USB 3.0 card reader vs. USB 2.0 card reader ; worth it?

Discussion in 'Digital and Video Cameras' started by CuriousMike, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. CuriousMike

    CuriousMike Platinum Member

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    Seems like everything I copy off my various memory cards hits the 15-20MB/sec rate.
    I'm using a Sandisk Extreme card, rated at 30MB/s with a Sandisk Mobilemate USB 2.0 reader.


    Has anyone else upgraded to a USB 3.0 card reader and noticed an appreciable difference in read speed... or am I simply limited to the read speed of the SD card?
     
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  3. blastingcap

    blastingcap Diamond Member

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    USB 2.0 maxes out at about 35 MB/s so you will see no improvement unless you have a faster SDHC card in the first place
     
  4. CuriousMike

    CuriousMike Platinum Member

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    My card is rated at 30MB/sec -- reading or writing ?

    If it's reading, and USB 2.0 maxes out at 35... and I'm only seeing 15-20... then that tells me either
    a) my card has a max read speed of 15-20
    or
    b) the reader, for whatever reason, maxes out at 15-20

    The most likely answer appears to be the card is physically limited to 15-20MB/sec read speed.
     
  5. blastingcap

    blastingcap Diamond Member

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    *gets on soapbox* I only use Sandisk Extreme IIIs. Their ratings are for reading AND writing. None of that garbage where the write speed is slow... slow write speeds doesn't help with taking lots of photos in a burst. *gets off soapbox*

    Read the fine print on your SDHC card; it could be 30 MB/s only on UHS-1. If you have a device that doesn't support UHS-1 (which is most devices made prior to 2012.. and even in 2012 there are some devices that don't support UHS-1), then I bet you your card has a lower rating when NOT using UHS-1, because there are few products out there that go all the way to 30 MB/s without using UHS-1.

    I have a USB 3.0 reader that presumably can read UHS-1 and my 30 MB/s (with UHS-1 only) SanDisk Extreme III card gets 26 MB/s.

    On a USB reader that can't read UHS-1, I would expect it to get about 19 MB/s, consistent with others' testing.
     
  6. Vdubchaos

    Vdubchaos Lifer

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    Unless you are doing LOTS of CONSTANT copying and making money while doing so......no it's not worth it.
     
  7. AkumaX

    AkumaX Lifer

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    I'm assuming you are using the SanDisk Extreme 45MB/s

    In this case (and most UHS-I cards) you will see a very big difference on a USB 2.0 reader vs 3.0 Reader, even if you only have a USB 2.0 port

    Yes, even though USB 2.0 maxes out @ 35MB/s, there is something fundamentally wrong with USB 2.0 card readers that have it so that it only maxes out @ 20MB/s

    I will post examples soon! (out and about)

    Here's the example, using the SanDisk Extreme 45MB/s.

    If you can't see the image:

    USB 2.0 port / USB 2.0 reader = 20MB/s read, 20MB/s write
    USB 2.0 port / USB 3.0 reader = 36MB/s read, 30MB/s write
    USB 3.0 port / USB 3.0 reader = 46MB/s read, 43MB/s write

    [​IMG]
     
    #6 AkumaX, Nov 3, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  8. peonyu

    peonyu Golden Member

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    Personally I would buy a 3.0 card reader, sooner or later you will want one anyways. USB 2.0 is flaky above 20 MB/s most times as it is, there are alot of ways to chip at that "supposed" 35 MB/s and knock it down lower and lower from what I have seen. It could be the USB port is dirty, the cable is not to good etc. USB 3.0 has more than enough bandwidth to cover that up, and as far as the USB 3.0 card readers go right now, they are good quality so even on a USB 2.0 port you would likely see a increase in speed compared to a 2.0 card reader.
     
  9. AkumaX

    AkumaX Lifer

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    Do you have the SanDisk Ultra 30MB/s

    I really really hate SanDisk for misleading customers like this.... they should definitely emphasize that the Ultra series' write speeds WILL BE LOWER!


    32GB Extreme 45MB/s
    32GB Ultra 30MB/s*write speed WILL be lower

    In a USB 2.0 card reader (maxes out @ ~20MB/s)
    ======== Read |=| Write
    Ultra ---- 20MB/s | 13MB/s
    Extreme - 20MB/s | 20MB/s

    In a USB 3.0 card reader, but in a USB 2.0 Port:
    ======== Read |=| Write
    Ultra ---- 36MB/s | 13MB/s
    Extreme - 36MB/s | 30MB/s

    In a USB 3.0 card reader + USB 3.0 Port:
    ======== Read |=| Write
    Ultra ---- 44MB/s | 13MB/s
    Extreme - 46MB/s | 43MB/s
     
  10. shortylickens

    shortylickens No Lifer

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    I got a USB 3 reader cuz it was cheap and I figured someday I'd need the speed. But today, no.
    Also have a USB 3 hub, and again, really cant tell the difference.
     
  11. alkemyst

    alkemyst No Lifer

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    Sandisk Extreme III have been superseded by the Sandisk Extreme now. Sandisk Extreme Pro is the current speed leader, but requires UHS-1 compatible devices to take advantage of that speed.
     
