1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Dual-layer DVD duel

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by WilHarris, 5 Dec 2005.

  1. erzug

    erzug What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    6 Dec 2005
    Posts:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Plextor SATA vs. Pioneer PATA

    I agree that a quality test should have been provided. I, personally don't care as much about pure speed, but am concerned with whether the final burn is decent and compatible with other hardware, etc.
    Also, no mention as to what the firmware versions were for the drives tested.
    Should one assme the most current "DVR110D_FW137EU" for Pioneer and "1.09" for the Plextor?
     
  2. jezmck

    jezmck Minimodder

    Joined:
    25 Sep 2003
    Posts:
    4,456
    Likes Received:
    36
    Yup.
    I have 6 USB ports (not too shoddy) and have:
    2 webcams
    1 digi-camera
    1 printer-scanner(-copier)
    1 (gap for) USB stick

    and hence I couldn't have a USB mouse & kb.
    In fact, I run the mouse through a USB-PS2 adaptor.
     
  3. Dgephri

    Dgephri What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    9 Sep 2003
    Posts:
    197
    Likes Received:
    0
    I started legacy free with the Plextor 712S, about a year ago...never looked back. OS installed with it, never a coaster, and probably the quietest Optical I've ever used.

    I am ordering a 716 for my upcoming build since Fry's has stopped stocking the 712S.

    I decided long ago that I didn't want any floppy or IDE cables anymore: now if we could just get rid of the fat 24pin PSU connections.
     
  4. NewWorldMan

    NewWorldMan What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    6 Dec 2005
    Posts:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Plextor PlexTools

    Obviously the reviewer did not enable the Plextor to go over "spec" in PlexTools.

    I had both drives in my computer to evaluate them and it wasn't even close..Plextor won by a wide margin.

    So many users are confused that MaximumPC Mag even published an article on how to enable it in the November 2005 issue (page 62 lower). There is a check box for "SpeedRead CD/DVD" that needs to be enabled.

    My recommendation for all reviewers- call the manufacturer next time before publishing a damning review of a highly reviewed and regarded product.
     
  5. yyrkoon

    yyrkoon What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    7 Dec 2005
    Posts:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    You actually have two options for using a SATA burner

    1) twiddle your thumbs as stated by yourself above, or . . .
    2) buy a SATA->PATA tailgate conversion board

    #2 should work fine if all you're looking to do is free up the extra IO used by the PCI bus. Only problem is finding a tailgate device thats 'stable'. Some of them seem cheaply made, and get bad reviews, while others claim they are fine.

    As for the article, IM curious how well the Plextor would stand up to my Lite-On SOHW-1693S ;) Pretty solid drive for 60 ish USD, definatly MUCH better than the MSI DVD burner i had previously (still finding bad DVDs in my collection, that supposedly burned 'fine')
     
  6. WilHarris

    WilHarris Just another nobody Moderator

    Joined:
    16 Jun 2001
    Posts:
    2,679
    Likes Received:
    2
    Thanks for the feedback NewWorldMan. In our opinion, having to enable a tool to allow the drive to burn 'out of spec', as you put it, isn't going to be the most user-friendly and/or reliable burner. We'll investigate the tool, but it rather seems like asking all Nvidia users to switch on CoolBits by default to get optimum performance.

    erzug, that's cool, we'll bare that in mind for next time - you're right, copmatibility post-burn is a big issue that we didn't address.

    We mentioned in the article that we used Verbatim media (there's some piccies too!), SandMan111.

    Thanks for the constructive feedback guys. This was really the first burner test we've done on bit-tech, and I think we can make the next one even better.

    :dremel:
     
  7. TGImages

    TGImages Grandpa

    Joined:
    11 Aug 2004
    Posts:
    161
    Likes Received:
    1
    Anyone know of a SATA DVD burner with LightScribe? I've played with a few non SATA units at work and was happy with the label (even though they are so slow to print) so now I want a SATA unit at home that supports this. Unfortunately I haven't seen one yet. I was considering the Plextor units before trying LS and decided against as I don't mind waiting a bit longer if someone is (hopefully) going to sell the drive config that I want. Given the mixed reactions to the converters I've ruled this out as a consideration too.

    -G
     
  8. Dgephri

    Dgephri What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    9 Sep 2003
    Posts:
    197
    Likes Received:
    0
    I haven't seen or heard of any LS drives having SATA natively. We can't yet get all the stuff we want in a single drive, and I prefer the SATA to LS for now.
     
  9. mdburkey

    mdburkey What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    8 Dec 2005
    Posts:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    In response to one of the authors comments, I still use a PS/2 mouse and keyboard.

    In general, the PS/2 ports are still *much* more stable than the nightmare that is the Microsoft USB stack in Windows XP. USB Mice generally work pretty well, but I have still seen far to many instances where USB 1.1/USB 2.0 Full Speed/High Speed issues can crop up and cause headaches.

    USB Keyboards I have just had bad luck with in general -- especially at the BIOS level or when working with older software (i.e. Norton Ghost -- the last useful DOS based version [as opposed to the abortion that arose when they shifted over to the DriveImage codebase]). They also don't work that well with other OS's (especially in the world of embedded OS's/devices).

