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Transcend Multi-Card Reader RDF9 Review

Transcend Memory Card Reader RDF9 with CF and SD cards

Introduction

The Transcend USB 3.1/3.0 UHS-II Multi-Card Reader RDF9 is an update to the RDF8. The RDF9 adds support for UHS-II SD cards, and also accepts UHS-I SDHC, SDXC and standard SD cards. Additional slots are provided for microSD/SDHC/SDXC, CompactFlash (including UDMA7 support) and Sony Memory Stick cards. The reader offers an increase in performance, which is advertised up to 260 MB/s read and 190 MB/s write speeds, a result of UHS-II SD card support. The full product number for the product in this review is TS-RDF9K.

The RDF9 has a gloss black top and matte black sides and bottom. When the reader is plugged in to USB power a bright LED shines through the top of the case. This light blinks when a card is accessed. Dimensionally, the RDF9 measures the same as the RDF8 at 2 5/8 x 1 3/4 x 5/8 inches (67.6 x 45 x 15.2 mm). The reader is extremely light and weighs only 32 grams (without cable). The bottom of the reader is made of the same hard plastic as the rest of the case; there is no pad to hold the reader in place. The sticker on the bottom of the reader notes the reader was made Taiwan in 2015.

Transcend Memory Card Reader RDF9 Bottom

The CompactFlash card slot is nearly 7/8 inch deep. It does have some side-to-side play. This is similar to the previous model but it has not been an issue provided some care is used when inserting cards. CF cards insert easily and seat snugly on the pins. The SD card slot is nearly one inch deep to accommodate the additional row of pins used by the UHS-II interface. Compared with most other UHS-II readers, SD cards slide in very easily with almost no resistance. The microSD slot has some resistance, but it is not appreciably different from other microSD readers. Although microSD cards insert far into the reader and only about 2mm remain outside, the design of microSD cards provides just enough lip to aid in removal.

The RDF9 is listed as USB 3.1 and 3.0, but it is USB 3.1 Gen 1 only. These standards are technically equivalent and use the same cable, connectors and support up to 5Gbps transfer rate. The reader does not support the faster USB 3.1 Gen 2 that would provide up to 10Gbps. This is a moot point because the reader can not exceed USB 3.0 speed. A 15-inch USB A to Micro-B cable is included. The cable is similar in appearance to the one included with the RDF8 reader, but unlike the cable included with the previous reader, this one fit much more securely in the Micro-B port on the back of the reader.

Transcend UHS-II Multi-Card Reader RDF9

The Transcend RDF9 is compatible with Mac OS X 10.5+ as well as Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8 and Win 10 with the latest service packs. The RDF9 reader has a 2 year warranty.

Performance

Transcend advertises the RDF9 at 260 MB/s read and 190 MB/s write speeds. Using the Toshiba Exceria Pro UHS-II 32GB card the RDF9 reached a maximum 254.4 MB/s sequential read speed. This is close to the 260MB/s rating of the reader. Sequential write speed exceeded the rating and measured 232.3MB/s using the Lexar 2000x UHS-II 32GB card.

CompactFlash card write speed is improved over the previous RDF8 model. The RDF9 reached up to 155 MB/s sequential write using Lexar Professional 1066x CF cards, whereas the old reader topped out at 139 MB/s using the same cards. Read speeds were slightly higher, with the highest benchmark at 160.5 MB/s sequential read using a Lexar Professional 1066x 32GB CF card. The old reader reached a high of 157.4 MB/s sequential read.

It is possible to read and write multiple cards at the same time in the RDF9, but this will slow the overall transfer rate. With three concurrent read operations, one card would often lose almost all speed, while the other cards would alternate the remaining priority. In the best case, one read and two write transfers were split evenly at about 40MB/s per card. In reading two cards, the total speed was lower than reading one single card. In all instances single transfers resulted in higher speed than the sum of concurrent transfers.

