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Seagate Backup Plus Slim External USB 3.0 2TB Hard Drive Review

Plextor PX-B310U External PX-B310U Blu-Ray USB DVD Writer Review

Plextor PX-B310U External PX-B310U Blu-Ray USB DVD Writer Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: On the test bench today is Plextor's PX-B310U external Blu-ray drive. In addition to Blu-ray playback (but not burning), this full sized external ODD, which connects to the PC over USB2.0 cable, doubles up as a DVD and CD burner. The PX-B310U supports DVD reading and writing in both the + and - formats, as well as reading and writing to DVD-RAM and Dual-Layered DVD discs.
 75% Rating:   
Filed under: Optical Drives Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Plextor Aug 07 2009   Julian Apong  
Home > Reviews > Optical Drives > Plextor PX-B310U

Blu-Ray and Benchmarks

While pretty much everyone knows that Blu-ray is the High Definition successor to DVD, the actual technical specifications for this new optical technology get a little more complicated. The 'blu' in Blu-ray refers to the blue wavelength of light emitted from the laser used to read the Blu-ray discs. The shorter-wavelength light (405nm to be specific) means more information can be packed into a the same space because a finer stream of light is reading the data. By comparison, red lasers operate around 650nm, so less data can be stored in the same space.

Put another way, the capacity of Blu-Ray media is far greater than what you'd get with DVD - up to 50GB of storage on a single disc, nearly six times more information than a dual-layer DVD, which is 8.5GB.

The other benefit to Blu-ray is that the greater density media means faster reading and writing speeds. The default read rate for Blu-ray media is 4.5 megabytes per second (also referred to as 1x speed), so the 5x ROM speed of the Plextor PX-B310U being reviewed today is equivalent to 22.5 megabytes per second of bandwidth!

To convert all of that into actual video playback numbers, a regular Blu-ray disc has enough bandwidth to play back 1920 x 1080 resolution at 24 frames per second in progressive (rather than interlaced) mode, which is more commonly known as the 1080p video standard. Standard 50GB dual-layer Blu-ray media can have this information encoded in a variety of formats, with the most efficient codecs capable of around four hours of video playback at 1080p resolution.

Future Blu-ray media will expand beyond the 50GB storage limit by allowing multiple layers of data to be added on to a single media disc, in much the same way that dual-layer DVD media is created today. These multi-layer discs should be backwards compatible with any Blu-ray player, and recently introduced prototype 16-layer discs are capable of storing over 400GB of data!

Prelude to Benchmarks

The details of how the Plextor PX-B310U External Blu-Ray USB DVD Writer was configured for benchmarking, including the specific hardware, software drivers, operating system and benchmark versions are indicated below. The general specs for the reference platforms are the same. Please take a moment to look over PCSTATS test system configurations before moving on to the individual benchmark results.

PCSTATS Test System Specs:
Processor:

Intel Core 2 Duo E6750

Clock Speed:

8 x 333 MHz = 2.66 GHz

Motherboards:

MSI X48 Platinum

Videocard:

MSI NX8800GTS-T2D320E

Memory:

2x 1024MB Corsair Twin2X2048-6400C4

Hard Drive: 74GB Western Digital Raptor WD740
CDROM: ASUS BC-PT1205-BD
Heatsink: Intel Reference Cooler
PowerSupply: PC Power & Cooling TurboCool 510 SLI
Software Setup

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate
Intel INF 9.0.0.1003
nVIDIA Forceware 169.25

Workstation Benchmarks

SiSoft Sandra 2008
Nero CD Speed

Benchmarks: Nero CD Speed, Data and Audio

Nero CD Speed: Data Source: Ahead Software

CD Speed is a CD/DVD-ROM benchmark which can test the most important features of an optical drive. In this particular benchmark, we use a pressed CD-ROM with about 640MB of data as the test disk. Using a CDR or CDRW as the test disk may impact the results slightly, so a pressed disk is the standard testing tool.

