I get a lot of video footage with my GoPro HERO3 Black Edition. I like to get those files onto my computer as fast as possible, especially when it comes to those really long video clips that are in excess of 100MB. I decided to do a simple test to see what was the fastest way to transfer videos from my GoPro to my PC. I tested three different methods, one method was using the provided USB cable attached directly from the GoPro to my PC USB port. The second way I tested was with an SD card adapter, plugged in directly to my laptops SD card reader slot. The last test method was to use the SD card adapter, plugged into a USB SD card converter, which was then plugged into a USB port on my laptop. See image above for reference.
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Before We Start
In order to get accurate results, I performed each transfer three times, then averaged the three times together. Also, Windows 7 has some sort of caching abilities. In order to bypass caching, I unplugged the GoPro or SD card from the PC before each test. Doing this cleared the cache, and removed any inaccuracies. The video file size used in this testing was 145MB. My Motorola XOOM was used as the timer with the Stopwatch and Timer app. The timer was started as soon as I let go of the mouse, and the timer was stopped as soon as the transfer box on my PC disappeared.
From the above results, we can see that the quickest way of getting videos off of your GoPro SD card is to use the SD card adapter and plug it directly to your PCs SD card reader. The average duration for the SD card adapter method was 8.27 seconds. If you do not have an SD card reader on your PC, you would have to use the SD card adapter to USB adapter method plugged into your PCs USB port. This method produced an average transfer duration of 8.93 seconds. The slowest method of getting video files from your GoPro is to use the USB direct attach to your PC USB port. The average transfer duration was 16.17 seconds! My guess is that most GoPro users are transferring their files using this method; it is the most convenient. To cut your transfer times in half, you may want to purchase an SD card adapter for the GoPro’s Micro SD card and a USB SD card reader. These two adapters will set you back about $5.44 on Amazon.
During each test, I took a glance at the transfer speed. The fastest method (SD card plugged into SD slot) transferred at a rate anywhere between 21MB/s and 26MB/s. The second fastest method (SD card adapter with USB SD card reader plugged into USB port) transferred data at a rate between 19MB/s and 21.6MB/s. The slowest method (USB directly from GoPro to USB port) transferred the video file at a rate anywhere from 10.1MB/s and 12MB/s.
I hope you found this quick little test helpful. Let us know which method are you currently using?
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