Reader: Transcend Multi-Card Reader RDF9
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 RDF9
Card Benchmarks
TypeSequential
Read
(MB/s)
Sequential
Write
(MB/s)
Toshiba Exceria Pro UHS-II 32GBSD254.385221.569
Lexar Professional 2000x UHS-II 32GBSD247.073232.294
Lexar Professional 2000x UHS-II 64GBSD246.145230.786
Transcend Ultimate UHS-II U3 64GBSD245.597174.472
Transcend Ultimate UHS-II U3 32GBSD245.424178.953
Lexar Professional 1800x microSD UHS-II 32GBmicroSD242.754204.940
Delkin 1900x UHS-II 32GBSD242.24951.075
Sony M Series UHS-II 64GBSD241.38598.988
Panasonic MicroP2 UHS-II 32GBSD239.53849.042
SanDisk Extreme Pro 280MB/s UHS-II 32GBSD239.019197.789
SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-II 275MB/s microSDXC 64GBmicroSD238.856106.303
Lexar Professional 1066x 32GBCF160.505154.817
Lexar Professional 800x 64GBCF159.77175.989
SanDisk Extreme Pro 160MB/s 32GBCF159.601148.924
Lexar Professional 1066x 64GBCF159.503151.946
Komputerbay 1066x 128GBCF158.923151.463
Transcend 1000x 128GBCF158.827147.272
SanDisk Extreme Pro 160MB/s 256GBCF158.707130.387
PixelFlash SuperSport 1000X-PRO 128GBCF158.467137.158
Toshiba Exceria 1000x 64GBCF158.371121.349
Lexar Professional 800x 32GBCF157.96646.033
Lexar Professional 1066x 128GBCF157.609155.437
Toshiba Exceria 1000x 32GBCF157.562122.469
SanDisk Extreme Pro 160MB/s 128GBCF157.373142.625
SanDisk Extreme Pro 160MB/s 64GBCF157.302151.113
Transcend 1000x 32GBCF157.090131.121
Transcend 800x 32GBCF156.73840.425
Toshiba Exceria Pro 1066x 32GBCF156.527148.251
Lexar Professional 1000x UHS-II 32GBSD153.86387.033
Lexar Professional 1000x UHS-II 64GBSD152.63183.913
Toshiba Exceria Pro 1066x 64GBCF151.924145.091
Lexar Professional 1000x UHS-II 128GBSD151.83685.787
Lexar Professional 1000x microSD UHS-II 32GBmicroSD151.74852.796
Kingston Ultimate 600x 32GBCF128.660111.184
SanDisk Extreme 120MB/s 32GB Card 2CF123.79983.326
SanDisk Extreme 120MB/s 32GBCF122.58368.895
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 128GBSD98.13591.731
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s microSDHC 32GBmicroSD97.96191.619
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s U3 64GBSD97.87949.498
SanDisk Extreme Plus 80MB/s microSD 32GBmicroSD97.80665.360
SanDisk Extreme Plus 80MB/s 32GBSD97.77861.224
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s U3 V30 256GBSD97.75164.835
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s U3 32GBSD97.68791.395
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s U3 V30 microSDXC 128GBmicroSD97.68763.945
SanDisk Ultra 80MB/s 32GB Card 2SD97.66920.763
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s microSDXC 64GBmicroSD97.58791.427
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s U3 32GBSD97.57849.139
SanDisk Ultra 80MB/s 128GBSD97.57840.584
SanDisk Extreme Plus 95/90 MB/s microSD 32GBmicroSD97.57891.331
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 32GBSD97.53390.802
SanDisk Extreme Plus 80MB/s 64GBSD97.51561.166
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s microSDHC 32GBmicroSD97.47848.503
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 64GBSD97.46091.308
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 256GBSD97.37090.480
SanDisk Ultra 80MB/s microSD 64GBmicroSD97.15320.597
SanDisk Extreme Plus 95/90 MB/s microSD 64GBmicroSD97.12690.857
SanDisk Ultra 80MB/s microSD 128GBmicroSD96.76851.902
Kingston U3 90/80 MB/s 32GBSD96.75088.945
Kingston U3 90/80 MB/s 64GBSD96.71485.188
Panasonic Gold 95/90 64GBSD96.57287.374
Toshiba Exceria UHS-I Class 3 32GBSD96.50161.830
PNY Pro Elite microSDXC 64GBmicroSD96.47487.564
Kingston Class 10 UHS-I 64GBSD96.45680.790
Toshiba Exceria Type 2 32GBSD96.37665.287
Toshiba Exceria Type 1 32GBSD96.32387.207
Samsung PRO Plus 32GBSD96.32387.791
Delkin Elite 633x 32GBSD96.31581.078
Patriot EP PRO microSDXC 64GBmicroSD96.29782.526
Delkin Black 32GBSD96.27080.381
Toshiba Exceria UHS-I Class 3 64GBSD96.26160.738
Samsung PRO Plus 64GBSD96.18288.592
Patriot EP Series microSDXC 64GBmicroSD96.08582.624
Samsung EVO Select microSDXC 256GBmicroSD96.05087.520
Samsung PRO U3 64GBSD96.00678.757
Kingston U3 (90/80) microSD 32GBmicroSD95.99787.091
PNY Pro Elite 64GBSD95.97986.381
Samsung PRO Plus microSDXC 64GBmicroSD95.90987.894
SanDisk Extreme Plus 90MB/s 32GBSD95.84871.722
Kingston U3 (90/80) microSD 64GBmicroSD95.67383.359
