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Plextor 40TS + EAC (Drive or EAC for C2?)
mous00
post Feb 29 2012, 05:32
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I managed to put get a Plextor 40TS drive and an Adaptec scsi card for not too much money.

I was setting up EAC and I know the 40TS does not cache audio and can make use of C2 errors. From what I gather, many people recommend (for most modern drives) that even if a drive does support C2 errors, it's better to disable in EAC and let EAC handle the error correction. Would that apply to the Plex 40TS as well?

I did one rip in Secure Mode with T&C + AccurateRip and the rip was fine. With the cache disabled it took about 30-40% less time to do the rip too which was nice.

Just want to make sure I have the optimal settings in EAC for the Plextor 40TS. Also have "spin up drive" checked along with CD-Text.


My rip settings:

Read mode : Secure
Utilize accurate stream : Yes
Defeat audio cache : No
Make use of C2 pointers : No

Read offset correction : 676
Overread into Lead-In and Lead-Out : Yes
Fill up missing offset samples with silence : Yes
Delete leading and trailing silent blocks : No
Null samples used in CRC calculations : Yes
Used interface : Native Win32 interface for Win NT & 2000
Gap handling : Appended to previous track

This post has been edited by mous00: Feb 29 2012, 05:39
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greynol
post Feb 29 2012, 07:11
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QUOTE (mous00 @ Feb 28 2012, 20:32) *
From what I gather, many people recommend (for most modern drives) that even if a drive does support C2 errors, it's better to disable in EAC and let EAC handle the error correction.

Those suggesting that the C2 error information setting allows one to disable error correction by the drive and passes the duty along to EAC are misinformed.

EAC can only correct synchronization-related errors, otherwise it completely relies on the data provided by the drive, weeding out "bad" data from "good" data depending on what is most consistent, which may or may not be error-free.

The C2 error information setting tells EAC to rely on the drive to inform the program as to whether the data being provided is in error or is error-free. When this information (aka C2 pointers) is being used, EAC no longer reads all the data twice looking for inconsistencies in order to determine if there were errors. The problem with this method occurs when a drive fails to report errant data, which is fairly common. Original Plextor-designed drives using Sanyo chipsets have a reputation for giving accurate C2 pointers and as such are among the ones that are free from this problem.

QUOTE (mous00 @ Feb 28 2012, 20:32) *
With the cache disabled it took about 30-40% less time to do the rip too which was nice.

This is another misconception. Telling EAC that your drive caches audio doesn't actually disable the drive's cache, rather it simply tells the drive to read more data than what is (hopefully) stored in the drive's buffer. In the case of original Plextor drives, you might actually be able to circumvent the caching of audio data by invoking what is referred to as the FUA bit. Run EAC with the -usefua flag and it will tell your drive to read with force unit access. The drive should then provide non-cached data, allowing you to tell EAC that it does not cache.

QUOTE (mous00 @ Feb 28 2012, 20:32) *
Also have "spin up drive" checked

This is probably not necessary. Only select this setting if your drive otherwise provides errant data.

This post has been edited by greynol: Feb 29 2012, 18:37


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mous00
post Feb 29 2012, 08:42
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Ah, thank you for explaining that greynol. I will enable the C2 for the 40TS then. I do need a little help with the -usefua flag. I tried right-clicking my shortcut to EAC (Win7) and adding -usefua after EAC.exe but Windows says the name is not valid. How else might I start EAC with the -usefua flag?

*edit* Found the instructions, I kept placing the -usefua within the quote->"C:\...EAC.exe -usefua" when it should've been "C:\...EAC.exe" -usefua.

I've also unchecked the "spin up drive" flag.

So it's set to start in Force Unit Access Mode,

Checked - 'Accurate Stream'
UnChecked - Caches audio data
Checked - Capable of retrieving C2 error information.

Basically what the detect read features reports for the PX-40TS.

This post has been edited by mous00: Feb 29 2012, 09:00
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greynol
post Feb 29 2012, 17:50
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The detect read features routine is not reliable in determining whether FUA is working. It's been a while since I last revisited the subject, but you can search for previous discussions either here or at digital-inn.de which has a dedicated thread on -usefua.

You might also want to review the information in our wiki.

All that aside, you should be good to go.

This post has been edited by greynol: Feb 29 2012, 17:51


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mous00
post Mar 2 2012, 03:56
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QUOTE (greynol @ Feb 29 2012, 08:50) *
The detect read features routine is not reliable in determining whether FUA is working. It's been a while since I last revisited the subject, but you can search for previous discussions either here or at digital-inn.de which has a dedicated thread on -usefua.

