We have just received and tested Delkin's CardBus CF adapter (and OEM ASKA SpeedOver CF32A). This compact flash adapter offers laptop and notebook users (Windows only at this time) image transfer performance which actually beats a FireWire card reader on a desktop PC. Anyone who has used a standard PCMCIA adapter will know how slow these devices are, in our tests the new CardBus CF adapter from Delkin was almost four times faster than a standard PCMCIA adapter.

Delkin CardBus CF adapter

Delkin CardBus CF adapter packaging Delkin CardBus CF adapter, ASKA SpeedOver CF32A CardBus CF adapter, IBM PCMCIA CF adapter

If you take a closer look at the image on the right above you can see that the Delkin adapter is identical to the ASKA. Below are our tests of read performance for the card compared to a standard PCMCIA adapter and a Firewire reader/writer.

Read Performance (JPEG)

  Firewire reader
(KB/sec)
PCMCIA adapter
(KB/sec)
Delkin CardBus adapter (KB/sec)
Pretec 6 GB 4,166 1,238 4,635
Lexar 4 GB 3,956 1,261 5,746
SanDisk Ultra II 1 GB 4,453 1,248 4,600
IBM Microdrive 1 GB 3,498 1,197 4,041

Average Improvement (Read, JPEG)

  • CardBus compared to Firewire: 1.2x faster
  • CardBus compared to PCMCIA: 3.8x faster

Time to transfer 512 MB of JPEG images (approx.)

  • Firewire: 2 mins 7 secs
  • PCMCIA: 6 mins 54 secs
  • CardBus: 1 min 47 secs

Read Performance (RAW)

  Firewire reader
(KB/sec)
PCMCIA adapter
(KB/sec)
Delkin CardBus adapter (KB/sec)
Pretec 6 GB 4,167 1,239 4,641
Lexar 4 GB 3,963 1,261 5,760
SanDisk Ultra II 1 GB 4,457 1,249 4,616
IBM Microdrive 1 GB 3,587 1,202 4,107

Average Improvement (Read, RAW)

  • CardBus compared to Firewire: 1.2x faster
  • CardBus compared to PCMCIA: 3.9x faster

Time to transfer 512 MB of RAW images (approx.)

  • Firewire: 2 mins 6 secs
  • PCMCIA: 6 mins 53 secs
  • CardBus: 1 min 47 secs

Write Performance (JPEG / RAW)

  Firewire reader
(KB/sec)
PCMCIA adapter
(KB/sec)
Delkin CardBus adapter (KB/sec)
Pretec 6 GB 2,598 / 2,819 1,129 / 1,187 2,588 / 2,915
Lexar 4 GB 2,599 / 2,682 1,149 / 1,191 3,636 / 4,170
SanDisk Ultra II 1 GB 3,709 / 3,926 1,304 / 1,248 3,500 / 3,559
IBM Microdrive 1 GB 3,478 / 3,688 1,124 / 1,152 1,814 / 1,932

Conclusion

Any photographer who regularly uses a Windows based Notebook which has a CardBus compatible PCMCIA slot should consider the Delkin CardBus CF adapter, it delivers extremley high performance which is even better than a Firewire reader. Installation is easy with just a quick driver load from the supplied CD-ROM, after that the adapter acts just like any other PCMCIA card, just slide it in (with a CF card inserted) and the drive letter appears. Highly Recommended!

PS. Let's hope that Apple and Delkin can get their OS X drivers sorted out and Mac users can also benefit from the Delkin CardBus adapter.