Back in January we started looking at products from Lexar’s professional workflow line. The first item we examined was their excellent UR2 microSD reader. Following this and our earlier review of a rather impressive CF card from Freetail we have the CFR1 reader from lexar. We also requested a Lexar CF card to assist in evaluating this reader. Due to some schedule changes this reader has been used in reviewing FreeTail’s new 1066x and 800x cards already.

First Impressions

Lexar as with their other professional products makes an excellent first impression with packaging that lets you know this is a premium product. The CFR1 is packaged using heavy cardboard adorned with gold trim and features the product prominently on it’s front of box artwork. The back of the package has some performance information telling you that the reader is UDMA7 capable and utilizes USB 3.0 connectivity.

What is UDMA7

For a quick overview UDMA7 is the latest and quite possibly the last evolution of the interface compact flash cards utilize. It defines a maximum data rate of 166MB/s. It also defines a maximum card size by allowing the use of a 48 bit LBA of up to 128Pb although I highly doubt we’ll see those anytime soon. UDMA7 also added support for the TRIM command a feature i’m sure was welcome on embedded systems where CF cards are widely popular.

Testing the CFR1

As with the microSD card reader all tests were performed by a Thinkpad S1 yoga running windows 10. A Lexar Professional 1066x CompactFlash card was requested to use for evaluation of the CFR1 as well. IOmeter and Crystal disk mark will both be used in this test.

Crystal Disk Mark

Crystal disk mark is part of our standard suite for any memory devices. In this instance we’re not as much comparing the cards as we are looking at the limits of the card reader. Although none of the cards quite reaches the limit of the UDMA-7 interface with the lexar 1066x pushing 156.6 MB/s reads the reader is comfortably close. With FreeTail’s 1066x card coming so close to lexar’s this is an impressive showing by the newcomer as well.

IOmeter

Moving along to IOmeter we use all three cards again and see some surprising results. We focus on read speeds here as the primary application of a reader is to remove data from a card photos photo or video shoot. In an extended 5 minute test all three cards come in a bit lower than the short crystal disk mark test pattern. However at no point do we  see anything to make us question the efficacy of this reader.

Final thoughts

Although I wish lexar had used the space this reader takes up for a second card slot it is none the less impressive. Pulling data off cards nearly the interface limit is no small feat and speaks to lexar’s engineering. Integration with the rest of the Lexar Professional line is also a welcome perk. At 19.99 on amazon it’s an excellent value for anyone using compact flash.

Is this the reader to get? Did we completely miss something that you’re curious about with our testing? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, or Facebook. And don’t forget that you can support us on Patreon to help us continue to bring you high quality reviews as well as access to. early news and input on reviews to come.