The drive is accompanied with a power adapter, USB and FireWire cables, and two CDs with software. The contents of the “standard” CD are shown in the screenshots above. The PlexTools Professional program was described at length in one of our earlier reviews, so we won’t repeat it here again. The improved version of this utility – PlexTools Professional XL – is supplied for trial use only and it doesn’t differ much from the previous version. The difference mainly concerns the user interface. The “bonus” CD (its contents are also shown in the screenshot) contains some utilities to enhance the drive’s functionality. Most of these utilities are for a 30-day trial, though.
The average retail price of the drive is $210.
Testbed and Methods
We used the following programs and utilities to explore the operational parameters of the drive:
- Nero CD-DVD Speed 4.10
- Nero Info Tool 3.01
- Nero Burning ROM version 188.8.131.52
- Nic Wilson DVDINFOPro 4.32
- Ziff Davis Media CD WinBench 99 version 1.1.1.
The testbed was configured like follows:
- Intel Bonanza D875PBZ mainboard
- Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz CPU
- IBM DTLA-307015 15GB hard disk drive
- GeForce2 MX400 64MB graphics card
- 512MB DDR SDRAM
- Microsoft Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 1 and DirectX 9.0b.
I tested the drive in its default speed mode and connected it to the computer via a mainboard’s USB 2.0 interface.