What's in the box?:

  • Plextor PX-B940SA 12x Blu-ray Disc Writer
  • Software Disc
  • Quick Reference Guide
  • Warranty Information
  • Serial ATA Cable
  • Mounting Screws

Physical Features:

The drive Plextor sent us for this review was manufactured in November of 2009 and had firmware version 1.03. For this review we used firmware versions 1.04 and 1.08.

If the PX-B940SA looks familiar to you that's because it is based on the Pioneer BDR-205. Plextor really hasn't done much to disguise this fact either. Aside from the large "Plextor" and "PX-B940SA" logos, the drive looks almost identical to its Pioneer counterpart.

Below the tray you can see the PX-B940SA's single LED. Off by default, this LED lights up green when the drive is reading or writing.

The rear of the PX-B940SA is pretty straightforward. By looking at the picture above you can see the drive's SATA interface and power connector.

Technical Specs:

The specs below have been taken from Plextor's website and the manual that came with the drive.

  Plextor PX-B940SA 12x Blu-ray Disc ReWriter
BD-R Write Speeds 12x (CAV)
10x, 8x, 6x (P-CAV)
4x, 2x (CLV)
BD-R DL Write Speeds 12x (CAV)
10x, 8x, 6x (P-CAV)
4x, 2x (CLV)
BD-R LTH Write Speeds 6x (Z-CLV)
4x, 2x (CLV)
BD-RE Write Speeds 2x (CLV)
DVD+R Write Speeds 16x (CAV)
12x, 8x (P-CAV)
8x (Z-CLV)
6x, 4x, 2.4x (CLV)
DVD+RW Write Speeds 8x (Z-CLV)
6x, 4x, 2.4x (CLV)
DVD-R Write Speeds 16x (CAV)
12x, 8x (P-CAV)
8x (Z-CLV)
6x, 4x (CLV)
DVD-RW Write Speeds 6x, 4x, 2x (CLV)
DVD+R DL Write Speeds 8x (Z-CLV)
6x, 4x, 2.4x (CLV)
DVD-R DL Write Speeds 8x (Z-CLV)
6x, 4x, 2x (CLV)
DVD-RAM Write Speeds 5x, 3x, 2x (CLV)
CD Write Speeds 40x, 32x, 24x (P-CAV)
16x, 10x, 4x (CLV)
CD Rewrite Speeds 24x (Z-CLV)
16x, 10x, 4x (CLV)
BD Read Speeds 8x Max (BD-ROM Single Layer)
8x Max (BD-ROM Dual Layer)
8x Max (BD-R/RE)
8x Max (BD-R DL)
6x Max (BD-RE DL)
DVD Read Speeds 16x Max (DVD-ROM Single Layer)
12x Max (DVD-ROM Dual Layer)
16x Max (DVD±R)
12x Max (DVD±R DL)
12x Max (DVD±RW)
5x Max (DVD-RAM)
CD Read Speeds 48x Max (CD-ROM)
40x Max (CD-R)
24x Max (CD-RW)
DAE Speeds 40x Max
Buffer Size 4 MB
Access Times
280 ms (BD-ROM)
170 ms (DVD-ROM)
140 ms (CD)
CD Formats CD-DA
Photo CD
Video CD
CD Text
BD Formats BD-ROM
BD Recording Modes Sequential Recording (BD-R)
Random Recording (BD-RE)
DVD Recording Modes Disc At Once
Incremental Recording
Restricted Overwrite (DVD-RW)
Random Write (DVD+RW/DVD-RAM)
Layer Jump (DVD-R DL)
CD Recording Modes Disc At Once
Session At Once
Track At Once
Fixed and Variable Packet Writing

More Features:

By looking at the picture below, you can see that Plextor's new Blu-ray Disc writer is identified as a "PLEXTOR BD-R  PX-B940SA."

The Nero screenshot also shows that the PX-B940SA has a maximum CD writing speed of 40x and a 4000KB buffer. This buffer is also backed up by Sanyo's BURN-Proof buffer underrun protection. Technically, this isn't true as the drive uses a chipset from Renesas, not Sanyo. According to Nero, the PX-B940SA can write CD-Text and overburn. When testing the drive's capacity I found that the drive was able to overburn up to 94:27 with CompUSA's 99 minute CD-R media. 

Using Alex Noe's Weak Sector Utility we were able to determine that the PX-B940SA is a "one sheep" burner. This means that Plextor's new drive is capable of backing up titles protected by versions of SafeDisc previous to 2.51.

Here is a screen shot from Erik Deppe's Opti Drive Control. Among other things, this program queries the drive to see what its reading and writing capabilities are. Opti Drive Control had no problems detecting the PX-B940SA's reading and writing speeds and supported disc types.

Opti Drive Control also shows that the PX-B940SA is an RPC-2 DVD drive. This means that the drive's region is stored in the firmware. The region can be changed five times and after that it cannot be changed anymore. Unfortunately, a patched RPC-1 firmware is not yet available for this drive.

While Opti Drive Control gives us a quick glance at the PX-B940SA's features, DVDINFOpro provides a little more information on some of the drive's reading and writing capabilities. By looking at the screenshot above you can see that Plextor's new drive can read and write to most BD and DVD formats.

The PX-B940SA doesn't let you set the book type of single layer DVD+R or DVD+RW media. However, the drive automatically sets the book type for DVD+R DL discs to "DVD-ROM". This greatly reduces compatibility problems, especially with older DVD players.

I should also point out that the PX-B940SA is not supported by Plextor's PlexUtilties software. In fact, the latest version of the software didn't even detect it as being a valid Plextor drive.