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    Plextor 12/10/32 CD-RW

    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.  

    • The Specs
    • 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
    • What is BURN-Proof (TM)

    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...

    • Proof in BURN-Proof (TM)

    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 happened...

    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!

    • Final verdict

    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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