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Plextor PX-716A
ESP85
post Dec 24 2006, 22:53
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I'm thinking about buying a new drive to replace my NEC ND1300A. I was looking at Plextor since they are considered the best for DAE.

Are the Plextor PX-716A drives a pretty good choice? The price they go for on eBay looks about right for my budget. I want a drive that can do bit-for-bit exact copies for archiving. The drive also needs to be able to rip faster than my NEC but just as accurate or better.

Also, I notice some of the 716As sell on eBay without the Plextools. Are the Plextools absolutely essential for what I want my drive to do?
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greynol
post Dec 24 2006, 23:14
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QUOTE (ESP85 @ Dec 24 2006, 13:53) *
I was looking at Plextor since they are considered the best for DAE.
You're likely to get some disagreement on this.

QUOTE (ESP85 @ Dec 24 2006, 13:53) *
Are the Plextor PX-716A drives a pretty good choice?
I have one, I like it. Beware of critics who don't actually own this drive.

QUOTE (ESP85 @ Dec 24 2006, 13:53) *
The drive also needs to be able to rip faster than my NEC but just as accurate or better.
It caches audio data so unless you're using the FUA command or PlexTools it isn't going to rip very quickly.

QUOTE (ESP85 @ Dec 24 2006, 13:53) *
Are the Plextools absolutely essential for what I want my drive to do?
No, not at all.

This post has been edited by greynol: Dec 24 2006, 23:15


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Sebastian Mares
post Dec 25 2006, 00:23
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I had a PX-712A and had pretty bad experience with it. My first unit failed after one year although I barely used it and the RMA unit I received also stopped working after a couple of months. At the moment, I am using my second RMA drive which is a PX-755A. The Plextor support however is excellent.


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ESP85
post Dec 25 2006, 00:56
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QUOTE (greynol @ Dec 24 2006, 14:14) *
QUOTE (ESP85 @ Dec 24 2006, 13:53) *
The drive also needs to be able to rip faster than my NEC but just as accurate or better.
It caches audio data so unless you're using the FUA command or PlexTools it isn't going to rip very quickly.


Do you know if -usefua will work with REACT2?

Also, how much CPU does your Plextor drive use when ripping in secure mode? My NEC takes up 100% on an AMD Athlon XP 2800+. It makes compressing while ripping awfully slow. This is with secure mode, accurate stream, and C2 (the drive doesn't cache so no cache).

This post has been edited by ESP85: Dec 25 2006, 00:57
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greynol
post Dec 25 2006, 01:33
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QUOTE (ESP85 @ Dec 24 2006, 15:56) *
Do you know if -usefua will work with REACT2?
I dunno; I've never had a need to use it.

QUOTE (ESP85 @ Dec 24 2006, 15:56) *
Also, how much CPU does your Plextor drive use when ripping in secure mode? My NEC takes up 100% on an AMD Athlon XP 2800+. It makes compressing while ripping awfully slow. This is with secure mode, accurate stream, and C2 (the drive doesn't cache so no cache).
Isn't it the compressing that's demanding the resources? I'm sure the requirements of the ripping are negligible in comparison.

Do be careful when using C2 unless you're also using test and copy. I'm not sure about your NEC, but with the ND-3500 (as an example), EAC lets too many errors slip through with C2 checked than I am comfortable with.

This post has been edited by greynol: Dec 25 2006, 01:33


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ESP85
post Dec 25 2006, 01:44
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QUOTE (greynol @ Dec 24 2006, 16:33) *
QUOTE (ESP85 @ Dec 24 2006, 15:56) *
Also, how much CPU does your Plextor drive use when ripping in secure mode? My NEC takes up 100% on an AMD Athlon XP 2800+. It makes compressing while ripping awfully slow. This is with secure mode, accurate stream, and C2 (the drive doesn't cache so no cache).
Isn't it the compressing that's demanding the resources? I'm sure the requirements of the ripping are negligible in comparison.

Do be careful when using C2 unless you're also using test and copy. I'm not sure about your NEC, but with the ND-3500 (as an example), EAC lets too many errors slip through with C2 checked than I am comfortable with.

