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Lightroom: USB 3.0 Hub with MicroSD & SD Cards with external HD


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Hello all, I want to share my little project of making a useful portable Lightroom machine for my photography needs on my SP. It might have some info relevant to those looking into hubs and SD cards and all.

So I needed a fast and reliable way to transfer 25MB RAW photo files (uncompressed) from my Camera's SD card into my large external hard drive. I use Lightroom 5 for on the go editing, then sync and export once plugged in. I was looking into an answer to do this efficiently and very quickly. So instead of tons of file swapping, I figure the right hardware will allow my Surface Pro to be my portable Dark Room. Here's my test with the new 128GB Ultra card, SD card readers, and a USB 3.0 hub.

Conclusion up front:
This will not power a DVD drive via USB power, even if it's two USB ports. You simply need more power, probably from the wall power.
If you need the space, get Ultra. It's cheaper, and it's available in 128GB now.
If you need the speed, get the the Extreme Plus. 2 or 4 times the speed of Ultra, which is already fast!

SUMMARY of internal MS Surface Pro testing, possibly comparable to USB 3.0 XC1 UHSI transfer:
Extreme 64GB writes 3.7x faster than Ultra 128GB.
Extreme 64GB reads 2x faster than Ultra 128GB.

DATA from CrystalDiskMark 3.03 x64, doing Sequential 50MB Read and Write tests, MB/s, with at least 3 trial tests averaged:

SD Extreme Plus MicroSD XC1 64GB
USB 20r 20w
int 91r 55w

Ultra MicroSD 128GB
USB 20r 15w
int 45r 15w

Special notes:
If you have an old system, you might need a faster system to take advantage of it.

1.) So I can transfer from my camera's SD Card to my external 2TB passport hard drive, I think I'll get a Unitek USB 3.0 hub. It's about $13 for the plaine 4 port one, or $30 for the the 3-port version with the SD card reader built in.
2.) So you can use a MicroSD at extreme speeds, just get a USB 3.0 Card Reader, such as the Trascend TS-RDF5K USB 3.0 Card Reader. It even speeds up USB 2.0 if you have a slow MicroSD Card Reader. (The Unitek hub that comes with the SD Card reader combo will slow down to 20r 20w if you use a MicroSD-to-SD card adapter. Card adapter's fault, yup.) I'm considering getting going with the Unitek 4-port hub instead of the 3-port +SD reader. That's because I only really need the full SD Card faster, and the MicroSD would just be nice, yet not needed. If my calculations are right, you could write 5x faster or read 3x faster with an Extreme card. Or you could read 2x faster and write the same speed with an Ultra Card.

All my mouses / mice would stutter or lag intermittently. Internal bluetooth would lag more than a mini-dongle. But enough to notice. Those little Lightroom settings are easier to click with a full-size mouse. I sold my old Arc Touch Mouse because I wanted to free up the USB port by using no dongle. Lastly, I'm considering upgrading from the Logitech T630 mouse to the T650 touchpad so I have more surface area and for a quieter experience, since the clicking on the T630 is a little too positive. Both are better than using the Type Cover's touchpad.

I hope these numbers and alternatives are helpful.