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Plextor PXW4012TA 40x12x40 CD-RW Burner Review
Plextor PXW4012TA 40x12x40 CD-RW Burner Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The Plextor PXW4012TA comes standard with buffer underrun protection in the form of BurnProof, and also uses Powerec-II to ensure data integrity.
 75% Rating:   
Filed under: Optical Drives Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Plextor Feb 18 2003   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Optical Drives > Plextor PXW4012TA

Plextor PXW4012TA 40x12x40 CD-RW Burner Review

Even though Plextor are a well respected manufacturer it's not a brand I've ever really shopped for in stores. Price, speed and bezel style are the deciding factors, and Plextor falls well.... short on a few of those when compared side-by-side to Acer, Samsumg, or TDK offerings for example. In any regards, it is the performance of a drive, not the appearance that matters most, so let's begin. The Plextor PXW4012TA is a decidedly well spec'd out CD-RW; supporting 40X write, 12X re-write and 40X read, along with BurnProof, a 4MB buffer, but it is kind of an ugly duckling.

The Plextor PXW4012TA comes standard with buffer underrun protection in the form of BurnProof, and also uses Powerec-II to ensure data integrity. In fact looking at the specs, we find that Powerrec-II actually calibrates the media to each drive before burning, ensuring as Plextor say; a "quality write using Z-CLV servo positioning."

With a retail price of around $85USD, the Plextor is comparably priced for a drive with smallish 4MB buffer, though it is no longer the fastest CD-RW burner out there as 52x 24x 52x CDRW's have recently become available. As 4X and 10X CDRW discs are the most commonly available, I'd be a little less fixated on the CD-RW speed than that of the CD-R burn rates however. In that last case, 25X CDRW burn speeds would be kind of useless if you can find media to burn at that rate.

plextor 4pxw4012ta 40x12x40 cdrw

Ships with the following:
  • User's Guide
  • Roxio ECDC


The drive operates in either the vertical or horizontal position, writes CDR media with the Z-CLV standard, sports the usual assortment of features up front including; headphone jack, volume wheel, a activity LED alongside an eject button. Round back we find a 40-pin IDE cable, Molex power connector, and analog/digital audio cable connector.

test system specs:

computer hardware:

processor: intel pentium 4 2.06a ghz
clock speed: 2.60ghz
motherboard: albatron px845e pro
chipset: intel i845e

ati radeon 8500


256mb pc2700 crucial ddr

hard drive: ibm 40gb deskstar 7200rpm
heatsink: stock intel hsf
powersupply: Enermax 431Watt
Software Setup WindowsXP
Benchmarks CD WinBench 99 V1.1
Nero CD Speed
SiSoft Sandra 001

CDWinBench Source: e-Testinglabs.com

The e-TestingLabs CD Winbench99 benchmark runs a series of scripted programs from a special CD in the drive and measures the time and data transfer capabilities as a result. Higher numbers mean better performance.

CD-WinBench 99 Benchmark Results
Test Drive Results
Plextor PXW4012TA (CD-RW) 2190 kb/s
LG 32-10-40 (CD-RW) 2110 kb/s
MSI CDRW 8340 (CD-RW) 2050 kb/s
Samsung SW-240 (CD-RW) 1910 kb/s
Samsung SW-232 (CD-RW) 1460 kb/s
Samsung SW-224 (CD-RW) 1320 kb/s
Samsung SC-152 (CDROM) 1710 kb/s
Pioneer DVD-500M (DVD ROM) 2440 kb/s
Samsung SW-216 (CD-RW) 1280 kb/s

The Plextor drive holds up fairly well under CD-Winbench99, posting a result of 2190kb/s. The fastest CDRW we have tested to date, but still not quite able to kick out the Pioneer DVD-ROM (for comparative sake).

Nero CD Speed 99 - Data - Benchmarks 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 test 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 (or may not) impact the results slightly, so the pressed disk is the de facto standard.

Plextor 40x12x40 - CDSpeed Data Tests

Optical Drive Plextor PXW4012TA

LG 32/10/40

MSI 8340


SW-232 SW-224 SC-152 DVD-500M SW-216
Disk Type Data Data Data Data Data Data Data Data Data
Avg Speed 29.05x 30.46x 30.69x 31.06x 31.65x 30.82x 38.90x 32.30x 24.94x
Random Seek Time 121ms 101ms 94ms 93ms 90ms 87ms 86ms 86ms 94ms
1/3 Seek Time 140ms 112ms 98ms 100ms 101ms 91ms 105ms 100ms 112ms
Full Seek Time 212ms 184ms 165ms 160ms 169ms 137ms 181ms 164ms 192ms
CPU use: 1X 0% 1% 0% 1% 1% 1% 1% 0% 1%
CPU use: 2X 1% 2% 1% 2%


3% 2% 1% 2%
CPU use: 4X 2% 20% 5% 5% 4% 7% 4% 2% 5%
CPU use: 8X 5% 9% 8% 10% 9% 11% 8% 3% 9%
Disk Recognition Time: 9.37s 7.08s 0.01s 4.63s 5.2s 9.15s 6.30s 0.01s -
Disk Eject Time 1.64s 1.55s 1.32s 1.33s 1.39s 1.12s 1.05s 1.19s 1.19s
Disk Load Time: 0.08s 1.27s 7.60s 0.98s 1.080s 1.10s 1.14s 7.26s 1.14s

There really isn't too much variation under the standard CDROM data tests here. The average speed for the Plextor PXW4012TA is 29.05x, and towards the end of the disk the drive reaches speeds of about 37X-38X. CPU usage at 8X stays at a nice low 5% and disk recognition times are very good, random seem times are among the slowest at 121ms.

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Contents of Article: Plextor PXW4012TA
 Pg 1.  — Plextor PXW4012TA 40x12x40 CD-RW Burner Review
 Pg 2.  More Disk Benchmarks

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