Lexar UR2 Professional workflow microSD card reader

UR2 RDR front EFS - for some reason we don't have an alt tag hereA few months ago I had a project at work where I was dealing with multiple microSD cards and we ended up purchasing a pair of lexar UR2 microSD card readers. Recently I reviewed the C1 which was also from lexar but the UR2 is in a completely different class. I unfortunately don’t have any glamor shots of the packaging as it was pushed into use almost immediately but the packaging was well done with a hard cardboard box adorned in gold trim. This is very attractive packaging and includes the reader itself, a reasonably long USB B cable and a dust cover for the reader, as well as the requisite documentation.

UHS-II again

We’ve mentioned this before but before testing I want to take a moment review some information on the UHS bus. There are per the SD association four current SD buses of which UHS-II is the newest and fastest capable of up to a 312MB/s transfer rate. These aren’t promises that cards are capable of reaching that(that’s the speed grade rating which is separate) but a maximum a reader or device can utilize a card at, fortunately these are cross compatible with UHS-II readers working with all slower cards and faster cards and the cards working in older readers. We have a UHS-II and pair of UHS-I cards for testing this reader.

2016 10 08 19 52 33 Bus IF Speed Standards for Large Size Data Transfer SD Association - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

The Cards

Every card used in testing today is one we’ve reviewed here before, Specifically we have the Lexar 64gb 1800x card, this is a UHS-II card and is by far the fastest we’ve reviewed. We’ll also be using the massive 200gb Lexar 633x card and rounding things out we have the Samsung 128gb evo+ a card that offered a Balance of size and performance at an excellent price. Unfortunately only the first of the three is rated for the UHS-II bus.

Baseline Performance

2017 01 07 11 31 30 CrystalDiskMark 5.1.2 - for some reason we don't have an alt tag hereUsing Crystal Disk Mark we see some impressive numbers a bit lower than the original review of the card however it’s been in near constant use since then, these numbers are far beyond the UHS-I bus’s capabilities however and cement that this reader is capable of reaching UHS-II speeds.







With a baseline established lets run the real tests of this reader using something we introduced when we reviewed the Mushkin Reactor earlier this month, IOmeter. This is a bit different than the consistency test that we subjected the SSD to as we’ll be using a different access pattern to do some simultaneous sequential read tests from the cards.

Sequential Read - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

Starting with the standard sequential read test we see all three cards can be read from simultaneously, although there does appear to be a limit as spikes in worker 3(the UHS-II card) seem to cause drops in worker two. This is none the less impressive handling all three cards at once.
DNGreadSimulated - for some reason we don't have an alt tag hereThe second test we have is a simulated DNG read we used 24mb segments to simulate pulling raw photos from all three cards simultaneously, we do see reads exceeding 300mbs but still averaging at about 275MB/s I do think that had UHS-II cards been used in all three slots I would have seen a higher data rate. but even handicapped by the pair of UHS-I cards it’s an impressive showing for reading all three cards simultaneously. Regardless the rate in both tests is such that all three cards could be emptied completely inside of a fifteen minute window at these rates.

And because why not, here’s a video of what 3 microSD cards being read at that speed looks like in 4k.

The UR2 made an impressive showing it posted high data rates during both of the multi card tests it was subjected to as well as high rates from a single UHS-II class card. It’s an excellent addition for anyone dealing with multiple microSD devices whether they be drones phones or mini pc’s(the use case mine was actually purchased for). It’s available here amazon currently and although not the cheapest microSD card reader it is by far the most capable I’ve worked with sporting high speeds and multi card capabilities in an attractive design.

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Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith is a full time IT administrator at a medium sized private business former FRC coach and technology enthusiast.

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