No, just ripping it'll use all the CPU. I normally go to the compression queue center and check "make all compression tasks sleep" until I'm done ripping. Only then will I let everything compress because if I let it compress while ripping it'll slow down the ripping some while the compression is going at like 0.3x.

I've never done test and copy before, I just use copy. I should probably start using test and copy though since on some CDs that aren't perfect condition, artifacts pop up in the files even though EAC said the track quality was 100%. If I ever run across any I just end up reripping.

This post has been edited by ESP85: Dec 25 2006, 01:44
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cyde
post Dec 25 2006, 02:00
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I bought that same drive,

I bought it a year and a half ago. Hardly used it since most of my CD's are already ripped into VBR lame MP3 or Lossless FLAC/APE files.

I hardly watch DVDs, And I never install games.

It fucked up as of 6 months ago, And was working on and off until recently, it doesnt read at all sometimes, othertimes it reads very poorly or very slowly.

Was a PITA to install windows, Took 5 hours.

I had to run the X-Fi isntallation CD from my brothers computer over the LAN to get it to install.


I bought a LG Lightscribe 18x DVDRW Combo for 50$, New. It works WAY WAY better than the plextor ever did.

And here I thought buying my first plextor and paying a premium for it would gurantee an above average quality unit.

F it
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benski
post Dec 25 2006, 03:44
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I have a PX-716UF (the external one) and it's great. Lightning fast ripping (with -usefua and cache disabled) even in secure mode - usually around 25-30x for the whole disc. Was able to properly rip a few discs that my benq was unable to get repeatable CRCs on (and verified by accuraterip).

It's lousy for burning DVD's though - at least that's been my experience.
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LANjackal
post Dec 25 2006, 04:50
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I've owned a PX-716UF for nearly 2 years now and practically swear by it. Top notch support and documentation, no coasters, no problems at all.

Excellent for ripping and burning DVDs, fantastic DL support.

Highly recommended.

This post has been edited by LANjackal: Dec 25 2006, 04:51


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Lych
post Dec 25 2006, 09:33
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I have a PX-716UF and I have had no problems with it while using the USB interface. The firewire option sometimes doesn't work on my system. I also have a Samsung SH-S183L and I absolutely love it. It burns everything (even DVD-RAM) and works flawlessly.
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Martin H
post Dec 25 2006, 11:45
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QUOTE (ESP85 @ Dec 25 2006, 00:56) *
Do you know if -usefua will work with REACT2?

REACT is "just"(although very advanced and extremely well made) an AutoIt script that calls EAC and other apps up and simulates key-strokes and mouse movements/clicks for automating all our repeatingly required and tiresome tasks like ripping/ReplayGain'ing/tagging/file and folder naming and hence, you just add that extra switch after the path to EAC.exe in your REACT.ini file like e.g. : "EAC=C:\Program Files\Exact Audio Copy\EAC.exe --usefua". Please note that i'm not stating that this particular switch works alright with EAC though, as it seems that for some people that have tested it, it either works fine(Greynol), or dosen't work at all(JeanLuc and many others).

CU, Martin.

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Sebastian Mares
post Dec 25 2006, 13:18
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For me, it didn't work with PX-712A and it doesn't work with PX-755A.


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LANjackal
post Dec 25 2006, 20:36
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QUOTE (Lych @ Dec 25 2006, 03:33) *
I have a PX-716UF and I have had no problems with it while using the USB interface. The firewire option sometimes doesn't work on my system. I also have a Samsung SH-S183L and I absolutely love it. It burns everything (even DVD-RAM) and works flawlessly.


Used both interfaces on my laptop: Firewire by default, and USB 2.0 for a bit when my Firewire port apparently fried in a lightning strike. No trouble with either (though it appears to perform faster via Firewire).


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greynol
post Dec 25 2006, 21:29
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QUOTE (Martin H @ Dec 25 2006, 02:45) *
Please note that i'm not stating that this particular switch works alright with EAC though, as it seems that for some people that have tested it, it either works fine(Greynol), or dosen't work at all(JeanLuc and many others).

