Evil Plextor! Found out why my drive burns so slow

mrdogcat

mrdogcat

New Member
#1
Well I'm on my 2nd SATA Plextor PX-716SA drive after me sending the 1st one back because it was burning too slow and the buffer fluctuating up and down while burning. Only to find the 2nd does the same thing. Sent a cross but polite email to plextor again and here's what I got back (start from the bottom of the bold text):



What use is the information about only some SATA controllers work with optical units on the packaging?! What about the poor souls who buy the drives from the web?! :mad:

I want to ask for a refund on this drive, or at the very least a replacement IDE drive equivalent to the one I've got. Do you think I've got any legs to stand on?

Or could all this be solved buy buying a SATA PCI controller?

:(



---------------------------------------------------------------

****FROM PLEXTOR****

Dear sir,

This information is clearly mentioned on the packaging of the unit.

Kind regards ,

Peter Vermeulen
Technical Support Engineer

---------------------------------------------------------------

****FROM ME****

Thank you for raising this issue with me. However. It would have been handy if you provide this information on your website. Just a simple sentence, say for instance "Not every SATA controller supports optical units, please check your hardware specifications before buying".

There are no minimum system requirements on your site, which I referred to on a number of occasions before buying this drive. I am not new to buying hardware, I make a living from it, and if I'd have been informed of this problem I would have bought the PX-716A.

So you see this is a problem you can help me with since you failed to provide all the information you should have done.

I will look forward to your response

Stephen Crawford

---------------------------------------------------------------

****FROM PLEXTOR****

Dear sir ,

The problem you're experiencing here isn't related to the unit. But to a performance problem in your system.
Since that's clearly indicated by the fact the unit always needs to wait for new data to arrive before he can proceed with the recording.
I see that you're using a Via SATA controller.
To our information this controller doesn't support optical units.
Therefore I woudl rather advice you to contact the manufacturers from your mainboard and check if they have a bios update so that they fully support optical units.
Because not every SATA controller supports optical units.
In fact only a minority of the SATA controllers on the market supports optical units in a decent way.
Further the media you're using isn't the best media around.
We would rather suggest to use media from a decent quality like from for example from verbatim.

So in the end the problem isn't created by the unit itselve.
That unit works perfectly.It's just the controller that you're using who's creating the problem and possibly a bottleneck in your system;
However these are problems you need to solve yourselve.
We can't do anything about that since they aren't related to the unit itselve.

Kind regards ,

Peter Vermeulen
Technical Support Engineer

---------------------------------------------------------------

Error message you get when trying to write a disc.
No error messages when writing data in Nero the burn process runs slow, it takes 25 minutes to write a full DVD. The buffer is fluctuating between 0 and 100%. The burning of full a DVD+R is quicker on my slower 4X drive (15 minutes) and has no buffer fluctuations. This is in Nero 6.

When burning images in Alcohol120% and ImgBurn I get errors before ANYTHING is written! Saying there is a problem with the drive. But when burning from my old drive the burn process finishes successfully with no problems and at an acceptable speed.

Further can you tell me exactly what data your burning?
Video files (WMV, AVI, MPG etc)
Disc Images
MP3s
Image Files (PSD, JPEG, EPS etc)

What's the original source of the data you're burning?
Images are from Photoshop
Videos are from different websites
MP3s are just exported from Audio CD using iTunes
All burn fine with my old drive

What device is being used as a source unit?
120Gb SATA Baracuda HDD on SATA port 1 on motherboard
80Gb IDE Western Digital HDD on IDE port 1

What brand and type of media is being used at that moment?
RiDisc 16x DVD+R
Infiniti 16x DVD-R
Sony DVD+RW
Imation 52x CD-R
(So not cheap media)

Do you perform any other tasks during recording?
No. But I shouldn't have to stop working just to burn a disc.However, I've even tried closing all processes that are running in the background that are not required for the burning process. I should not have to do this everytime I want to burn a disc either.

---------------------------------------------------------------

****FROM PLEXTOR****

Dear sir ,

This would be very strange since the unit you received is a brand new unit.

