2021 MacBook Pro Models’ SD Card Reader Do Not Support the Latest and Faster UHS-III or SD Express Standard

Omar Sohail
2021 MacBook Pro Models’ SD Card Reader Do Not Support the Latest UHS-III or SD Express Standard

Apple did not specify the SD card reader’s data transfer speeds on the 2021 MacBook Pro. While creative professionals and content creators will breathe a sigh of relief that this addition is present in the first place, it is also essential to find out how quickly you can transfer data between the SD card and the MacBook Pro. Sadly, none of the latest portable Macs support the UHS-III or SD Express standard, which may disappoint a ton of customers.

All 2021 MacBook Pro Models Support the UHS-II Standard, Which Tops out at 312MB/s

While it is strange that Apple did not list the SD card reader’s specifications for the 2021 MacBook Pro, all it takes is a little digging around, and we will have our answers. According to The Verge’s deputy editor Dan Seifert, both the 14.2-inch and 16.2-inch MacBook Pro models support the UHS-II standard, not the faster UHS-III or SD Express one. This means that data transfer speeds will top out at 312MB/s, which is still decent as you are getting near-SATA III SSD transfer speeds.

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However, keep in mind that to experience such transfer speeds, you will also have to purchase UHS-II SD cards and not the older ones. Sure, the 2021 MacBook Pro’s SD card reader is backwards compatible, but do not expect high data transfer speeds from them. It is a convenient little addition and prevents the need for extra dongles, but if you want to transfer a bunch a high capacity files in the shortest time possible, you will have to take advantage of those Thunderbolt 4 ports, which again, will require you to adopt the dongle life.

In case you forgot, the 2021 MacBook Pro models also support microSD cards, but to get them working, you will have to first fit them in an SD card adapter, then plug them in the reader. If you are still bummed out about seeing a slower UHS-II card reader on the latest MacBook Pro line, bear in mind that there are pricey Windows 10 laptops that continue to ship with just a UHS-I supported SD card reader, which can only reach transfer speeds of up to 100MB/s.

Then again, do you feel Apple should have added the faster UHS-III or SD Express card reader? Tell us down in the comments.

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