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Old Nov 1, 2012, 10:22 AM   #1
GhostMac24
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Faster speed of data transfer on my new MBA? USB or SD?

So I just bought a new 13" MBA about 2 months ago and have a quick question about data transfer speed. I have a microSD card I use to record video and it came with both a SD adapter as well as a USB adapter. Which would be the more optimal to import video?

Thanks in advance for any replies!
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 10:47 AM   #2
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So, the tech specs for the USB 3.0 slots say "up to 5 Gbps" and I see nothing about the SD card slot. Where can I get this info?
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 11:28 AM   #3
Nemic
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One thing to check would be the speed of the USB adapter that came with your card i.e is it USB 2.0 or USB 3.0?

I don't know what the specs are of the SD card slot fitted to the Macbook Air, maybe someone here will.

Personally I would do a real world test, as this will truly answer your question with the type of video you record:

Shoot some video, maybe several segments, long short whatever you mostly do.

Without using iMovie, transfer, the video to your MacBook's hard drive - simply drag and drop it. iMovie will only convert your video and take longer, so don't worry about it for initial testing.

Time how long it takes using the USB adapter, and then do the same with the SD adapter.

This is a very simple method for determining which is fastest.

Another factor will be the speed of your microSD card.

Also you could try using the free program Blackmagic disk speed test (from the app store). This will test the speeds for you using the various connections.


I hope this helps.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 11:32 AM   #4
robvas
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Originally Posted by Nemic View Post
Another factor will be the speed of your microSD card.
That's going to be the big limit. I'd just use the SD card slot
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 11:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostMac24 View Post
So, the tech specs for the USB 3.0 slots say "up to 5 Gbps" and I see nothing about the SD card slot. Where can I get this info?
From this shot of System Info on my 2012 MBA, it appears the SD card slot is sitting on the same USB 3.0 interface as the USB plugs. So the only factor at work here would appear to be the speed of whichever device you buy.

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Old Nov 4, 2012, 12:01 PM   #6
GhostMac24
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Thanks for the info fellas. I think the test is probably the easiest method. I'll post my results shortly.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 04:21 PM   #7
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Used my microSD card in the SD adapter and the USB adapter. For the test I used a 3 and 1 GB mp4 file. Results are faster with the SD card than the USB. With that said, the difference is negligible.

Results:

SD
3GB mp4 file 2:16
1GB mp4 file 0:51

USB
3GB mp4 file 2:31
1GB mp4 file 0:57
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 05:23 PM   #8
Weaselboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostMac24 View Post
Used my microSD card in the SD adapter and the USB adapter. For the test I used a 3 and 1 GB mp4 file. Results are faster with the SD card than the USB. With that said, the difference is negligible.

Results:

SD
3GB mp4 file 2:16
1GB mp4 file 0:51

USB
3GB mp4 file 2:31
1GB mp4 file 0:57
Interesting... thanks for posting your results.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 05:31 PM   #9
GhostMac24
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Very welcome. The biggest reason I have the USB microSD adapter is when I have a laptop that does not have an SD card reader. Looks like when I need to transfer from the SD card, using the SD slot versus USB is faster.

There are times when I will have the entire 16GB card filled so I can save a little time at least
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