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on Apr 26, 2007 in Camera Gear Posts, Just Out!

Blistering Speed! – 04.26.07

lexar-udma_f800.jpg

77.61mps, that’s the speed I get running Lexar’s new UDMA cards & reader! That BLOWS away the old speed of the 133x cards & readers . But….there’s always a but ain’t there!

That speed only comes with a desktop computer running a Firewire 800/b board. You might be looking at the photo and asking yourself, “What’s up with those things and what’s connected to them?” There’s the rub in this race for speed. I’m sure like me, you’re doing the majority of your uploads via a notebook. Win notebooks and some Macs don’t have a 800 connector, some Macs don’t even have a PCMCIA slot. Getting the most out of these 300x cards and new reader (USB2 readers are a few months off) requires a little back engineering.

The fastest speed comes from the PCMCIA reader (I found the Unibrain performing the best) with a speed of 21.45mps compared to 11.64 for 133x or 8.17mps for 80x using the USB2 reader. The Belkin ExpressCard FireWire 800 (the only option for some Macs) crawled in comparison at 8.32mps with the 300x card/reader. If having to get slot cards & testing for the fastest speed wasn’t pain enough (for the speed, almost makes you want to take the desktop along), these cards NO matter what the manufacture state, must be powered externally. That’s right, another cable to find & buy & carry with you. You either find a 120v wall unit or use USB2 powered cables like those offered by Fortress . After all of this, is it worth it? Hell YES!!!!

I get back from a shoot and I have 3-4 8GB 300x cards to upload. A speed saving of 2x-3x means that average old time of 24minutes per card is down to 8mins per card (based on using multiple readers at once & DigitalPro’s 1-click upload feature). That’s time in my pocket and I’ll do anything for more time! Why am I telling you about this now, when you can’t buy it right this moment?

Often, knowing what’s coming down the road, knowing the future can put you ahead with some planning. Even if you don’t need new CF cards, buying and making use of the UDMA reader can speed up your upload time for your current cards. Buying a new computer, you might want to be sure it has or can take a FireWire 800/b card or that your notebook can accept a PCMCIA card. True, I am a bit of a gear hear, I love my toys. But this is a tool that puts time in a my pocket and I can’t dismiss it. I don’t think you can either!