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Panasonic's PCD35 5 card P2 reader is fast! (Benchmarks included...)

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Helmut Kobler
Panasonic's PCD35 5 card P2 reader is fast! (Benchmarks included...)
on Jul 24, 2009 at 8:13:47 pm

For those with a 5 card P2 reader, or considering getting one, I had the chance to benchmark Panasonic's older PCD20 reader vs the newer PCD35. All I can say is: what a difference, the PCD35 is well worth it if you do a lot of P2 offloading!!

The PCD20 can connect to your computer via a USB2 or FW800 connection, but for some reason, produces roughly the same transfer times regardless of the interface you use (at least on the Mac, and a Panasonic rep also confirmed this with me). But the PCD35 attaches via a PCIe card, which gives it far faster transfer rates---about 5 times as fast as the PCD20.

Here are some benchmarks transferring the same full 32GB E series card to a Sonnet 8 drive SAS Raid (using an ATTO r380 card for the raid hookup), a 2 drive RAID 0, and a FireWire 800 hard drive on the Mac. All tests using Shotput 2.02 (beta):

PCD20 via USB2 to SAS RAID = 21.1 minutes (1266 seconds)
PCD20 via FW800 to SAS RAID = 19.4 minutes (1163 seconds)
PCD20 via USB2 to a Firewire 800 hard drive (instead of the SAS RAID) = 28.1 minutes (1688 secs).

PCD35 via PCIe cable to SAS RAID = 4 minutes (240 seconds)
PCD35 via PCIe cable to a 2 drive RAID 0 (made in Disk Utility): 5.1 minutes


Wow! As you can see, the PCD35 is about 5 times as fast as the PCD20 in copying a single 32GB card. Imagine the time savings when transferring 5 full 64GB cards at the end of the day! A prelim test I did with 5 full 32GB E series cards had the transfer taking less than 30 minutes for all 5 cards!

The PCD35 is only about $100 more expensive than the PCD20. The only drawback is that you have to use up a PCIe slot in your computer to accommodate the reader's interface card. That created a little complication for me with a 2009 Mac Pro, because I had 3 available card slots (after the Mac's video card was installed ), and needed to fit the PCD35 card, a Raid card, an LTO4 card, and a card for video monitoring....ie, I had too many cards, not enough slots! I ended up going with the Sonnet DX800 Raid which runs off an ATTO R380 card....I hook the Raid up to one of the Atto's two SAS ports, and my LTO4 drive up to the R380's second SAS port, combining LTO4 and a RAID on one card (and still get read/write speeds upwards of 500MBps from the Raid, and max transfer speeds from the Raid to the LTO4 drive).

Also, Panasonic doesn't sell a laptop connector for the PCD35, but a rep told me that you might be able to use the Matrox MXO2's connector card, since it uses the same cable as the PCD35.

Anyway, if your main machine is a desktop machine, I would heartily recommend the PCD35....


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Jeff Regan
Re: Panasonic's PCD35 5 card P2 reader is fast! (Benchmarks included...)
on Jul 26, 2009 at 1:20:26 am

That is lightning fast! Thank you for doing those tests. Who says P2 cameras aren't a good choice for documentary work?

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
http://www.ssv.com


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Noah Kadner
Re: Panasonic's PCD35 5 card P2 reader is fast! (Benchmarks included...)
on Jul 26, 2009 at 6:00:25 pm

Wish they would just lower the prices on those readers already so we could stop trying to save so many botched Duel Adapter projects...

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!. Unlock the secrets of the 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio.
Now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, and Panasonic DVX100.
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Eric Harnden
Re: Panasonic's PCD35 5 card P2 reader is fast! (Benchmarks included...)
on Nov 14, 2009 at 2:13:26 am

"Wish they would just lower the prices on those readers already so we could stop trying to save so many botched Duel Adapter projects..."

Exactly!


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Matt Gerard
Re: Panasonic's PCD35 5 card P2 reader is fast! (Benchmarks included...)
on Dec 21, 2009 at 7:17:19 pm

And where do you buy extra PCIe adapter cards? I have a 35, and I love it, but I hate it when I'm on a different machine from where the card is installed!!

Any ideas?

Matt

Its more fun to ride a slow motorcycle fast than a fast motorcycle slow...


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