Compact Flash Reader for MacBook Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by barefeats, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. barefeats macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2000
    A photographer suggested I try the Lexar Pro dual slot flash card USB2 reader. The SD slot on the new 13" MacBook Air is of no use to me because I use a Nikon D200 camera that uses CompactFlash cards.

    I'm getting 36MB/s READ speed with the Lexar Pro which is good but not great. (The SanDisk Extreme IV FW800 reader can import the same memory card at 65MB/s.)

    However if you are reading in your images from an SDHC memory card, you are better off using the SD slot (28MB/s READ) instead of the Lexar reader (18MB/s).

    Some on this forum propose using an SD card for backing up the MacBook Air. Write speed is a different story. Backing up to an SD card is slower (22MB/s) with the SD slot. The dual slot reader is slower at 16MB/s. Backing up to a CompactFlash card is better at 35MB/s. A notebook HDD in a USB enclosure can write even faster (37MB/s). An SSD in a USB enclosure can't go any faster due to the limits of USB 2.0.

    The Notebook HDD in an enclosure has the best price/performance ratio. For example, a 128GB flash drive like the Patriot Export Magnum will cost you $260 on Amazon. A 120GB SSD + enclosure will cost you $275 on A 500GB HDD + enclosure will cost you $80 on
  2. barefeats thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2000
    BTW, the Lexar Pro card reader is much faster reading the CF Card on the MacBook Air than my 2010 MacBook Pro 17" Core i7.

    MBP READ = 24MB/s
    MBA READ = 36MB/s

    MBP WRITE = 19MB/s
    MBA WRITE = 22MB/s
  3. barefeats thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2000
    A USB CompactFlash (CF) card reader that's an even better accessory than the Lexar Dual Slot is the SanDisk ImageMate All-In-One which reads our UDMA SanDisk CF card at 36MB/s. Why better? Because it can also be used to read the Sony Memory Stick from our Sony HD HandyCam.

    Apple's built-in SD reader performs well but only handles SD cards. So finding a fast all-in-one USB reader is an important accessory for the new MacBook Air.
  4. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    Cool story, bro ;)
    (No pun intended).

    Photographers will, in most cases, already know about the excellent resource found on Rob Galbraith's website about various card readers and flash cards (SD, CF and so forth) and they respective speeds.

    The benchmarks can be found here.

    That the performance change per basis on which Mac the reader is connected to, is new to me however (well, it depends on the associated chipset but the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro uses the same).

    Did you use the same card and same files for the tests?

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