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Nero Info Tool, DVDINFOPro, PlexTools Professional

Besides the two informational utilities available to the general public, we are also going to show you the data produced by the exclusive PlexTools Professional:

The screenshots show that this optical drive is a multi-format device supporting almost all hardware functions you may ever require, except reading CD+G. You can also see that far less than 2 megabytes of cache memory is actually available. PlexTools Professional also reported the offset at reading and writing audio CDs.

The only confusing thing was the maximum read/write speeds reported by the same program. It says CDs and CD-RWs can be read at 48x which is virtually impossible for the latter format. The write speed of 48x doesn’t conform to the declared 40x, either. In the default speed mode, which we used in our tests, the Nero CD-DVD Speed utility reported 40x for both writing and reading CDs. The maximum speed of 48x is usually enabled in Plextor’s drives by choosing the Speed Read option in PlexTools Professional, but the detailed speed characteristics of the drive shown on the manufacturer’s website declare 40x as the max CD processing speed:

By the way, the same numbers are printed on the drive’s own box, so there’s some confusion in the information supplied by Plextor. I even dropped in on the native site of the company where you can see that 40x speed is declared for CDs even if you don’t know the Japanese hieroglyphics. If you do know Japanese, here’s a screenshot with the drive characteristics from that website:

I can think of one explanation: Plextor is just selling drives with different firmware, in which the maximum CD processing speed is varied, on different markets.

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