Date: November 3rd, 2003
Article by: Roger (Hardware
Product was donated by: Plextor
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Plextor Corp. sell high performance CD and DVD related
equipment through retail, leading distributors and world class OEMs
in North and South America. Since opening our Silicon Valley headquarters
in 1990, we have introduced multiple generations of CD-ROM, CD-R , CD-RW,
CD-RW/DVD-ROM and DVD+R/RW CD-RW drives - innovative, award-winning
drives and solutions. And that leadership will continue as we expand
our family, exploring new technology and new designs to meet and exceed
users' ever-evolving needs.
Our parent corporation, Shinano Kenshi Co., Ltd., a leading
developer and manufacturer of advanced technology hardware and precision
electronic equipment privately owns the company. Shinano Kenshi is best
known for its expertise in motor manufacturing.
It has become increasingly popular for parents to make
digital copies of their family VHS videos. So long as you can input
the video and convert it to a digital format, then the only issue becomes
transferring it onto a DVD so that you can pop it into your home DVD
Just like the great Beta vs VHS debate, we are in the
midst of another battle, and neither side seems to be giving up any
ground. Of course, I am referring to DVD+R vs DVD-R. People will often
ask what the difference is between the two, and quite frankly, there
are not that many. DVD+R media tends to be a little more expensive,
however it is more widely recognized by DVD-ROMs and home DVD players.
For that reason, I think it is a wise choice to stick with a DVD+RW
Unfortunately, unlike the Beta vs VHS fiasco (let's be
serious), we may never see a resolution to the DVD+R vs DVD-R debate,
because technology changes too fast, and before a decision can be made,
something better will come along. There is no sense waiting for a standard
format to be chosen. Your best bet is to take the leap and choose one
Today, I'm going to review the Plextor 504UF external
DVD+RW drive. The unit, as my wife puts it, looks like a small muffler.
It's a nice shiny silver unit that can be kept flat or mounted vertically
with the included stand.
The drive boasts some impressive specs. It can read 6
formats and write to DVD+RW, DVD+R, CD-RW and CD-R. Read/write access
is fast (see specs and benchmarks on following pages). Also, Plextor's
own PowerRec technology makes certain that you have stable burns using
the device's 2MB internal buffer.
I ran Nero's Info tool to gather this. As you can see,
this unit can read nearly everything. You can also see its CD read and
write speeds (40X/16X) as well as its buffer size (2MB).
The unit can connect either via a USB 2.0 port (480 megabits
per second) or a Firewire port (400 megabits per second). It can also
connect to USB 1.1 but at 12 megabits per second, that is not suggested.
External units are always more expensive than their internal counterparts,
however there is a very good reason for that. The convenience of being
able to take the unit with you to other systems without having to crack
a single case open is fantastic. Plus, cases become full very fast,
and some people may not have an open 5.25" bay for a new device. With
USB or Firewire, that's not a problem.