  12. EmmyNomCineGuru

    EmmyNomCineGuru Junior Member

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    Today's Date: July 21, 2017

    "USB 3.0 and Its Importance to Motion Picture Post-Production."

    I came across this forum while searching for the fastest 3.0 SD card reader available. I'm aware that this thread was started in 2012, but I'm hoping to revive it. I found it quite funny that people were debating whether it was practical to switch to a USB 3.0 card reader. Yes, I'm aware that in 2012 that this may have been a factor for people who didn't want to spend a little more money to get the latest tech, even though it pays off in the end (if you're using your computer for a business that requires a very fast computer, such as in the film production industry). Reading these threads reminds me just how fast technology moves. USB 2.0 is now a useless, outdated data transfer option.

    I am a cinematographer in LA, and I've been behind the camera for years. I've filmed multiple full-length motion pictures and a handful of television shows. Many of the cameras I operate (which capture video at 8K) don't use removable memory cards, but instead have an ultra-fast SSD with write speeds of over 1000 MB/s, which is absolutely necessary when you're filming in 8K. In the span of roughly 5 years, we have seen solid state data storage media gradually become the status quo. When I'm not filming on set or location with the 8K Red, I use my personal 4K video cameras which allow me to write the data to my SD card at speeds up to 280 MB/s, which is crucial to capturing ultra high resolution video. Video editing is my second job, so computer speed and data transfer speed is crucial to my business.
    Whether you are an amateur videographer or a professional camera operator, if you want quality, you need a fast SD card, especially now that 4K has become the industry standard. If you have multiple hours of 4K video, you will fill up SD cards incredibly quickly. I often use my personal video equipment to shoot short films, commercials, and aerial video (with my DJI Inspire 2), so I spend a decent amount of time transferring the files on my SD cards to my solid state hard drives. I don't want to spend hours transferring files from the SD cards to the computer, so I am on the hunt for the absolute fastest USB 3.0 SD card reader on the market. Waiting for 10 hours of B-Roll footage to transfer is agonizing. I decided to build a new computer using only the best and newest technology available to the public. The USB 3.0 card reader is the last piece of my build, and I want the fastest one on the market. I figured I'd make up lost time by copying new files while rendering video simultaneously. I needed a computer that would blow away just about every other computer built using professional grade components. I ended up building my computer in July of 2017, designed specifically to edit and render 4K/8K video. I used the latest, fastest, and most ingenuitive custom components on the market, giving me the following specifications:

    CPU: Intel Core i9-7900X X-Series (OC 4.5 GHz) Ten-Core LGA 2066 Processor
    Motherboard: MSI X299-Gaming-M7 Motherboard

    Graphics card: PNY Quadro M6000 workstation card with 24 GB GDDR5
    Hard Drives: (2x) SAMSUNG 960 PRO M.2 2TB (read: 3500 MBps write: 2100 MBps)
    Memory: 64 GB DDR4 @ 4 GHz (OC)
    Cooling: Zalman RESERATOR 1 V2 Liquid Cooling System
    Case: Antec Nineteen Hundred (Very Large)
    Cooling Chamber: Custom built silent HVAC system with constant 55 degree, humidity optimized chamber
    Artwork: One sticker which reads: "May cause severe envy."

    The computer is in a custom built cooling chamber where air cooled to 55 degrees is vented into the chamber by a custom made fan and refrigeration unit. The compressor housing for the cooling chamber is mounted outside my home office for silent operation. It's very similar to a home HVAC system, but scaled down and easily mounted outside by drilling two 1/2" holes through the outside wall for the high pressure HVAC hoses.

    I took the time to list the specifications of my computer setup so you can easily see that the computer was built with "bleeding edge" technology. This system will render 4K video faster than most high end PCs can render 1080p video. Once the video files are transferred to my system, post-processing / rendering is extremely fast. The bottleneck lies in the relatively slow 280 MB/s SD cards. A 280 MB/s SD card may sound like a speed demon, but considering my M.2 SSDs read at 3500MB/s, the SD card is well over 10 times slower. I literally spend hours at a time transferring files from my SDs to my computer. With solid state technology, I expected that extremely fast SD cards would be on the market by now. I managed to find 280 MB/s SD cards which have greatly sped up the transfer process, but I'm ready for cards that read/write at speeds of over 1000 MB/s to streamline the entire process.


    If you care about what you're creating using your computer, don't skimp. Sub-par computer equipment will eventually cause you to loathe video editing and rendering. If your career is in the video production industry, it's worth the extra money to speed up the entire process. It makes your job easier, making your work feel more rewarding, and giving you more free time to live your life.

     
  13. LostPassword

    LostPassword Member

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    well in regards to this old thread, usb3 card readers are like a $1-2 more than a usb2 reader now so theres no point in buying a usb2 card reader. but i understand your point.
     
  14. XSoldier77X

    XSoldier77X Member

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    Yes, 3.0 is faster than 2.0 and while 2.0 might feel okay when you're copying two music albums from one place to another, 15-20 mbps would feel just about okay but not so much when you're trying to get WoW, GTA or CoD setup from your friend because you don't wanna download 50+gigs. When the data is huge, every mb counts