Nero CD Speed: Data

Nero CD Speed: Data Benchmark Results

Optical Drive

ASUS BC-1205PT

LG GSA-H62N

Plextor

PXB310U

AOpen DSW1812P

Samsung WriteMaster SE-W164

Gigabyte GO-W1616A

MSI DR16-B

AOpen DRW8800

AOpen 5232 Combo

LG GSA-4082B

Disc Type Data Data Data Data Data Data Data Data Data Data
Avg Speed 23.17x 33.4x 33.67x 34.11x 28.94x 34.47x 28.93x 30.05x 36.07x 23.08x
Random Seek Time 138ms 122ms 130ms 88ms 85ms 124ms 100ms 113ms 87ms 108ms
1/3 Seek Time 149ms 118ms 142ms 99ms 84ms 126ms 109ms 111ms 88ms 142ms
Full Seek Time 267ms 115ms 197ms 140ms 142ms 209ms 155ms 154ms 132ms 195ms
CPU Use: 1x 0% 1% 1% 2% 3% 1% 1% 0% 4% 1%
CPU Use: 2x 1% 2% 2% 4% 6% 6% 2% 1% 2% 2%
CPU Use: 4x 2% 3% 4% 7% 3% 8% 4% 2% 3% 4%
CPU Use: 8x 4% 27% 8% 12% 7% 11% 7% 5% 7% 3%
Disc recognition Time 0.05s 10.68s 10.27s 8.34s 10.64s 12.4s 6.04s 8.73s 8.17s 7.68s
Disc Eject Time 1.22s 2.82s 2.79 1.3s 1.92s 1.23s 1.85s 1.71s 1.4s 4.61s
Disc Load Time 16.54s 1.49s 1.60 1.27s 1.18s 1.18s 1.32s 0s 1.03s 0.98s

The average read speed in Nero CD Speed shows the Plextor PX-B310U near the top of the pack, AOpen's drives are a touch faster.

Nero CD Speed: Audio Source: Ahead Software

CD Speed is a CD-ROM benchmark which can test the most important features of a CD-ROM drive. In this particular benchmark we use a pressed Audio CD with about 65 minutes of audio on it as the test disk. CDROMs in general have a harder time processing audio data, and hence the results can be drastically slower than equivalent 'pure' data tests.

Nero CD Speed: Audio

Nero CD Speed: Audio Benchmark Results

Optical Drive

ASUS BC-1205PT

AOpen DSW1812P

Plextor

PXB310U

Samsung WriteMaster SE-W164

Gigabyte GO-W1616A

MSI DR16-B

AOpen DRW8800

AOpen 5232 Combo

LG GSA-4082B

Disc Type Audio Audio Audio Audio Audio Audio Audio Audio Audio
Avg Speed 24.65x 33.19x 12.30x 28.34x 30.04x 8.21x 24.02x 32.74x 18.46x
Random Seek Time 178ms 99ms 149ms 95ms 141ms 140ms 114ms 95ms 114ms
1/3 Seek Time 193ms 106ms 172ms 103ms 146ms 240ms 121ms 105ms 137ms
Full Seek Time 332ms 159ms 250ms 175ms 276mx 272ms 171ms 186ms 204ms
DAE Quality 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
CPU Use: 1x 1% 1% 1% 19% 12% 1% 1% 1% 1%
CPU Use: 2x 2% 1% 2% 2% 3% 3% 1% 2% 2%
CPU Use: 4x 5% 3% 5% 4% 10% 6% 3% 4% 5%
CPU Use: 8x 11% 6% N/A 7% 15% 10% 7% 8% 9%
Disc recognition Time 0.03s 9.99s 19.28s 8.46s 9.9s 6.17s 8.23s 6.59s 7.79s
Disc Eject Time 1.23 1.29s 2.50s 1.92s 1.22s 1.79s 1.71s 1.04s 2.01s
Disc Load Time 15.38s 1.26s 1.62s 1.26s 1.18s 1.32s 0.13s 1.41s 1.33

The Plextor's results here aren't particularly special. Random seek times are low, but the average read speed is 12x.

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Contents of Article: Plextor PX-B310U
 Pg 1.  Plextor PX-B310U External PX-B310U Blu-Ray USB DVD Writer Review
 Pg 2.  — Blu-Ray and Benchmarks
 Pg 3.  Benchmarks: CD Speed: CD-R/RW, DVD-ROM
 Pg 4.  Benchmarks: CD Speed: DVD+R DL, BD-DVD

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