Camera Memory Speed
Memory Card Comparison & Performance Tests for Digital Cameras

Review: Transcend USB 3.0 Multi-Card Reader RDF8

Transcend Memory Card Reader RDF8

Introduction

The Transcend USB 3.0 Multi-Card Reader RDF8 is an inexpensive multi-format memory card reader. It features independent slots for Secure Digital, CompactFlash and Memory Stick. It is the smallest and lightest multi-format reader we have tested.

Transcend was founded in 1988 in Taiwan and produces a range of computer memory products and related devices.

A bright blue LED shines through the top of the translucent black case when the reader is connected to a USB cable. The light blinks when the card is being accessed.

Transcend Memory Card Reader RDF8 Front

The RDF8 reader is very compact, measuring only 2 5/8 x 1 3/4 x 5/8 inches (67.6 x 45 x 15.2 mm). The dedicated Memory Stick slot is positioned on the back of the reader to conserve space. The case is made entirely of plastic resulting in an overall weight of only 32 grams (not including USB cable). The case lacks any sort of rubber pads to hold it in place which results in it sliding around when inserting and removing cards.

The supplied USB cable did not fit securely in the connector on the card reader. In addition, the unusually short short 15-inch cable exacerbated the issue. The connector could be inadvertently dislodged and even when it appeared to be connected correctly it would sometimes cause read and write errors. Swapping a different USB 3.0 cable provided a more secure connection.

Transcend Memory Card Reader RDF8 Back

Even with its small overall size, the RDF8 has a deep CF card slot taking in nearly 7/8 inch depth of card in total. There is little up-and-down play however the card is able to move excessively side-to-side when inserting. The fit is looser than necessary and extra care should be taken when inserting cards to avoid bent pins.

Performance

Transcend prominently displays 130 MB/s read and 95 MB/s write speeds on the front of its packaging. Upon closer inspection, the fine print disclaims "Performance with Transcend 128GB CF1000x card." In Windows 8, we tested the Transcend 1000X 32GB CF card and it reached 154.3 MB/s read and 132.8 MB/s write, well above the claimed speeds.

SD card speed was a different issue. Using Windows 7, benchmark testing using SD cards achieved a maximum sequential read of 86 MB/s and 74 MB/s write. Several cards tested 10-20MB/s slower read speeds in the RDF8 compared with other USB 3.0 card readers. The normally fast Lexar 600x performed much worse (45.7 MB/s read, 34.8 MB/s write) while the normally "slower" Lexar 400x performed as it normally should (72.4 MB/s read, 43.6 write). The RDF8 reader had the latest firmware version TS22 already installed from the factory.

Changing to Windows 8 we found improved read and write speeds, however the Lexar 600x card read speed was still abnormally slow.

Reader: Transcend Multi-Card Reader RDF8 Black
Benchmark: CrystalDiskMark 3.0.3 x64
Program settings: 1000 MB, 5 passes, random test data
Operating system: Windows 8.1 Pro
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H
Processor: Intel Core i7-3770K @ 4.40GHz
RAM: 32GB DDR3 1600