Therefore can you send me again a new pxinfo read-out and error message you get when trying to write a disc.
Further can you tell me exactly what data your burning?
What's the original source of the data you're burning?
What device is beeing used as a source unit?
What brand and type of media is beeing used at that moment?
Do you perform any other tasks during recording?

Kind regards ,

Peter Vermeulen
Technical Support Engineer

---------------------------------------------------------------

****FROM ME****

I received my replacement/repaired drive and the same problem is still happening. (see below)

My RMA No. was XXXXXXXXX

I am very disappointed about this. I have never had a problem with any optical drives I've bought in the past and expected a lot more from a brand that (so I've been lead to believe) is meant to manufacture higher quality optical drives, hence the higher price tag. I have wasted a lot of time trying to sort this problem out which in effect has cost me money.

I would like to return this drive once again so I will need a new RMA No. and would also like my money refunded.

Stephen Crawford
 
jankerson

jankerson

Super Moderator
#2
I really don't think that is Plextors Fault that your SATA controller doesn't support Optical drives.

Website to the drive HERE

Link is right on the main 716SA page.

Motherboard/PCI Controller Compatibility list HERE
 
Justintime

Justintime

Moderator
#3
I have to agree, its well known that SATA has varying support for optical drives, easiest i found for such is silicon image.
 
wrathchild_67

wrathchild_67

Hidden Member
#4
And my advice now and for the immediate future is to stay away from SATA optical drives. IDE drives are still faster and generally burn data better.
 
TurtleMan

TurtleMan

Chelonian Member
#5
I tried two PCI SATA controllers when I got my 716-SA: a Promise TX4 and a SiL3112- neither one worked! I finally got a mobo with onboard SATA (Abit AV8), and then it was fine: FYI, it was a VIA contoller, but I had no trouble with it. I have an ASUS A8V mobo now, and am using my 716-SA connected to the onboard VIA SATA controller: it works fine. But, my mobo also has a Promise SATA controller, and the 716-SA doesn't work with it.

I think Wrathchild_67's advice is good: I'd stay away from SATA optical stuff for now: I didn't know any better when I bought mine. You'll also discover that your 716-SA is unbootable (assuming you get it to work!). I had to get an IDE CD reader just so I can boot from CD when needed.

t-man
 
mrdogcat

mrdogcat

New Member
#6
Relying on compatibility information to be found by digging deep into thier website or to be read on packaging alone tho is not acceptable, especially when it seems compatibilty issues are rife! I just think they should be more up front with that kind of information IMHO.

TurtleMan, I'm running my 716-SA on the onboard SATA on my Abit AV8 if it worked on yours shouldn't it work on mine?
 
The CandyMan

The CandyMan

Chocolately LAN Goodness!
#7
The guy you emailed back and forth with can't even spell, or run a spell checker (itselve? yourselve?) so why would think he could even help you? I'd talk, by phone if possible, to his supervisor or someone even higher and ask for an exhange to a IDE unit. Dealing with peons (and you know who you are! ;) ) is a waste of time and energy. I've found going to the top directly works best to resolve these type of issues.
 
jankerson

jankerson

Super Moderator
#8
mrdogcat said:
Relying on compatibility information to be found by digging deep into thier website or to be read on packaging alone tho is not acceptable

Digging deep into their Website? :confused:

All I had to do was Click on PX-716SA and there it was.

Picture of the site here:

 
TurtleMan

TurtleMan

Chelonian Member
#9
MrDogCat (hehe): It's been a while since I've had my AV8, but I THINK I recall that there was more than one SATA driver on the floppy: if I'm right, try using the other one.

t-man
 
krupted

krupted

New Member
#10
well the real bs is how poorly sata has been implemented by all manufacturers.

but sata seems to work great with harddrives, so my advice is to keep ide around for optical drives only, and next time you buy a hdd, buy sata.
 
jankerson

jankerson

Super Moderator
#11
krupted said:
well the real bs is how poorly sata has been implemented by all manufacturers.

but sata seems to work great with harddrives, so my advice is to keep ide around for optical drives only, and next time you buy a hdd, buy sata.

It will get better over time I believe but for now IDE is still the best choice in Optical drives.
 
krupted

krupted

New Member
#12
why better over time and not better in origonal development? if sata was supposed to replace ide, its a given that it should support optical drives. seems to me, yet again the origonal spec failed. that or everyone read the instructions wrong.
 
