Past within the month we instructed you a couple of new SanDisk SDcard that offered the fastest speeds available. Those were some big words, and anytime we hear claims like that we have to try it for ourselves.
It just so happens that I’m the perfect test subject for this. I don’t use SD cards in my phones, so I have no bias or preconceived notions about any brand or products. I do use SD cards in my cameras, so I understand how important fast read, and more importantly fast write, speeds are for users.
So I pitted two pricey models and one budget model against each other, to see how things measured up in the real world. Armed with my trusty Nikon and a Samsung Galaxy S4, I put things to the test. Read through, and see how things worked out.
The benchmark tests
The cards used were a SanDisk 64GB Extreme (advertised as the fastest card in the world), a SanDisk 64GB Ultra (a high-end model that used to hold the speed record) and a class 4 budget SanDisk 32GB SDHC card I picked up from Amazon for $ 20. All three of the cards performed fine, and if you’re just looking for a card that will hold your files any of the three will satisfy. If you want the best speeds, well, there is a difference — though not as big of one as the advertisements would have you believe.
The cards were tested via a SanDisk microSD card to SD card adapter, inserted into the SD card slot on the front of my Windows desktop. I’m running Windows 7 Ultimate, on a six-core AMDFX-6350, with 16GB of RAM. The card reader is USB 2.0, and it’s pretty dusty. It’s not state of the art equipment, but it plays Diablo III pretty well. The cards were tested using CrystalDiskMark 3.0.2f, with four runs in a row. The results shown are from the fourth and final run for each.
SanDisk 32GB SDHC class 4 card
First up was the 32GB budget model. For most people, this card is just fine and checks in at a nice low price. It also performs “well enough” to use for file storage, but it lags well behind in the speed when compared to the others in this test. You notice that this card is slower when taking bursts of photos (see the next section titled Real-world use).
SanDisk 64GB “Ultra”
Again, casual users will find this card more than adequate. But we see remarkable improvement in the write speeds, especially during a sequential write. The increased write speed over the previous card is noticeable when transferring files, as well as taking photo bursts.
SanDisk 64GB “Extreme”
Wow. that’s a huge difference in the write speeds, and you definitely notice it when you use it. Copying songs or movies from your computer to your phone is noticeably faster than the other two models, and taking photos with burst mode enabled on my Nikon showed a huge speed increase when emptying the buffer and writing to the card. While I don’t see the crazy advertised write speeds, a lot of this is from the equipment I’m using to test. The simple fact is that the new Extreme series has double the write speed during a sequential write than the Ultra series has, and is almost four times faster than a cheap class 4 card from the same manufacturer.
Running benchmarks on a PC is fine and dandy, and can be a good measure of how the speed increases from one card to the next. But we’re an Android blog, and the speed tests we care about are the ones we can do on our Android devices. Using the same three cards, and the SD Tools app by Veluscek Ales installed on the Galaxy S4, we put each card to the test. Once again, we ran four tests in a row, and the results you’re seeing are for the fourth and final test.
SanDisk 32GB SDHC class 4 card
Respectable read speeds, but the write speed leaves a bit to be desired. If you’re not trying to squeeze every bit of performance out of your phone, you’ll think this is adequate. Until you transfer some files, that is. If you’re like me and prefer internal storage to SD cards, speeds like this are likely a big part of the reason why.
SanDisk 64Gb “Ultra”
This is a little better, but not quite as much of a jump in write speeds as we see on the PC. The SanDisk Ultra is labeled a class UH1 card, but in this particular test it performs only slightly better than the class 4 budget card. There’s still a noticeable difference when copying files to the device, but the increase in performance versus the cost is something to consider.
SanDisk 64Gb Extreme
Neatly good day there, Mr. Excessive. These speeds are significantly better than the earlier fashions, even the UH1 type SanDisk Extremely. It is sooner throughout when copying information to the SD card in your instrument, particularly from a pc. Understand that these assessments had been carried out with none setup, and my telephone has been on and working for just a few days. I merely ejected one card and inserted every other. The device is doing what the device is meant to do, and the velocity check was once working on the comparable time.
