Working Compact Flash to Thunderbolt solution.

Started May 5, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Conan Butcher
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Working Compact Flash to Thunderbolt solution.
May 5, 2012

Hi all,

I have been waiting for someone to produce a simple Compact Flash to Thunderbolt adapter, but so far there don't seem to be any on the market. My MacBook Air only has Thunderbolt or USB2.0, and when in the field transferring a days worth of images to my Air and then onto external drives used to take a long time.

I recently bought a Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter for Portable Hard Drives and it bought a GoFlex 1TB hard drive with it.

I quickly realised that the Adapter has a standard SATA interface and discovered that several people on forums were using them with SSD drives.

I then did a search and discovered that you can buy a Compact Flash to SATA interface for a pretty small amount of money.

I ordered one on eBay and it arrived this morning.

I did a speed test using my MacBook Air and a CF to USB adapter. I shot 7.39 GB of RAW and JPEG onto a 32 GB Sandisk CF card with a Canon iD Mark IV.

CF to Mac via USB took 4 mins to transfer.

I then connected the CF card to the Seagate Thunderbolt adapter using the CF to SATA adapter.

The same images took 1 min and 18 secs to transfer.

Transferring the same images from the Mac to the Seagate 1TB drive via Thunderbolt also took 1 min and 18 secs.

Transferring the same images from the Mac to a Western Digital 1TB USB drive took 4 min and 24 secs.

With a lot of images, and making two backups each day the thunderbolt interface can save a lot of time - especially if electricity is in short supply.

Running the Blackmagic Disk Speedtest gave the following results:

32 GB card via USB 3GB size - Read speed 19.5 MB's, Write speed 30.5 MB/s
32 GB card via Thunderbolt - Read speed 66.7 MB/s, Write speed 93 MB/s.

A fair bit faster, I am very pleased with the results.

Feel free to ask any questions if you like.

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