Kruz

Kruz

Parrot Head
#13
I bought the BenQ-1655 from the Egg last week, I wanted the Plextor (sata) one, but after reading some of the reviews of people saying that it would not work on there system I didn't want to take a chance.
 
jankerson

jankerson

Super Moderator
#14
krupted said:
why better over time and not better in origonal development? if sata was supposed to replace ide, its a given that it should support optical drives. seems to me, yet again the origonal spec failed. that or everyone read the instructions wrong.

It's more the SATA controllers on the motherboards than the drives themselves I believe, but then it could be that the Manufactors haven't agreed on a standard yet.

Also with Optical drives on SATA how would someone load the OS if they need the SATA driver to get the SATA to work with the Optical drive?

Maybe Floppies?

That could be the reason for IDE controllers still being on motherboards.
 
TurtleMan

TurtleMan

Chelonian Member
#15
MrCatDog has a good point about Plextor, though: his tech support rep stated that the 716-SA doesn't work with VIA controllers, and that's complete B.S. In fact the VIA VT8237 controller is the only one that I've found that DOES work... Also, Plextors' compatability list is unreliable: the SiL3112-based controller that I first tried was an Adaptec 1205: this controller is stated to be "O.K." on Plextors' list. It didn't work for me, and I checked Adaptec's Knowledge base in an attempt to solve the problem, and learned that the 1205 controller does NOT support optical drives. I think the manufacturer is better qualified to make this judgement than Plextor.

t-man
 
jankerson

jankerson

Super Moderator
#16
It is usually best to check with the Motherboard manufacturer first on hardware before buying checking compatibility. ;)

As was posted before in this thread Optical Drives on SATA is questionable at this time, That is why I didn't get the SATA vers of the PX-716 personally.

It always backs to the system builder and it their responsibility to check hardware compatibility before buying anything.

It is not very hard to find out info because most motherboard manufactors do have links on their websites and forums too.
 
TurtleMan

TurtleMan

Chelonian Member
#17
Speaking for myself (well, who else did ya think!?), I did check compatibility before I bought: I looked at the same list that you posted. Plextor claims that the 716-SA works with the Adaptec 1205 PCI SATA controller. It doesn't: at least, not with an AV8 mobo. And a quick search through Adaptec's website will confirm that the 1205 does not support optical drives. In other words, Plextor is making questionable claims about compatibility. I don't accuse them of being outright liars, though: it's possible that the 716SA-1205 combination worked with the mobo's that Plextor tested, but I can assure you that it doesn't work with the Abit AV8. And it's not obvious that Abit, ASUS, or any other mobo manufacturer is going to be able to assure compatibility between any combination of mobo-PCI card-optical drive.

t-man
 
jankerson

jankerson

Super Moderator
#18
With all of the newer things that are coming out so fast like SATA, SATA II, Serial SCSI, PCI Express etc it am not really surprised that there are some compatibility problems.

It reminds me of the old days when you really had to research everything before buying anything to build a system.

Personally I like to stay one step behind until most of the issues are worked out (I really don't like problems with my systems).

I am sure Plextor tested the drive correctly but as you said the board they tested might have been compatibible, it could have been an early model of that board.
 
mrdogcat

mrdogcat

New Member
#19
jankerson said:
Digging deep into their Website? :confused:

All I had to do was Click on PX-716SA and there it was.
What I was meaning is that with all these compatibility issues there should be a warning on the product page of that drive stating that there are compatibility problems with some/most SATA controllers. You've literally got to hunt for that page Jankerson sent me. They need to get that compatibility table tidied/sorted out too, what a mess!

Think I'm going to try my luck with what TheCandyMan suggested if updating my SATA controller drivers doesn't do the trick.
 
TurtleMan

TurtleMan

Chelonian Member
#20
Jankersons point about "research" is especially important with new technology (like SATA). In the future, I intend to shy away from cutting edge gear and stay with proven and well- supported hardware. I regularly drop in at several message boards similar to ours (not as good, of course!), and SATA problems are among the most common complaints that I've seen. You are not alone, MrCatDog...

t-man
 

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