Fast Memory Cards Need Fast Readers


I had an interesting talk with the folks at Lexar today and learned about their new UHS-I and UHS-II SD memory cards.

Currently, I'm more interested in the UHS-I cards because none of my cameras are UHS-2 compatible anyway. But the Lexar UHS-II cards also have UHS-I controllers, so they match up well with my existing cameras and will perform great in the future.

I like the 32 GB Lexar Pro 1000X UHS 2 U3 SDHC ($46) and the 64 GB Lexar Pro 1000X UHS 2 U3 SDHC ($80).

Now for many of us, the most noticeable benefit of these SD cards comes when we're downloading images to our computers. A full 32 or 64 GB card can take a while to offload all those RAW files and videos. To maximize this speed (and the return on your investment), get a compatible card reader.

With these speedy memory cards, a USB cable or your computer's built-in card reader won't be as fast as a tuned unit.

A good choice is the Lexar Professional USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader ($28) or the Lexar Professional Workflow SR1 Card Reader for SDHC/SDXC cards ($21). A matched card reader has a tuned controller that maximizes throughput from memory card to computer. A tandem like that can increase speed up to 8X compared to a USB 2 cable transfer.

One other thing. The drive in your computer is part of this recipe. If you have a fast SSD drive, then the flow of data can be quite speedy with this setup. A slower spinning hard drive does impact potential performance.

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