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Cache explorer - free drive caching test tool

Cache explorer, a small command line app by spath, was anounced over at CD Freaks today. It can test various aspects of drive caching including cache size, cache line numbers, FUA bit support, Plextor's special FUA command, and read cache disabling. This tool is mainly for experienced users, more information can be found in this thread.

Download:
http://download.cdfreaks.com/download/155

CDFreaks discussion thread:
http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=184487



Cache explorer - free drive caching test tool

Reply #3
I tested it on both of my drives, it worked find on my LG4167, but I had the same problem with a BenQ 1640 that other's have experienced. It didn't completely freeze my computer though.
Quote
C:\Tools>cachex -i -c -n 3 f:

CacheExplorer 0.7 -

Drive on F is HL-DT-STDVDRAM GSA-4167BDL10

  • Buffer size: 2048 kB, read cache is enabled
  • Supported read commands: BEh
  • Testing cache line size:
    36 kB / 16 sectors
    36 kB / 16 sectors
    36 kB / 16 sectors

    C:\Tools>cachex -i -c -n 3 G:

    CacheExplorer 0.7 -

    Drive on G is BENQ    DVD DD DW1640  BSJB

  • Buffer size: 2048 kB
  • Supported read commands: BEh
  • Testing cache line size:
    test aborted.


Hopefully this test becomes a standard procedure used to provide information for databases like the DAE Features webpage. It seems that EAC's cache detection is very buggy.

I am one person who got burnt thinking that the LG4167 drive doesn't cache audio data, because that is what EAC reports. But this utility confirms the information from Feurio that the LG4167 does infact cache 36 kB of data.

Cache explorer - free drive caching test tool

Reply #4
The program correctly works on three of the four drives I tested it on.  Two of which properly take the fua command (one is a Plextor, one is a rebadged drive made by Plextor).

It cannot get any information for my Sony CDU5221.  Perhaps a bad read command?  EAC uses "MMC 1" for this drive.

About the LG41XX, since EAC requests more data than the size of the cache per read, doesn't the cache essentially get cleared with each read, or is this still a problem with re-reads if the amount of data being re-read is smaller?
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Cache explorer - free drive caching test tool

Reply #5
About the LG41XX, since EAC requests more data than the size of the cache per read, doesn't the cache essentially get cleared with each read, or is this still a problem with re-reads if the amount of data being re-read is smaller?


just try it with a defective disc and cache flushing deactivated ... if no read errors (but sync errors) are reported, it is highly probable that the drive does indeed use its buffer for DAE.

IIRC, EAC operates with data chunks getting smaller during re-reading ... so even a small cache might influence DAE results ...
The name was Plex The Ripper, not Jack The Ripper

Cache explorer - free drive caching test tool

Reply #6
Does this tool need admin rights?

Cache explorer - free drive caching test tool

Reply #7
Does this tool need admin rights?

I believe so, yes.
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Cache explorer - free drive caching test tool

Reply #8
About the LG41XX, since EAC requests more data than the size of the cache per read, doesn't the cache essentially get cleared with each read, or is this still a problem with re-reads if the amount of data being re-read is smaller?

Hi greynol

Quote
The smallest block size which is read is 64 kB, so usually every cache smaller than this block size does not count (as usually blocks larger than this value are read in one go)
But of course, to be really sure, it can be enabled though...

Source : http://www.digital-inn.de/106824-post3.html

Cache explorer - free drive caching test tool

Reply #9
I'm investigating the bugs and I will also try to make the messages
more understandable (no drive caches 1 sector). As for admin rights,
it is mentioned in the text file

Cache explorer - free drive caching test tool

Reply #10
As for admin rights, it is mentioned in the text file

You mean RTFM? I did, when I downloaded it
Great tool BTW, hopefully you'll enhance it to an extent that it can be called MEAC (More Exact Audio Copy)

Cache explorer - free drive caching test tool

Reply #11
How do you make out its output? I forgot to bring the result with me now, however concerning FUA, it says that my LiteOn supports FUA, then it says its support is 3/5 or something like that.

Edit: You know... Stupid Typo™

Cache explorer - free drive caching test tool

Reply #12
AFAIK, many drives support FUA, but EAC only supports the "-usefua" switch with Plextor drives [?]

Cache explorer - free drive caching test tool

Reply #13
Off topic question: I have LG 4165B DVD burner, does it cache the audio data when extracting audio CD? 
It seems that EAC's cache detection is very buggy.

I am one person who got burnt thinking that the LG4167 drive doesn't cache audio data, because that is what EAC reports. But this utility confirms the information from Feurio that the LG4167 does infact cache 36 kB of data.
About the LG41XX, since EAC requests more data than the size of the cache per read, doesn't the cache essentially get cleared with each read, or is this still a problem with re-reads if the amount of data being re-read is smaller?
Sorry for my poor English, I'm trying to get better... ;)
"The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled, was convincing the world he didn't exist."

Cache explorer - free drive caching test tool

Reply #14
Off topic question: I have LG 4165B DVD burner, does it cache the audio data when extracting audio CD?

Do you know how much your LG 4165B caches?
Was spath's tool able to give you an answer?

Here's something that Martin H. showed me in another thread:
Quote
The smallest block size which is read is 64 kB, so usually every cache smaller than this block size does not count (as usually blocks larger than this value are read in one go)
But of course, to be really sure, it can be enabled though...

Source : http://www.digital-inn.de/106824-post3.html
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Cache explorer - free drive caching test tool

Reply #15
How do you make out its output? I forgot to bring the result with me now, however
concerning FUA, it says that my LiteOn supports FUA, then it says its support is 3/5
or something like that.

