Friday, October 5, 2012

Hoodman 'Raw Steel' CF Cardreader - USB 3.0 rocks

USB 3.0 is blazing fast but it's not without some faults. Mainly, the with the infancy of the interface, there are quite a few peripherals out there that are labeled USB 3.0 but do not conform to the standard.  I ran it to that recently with my Kingston CF card reader - worked great with Windows 7 but was reduced to a USB 2.0 device with my new box which is running Windows 8. Yes, I know, windows 8 is still a preview and not a final product. But according to the Building Windows 8 blog the USB 3.0 stack in the windows 8 kernel was built from the ground up to the latest standard so I'm taking the position that if something ain't working - it's the device's fault. And to that end, I am happy to find that my latest CF card reader, the Hoodman USB 3.0 Raw Steel UDMA card reader works like a charm with my windows 8 install. Using Sandisk Extreme Pro 32Gb cards I'm getting a rock solid 80Mb/sec transfer rate. Which equates to roughly a little over 3 minutes to download 1000+ (26Gb) of 18Mpixel Raw files (which is a typical football shoot) to the hard disk. While I use to be able to go have a cup of coffee while my images download, now my download is complete before I'm finished grinding the beans.
Another thing I like about the Hoodman is that it is firmware upgradeable, for example Hoodman recently released a firmware update to make the CF reader UDMA 7 compliant. ---I couldn't find any support downloads for the Kingston. So if you looking for a Windows 8 compatible USB 3.0 CF reader - The Hoodman is a good choice
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