Numbers are superb, and a whole lot of folks like to peer them, however what truly issues is how these playing cards function when doing the belongings you typically do. I examined every of them for some time within the cellphone taking images and video, used them in my laptop for a bit of as a “scratch pressure” to carry bits and items I want to write weblog posts, and in my Nikon DSLR vai an adapter.
For probably the most phase, all three of the playing cards labored superb, however we are going to wreck it down a little bit bit.
The use of in a pc
When copying information to and from the SD card inserted in my laptop, it is straightforward to peer how so much sooner the SanDisk Excessive is that the opposite playing cards on this check. If you happen to clutch a folder filled with photos, notes, and different snippets the Excessive does a significantly better job with so much much less having a look on the Home windows file replica animation. No longer many individuals will use an SD card this manner, however it gave the look of one of the best ways to check the true-world efficiency in my pc. The identical distinction will also be considered when the use of the playing cards in a Mac, or on a pc or computer operating Linux. The bodily media of the Excessive is simply higher in the way in which that issues for sooner file reproduction. Sadly, there is not a number of distinction between the 64GB Extremely and the $ 20 category four card.
The usage of within the Galaxy S4
I in point of fact seen no distinction taking photos or capturing video. SD card pace issues, in fact, however i do not suppose commonplace use (full res photos during the S4 digital camera, and 1080p 30fps video) is in fact pushing the boundaries of even the slowest card in our assessments. All that goes out the window if you are working functions or a swap file from the SD card, however in customary day-these days use the one actual distinction you can discover is how a lot quicker the SanDisk Excessive is when copying recordsdata to the cardboard.
The usage of in a DSLR and Video digital camera
This was once the actually telling sequence of exams. Taking footage is a huge a part of my day-to-day work, and I’ve a workflow arrange simply the best way I adore it. I stroll over to my makeshift picture studio, snap as many footage as I feel I’m going to want, and regularly use burst mode to get them fast. Then I stay up for the digital camera to put in writing the reminiscence buffer to the SD card. When you’re underneath a cut-off date, that 10 seconds can really feel like an eternity. After the use of the SanDisk Excessive, I noticed it was once an eternity. My 10 seconds wait (I exploit the category four card in my digicam for day by day use) went right down to not up to 5 seconds from the time I let off the shutter button except the sunshine stopped flashing. Picture high quality used to be the identical between the three playing cards, however the velocity at which I might take the photographs in burst mode used to be an eye fixed-opening distinction.
in my video digital camera, I did not discover any distinction. I in most cases shoot in 1080p at 60 FPS, and the devoted type 10 Samsung card I exploit handles issues simply positive. The SanDisk is also sooner in benchmarks, however once more I do not assume we’re pushing the restrict simply but. You probably have a 4K digital camera, you could want the rate improve for higher high quality — I without a doubt discover a distinction when the usage of the identical category four card I take advantage of for stills in my video digicam.
I did not see the marketed ninety MB/s learn speeds or the 60 MB/s write speeds that SanDisk advertises. This will be my trying out tools (and a just right excuse to purchase a brand new pc) or perhaps their outcomes are carried out underneath pristine cases and don’t seem to be reflective of what you or I’d see.
Whereas this can be a bit disappointing, the Excessive collection actually is ready twice as quick because the Extremely collection in benchmarks, and actual-world use presentations a pleasant growth when the use of the sooner card. These of you that need to squeeze each drop of efficiency out of their hardware must imagine a SanDisk Excessive card, whereas the informal person can most likely forego the brought prices and use the Extremely collection. For the finances person who simply desires a spot to retailer their information, a budget classification four card has been dependable for the 12 months I’ve used it, and the associated fee is way more affordable.