QUOTE (Sebastian Mares @ Dec 25 2006, 04:18) *
For me, it didn't work with PX-712A and it doesn't work with PX-755A.

I've already demonstrated that SPTD interferes with the FUA command and every single person I've worked with has been able to get the command to work once SPTD removed from their system. Now there could still be other factors involved but I don't think it's very useful to only state that it doesn't work with drive X.

I am confident that I could take either of Sebastian's drives (as well as JeanLuc's) and get them to properly accept the command if I were to put them in my system.

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Sebastian Mares
post Dec 25 2006, 22:24
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I don't have SPTD on my system as far as I know. At least there is no SPTD.SYS file in my system32\drivers folder. I also never installed DT, Alcohol or similar software.

How can I check if SPTD drivers are on my system?


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greynol
post Dec 25 2006, 22:30
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How have you determined that --usefua is not working? Are you able to use FUA with dBpowerAMP?


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Sebastian Mares
post Dec 25 2006, 22:48
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Funny enough, yes.

With EAC, I started using the FUA switch and tested the drive features. For some CDs, caching was reported, for some, it was not. Also, for those CDs where caching was reported, if there was an error, the first correction bar filled up extremely quick while for the discs where caching was not reported, the first bar was filled at a "normal" speed.

Also, I tested with spath's tool and it seems that my PX-755A supports FUA. However, if I instruct the application to test 10 times, the result for the FUA test is 5/10. If I run the test 20 times, result is 5/20. It seems that FUA is not accepted more than 5 times or I got that 5/x figure totally wrong.

Edit: However, very odd things happen with my PC. For example, with dBpowerAMP, my Plextor can receive UPC codes, but not ISRC codes. My USB 2.0 LG E10L can retrieve both. spoon said that he finds this weird since UPC and ISRC retrieval is very very similar (only 1 byte differs IIRC). ISRC retrieving works however with EAC and Plextools Professional.

This post has been edited by Sebastian Mares: Dec 25 2006, 22:49


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greynol
post Dec 25 2006, 23:40
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QUOTE (Sebastian Mares @ Dec 25 2006, 13:48) *
With EAC, I started using the FUA switch and tested the drive features. For some CDs, caching was reported, for some, it was not. Also, for those CDs where caching was reported, if there was an error, the first correction bar filled up extremely quick while for the discs where caching was not reported, the first bar was filled at a "normal" speed.
In general I don't believe that EAC's drive features is not the way to test for FUA. I don't think the test has ever told me that my drive doesn't cache when I've stated EAC with -usefua.

Assuming "extremely quick" is like the blink of an eye, I'd say you do have a problem with the command. But depending on the drive speed and what EAC is trying to re-read, I've seen the error correction indicator illuminate fairly quickly. It was never so fast to make me think that the reads were only coming from cache.

QUOTE
Also, I tested with spath's tool and it seems that my PX-755A supports FUA. However, if I instruct the application to test 10 times, the result for the FUA test is 5/10. If I run the test 20 times, result is 5/20. It seems that FUA is not accepted more than 5 times or I got that 5/x figure totally wrong.
With SPTD, I've seen cache explorer accept the first 4 attempts and have witnessed behavior with re-reads in EAC that was consistent with this. Upon re-reading the first few lights seemed to look ok and then the rest of the line would light-up almost instantaneously. Without SPTD, I do get 20/20.

From what you've said, it doesn't sound like you have SPTD installed but it does make me question whether the FUA command is working properly. I'm sure there can be other factors affecting this but I would be surprised if it only had to do with your drives. Admittedly, I've been wrong in the past about these things.

Not knowing anything about the specific read commands used and whatever else might be going on, I would caution against FUA with dBpowerAMP if your drive is only accepting a limited number of these commands in a row according to Cache Explorer; especially if this behavior is also reflected in EAC performance during re-reads like it was for me. Strange about the ISRC and UPC codes, could it be that the implementation of FUA is different enough between the two programs that it may work for one and not the other?

This post has been edited by greynol: Dec 25 2006, 23:40


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