Transcend Multi-Card Reader RDF8 Black
Card Benchmarks
TypeSequential
Read
(MB/s)
Sequential
Write
(MB/s)
Lexar Professional 1066x 64GBCF157.397138.976
Lexar Professional 800x 64GBCF157.34976.028
Lexar Professional 1066x 32GBCF156.714139.179
SanDisk Extreme Pro 160MB/s 32GBCF156.154135.949
Toshiba Exceria 1000x 32GBCF154.475107.118
Transcend 1000x 32GBCF154.293132.782
Lexar Professional 800x 32GBCF153.97645.708
Lexar Professional 1066x 128GBCF153.818136.711
Toshiba Exceria Pro 1066x 32GBCF153.683134.848
SanDisk Extreme Pro 160MB/s 64GBCF153.345133.730
PixelFlash SuperSport 1000X-PRO 128GBCF153.010129.024
SanDisk Extreme Pro 160MB/s 256GBCF152.409135.844
Komputerbay 1066x 128GBCF152.343134.605
Transcend 1000x 128GBCF152.299131.532
SanDisk Extreme Pro 160MB/s 128GBCF152.100137.302
Toshiba Exceria 1000x 64GBCF150.269117.685
Toshiba Exceria Pro 1066x 64GBCF147.293130.925
Kingston Ultimate 600x 32GBCF126.016112.327
SanDisk Extreme 120MB/s 32GBCF117.87168.674
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s U3 V30 64GBSD97.39789.195
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 32GBSD97.35282.793
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s U3 V30 32GBSD97.34390.161
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 64GBSD97.33493.083
SanDisk Extreme Plus 80MB/s microSD 32GBmicroSD97.31665.597
SanDisk Extreme Pro 300MB/s UHS-II 128GBSD96.73286.781
Toshiba Exceria Type 1 32GBSD96.69688.331
Toshiba Exceria Type 2 32GBSD96.69665.593
SanDisk Extreme Plus 95/90 MB/s U3 V30 microSDXC 64GBmicroSD96.68892.467
SanDisk Extreme Plus 95/90 MB/s U3 V30 microSDXC 128GBmicroSD96.67990.841
SanDisk Extreme Plus 95/90 MB/s U3 V30 microSDHC 32GBmicroSD96.67091.659
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s U3 V30 32GBSD96.67053.303
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s U3 V30 microSDXC 128GBmicroSD96.65263.751
Sony M Series UHS-II 128GBSD96.60779.873
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s U3 V30 256GBSD96.59864.951
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s U3 64GBSD96.59049.597
Lexar Professional 2000x 300MB/s 128GBSD96.56386.968
Lexar Professional 1800x microSD UHS-II 128GBmicroSD96.52769.530
Toshiba Exceria UHS-I Class 3 64GBSD96.49259.871
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s microSDXC 64GBmicroSD96.48392.296
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s microSDHC 32GBmicroSD96.42192.142
Lexar Professional 1800x microSD UHS-II 64GBmicroSD96.42187.725
Sony M Series UHS-II 32GBSD96.41287.069
SanDisk Extreme Pro 300MB/s UHS-II 32GBSD96.41286.896
SanDisk Extreme Plus 95/90 MB/s microSD 32GBmicroSD96.30691.699
Toshiba Exceria Pro UHS-II 32GBSD96.19191.980
Toshiba Exceria UHS-I Class 3 32GBSD96.11161.174
Sony SF-G 300MB/s UHS-II 32GBSD95.83993.215
Sony SF-G 300MB/s UHS-II 128GBSD95.81393.223
SanDisk Extreme Pro 300MB/s UHS-II 64GBSD95.80488.368
Sony SF-G 300MB/s UHS-II 64GBSD95.77893.248
SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-II 275MB/s microSDXC 64GBmicroSD95.73481.620
Samsung EVO Select microSDXC 256GBmicroSD95.66489.637
Lexar Professional 1800x microSD UHS-II 32GBmicroSD95.62177.494
Panasonic Gold 95/90 64GBSD95.55188.346
Delkin 1900x UHS-II 32GBSD95.54249.616
Transcend 600x 32GBSD95.48136.983
Transcend 95/85 MB/s U3 32GBSD95.37789.324