Two different FUA implementations are tested. First the standard use of FUA bit is
tested with ´-i´, but it is supported by very few drives ; if your drive does, you will
see something like ´D8h (FUA)´. Then the special Plextor FUA command is tested
with ´-p´, and more drives support it. Post your results with ´-d -n 10´switches
and I´ll tell you if it works for yours.

Cache explorer - free drive caching test tool

Reply #16
new version is up :

0.8  - fixed problems of '-i' with some BENQ firmwares (thanks to Mariusz)
        - fixed bug with '-p -r' (thanks to Sebastian)
        - fixed "1 sector cache" false results (thanks to Mariusz)
        - added '-m' option

Cache explorer - free drive caching test tool

Reply #17
No problems with my Plextor PX-712A. Seems that the unit caches 1171 kB or 510 sectors. Moreover, Plextor FUA command is supported and worked 5/5 times, cache disabling does not work.

spath, I just tested my NEC unit again which used to report that one sector is cached and after about ten minutes using -c -r 0xbe, your tool reported "no cache detected" ten times. So, I take this means that my NEC really doesn't cache, right? Therefore, I can also tell EAC that the NEC doesn't cache.
What exactly does "read cache is enabled" next to the buffer size denote?

Will test with BenQ ASAP.

Edit: BTW, do you prefer replies here on HA, on CDFreaks or doesn't it matter to you?

Cache explorer - free drive caching test tool

Reply #18
I get some weird results with the BenQ:

First run with -c -r 0xbe

Code: [Select]
CacheExplorer 0.8 - spath@cdfreaks.com

Drive on G is  BENQ     DVD LS DW1655    BCHB

[+] Testing cache line size:
16 kB / 7 sectors
18 kB / 8 sectors
13 kB / 6 sectors
18 kB / 8 sectors
18 kB / 8 sectors
4 kB / 2 sectors
9 kB / 4 sectors
20 kB / 9 sectors
6 kB / 3 sectors
6 kB / 3 sectors


Second run:

Code: [Select]
CacheExplorer 0.8 - spath@cdfreaks.com

Drive on G is  BENQ     DVD LS DW1655    BCHB

[+] Testing cache line size:
13 kB / 6 sectors
13 kB / 6 sectors
13 kB / 6 sectors
13 kB / 6 sectors
13 kB / 6 sectors
4 kB / 2 sectors
13 kB / 6 sectors
13 kB / 6 sectors
13 kB / 6 sectors
13 kB / 6 sectors


During the first scan, the drive increased the speed since I could hear the CD speed up. During the second scan, the drive must have had a lower speed because I didn't hear anything, except for the spot where "4 kB / 2 sectors" was reported.

Edit: Third run:

Code: [Select]
CacheExplorer 0.8 - spath@cdfreaks.com

Drive on G is  BENQ     DVD LS DW1655    BCHB

[+] Testing cache line size:
55 kB / 24 sectors
13 kB / 6 sectors
13 kB / 6 sectors
18 kB / 8 sectors
121 kB / 53 sectors
11 kB / 5 sectors
4 kB / 2 sectors
4 kB / 2 sectors
4 kB / 2 sectors
20 kB / 9 sectors

Cache explorer - free drive caching test tool

Reply #19
So, I take this means that my NEC really doesn't cache, right?
Therefore, I can also tell EAC that the NEC doesn't cache.

yes

What exactly does "read cache is enabled" next to the buffer size denote?

It means exactly this, that the drive reports that its read cache is disabled.
It is in theory possible to completely disable the read cache (-k command),
but so far i've not seen a drive which supported it.

Regarding the BENQ results, the spinning speed has a direct influence on the
cache measurements, that's why '-l' and '-s' options are made for  To make
a precise measure your drive should be spinning at max speed, e.g -l 15 -s 0.

Please let's continue at cdfreaks, no need to bother people here.

Cache explorer - free drive caching test tool

Reply #20
>Plextor FUA command

Why is it only a Plextor FUA command? the FUA bit is part to the standard MMC spec, has anyone tried it on a non-plextor drive which caches?

Cache explorer - free drive caching test tool

Reply #21
>Plextor FUA command

Why is it only a Plextor FUA command? the FUA bit is part to the standard MMC spec, has anyone tried it on a non-plextor drive which caches?

Because some plextor drives use a special command to flush the cache,
which is not the normal use of the FUA bit. I first mentioned this command
3 years ago on this board, and Wiethoff implemented it in EAC as '-usefua'.

Cache explorer - free drive caching test tool

Reply #22
Pardon my ignorance, but what exactly does this tool do? What is it useful for?
I have a Plextor 716A, would I need it?
I'm the one in the picture, sitting on a giant cabbage in Mexico, circa 1978.
Reseñas de Rock en Español: www.estadogeneral.com


Cache explorer - free drive caching test tool

Reply #24

Off topic question: I have LG 4165B DVD burner, does it cache the audio data when extracting audio CD?

Do you know how much your LG 4165B caches?
Was spath's tool able to give you an answer?

Here's something that Martin H. showed me in another thread:
Quote
The smallest block size which is read is 64 kB, so usually every cache smaller than this block size does not count (as usually blocks larger than this value are read in one go)
But of course, to be really sure, it can be enabled though...

Source : http://www.digital-inn.de/106824-post3.html

This last comment just confuses me further "usually every cace smaller than this block doe not count", but then the cache can be disabled. It seems to me that they are not quite sure if it has any effect or not. Maybe it matters, maybe it doesn't...   

 
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