(help) good drive for ripping (EAC)

Hello everybody!
My stalled situation: I’m in Japan with an internal laptop Panasonic drive that doesn’t rip all the CDs quite well. There are a lot of rare CDs that I’d like to rip accurately (some have scratches, some just being riped with errors).

Please, advise buying either:

  • a good external drive (mainly for EAC-ripping)

OR

  • a good internal CD and proper enclosure for it (I hear that Pioneer and Nec drives are not so bad but it is difficult to find a good enclosure. Again, mainly for ripping.

Originally I wanted to buy Plextor Premium 2, but I hear that it doesn’t work always great while ripping, it is created for burningm mainly. Is it true?

Thx in advance for help,
Regards,
atikinn

LiteOn iHAS 120, or probably any other newer LiteOn. Unlike many other drives on the market these days, they don’t cache audio data, this speeds up the ripping process considerably in EAC secure mode. They also support C2 error reporting (if you want to rely on it, speeds up the ripping process even more) - ideal for EAC -> no audio caching, Accurate Stream and C2 error info support.
In addition to that, LiteOns are very good readers in general (video, data etc.), have an excellent error correction, and are recommended for DVD scanning.

I have a Pioneer DVR-215, a BenQ DW1640 and a LiteOn iHAS 120 built in this machine, and the Liteon is the best of them for ripping audio CDs (the Pioneer second best; it caches audio data).

packetloss, thank you for your peace of advice.

Is data caching something useless thing while accurate ripping? Why do many drivers has it? It takes me around an hour to rip on CD with my Panasonic, I’m sure that it caches data as well.

Any thoughts about enclosures?

Audio caching reduces the ripping speed considerably, and due to the way EAC secure mode works, it causes an addtional burden on the drive.

Here is a good explanation of audio caching in EAC, and why drives that don’t cache audio data should be prefered:

http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=EAC_Drive_Configuration#Drive_Options

The ideal drive for EAC should not cache audio data, support accurate stream and C2 error info - everything the Liteon iHAS 120 (and probably all other newer LiteOns) does.

Can’t help you on the encolsures I am afraid, because all of my drives, with the exception of a Plextor Premium-U (external, has its own enclosure), are internal models. Do a search in the forum, there should be a lot of threads on that subject.

If Lite On are really good for EAC, what about the previous external model - LITEON DX-20A4PU-01? (LiteOn iHAS 120 is the last model in Japan, no external analog yet).
Another variant - PLEXTOR PX-810UF/JPB (also soon 2007 release)
A maybe even that famous Plextor Premium 2?
What are thier caching support, accurate stream ans C2 error info (as far as I know usually C2 is off, but nevetheless).

Thank you for help, frankly, now just don’t have anough time to read the whole forum, I’m not clode with this subject so it’ll take me month to understand everyhing and decide what to buy.

[quote=packetloss;2145673]The ideal drive for EAC should [B]not[/B] cache audio data, support accurate stream and C2 error info - everything the Liteon iHAS 120 (and probably all other newer LiteOns) does.[/quote] Maybe the [I]newer[/I] LiteOns, but [I]older[/I] LiteOns do unfortunately cache audio data.

[quote=atikinn;2145761]If Lite On are really good for EAC, what about the previous external model - LITEON DX-20A4PU-01? (LiteOn iHAS 120 is the last model in Japan, no external analog yet).
Another variant - PLEXTOR PX-810UF/JPB (also soon 2007 release)
A maybe even that famous Plextor Premium 2?
What are thier caching support, accurate stream ans C2 error info (as far as I know usually C2 is off, but nevetheless).[/quote]

No clue about the LiteOn 20A4, it probably does not cache audio data either, but you better ask someone who has that drive to be sure. I have the iHAS 120 myself, and can confirm that this drive does not cache audio data, so it’s likely that the newer iHAS / iHAP drives (322, 422 etc.) don’t either.

The Plextor PX-810 is just a rebadged Pioneer DVR-212, which like all Pioneers does cache audio data, and definitely is not worth the premium price (just buy an original Pioneer instead).

If you are willing to pay the high price for the Premium II, it’s an excellent choice. One of the very best CD burners ever, and excellent for audio extraction also (does not cache audio data).

Thank you for help, frankly, now just don’t have anough time to read the whole forum, I’m not clode with this subject so it’ll take me month to understand everyhing and decide what to buy.

About the enclosure: Since your main purpose of this external drive is going to be audio extraction and CD burning, you can’t basically go wrong with any external case, since the bandwidth demands of CD reading and burning are so low (in comparison to DVD or even Blu Ray) that it simply doesn’t matter which chipset the enclosure has - all of them should be more than fast enough to handle CD reading / writing bandwidth.

Followed this Tip #2 from http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=EAC_Drive_Configuration#Drive_Options: "…if you’re still paranoid that your drive caches audio, feel free to try Feurio’s audio caching test (Ctrl+Alt+P\Test device\Cache test) or spath’s cache explorer. If either determine that your drive doesn’t cache or caches less than 64 KB of data, then cache flushing isn’t necessary (ignore the reported buffer size when using cache explorer). The reason for the 64 KB barrier is that EAC will never request less than this amount while ripping."
The test with Feurio gave me the following results of cache size:

  1. Pioneer 116 in External Enclosure AgeStar ICB5A- 56 kByte
  2. Pioneer 216 - 197 kByte
  3. AD-7203S - 23 kByte
  4. 20A3P - 0 kByte
  5. 20A4P - 543 kByte
  6. 1640 - 115 kByte

Well, after some thinking and reading, I must say that ASUS DRW-2014L1T appears to beat LiteOn LH20A1S. First, both of these drives support C2 error correction and have no caching - which is excellent for EAC. LiteOn seems to be great for reading DVDs that have errors, but so is ASUS. However, tests show that ASUS has a far superior CD error reading. Refer to these links:

LiteOn
ASUS

And this is the link that shows ASUS does not do audio caching and supports C2 error correction, just like the LiteOn.

Finally, on Newegg.com, ASUS has received the highest customer satisfaction awards out of all drives there: NEWEGG. ASUS costs $35, vs $26 for the LiteOn, but I think it is definitely worth it and I am going with it.

Plextor seems to be the other contender, but there are so many mixed reviews and opinions, including Plextools vs EAC, plus very high prices - almost $200 for Premier 2 - and some opinions that some Plextors are just rebadged Pioneers, that I am not going to read into Plextor anymore. It’s just market hype, unless you shell out the $200 and get feature like gigarec, whatever that’s supposed to do.

So I am going with the ASUS DRW-2014L1T. Any additional comments are welcome.