You might also want to review the information in our wiki.

All that aside, you should be good to go.


Thanks greynol, I think I found the thread you are referring to from digital-inn.

The detect read features took quite awhile with the -usefua switch on. I tried two discs both with and without the FUA switch and EAC reported the same result regarding caching (drive does not cache audio). Now I hope this 13 year old drive lasts long enough to get through my CD collection or at least most of it.

Just did another rip and seeing read speeds up to 20x! I use to be happy to get ~8x in Secure mode before with my BenQ.

This post has been edited by mous00: Mar 2 2012, 04:20
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mous00
post Mar 2 2012, 05:13
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I just ripped my Bjork Homogenic cd and it took only 7:37mins in Test & Copy mode (all tracks verified, confidence 20+ for each track). I'm used to averaging about 20mins per rip.

There would be no good reason (other than paranoia) to set the Plextor to read at a slower speed I take it. I just took a look at the 'Post your DAE Quality results' thread which is what had me wondering.

With current settings, secure mode and Accuraterip I should be ok I think.

This post has been edited by mous00: Mar 2 2012, 05:33
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JJZolx
post Mar 2 2012, 06:39
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Of course you didn't know you were going to get an AR match beforehand, but you might have first tried burst mode, copy only. Your rip would probably have taken less than 1/4 the time. If you get no AR match, fall back to secure mode.
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greynol
post Mar 2 2012, 06:49
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There is very little reason to run that drive in burst mode. Secure w/C2 and no flushing will give near burst speeds with the benefit of error detection and re-reading when an error is flagged.

The most efficient method is to first copy (F5 or Shift+F5), then check AR results, then perform a test pass (F8) on tracks that cannot be verified as accurate. If the two CRCs match then things should be ok.

I checked the PX40TS at daefeatures.co.uk and it confirms that it does not cache audio data.

This post has been edited by greynol: Mar 2 2012, 09:47


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mous00
post Mar 2 2012, 10:41
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As greynol suggested, I looked at the Wiki and of the three recommended tests I ran cachex. It got stuck on the the last part of the test (or was just taking too long, about an hour for the last part, and I need to go to bed) but the earlier part showed good results:

U:\cachex>cachex -i -c -n 3 d:

CacheExplorer 0.8 - spath@cdfreaks.com

Drive on D is PLEXTOR CD-ROM PX-40TS 1.01

[+] Buffer size: 20301 kB, read cache is disabled
[+] Supported read commands: BEh A8h(FUA) 28h(FUA) D4h(FUA) D5h(FUA) D8h(FUA)
[+] Testing cache line size:

I noticed the first line says read cache is disabled (might this be why it hung on the cache line test?) and the output reports from other drives posted in the cachex thread show 'read cache is enabled'. I guess it also fits the drive report from the DAE Features database, the PX-40TS being one of a few Plextors that does not cache. So from what i understand from the cachex thread, all read commands for the PX-40TS support the FUA bit it seems. Going to run the Plextor's FUA command test (cachex -i -p d:) next (tomorrow).

This post has been edited by mous00: Mar 2 2012, 10:51
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greynol
post Mar 2 2012, 12:18
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Because the drive doesn't cache audio data there is no need to use FUA. I misread your initial post focusing on the portion about disabling cache, not noticing that you had already explicitly said the drive doesn't cache.

Sorry for taking you on this wild goose chase. blush.gif

This post has been edited by greynol: Mar 2 2012, 12:25


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mous00
post Mar 2 2012, 22:52
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Not at all, I learned a few things with the reading and test I did. I now understand that a 'real' Plextor drive may cache audio but if all the read commands support FUA, caching can be disabled with the -usefua switch. When purchasing the 40TS I actually referred to the DAE Features site to look for a Plextor that did not cache audio and supported C2.

I bought this Plextor used and it's really, really old. Only tried this experiment because I was able to buy it and try it for cheap, $12 total for the drive, $16 total for the scsi card and another $6 for the cable. I would not be willing to pay much more than that for something this old, no matter the reputation.

This thing is 13 years old and could die on me any day. The scsi card was large too and took some cable management inside my PC case to get it in there. I'm now wondering if the addition of the scsi card has introduced other issues (playback of audio through foobar now has some crackle and pop, using a emu usb 0404 external for sound) but that's something else I have to investigate now.

Thanks greynol as always for your help and knowledge on these matters.

This post has been edited by mous00: Mar 2 2012, 22:54
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greynol
post Mar 3 2012, 19:30
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Glad I could be of help. smile.gif


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