Nifty Mini Drive and Shocking Speed Issues

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ryan101, Oct 13, 2016.

  1. ryan101 macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2012
    Hello Everyone,

    I have installed a Nifty Mini Drive on my MacBook Pro (2015 15") and my MB Air (2014 i7). Both are generally very good spec'd laptops and both are fast. I have purchased and installed a Nifty on both machines for additional storage. For those that don't know the Nifty product turns your SD card slot into extra storage - Google it.

    Although Nifty can be a cheaper way to get extra storage, I have found its shockingly slow to copy data on to it. Its about 50 times slower than copying onto a normal USB memory stick or a USB external Hard Drive storage. Its more than 1,000 times slower than copying files within the MacBook's main SSD. And I am not exaggerating. I have two MacBooks I have it on. Plus I have tested it on other peoples machines.

    I have to admit, normally I don't use SD cards on anything, so I don't have much knowledge on SD cards and what speeds they are supposed to be, or what I should expect from it, so I would appreciate it if someone who uses them or knows about SD cards - could comment. I didn't expect the copying of files to be this slow. Had I known it would be this slow, I wouldn't have bought them.

    Lastly, they advertise you can backup your Time Machine on to the Nifty. However, I couldn't even backup 100GB Time Machine overnight. I had to leave it on for a couple of nights. Thats how bad it is. That was for the first initial backup. The same backup is done by my Seagate USB Hard Drive within a few hours.

    One more thing, initially I thought I may be using poor quality Micro SD Cards. So I bought good quality SanDisk ones. Still the same thing.

    I don't know what to make of it! Any advice or thoughts on this situation is very welcome. Thank you.

  2. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    The speeds should depend almost entirely on the capability of the microSD card used. I see you mention you have a high quality SanDisk. High quality doesn't necessarily mean high speed, though, so perhaps you could elaborate on which card you have?

    In any event, I would never trust an SD or microSD card for critical backups.
  3. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Yeah, SD cards are bitterly slow. Which Sandisk one did you get? The standard ones transfer about 2MB/s to 4MB/s. Even the 'Ultra Line' start at 10MB/s and can be up to 80MB/s, though you'll rarely be getting those sorts of speeds, especially consistently. The 'Extreme Pro' line can say up to 90MB/s, but take that with a pinch of salt too.

    You'd be much, much better off with a SanDisk Extreme USB drive. They're around the same price as the SD cards and they do transfer very quickly. We actually use one at work as an OS X boot/diagnostics drive, and it's practically as fast as an SSD when running over a USB 3 Mac (2012 models or later).
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Here's nice little chart the details how fast (or slow) a given SD card will be
  5. elf69 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2016
    Cornwall UK
    SD cards as said are slow even good ones.

    They would serve as a storage for files not used much but never as a working drive far too slow.

    I personally think rather than SD slot the pros should have a an express slot like the older pros.

    I have seen SSDs that fit these slots (cant find link right now).
    Also found 2 port usb 3 cards that sit flush with case and a SD card reader that fits flush with case.

    could always go buy a mini usb drive:,q_80,w_800/193hd7grdwdc1jpg.jpg
  6. ryan101 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2012
    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for the quick response. As I said, I am quite clueless when it comes to SD cards. Correction, I have one SanDisk and one is Samsung Evo, so both good brands. The link and details of Samsung Evo is below. I can't find the purchase details of the SanDisk one, but I assume its the one in the link below, as I also think I got it via eBay as well.

    SanDisk 128GB Ultra Micro SD SDXC Memory Card With Adapter 80mb/s

    Samsung 128GB Class 10 Evo+ Micro SDXC SD UHS-I 48MB/s Memory Card


  7. jerryk macrumors 68040

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    I am not sure what you are using your SD drive for, but for backup and portable storage it is hard to beat the performance of the external Samsung T3 drives.

    They are small and are SSDs. I have the 1TB and 512 GB models and see 200+ MB/sec in daily usage. They benchmark even faster. They are somewhat future proofed since they have a USB-C connector.
  8. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    It makes no difference they are shockingly slow to write to simple as that, it's not you, your computer or anything else, that's the way they are. You have fast SD cards there and that is just how slow they are, you can't fit much in the way of silicon controllers for fast control of storage in something so small.

    You would be better off using a tiny USB 3 drive, I use one like this

    it barely sticks out and is very fast.

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