PNY Elite Performance U1 32GBSD95.37738.395
Transcend 95/60 MB/s U3 64GBSD95.37766.610
PNY Elite Performance U1 64GBSD95.36864.715
Sony 94MB/s 32GBSD95.36066.903
Transcend R95 W85 U3 64GBSD95.33488.660
Kingston U3 (90/80) microSD 64GBmicroSD95.29983.267
Lexar Professional 600x 64GBSD95.29068.365
Sony 95MB/s U3 64GBSD95.28289.256
Sony 95MB/s U3 32GBSD95.23979.407
Samsung PRO Plus 64GBSD95.12688.570
Samsung PRO Plus 32GBSD95.04089.165
Samsung PRO U3 32GBSD95.01479.228
Lexar Professional 633x U1 128GBSD94.88528.639
Lexar Professional 633x U1 64GBSD94.83428.579
Samsung PRO Select microSDXC 64GBmicroSD94.80888.279
Delkin Elite 633x 32GBSD94.79182.100
Transcend 600x 128GBSD94.78269.590
Gobe Magic 104MB/s 64GBSD94.74888.249
Transcend 95/60 MB/s U3 256GBSD94.74867.724
Samsung PRO U3 64GBSD94.73978.486
Transcend 95/60 MB/s U3 128GBSD94.73168.516
Lexar Professional 633x U3 256GBSD94.71469.081
Lexar Professional 633x U1 32GBSD94.71423.323
Transcend 633x microSDHC 32GBmicroSD94.68890.317
Lexar Professional 2000x UHS-II Rev E 32GBSD94.63791.715
PNY Elite Performance U3 128GBSD94.62868.768
SanDisk Extreme Plus 80MB/s 64GBSD94.61160.812
Lexar Professional 2000x UHS-II 32GBSD94.51793.849
Transcend 600x 64GBSD94.50964.373
Gobe Magic 104MB/s 32GBSD94.40789.127
Transcend Ultimate 633x microSD 64GBmicroSD94.20379.395
Panasonic Gold Series 32GBSD94.16143.562
Lexar Professional 633x U3 64GBSD93.96769.286
Lexar Professional 1000x UHS-II Rev B 32GBSD93.93376.751
Lexar Professional 2000x UHS-II Rev E 64GBSD93.84991.900
Lexar Professional 1000x UHS-II 256GBSD93.79976.999
Lexar Professional 1000x UHS-II Rev C 64GBSD93.75788.998
Lexar Professional 1000x UHS-II microSD 64GBmicroSD93.69853.125
Lexar Professional 1000x UHS-II Rev C 128GBSD93.69877.175
Lexar Professional 2000x UHS-II 64GBSD93.58193.198
Hoodman Steel UHS-II 64GBSD93.50690.123
Lexar Professional 1000x UHS-II 32GBSD93.48977.186
Samsung PRO 32GBSD93.46483.075
Samsung PRO 64GBSD93.43183.900
Transcend Ultimate UHS-II U3 32GBSD93.16591.165
Transcend Ultimate UHS-II U3 64GBSD93.06691.101
Lexar Professional 1000x UHS-II 64GBSD92.80375.835
Lexar Professional 1000x UHS-II 128GBSD92.67177.215
Samsung PRO Plus microSDXC 128GBmicroSD91.99684.467
Samsung PRO Select microSDXC 128GBmicroSD91.97284.460
Lexar Professional 633x U3 32GBSD91.66748.841
Lexar Professional 633x microSDXC 200GBmicroSD90.57436.593
Kingston Class 10 256GBSD88.30143.297
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s U3 V30 256GBSD86.09081.418
SanDisk Extreme Plus 80MB/s 32GBSD86.05560.601
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s U3 V30 128GBSD85.98481.342
Lexar Professional 1000x UHS-II microSD 128GBmicroSD85.77357.627
SanDisk Extreme Plus 90MB/s U3 V30 32GBSD85.57766.652
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s U3 V30 microSDXC 64GBmicroSD85.57071.264
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s U3 V30 microSDHC 32GBmicroSD85.56370.087
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s U3 V30 128GBSD85.55665.927
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s U3 V30 64GBSD85.54954.653
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s U3 V30 microSDXC 64GBmicroSD85.54271.463
SanDisk Extreme Plus 90MB/s U3 V30 64GBSD85.54266.703
SanDisk Extreme Plus 95/90 MB/s U3 V30 microSDXC 64GBmicroSD85.52882.364
