Don’t waste your money on this crap.
Delkin PRO UDMA 420x and Calumet ProSpec UDMA 420x CompactFlash
These twin disasters perform about the same, or worse, as their less-expensive, first-generation 300x predecessors.
A-Data Speedy 533x CompactFlash
Another dog that takes a step backward from their earlier products, this “533x” card (80 MB/sec) card limps along with an “F” in my JPG tests and a marginal rating of 3.3 fps (effective) and 12 MB/sec in RAW shooting.
SanDisk Extreme 60 MB/sec CompactFlash
This lemon, launched together with SanDisk’s impressive Extreme Pro card, doesn’t even come close to the Extreme III card it replaces with half the claimed speed. Considering that they jacked the price up 50% and don’t offer a rebate, this is a real rip-off. My guess is SanDisk expects to cash in on unwitting users who will balk at the price of the “Extreme Pro” card but are thinking they are getting good performance with this piece of junk. Caveat emptor.
Perhaps long overdue, today I add Microsoft Windows Vista to The Crap List.
This bloated monstrosity deserves to be on this list for a whole host of reasons, but for this site, I will concentrate on what Microsoft has managed to do for the simple file transfer. I don’t pretend to know the details, but apparently at the very heart of Vista is code that scans for evidence of rights-managed content, and this process throttles simple file transfers.
Take the winner of our USB UDMA reader tests: the Lexar UDMA Dual Slot USB reader. One of the faster CF cards, the PNY Optima Pro UDMA, clocked in at 26 MB/sec on our Windows XP test machine. Under Windows Vista – on a much, much faster base machine – the transfer rate slowed to a crawl of just 10 MB/sec. Firewire readers don’t fare much better; Lexar’s FireWire 800 UDMA (RW034) reader could reach 23 MB/sec with fast CF cards under Vista – still slower than USB under XP and barely half the potential transfer speed of 40-45 MB/sec under FireWire 800.
And Microsoft thinks Vista should be the operating system of choice for professional photographers? Puh-lease. It’s enough to make this longtime PC user want to buy a Mac.
CP Technologies 19-in-1 Platinum Series USB Reader CP-UC-103
I bought one of these for $20 with a $10 rebate. It could have been a $20 rebate and still not have been worth it. This is a prime example of a big fat lie of marketing: that USB 2.0 devices can transfer at up to 480 Mbps speed. There are physcial limitations of the USB interface when used in “mass storage” mode (as all card readers are) that prevent it from reaching maximum speed in any event. But with card readers, the major determinant of speed is not the USB interface but the controller.
Bottom line: this card reader took nearly 10 minutes to download my standard test load of 1.56GB of JPG files using an Extreme IV CF card — a transfer rate of just 3 MB/sec. The Omniflash UDMA reader downloaded the same batch of files in 1:07 (24 MB/sec) while the SanDisk ImageMate 12-in-1 took 1:42 (16 MB/sec). Caveat emptor.