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Gear Reviews

A Quick Look At The Transcend USB 3.0 Multi Card Reader RDF8 [Mini Review]

By Anthony Thurston on February 18th 2014

I recently made the switch from a desktop PC to a Mac Mini, and one of the side effects of that was needing to buy a multi card reader in order to be able to get my images and video onto my computer conveniently.

The Mac Mini has an SD card reader built in, but it is on the back of the machine and how I have mine situated made it a pain to use it. So, I decided it would be easier to just use an external reader that I could sit on my desk. After some research, I decided on this unit, the Transcend USB 3.0 Multi Card Reader RDF8.

Transcend USB 3.0 Multi Card Reader RDF8

I received the unit a little over a week ago and have used it extensively in that time. The transfer speeds are what you would expect from a USB 3.0 device – quick and no issues. I did a basic read/write speed test on my 16GB Sandisk Extreme SD card, which is supposed to be capable of 40mb/s. After two tests, I was getting an average of about 33mb/s write, and 29mb/s read. I then tried my 16GB PNY SD card, which is supposed to only be capable of 20mb/s. That card I was able to get 15mb/s write and 13mb/s read.


[REWIND: The EOS M: Canons Loss Is Your Gain]

Then, I redid those tests on both cards with the build in SD reader on the Mac Mini.  Across the board, the USB 3.0 reader was faster by several mb/s on the read/write for both cards.

The Transcend RDF8 is only $14.99 on B&H, and based on these results I am happy with the purchase. The unit has given me the convenience of having my card slots in an easily accessible location on my desk as well as given me a nice little speed boost when transferring images and video to my computer.


Transcend Multi Card Reader RDF8 Specs

  • USB 3.0: Up to 4.8 Gbps Data Transfer
  • Backwards Compatible with USB 2.0
  • 1 CF, 1 SDHC / SDXC Slot
  • 1 M2/microSD, 1 MS PRO/XC/MS DUO Slot
  • Supports SDHC UHS-1, SDXC UHS-1 Cards
  • Supports UDMA6/UDMA7 CF, MSXC Cards
  • Includes RecoveRx Data Recovery Software

Final Thoughts

Overall, I am very happy with the purchase. There may be better card readers out there, but for the price and the decent performance boost over my internal SD reader, I am happy keeping my costs down and sticking with this unit.

If you are interested in grabbing one of these for yourself, you can head over to B&H and find them here.

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Terms: #Card Reader

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Works good.

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  2. Chuck Eggen

    I own it and love it. Works great, no problems.

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  3. colin

    It seems like 33mb/s is still usb2 speeds. Would be interested to see the speed off the mini’s own sd card reader to see how that compares.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      As I said in the post, the USB reader was faster by a few mb/s across the board from the internal SD reader. I don’t have the specific numbers on hand though.

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    • colin

      oops. must have missed that part

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  4. Jeremy Nielsen

    I’ve use this reader at home and at work for well over a year and love it. Never had an issue!!

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