by Mike McNamee Published 01/12/2014
All that copper for such a little CompactFlash card
Connecting this lot up to a Sandisk UDMA 7 90 MC/s Compact Flash card required eight things to be plugged together. The whole caboosh then transferred 337 files to a raided Windows workstation in exactly one minute. That works out at a little under 2⁄10s per full-size JPEG. Transmitting 5GB of Raw files (272 D700 files) took 2m 54s which is 6⁄10s per file. Regardless of transfer rate stats, these values are not show stoppers which is all we were seeking. If a D700 file represents our penny coin, the pound is about 800 files, ie a 'wedding-full'. This would take about 500 seconds to download, 10 minutes including putting the kettle on.
Connecting a 1TB Seagate Backup Plus, portable hard drive was the next test. This is a USB 3 device and transferred 1.6GB of data files in 53 seconds to the raided workstation. Transferring our 272 Raw files back onto the Seagate through the hub took exactly six minutes that is 1.3 seconds per Raw file or about 18 minutes for our 'wedding'. The bottleneck in the system was obviously the USB 2 port on the workstation and so we moved onto a new iMac with USB 3 connectivity through out. This highlighted the fact that the NTFS-formatted Seagate could only be read by the Mac you cannot write to them - oh the joys of computer system compatibility! However, downloading 272 files, 5GB, onto the iMac took 67 seconds which is a little under three times faster than the Windows USB 2 porting.
So there you have it. It's a bit of a hardware and connectivity zoo around these parts but none of the things tested were show stoppers - for the record we have tested a client's machine occasionally where some of these operations would have taken hours. The incompatibility of the Seagate between Mac and Windows is something that can be overcome using a network but that might not be available - in any case ours is a freak environment because we have to teach on both Macs and Windows machines at the same time. We have to overcome the inability to write Mac files to the Seagate by routing them through a pen drive
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