One of the reasons I’ve bought my Liteon dvd 163 was that Erik Deppe (CD Speed) has crowned it with “the king of DAE” title. For the past year 'n a half I’ve been ripping happily with it, amongst other things.
Lately though, the Engineers of LiteOn fixed the firmware so that the drive caches audio. Also the 163D and the 165 are caching. According to Andre Wiethof and other EAC gurus, caching is terrible! And indeed, when I let EAC test my 163 with a recent fw and set the extraction options, I get about 11x average ripping speed in secure mode.
So my king of DAE went down from 38x average in AudioGrabber to 11x in EAC secure!
Of course I can downgrade to gh5e and I did for awhile and was getting more than 20x again. But I was asking myself: Are the LiteOn engineers really so stupid? If they are, why did I get a Liteon at the first place? So I made a bit of research and my conclusion and MHO is:
Audio caching is ONLY bad for the secure mode of EAC!
For anything else its actually good! including for burst mode in EAC.
Would you rather buy a Diskman with or without shockproof? Sure with shockproof! What is shockproof? It’s audio data caching!
Actually it is the secure mode that is incompatible with audio caching.
Secure mode is reading every sector twice and compares the two. If they are the same it goes further. If the drive caches, then EAC gets the second read from the buffer, meaning 2 identical reads even if there was an error. So when Andre invented the secure mode he was not planning it for a drive that caches.
The LiteOn has 512Kb buffer, why not use it?
I agree that EAC is probably the best ripper there is, and it’s my favorite, but nevertheless I went back to the caching GH5Q again. I’m using secure mode only for special things, the rest I do in burst. And even EAC says that burst mode is sometime better, specially for scratched cd’s…
I believe that overall, audio caching is better, definitely for on-the-fly burning.
I think it’s time for Andre Wiethoff to develop a secure mode which is compatible with the king of DAE!