For DAE only - does SCSI still have advantage?

Hello everyone,

first post goes here… :slight_smile: Please bear with me, I usually end up with pretty long introductions…

I´m in process of building a new computer from the scratch. The first job I would like to start with the new machine is to store all my 1000+ CDs in lossless format, in order to be able to store the original CDs in somewhere safe and to make browsing through the catalog a bit easier.

Processing that kind of number of CDs will take time, of course, but quality is the most important factor. While extracting the audio, it would be nice to be able to use the computer for other tasks, without affecting the quality of the DAE. Bit-perfect is the only acceptable result, but gaming while DAEing would be nice… :wink:

I think I still should categorise myself as a die-hard SCSI-fan, largely because my previous encounters with ATAPI-devices have been somewhat disapointing (although the experiences date back a couple of years.) Especially, I used to hate the way the computer stalls while inserting a new CD, and the CPU-meter would indicate that ATAPI really wasn’t usable for true, stable multitasking.

Therefore, I had already decided that I would purchase a Plextor PleXWriter 40/12/40S -drive and some good Ultra-SCSI adapter. Then I read the following review and got worried (the URL points to the most important benchmark, DAE):

The review compares the SCSI- and ATAPI-version of the Plextor drive, and I was stunned to read that the CPU-usage of the SCSI-version is considerably higher and interface burst rate lower than those of the ATAPI-version.

Referring to the review, I have a couple of questions:

  1. Could the worse CPU-usage of the SCSI-drive be explained by for example by the SCSI-adapter used (Tekram DC-390U3W) or have ATAPI-interfaces really improved so much that SCSI takes more CPU-cycles?
  2. Regardless of CPU-usage, what is your experience of SCSI vs. ATAPI in practical terms, is working with SCSI still more fluent? Especially, do modern computer still get “paralyzed” when inserting CDs etc?
  3. My sole use for this particular CD-RW-drive will be DAE, also from scratched CDs (I really haven´t stored them they way they deserve) :o Writing speed or quality is not important, therefore. Also, I think I can bear the cost related to the drive or adapter, even if it´s SCSI (divided by 1000+ CDs the cost per archived CD is relatively small, don´t you think… ) So, would you recommend Plextor PleXWriter 40/12/40S or is some other (SCSI- or non-SCSI) CD-RW superior (like for example Plextor Premium?)
  4. If I will purchase the SCSI-drive, can you recommend some good SCSI-adapter? Again, price is not so relevant, usage of system resources is…
  5. If I´ll end up with a SCSI-drive, do you think it would be better to move the extracted data to a SCSI-harddrive (CPU-usage-wise) than a PATA- or SATA -based drive? I´m planning building the system on a motherboard with Sil 3114 SATA-RAID-controller, would transferring the extracted data to that drive negate the advantages of the SCSI-drive (by using system resources)?
  6. Do Plextor SCSI-drives still have the annoying :a little fan at the backside?

Sorry for so many questions :o , I thank you for your help in advance… :bigsmile:

With best regards,


P.S. For better coverage, I posted the question to some other sites´ forums as well, dunno if that´s against forum policy… Is it? :confused:
P.P.S. While writing the message, why on earth do the smileys end up at the end of my message body, not matter where the cursor is? :confused:

Hi there, welcome aboard!

I read your kind of massive post with great interest (I’ve been a SCSI user for several years) and I hope I can help you a little. Let’s answer some questions:

  1. Yes, I know from my own experience that the used controller can be (partially?) responsible for the used CPU cycles. That isn’t really something strange. I don’t know if this is the fact here, but I wouldn’t be wondered, as this DawiControl cards aren’t the best around (I had two of them and both had strange issues etc).

  2. As I said, I’ve been using SCSI for quite some time. Last spring, I removed all the SCSI stuff from my computer (2x Plextor 40x cdrom, 1x Plextor 12x SCSI writer and 1x Yamaha 8x SCSI writer) and replaced it by a bunch of IDE drives. The quality of the IDE drives is pretty good (although the Plextor SCSI drives still look sweeter and more professional, compared to their IDE drives) and so is the speed and CPU usage. With DMA mode, the reasons for getting a SCSI system seem to be vanishing.
    Anyhow, there’s one minor aspect to IDE: you can’t really use two optical drives on the same channel at once, without loosing speed (IDE specification). It’s not really possible to copy a disc on-the-fly from a reader to a writer on the same IDE channel. SCSI doesn’t have any problems with that. Of course, with a smart IDE setup, this problem can be circumvented pretty well, but it’s still a minor aspect of the IDE interface…

  3. I’m quite positive that the Plextor CDRW drive is a good drive when it comes to DAE (as that’s always the case with Plextor drives), and I don’t think the Premium is more accurate than the SCSI model is. But… modern DVDROM drives (especially those by Toshiba and LiteOn) are very very very good rippers as well. If you’d do a small search on our forums, you’ll find lots of information on good drives for DAE.

  4. The best SCSI adapters are (IMHO) still the ones by Adaptec. Just look at the specs what you want (for harddrives and such) and buy the cheapest one that qualifies for you. They aren’t cheap, but you won’t regret it (fast, good support, low cpu usage etc).

  5. A modern HD (no matter what interface) should be able to keep up without any problems. A small calculation: let the drive be able to rip at 40x. That means it puts out 6000kb/sec. Most modern drives can easily do that (40mb/sec shouldn’t be much of a problem, so 6mb is a piece of cake)…

  6. The SCSI one does yeah…

PS: nopez you can do what you want… just post the message on CDFreaks once… about other forums we do not really care :wink:

PPS: that’s just the forum software, maybe the next update will fix thiz!

I think for DAE it doesn’t really matter that much anymore. You just need a good and fast drive, the interface is not important.

I’d recommend a Plextor IDE CD-ROM/CDRW (no problems with audio-protection and good DAE performance alltogether).

I’m still a SCSI-fan though, when it comes to multiple drives etc. Like Dee-ehn said; 2 IDE-opticals on 1 cable aren’t the best friends. But as long as you are building a “standard setup for DAE” (without the need for LOTS of drives), I’d go for the cheapest and leave SCSI.