    And, why waste a perfectly good USB port to hook up a mouse/keyboard?

    Also, what is the harm in keeping some of the other legacy I/O ports around? Especially the parallel port!

    USB based RS232/485 converters work quite well and, when properly configured, I have not found any recent serial device I could not get to work with one (there are a few older devices that still use direct port I/O that don't work quite right due to timing issues in how Windows intercepts the port I/O calls and passes them on to the USB serial port).

    USB based LPT converters don't work worth crap. Microsoft forces the to load as "USB based printing support" and doesn't even try to intercept/emulate the standard LPT port I/O space. I'm sorry, but there are a LOT of existing expensive devices out there that still need the good old fashioned parallel port to hook up to. On the systems here in my own office I have 1) a JP1 cable for programming my universal remote, 2) a simple LPT to I2C converter, 3) a Needhams EMP-30 EEPROM burner, 4) a Metalink 8051 ICE, etc.

    This does not include the plethora of parallel based security dongles that are still required by many older versions of CAD & circuit layout packages -- which we often still *HAVE* to use to go back to call up existing schematics and layouts for revision/rework.

    If your goal in life is to buy a machine for playing games and entertainment, then by all means purchase a legacy free PC. If however you are one of us who actually use a PC to WORK for a living, then keeping the legacy ports around is a much different issue!
     
  10. MrWillyWonka

    MrWillyWonka Chocolate computers galore!

    Joined:
    25 Jul 2004
    Posts:
    5,892
    Likes Received:
    12
    As you use your computer for work for a living, I am surprised you even suggested we keep PS/2.

    PS/2 is a lot slower than USB, which is why I and a lot of people use USB, there is lower latency and you are able to type more letters per minute than ps/2.

    And I do not have any problems with USB keyboard and mice, my wireless devices work in the BIOS, windows setup and in windows, I don't get slowdowns or dropouts.

    I don't see the point in keeping a parallel port, not only they are slower but in newer motherboards the space saved by removing parallel ports has been used for USB ports and more recently high quality onboard sound, I see this as a benefit.

    With USB 2 having 480Mbps transfer rate they are faster than most other cables around and that is a benefit.

    Granted some people still need to use parallel ports for whatever reason, but as we head into the future with more compatibility we need to change to smaller ports, and faster too. USB is currently the way.

    That's just my opinion anyway. :)

    * Oh yes, welcome to the forums :)
     
  11. Hamish

    Hamish What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    25 Nov 2002
    Posts:
    3,649
    Likes Received:
    4
    legacy ports should be relegated to pci slot expansion thingies, you know with headers on the board so for the few people that actually still use them can but for normal people you dont have to :p
     
  12. mdburkey

    mdburkey What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    8 Dec 2005
    Posts:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the welcome!

    We all have our opinions, mine just tends to be a bit outside the mainstream.

    PS/2 is not appreciably faster than USB for task like mouse access and/or keyboard usage. There is absolutely no way a human can actually out-type a PS/2 keyboard interface -- especially as the 8042 controller/VLSI logic block typically should have an input buffer.

    PS/2 mice and USB mice tend to work equivalently assuming that the PS/2 device is set to a sample rate of at least 200/sec. Someone playing a game *might* be able to notice a slight lag if they were unbelievably proficient, but I sorely doubt it.

    Another issue with migrating everything from PS/2 to USB is with KVM's. This is probably one of the biggest issues with the new Dell SC430 servers they have released without PS/2 ports. Most people I know who run racks of servers (or who like myself have multiple development PC's on their desk) generally have them on a single monitor/mouse/keyboard. Yes, you can get USB based KVM's but then you have to have EVERYTHING hooked up to a USB port -- or you have to get USB->PS/2 dongles for the non-PS/2 devices and use a existing hub (and a lot of the USB->PS/2 dongles don't work that well with some KVM's -- I've tried several).

    The other point you make here regarding USB is under WINDOWS -- under other OS's (especially embedded OS's -- QNX, VxWorks, etc) USB support is decidedly less mature. For any real world tasks that require high precision or real-time control Windows is a completely useless operating system -- it simply has far too high a latency time and no guaranteed maximum time slice (the concept of functions such as "nanosleep" simply do not exist). Additionally, some OS's that are still useful don't have USB support at all (e.g. the copy of NT4 Server I have running a database locally -- and which I have no intention of replacing the software on anytime in the near future -- once again due to the nightmarish licensing costs involved).

    Furthermore, even under Windows, the stability level for USB devices is not as good as many people would like you to believe. Individually, most devices work pretty well. However, when you try plugging them in together on USB ports that are shared of a single root hub on your controller, things can get quite interesting. I have seen a lot of instances of devices that fail to enumerate properly when other low speed devices are connected to the same root hub. I have also seen a lot of cases where things just act really weird and get strange kernel level errors at inexplicable times (i.e. we've been debugging a USB precipitated crash in ntdll.dll on a unit with an Intel 815 chipset -- the problem doesn't show up on most other Intel chipsets or other vendors chipsets -- and even with a USB protocol analyzer, we still aren't quite sure where the problem is coming from [though placing an intermediate USB hub in the chain seems to at least mitigate the problem somewhat]).

