in reality this technology
doesn't get rid of the problem it just allows itself to recover gracefully...
Your probably saying about now "Proof, Proof, Proof! If I hear him say
proof one more time I'll explode... Show that it works already!".
Well I knew everyone would want to know how well it really works...It works
GREAT! I decided to make a copy of one of my software applications, really
it's only for archival purposes! :-). I needed to do something that I know
would eat the buffer and keep it empty for a while. So I decided to simultaneously
copy the Quake3 pak0.pk3 file (a 450Mb file) to 3 separate partitions on my hard drive.
To make sure this would do the most damage I had the burner program pull the
data for the burn from a temp folder on my C: drive instead of off my DVD
drive. This means there will be 4 data movement action on 1 hard drive!
If that isn't asking for a coaster I don't know what is. So here's what
After letting it get to about 5 percent done I started the copying of the
pak0.pk3 file to the 3 partitions. Within a second or two the buffer hit
1% but the process kept on going... It took 7 minutes and 21 seconds for the
disk to burn and during the entire time it jumped around from 1% to 7% on the
buffer. This is longer then it should have taken considering the disk
size was only 500mb at at 12x it should take around 5 and a half
minutes. Still considering that I now have a perfectly good disc I'm not
about to complain!
What can I say this thing just rocks! As far as I can tell it's impossible
to make a coaster. It can burn a cdr disk in under 6 minutes in most
cases. For those that actually use cdrw disks it can burn at 10x,
considering most drives still only burn cdrw disks at 4x this is phenomenal.
The software is easy to use and best of all it doesn't cost an arm and a
leg. It's MSRP is $329.00 but I was able to get it for a impressive steal
at only $239.95 at buy.com.
Alan "Dexter" Barber
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