SanDisk Extreme Plus 95/90 MB/s microSD 64GBmicroSD85.38281.920
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 128GBSD85.36882.280
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s U3 32GBSD85.32649.042
Kingston U3 90/80 MB/s 64GBSD85.25777.655
Kingston Class 10 UHS-I 64GBSD85.25068.642
Kingston U3 90/80 MB/s 32GBSD85.24381.279
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 256GBSD85.16081.856
SanDisk Extreme 80MB/s 128GBSD85.15380.412
PNY Turbo Performance U3 microSD 32GBmicroSD85.05053.922
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s U3 128GBSD85.02978.299
Kingston Ultimate 32GBSD84.63147.017
Patriot EP Pro 90MB/s 32GBSD84.61047.511
Lexar Professional 633x microSDXC 128GBmicroSD83.34622.305
Samsung EVO Plus 128GB microSDXCmicroSD82.72122.756
SanDisk Ultra 80MB/s microSD 32GBmicroSD82.22817.886
SanDisk Extreme 80MB/s 256GBSD82.08779.108
SanDisk Ultra 80MB/s microSD 64GBmicroSD76.48320.448
SanDisk Ultra 80MB/s microSD 128GBmicroSD76.34348.787
SanDisk Ultra 90MB/s microSD 200GBmicroSD76.32720.884
Patriot EP Pro 128GBSD76.03338.687
SanDisk Extreme 60MB/s 32GBSD75.60055.104
SanDisk Extreme U3 microSD 32GBmicroSD74.52054.330
Lexar Professional 633x U3 128GBSD73.43058.394
Lexar Professional 400x 32GBSD72.15643.535
SanDisk Extreme 60MB/s 64GBSD71.12452.608
SanDisk Extreme U3 microSD 64GBmicroSD68.06756.215
Delkin Black 32GBSD67.05763.918
SanDisk Ultra 50MB/s 32GBCF51.11531.563
SanDisk Extreme Pro 280MB/s UHS-II 32GBSD47.80446.055
Panasonic MicroP2 UHS-II 32GBSD47.77337.559
SanDisk Extreme 45MB/s 32GBSD47.53545.460
SanDisk Ultra microSD 64GBmicroSD47.50516.288
SanDisk Ultra 40MB/s 64GBSD47.50315.891
Patriot EP Pro 90MB/s 64GBSD47.50315.891
SanDisk Ultra 40MB/s 32GB Card 1SD47.49845.602
SanDisk Ultra microSD 32GBmicroSD47.46615.150
Samsung EVO 32GBSD47.28629.415
Samsung EVO 64GBSD47.25023.887
SanDisk Ultra 40MB/s 32GB Card 2SD47.23519.615
Samsung EVO microSD 32GBmicroSD47.23124.511
SanDisk Ultra 40MB/s 32GB Card 3SD47.22519.760
Lexar Professional 600x 32GBSD45.66248.489
Toshiba NFC 16GBSD37.38413.120
Toshiba FlashAir II 32GBSD19.00013.055

Conclusion

The Transcend RDF8 card reader is a popular card reader due to its low price and small size, but it had a few issues. It was not quite as fast as other readers when tested in Windows 7, but Windows 8 provided better performance. USB cable issues were another concern but can be remedied by using a different USB cable. Mediocre read speed when using the Lexar 600X 32GB was another strike against it. Overall there were simply too many issues to recommend it.

Compare prices on the Transcend Multi-Card Reader RDF8. The lowest prices are highlighted in the table below.

Card ReaderConnectionModel NumberPrices
AmazonB&H PhotoAdorama
Transcend Multi-Card Reader RDF8 BlackUSB 3.0TS-RDF8K$12.99$12.99$12.99
Transcend Multi-Card Reader RDF8 WhiteUSB 3.0TS-RDF8W$17.37$12.99

Formats supported: Secure Digital (up to UHS-I) SD, SDHC, SDXC, Compact Flash (up to UDMA 7), micro SD (UHS-I) microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC and Memory Stick MSXC.

The RDF8 is compatible with Mac OS X 10.5+ as well as Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8 with the latest service packs.

The Transcend RDF8 reader has a 2 year warranty.

Made in China.