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CompactFlash Reader Roundup - Continued

The data in the tables below was derived from the time it took to transfer about 225MB of Nikon D1X JPEG and NEF files to the internal hard drive of an Alienware Area-51m laptop with a 3.06GHz P4 processor running Windows XP Home. Each transfer was performed twice and the results averaged.

All data has been converted to Kilobytes/second (K/sec). Highest throughput for each CompactFlash card is in bold. For comparison purposes, note that the highest throughput we measured with the USB 1.1 Microtech Zio! was 754K/sec.

Brand and Model
Addonics FireWire Mini DigiDrive
Addonics Pocket Ultra DigiDrive
Alienware Area-51m
PC Card slot
Dazzle Hi-Speed Zio!
Delkin Devices PRO 512MB
5957K/sec
6086K/sec
1281K/sec
5025K/sec
IBM Microdrive 1GB
3248Ksec
2900K/sec
1237K/sec
3231K/sec
Kingston Memory 512MB
5546K/sec
5660K/sec
1292K/sec
3984K/sec
Lexar Media 512MB 24X
6041K/sec
5829K/sec
1265K/sec
4613K/sec
Lexar Media 512MB 40X Write Acceleration
5816K/sec
4928K/sec
1261K/sec
4898K/sec
Microtech 512MB
5042K/sec
4984K/sec
1286K/sec
3682K/sec
Sandisk "standard" 512MB
2083K/sec
2064K/sec
1220K/sec
1967K/sec
Sandisk "original" Ultra 512MB
2456K/sec
2358K/sec
1229K/sec
2237K/sec
SimpleTech 512MB
3402K/sec
3502K/sec
error2
2900K/sec
SimpleTech PRO X 512MB
4523K/sec
4434K/sec
1267K/sec
3969K/sec
Transcend 512MB 30X
5094K/sec
error3
1292K/sec
3745K/sec
Average1
4473K/sec
4275K/sec
1263K/sec
3659K/sec

Brand and Model
Lexar Media FireWire CF Digital Film Reader
Microtech FireWire
CameraMate
Sandisk
Ultra ImageMate
Sandisk ImageMate
6 in 1
Delkin Devices PRO 512MB
4413K/sec
5875K/sec
5758K/sec
2414K/sec
IBM Microdrive 1GB
3152K/sec
3246K/sec
3268K/sec
2308K/sec
Kingston Memory 512MB
4520K/sec
4825K/sec
5630K/sec
2415K/sec
Lexar Media 512MB 24X
3890K/sec
5811K/sec
5411K/sec
2385K/sec
Lexar Media 512MB 40X Write Acceleration
3931K/sec
5867K/sec
5447K/sec
2380K/sec
Microtech 512MB
4189K/sec
4434K/sec
4853K/sec
error2
Sandisk "standard" 512MB
2042K/sec
2057K/sec
2042K/sec
1670K/sec
Sandisk "original" Ultra 512MB
2334K/sec
2369K/sec
2323K/sec
2178K/sec
SimpleTech 512MB
3321K/sec
3418K/sec
3450K/sec
1838K/sec
SimpleTech PRO X 512MB
3952K/sec
4460K/sec
4312K/sec
2411K/sec
Transcend 512MB 30X
4228K/sec
4317K/sec
5504K/sec
2394K/sec
Average1
3634K/sec
4244K/sec
4363K/sec
2239K/sec
(1) An average of the throughput of the eleven CompactFlash cards tested (except in the case where a card was incompatible with the reader, where the average was calculated for the remaining compatible cards).
(2) These cards failed to work with these readers.
(3) Because of the excessively long transfer times (20+ minutes for 225MB) we measured with this card in this reader, we dubbed the combo incompatible and tossed out the results.

Clearly, top-notch throughput is the order of the day for several of the readers we tested, for both FireWire and USB 2.0 devices. Even the diminuitive and inexpensive Dazzle Hi-Speed Zio! mustered over 5000K/sec throughput, while four other models delivered transfer rates that were faster yet. The advent of USB 2.0 and FireWire on the Windows platform is quickly adding up to a plethora of card reader options for professional photographers.

Next Page: Conclusion
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