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Upgrade DKS3 to USB 3.0 Card Reader?


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Ah well, looks like I might be the first to try! I've just received a 4 port USB 3.0 PCI-e card which I'm planning to put in the bottom most slot of the motherboard. I've got a SanDisk USB 3.0 imagemate on the way, so hopefully next week I'll be able to install it and try. I'm curious to see whether the time to load the images improves or not. If the limiting factor is the card reader, then it should be improved, but if the limiting factor is the processing of the images, then maybe not.

Watch this space!

Cheers

Ray

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Hi Pskaro,

Really appreciate you taking the time to respond and thanks for the interesting links. I use the DKS3 as a pro photographer rather than a typical retail minilab, and all of my cards are CF either 30MBs or my more recent cards are UDMA, so I should be able to run some worthwhile tests on the throughput. Certainly when the CF cards improved from 15MB/s to 30MB/s we saw a significant change in the order processing speed, but the change to UDMA was not as noticeable as I had expected. Hence the thought to try USB 3.0 as it is a relatively simple and cheap upgrade.

I have a feeling that the DKS software and the PC Processor will be the ultimate limiting factor in how fast the order starts to print. When the user clicks the "Send Print" button USB3.0 might read faster from the card but possibly we will still be limited by the PC not being able to process the images as fast as they are read from the card. The reason it is of interest to me is that in a typical working day, I will give the machine a folder of say 250-300 images about 8 times during the day, so I'd like to reduce the time from "send print" to the actual start of printing.

Given the PCs in the early DKS3 are now 6 years old, I would consider replacing the Dell GX620 with something faster but I'm not sure what the compatibility issues would be with the hardware.

Cheers

Ray

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OK, so far:

Fitted the PCI-e card and now have 4 x USB3.0 ports on the Dell GX620. Logged on as admin, added the drivers for XP from the Cd supplied with the card. All straightforward. While in admin, deleted all the contents of sortie_archive and defragmented the D: partition.

Added the SanDisk USB 3.0 alongside the USB 2.0 reader, windows recognised four new drives no problem.

Booted DKS software and added the four new drives to the USB input.

For the test, used a 30Mb/s SanDisk card (fastest non UDMA card I have), containing 3.8GB of data, 1380 files in 8 folders.

Test 1: did a simple copy and paste from the card to D: in windows explorer. USB 2.0 took 308 seconds, USB 3.0 120 seconds. At this point, it looks like USB 3.0 maxed out the capability of the cards data transfer rate.

Test 2: The bit I really wanted to know, did it improve the workflow? Answer no. Using a folder with 250 images it took 54 seconds from "Send Print" to process the order using both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0. I've used both USB3.0 and USB 2.0 readers for a complete days work, and have to say there is no difference in order processing at all.

Conclusion: adding USB3.0 is worthwhile for backing up to external drives etc, but offers no improvement to workflow.

I did ask the factory some time ago about upgrading the memory and/or hard drive and was told that the 2GB memory fitted to the Dell was sufficient, because the software processes the images serially, and would not use more memory even if it was available. Similarly, the hard drive at SATA150 is still faster than the processing throughput of the images. i.e the real bottleneck in all of this is the software and PC Processor, as clearly USB2.0 and a card with a DTR of 30MB/s seems to hit the limit. Next time I have the PC out I might try putting in another pair of memory chips to see if anything improves at 4GB but it looks like a faster PC is the only way to get workflow times to improve.

Cheers

Ray

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I have a DKS1510 and most of today customers bring me 12 Mp

photos, too high for 4x6 prints they use to do, but I'm tired to

explain them that they don't get more quality for more megapixels,

and DKS print time is slower with 12 Mp with little compression.

So with a very simple software I reduce to 3 Mp all DKS orders

with too high resolution to print. I don't spend much time doing

it and DKS does its job in the right way.

I use "Light Image Resizer", I drag and drop files from "Sortie_print"

folder over it and in seconds I have files reduced.

Studio01

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Bon dia Studio01. That is a good solution when you are queuing jobs for printing. You're right that oversise image files slow everything down. I've often used my laptop to resize the images the correct size for the print, and then printed from laptop as a network drive. No question that is the way the DKS works fastest.

The problem I'm trying to improve here is a single order with a large number of images, with nothing in the print queue In my situation, the card comes straight from the camera to the printer, and resizing the images prior to printing is still slower than just letting the DKS read the card and process the larger files.

Salut

Ray

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