Samsung PRO microSDXC 64GBmicroSD95.62978.545
Samsung PRO Select microSDXC 64GBmicroSD95.61287.019
Transcend 95/60 MB/s U3 128GBSD95.49067.957
Lexar Professional 633x U1 64GBSD95.49028.625
PNY Elite Performance U3 256GBSD95.48154.645
Samsung PRO U3 32GBSD95.45579.150
Patriot EP Pro 90MB/s 32GBSD95.34247.537
Gobe Magic 104MB/s 64GBSD95.18788.227
Transcend 633x microSDHC 32GBmicroSD95.17888.027
PNY Elite Performance U1 32GBSD95.16938.257
Transcend R95 W85 U3 64GBSD95.16188.123
Transcend 600x 64GBSD95.11866.098
PNY Turbo Performance U3 microSD 32GBmicroSD95.10056.603
PNY Elite Performance U1 64GBSD95.09266.737
Lexar Professional 633x U3 256GBSD95.09268.660
Transcend 95/60 MB/s U3 64GBSD95.07467.742
PNY Elite Performance U3 128GBSD95.06668.036
Lexar Professional 633x U3 32GBSD95.02347.479
Sony 95MB/s U3 64GBSD95.02387.659
Patriot EP Pro 90MB/s 64GBSD95.01442.280
Transcend 600x 128GBSD95.00669.405
Transcend 95/85 MB/s U3 32GBSD94.98888.510
Gobe Magic 104MB/s 32GBSD94.98888.071
Panasonic Gold Series 32GBSD94.98043.798
Transcend 95/60 MB/s U3 256GBSD94.97166.989
Lexar Professional 600x 64GBSD94.94566.382
PNY Turbo Performance microSDXC 64GBmicroSD94.92059.028
Patriot EP Pro 128GBSD94.88542.639
Sony 95MB/s U3 32GBSD94.84287.004
Transcend 600x 32GBSD94.82539.108
Lexar Professional 633x U1 32GBSD94.81722.412
Samsung PRO 32GBSD94.78281.140
Sony 94MB/s 32GBSD94.77465.206
Kingston Ultimate 32GBSD94.73146.891
PNY Elite-X microSDHC 32GBmicroSD94.72276.718
PNY Elite microSDXC 64GBmicroSD94.66232.590
Transcend Ultimate 633x microSD 64GBmicroSD94.46686.795
Lexar Professional 633x U3 64GBSD94.45869.103
SanDisk Extreme Plus 90MB/s 64GBSD94.43272.008
Lexar Professional 633x U1 128GBSD94.36428.651
PNY Elite-X microSDXC 64GBmicroSD94.31374.717
PNY Elite microSDXC 128GBmicroSD94.28827.924
SanDisk Ultra 80MB/s 32GBSD94.18642.978
Samsung PRO 64GBSD94.11981.888
Samsung EVO Select microSDXC 64GBmicroSD93.82425.551
Lexar Professional 633x U3 128GBSD93.59868.476
Samsung PRO Select microSDXC 128GBmicroSD93.19884.014
Samsung PRO Plus microSDXC 128GBmicroSD92.56583.866
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s microSDXC 64GBmicroSD92.52443.598
SanDisk Ultra 90MB/s microSD 200GBmicroSD90.83321.222
Lexar Professional 633x microSDXC 200GBmicroSD90.55836.987
Samsung EVO Plus 128GB microSDXCmicroSD87.14922.620
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s U3 128GBSD85.52178.287
Lexar Professional 633x microSDXC 128GBmicroSD84.90522.429
SanDisk Extreme 80MB/s 128GBSD84.86479.570
SanDisk Extreme 80MB/s 256GBSD83.01679.084
SanDisk Ultra 80MB/s 64GBSD82.46819.039
SanDisk Ultra 80MB/s microSD 32GBmicroSD82.29315.099
Samsung EVO Select microSDXC 128GBmicroSD80.93423.225
SanDisk Extreme 60MB/s 32GBSD75.45355.055
SanDisk Extreme U3 microSD 32GBmicroSD74.90454.193
SanDisk Extreme 60MB/s 64GBSD71.25452.322
Lexar Professional 400x 32GBSD71.24943.385
SanDisk Extreme U3 microSD 64GBmicroSD69.58555.844
Delkin Cinema 1050X 32GB Card 2CF66.403133.628
Lexar Professional 633x microSDXC 64GBmicroSD55.28427.920
SanDisk Ultra 50MB/s 32GBCF52.40830.737
SanDisk Ultra 40MB/s 64GBSD47.63914.855
SanDisk Ultra microSD 64GBmicroSD47.60015.179
Lexar Professional 600x 32GBSD47.58344.609
SanDisk Ultra microSD 32GBmicroSD47.57614.638
SanDisk Extreme 45MB/s 32GBSD47.54844.563
Samsung EVO 64GBSD47.53123.619
Samsung EVO microSD 32GBmicroSD47.48324.806
Samsung EVO microSDXC 64GBmicroSD47.34623.440
SanDisk Ultra 40MB/s 32GB Card 2SD47.29119.897
Samsung EVO 32GBSD47.08020.070
Toshiba NFC 16GBSD37.85913.135

Conclusion

As a compact, lightweight card reader the RDF9 has a lot to offer. Its main improvement over the RDF8 is UHS-II support for fast SD card transfers. CompactFlash card write performance also improved but that may not be an important consideration for photographers. Read performance with UDMA7 CF cards and UHS-I cards was generally similar between the RDF8 and RDF9 readers.

Compare prices on the Transcend Multi-Card Reader RDF9. The lowest prices are highlighted in the table below.

Card ReaderConnectionModel NumberPrices
AmazonB&H PhotoAdorama
Transcend Multi-Card Reader RDF9USB 3.0/3.1TS-RDF9K$29.09$19.99

The Transcend RDF9 reader (TS-RDF9K) is a new release and not yet widely available. It is currently available for purchase worldwide from the following retailer:

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