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Decent card, but check out competition
on 11 April 2014
I recently purchased some SDHC cards (all 32GB, Class 10, UHS-1) from Amazon and opted to go for different brands rather than put all my eggs in one basket. Having read various posts about counterfeit/hacked cards on the market, I've decided to start testing any new cards I get before using them in my camera. To do that, I use H2testw (vers. 1.4) available directly from http://www.heise.de/download/h2testw.html
My test set up is an Integral USB 3.0 Super Speed Card Reader, connected via an Inateck 4-port USB 3.0 hub to my PC on a USB port. The system motherboard is a P8H61-M LE/USB3 with an Intel H61 chipset. My system is on the slow side, there are faster card readers out there and connecting via the USB hub is not optimal either, so the card speed figures have to be considered in light of that. In short, the cards are some degree faster than my tests can show, but in practical terms results are also going to vary widely depending on which equipment you use them for.
The H2testw app fills the cards with a series of identical files approximately 1GB in size during which the write speed of the card is measured, and then verifies the file integrity during which the read speed is gauged. All of the cards filled without problem and the results are below (MB = Megabytes): -
Transcend ‘Ultimate 600x’ (£16-17)
Available space on card 29.9GB
Write: 23.9 MB/s, 21mins 22secs
Read: 77.3 MB/s, 6 mins 35 secs
Note: only SDHC card I have ever bought which does not come with its own little storage case.
Access to Transcend ‘RecoveRx’ image retrieval software download.
Integral ‘UltimaPro’ (£16)
Available space on card 29.5GB
Write: 17.9 MB/s, 28mins 9secs
Read: 77.4 MB/s, 6mins 30secs
Integral ‘UltimaPro X’ (£31-32)
Available space on card 29.6GB
Write: 36.4 MB/s, 13mins 55secs
Read: 77.9 MB/s, 6mins 30secs
Lexar ‘Pro 400x’ (£20-21)
Available space on card 29.8GB
Write: 27.9 MB/s, 18mins 13secs
Read: 64.1 MB/s, 7mins 56secs
Access to Lexar ‘Image Rescue 4’ software download with password provided in packaging.
Note: in a test I read elsewhere (UK Hardware), the Lexar Pro 400x cards were just as fast at 5MB and 10GB file writing and reading as their Pro 600x versions. Given the price difference between the two, the choice should be obvious but it would be interesting to see if 600x version users have any further info to offer on both cards.
All the above cards easily met or exceeded their 'guaranteed' Class 10 and provide the expected capacity, so I am happy that I have not fallen foul of fake/counterfeit items. In comparing them, I am more interested in the write speeds personally, and looking at the results it seems that price differences between them are pretty much based on that factor. The Transcend comes out best in terms of £-write speed ratio with the Lexar coming close behind it. It's difficult not to view the Transcend as the obvious bargain but everyone has their own preferences for brands. In my case I've always been quite keen on the performance and reliability of Micron products (Lexar, Crucial) so I'm happy to pay the extra and I ordered two of the Lexar 400x cards. On my set up the Integral UltimaPro fared worst on write speeds, but showed strong read speed figures, so judge it according to your own needs. In terms of value, the Transcend offers more bang-for-bucks, though.
If I find the time I'd be interested to run more tests with specific focus on how the cards actually perform in my Lumix G6. Any comments or pointers greatly welcome.