    Personally, it is hard to feel comfortable with USB being used for "critical" functions without being very careful of which devices you integrate into your platform. I have seen MANY devices out there that completely ignore the power loading requires for bus powered devices and that also basically "don't play nice" with the guaranteed bandwidth allocations. USB is by its very nature a shared bus -- multiple devices sharing a single channel -- which means that bandwidth is shared. It also means that one rogue device can cripple everything else connected to the same root hub.

    As far as removing the parallel port goes, there are several issues with this. Yes, USB is faster -- however, for most real world control practices, faster isn't necessarily that much of a benefit. For a lot of operations, once you pass a certain threshold, say 100Khz, then any additional data you collect is simply superfluous. Additionally, USB can be a royal pain in the rear to work with in terms of direct programming or direct logic level control of port pins. You can accomplish it with devices such as the FTDI 245 series device, but it still requires more effort programatically speaking. Additionally, the other point I was making is that for engineering there are a LARGE volume of devices out there other than printers that REQUIRE a parallel interface and are either price prohibitive to replace or CANNOT be replaced. For instance, the parallel devices I have in my office alone would probably cost nearly $25K to replace with newer, less functional equivalents and the security dongles that allow some of my software packages to work only work with a parallel port.

    I personally feel that USB *IS* still a good trend, but it is not the panacea to cure all ills as the industry would have us believe. Additionally, it really isn't all that fast even in high speed mode. For a high speed serial bus both 1394a and 1394b easily whip USB 2.0 in real world performance.

    As far as better onboard audio being an improvement, I tend to be of the opinion that for a WORK machine having onboard audio (or speakers) at all is completely unnecessary.

    However, I will agree with the other comment here that having motherboard based headers for parallel & PS/2 devices is an acceptable alternative. But, they must be MOTHERBOARD based ROB-slot connectors, *NOT* PCI card based interfaces. Based on personal testing, PCI slot based parallel ports (NetMOS, etc) are NOT 100% compatible. They could be if implemented properly, however, I have yet to see one that was implemented right.
     
    Last edited: 9 Dec 2005
  13. mdburkey

    mdburkey What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    8 Dec 2005
    Posts:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    In general, SATA->PATA conversion boards work *FINE* for hard drives in a typical configuration (some Promise based RAID controllers do seem to have issues with them -- probably because they attempt to disable the drives internal write caching).

    However, for ATAPI devices, the dongles typically do not work all that well. This is due to some "errata" in the ATAPI specification that can cause an unacknowledged command to occur that can stall the bus. This is specifically noted in some of the Silicon Image bridge board documentation. If the corresponding SATA controller on the motherboard (or PCI slot) is SI based as well then their driver attempts to work around this situation and it should work fine. If you are however using another vendors SATA chipset (e.g. the one built into most Intel chipsets) then you will occasionally run into a situation that will trip up the device and the bus will most likely lock on you.
     
  14. yyrkoon

    yyrkoon What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    7 Dec 2005
    Posts:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    They make tailgate devices specificly for optical drives, alot of ppl either are confused about, or dont know about this. Although, I must admit, I havent used one yet personaly, but you can get the gist of if such a device has issues by reading reviews on a site such as newegg (doesnt mean you have to buy from them).
     
  15. ek-hat

    ek-hat What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    12 Dec 2005
    Posts:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would still opt for the SATA Plextor though as it's more stylish with slimmer cables, there's no mucking around with jumpers and all on top of the fact that IDE is so "old skool".
     
  16. The_Pope

    The_Pope Geoff Richards Super Moderator

    Joined:
    3 Jul 2003
    Posts:
    2,819
    Likes Received:
    97
    It's a little off topic but still semi-related. Yesterday, I bought a BenQ Burner for my sister's PC and the sales guy was telling me that this drive shares a lot of internals with Plextor drives.

    In fact, some users have been flashing the firmware*using* Plextor binaries. Crazy stuff!
     
  17. Krank

    Krank What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    27 Dec 2005
    Posts:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bring on larger & cheaper Flash Media Drives. Discs will be a thing of the past.
     
  18. The_Pope

    The_Pope Geoff Richards Super Moderator

    Joined:
    3 Jul 2003
    Posts:
    2,819
    Likes Received:
    97
    Welcome to the Forums, Krank, but you appear to be talking about the death of the hard drive, rather than the death of optical media.

    Large capacity non-volatile memory devices (flash drives) will replace traditional, mechanically rotating magnetic media (hard drives) but there is no likelihood of them replacing CD / DVD et al.

    Beyond HD DVD and Blu-ray, media will be delivered over stupidly fast broadband rather than on a disc in a box on a shelf in a store.
     
  19. Sandman111

    Sandman111 What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    6 Dec 2005
    Posts:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oops, missed that. But also note that there's a brand name on a pack of discs (Verbatim, Fuji, Ritek, etc) and also a media code for each disc. Here's an excellent primer on the subject: http://www.digitalfaq.com/media/dvdmedia.htm

    Looking forward to that next review :thumb:
     
Tags: Add Tags

Share This Page