- 2011-11-08 - Renice Industrial Level CompactFlash
I just realized that I did not perform any CompactFlash tests
for two years. No wonder that I had a hard time to find
the devices, cables and adapters, remember
the necessary test procedure steps
and how to prepare the test results.
The reason was that I got the chance to test three different
CompactFlash cards from
» Renice Technology .
The benchmark results for direct read/write are available,
and the summary is added to the
UDMA CF Tests .
The results for the SLC cards of 96-98MB/s read
and 91MB/s write
are very impressive, and prove that
at least the ExpressCard CF adapter is able to keep up with
current UDMA-6 cards. More information how the other
ways of accessing the cards behaved follows some time later...
- 2011-03-31 - Links to Special Pages
After a very long time, I finally managed to set up a
page with links to various
Special Pages .
The page is available through the section heading "Specials"
in the menu.
A few of the entries still have a menu entry below the heading,
some had a menu entry once,
and others were just linked from a news entry.
At the same time, I almost completed the
MS PRO-HG Cross-Comparison ,
the 8GB PRO-HG HX is currently in use, and the missing three
test runs will be completed some time later...
- 2011-03-10 - Memory Stick PRO-HG Update
Some time ago, I got the
SanDisk Ultra Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo 32GB
for movie recording with my SONY DSC-TX7.
Ultra is not exactly the speed type I would buy, but I knew
that the SONY HX models are not that fast either.
After the price dropped at least a little bit, I also got a
SONY Memory Stick PRO-HG HX Duo 32GB.
The read rate is almost as fast as with the SanDisk model,
SONY 38.7MB/s versus SanDisk 40.2MB/s, but the write rate
stays well behind the SanDisk model,
SONY 18.8MB/s versus SanDisk 31.9MB/s.
SONY seems to have moved the production to Korea, all
previous models were labeled "Made in Japan",
while the new card is labeled "Made in Korea",
and the product code is "MS-HX32A//K".
The Benchmark results are now available for the
32GB SanDisk Ultra (SDMSPDH-032G)
32GB SONY PRO-HG HX (MS-HX32G) ,
Memory Stick PRO-HG Page
Regular test results can be seen on the
Memory Stick PRO-HG Cross-Comparison ,
is still the only reader that can make use of the
full speed of the cards.
In addition to the previous
Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo reader, the
combines 8-bit PRO-HG and UHS SDHX/SDXC into one small
USB 2.0 card reader stick - unfortunately with some compatibility issues
among the UHS cards.
Why the current cards don't make use of the full speed of the
Memory Stick PRO-HG standard, about 52MB/s real-world rate,
remains a mystery. But if we ever happen to see
64GB Memory Stick XC-HG cards, transfer rates of at least 50MB/s
would be appropriate.
- 2011-03-03 - SONY MRW-F3: MS PRO-HG and SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS USB 2.0 Card Reader Stick
The SONY MRW-F3 is a
USB 2.0 single-slot Memory Stick PRO-HG and SDXC/SDHC/SD
card reader stick with support for
8-bit Memory Stick PRO-HG / XC-HG
and UHS-I SDHC / SDXC. It's a bit strange that
SONY seems to be the first "big" company
to release a card reader
supporting the higher speed of UHS SD over USB 2.0.
That's another step away from the own Memory Stick format
towards the more popular SD card format.
The card reader uses a Realtek RTS5187 controller configured
for Dual-LUN with the first drive for SD, the second drive for MS.
Unfortunately, the controller does not detect the
Panasonic UHS SDHC card. The Toshiba UHS SDXC works fine,
and the transfer rate is at 33MB/s read,
more or less the best you can get with USB 2.0 card readers.
I can't tell much about the SanDisk UHS SDHC, because the card turned
into a read only memory card. The data that can be read from the card
does not give a hint about what went wrong. That's the huge
downside of the move from MS towards SD: Less stability and reliabilty,
more compatibility issues - more popular not
necessarily means better!
SONY MRW-F3 Test Results
- 2011-02-23 - DeLock 61837 ExpressCard SDXC, Realtek RTS5209 Controller
Actually, I wanted to get a "retail"
ExpressCard SDXC adapter in addition to my JMicron sample board.
But it turned out that the
DeLock 61837 Express/34 SDXC Adapter
uses a different controller, the
So much for the good news, the bad news is
that the adapter does not recognize the
SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC UHS-I 32GB card.
Currently, the DeLock support has no other solution than
suggesting to return the card to the dealer.
In the meantime, I created a special
comparison page to show the difference between
SD High Speed, UHS and the limited use of the
SanDisk 30MB/s interface mode, that I will call "HS+"
for better reference.
- 2011-02-16 - Panasonic GOLD UHS-I SDHC 8GB
To have a set of UHS cards from each of the "SD Group"
members (Panasonic, SanDisk, Toshiba), I added the
Panasonic GOLD UHS-I SDHC 8GB (RP-SDY-08G)
to my test pool.
The results from the
Direct Read/Write Tests
with the JMicron JMB389 based ExpressCard adapter showed
71.18MB/s (485x) read and
18.73MB/s (127x) write.
If I had carefully read all the text on the backside of the package first,
the write rate would not have been such a bad surprise: The fine print
already mentions a write rate of 18MB/s. However, the actual
read rate of 71MB/s is almost 20% higher than claimed.
- 2011-02-12 - SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC UHS-I 32GB
Only three weeks after the announcement, the
SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC UHS-I 32GB
(SDSDXP1-032G) is already available at retailers.
I had to remove my first test results, because
of a non-default setting in the driver,
where the controller did not use the mode
reported by the card. It looks
like the card only reports UHS50 mode available, where
the transfer rate is limited to the advertized 45MB/s 300X.
The results from the
Direct Read/Write Tests
with the JMicron JMB389 based ExpressCard adapter
at default settings showed
45.48MB/s (310x) read and
44.13MB/s (301x) write.
- 2011-02-07 - First Regular SDXC Test Result
The first regular test result with the
and the integral/Toshiba SDXC is now available:
60.64MB/s read (413.9×) and
37.97MB/s write (259.2×).
The write result is higher than announced, because there was
too much CPU load during the pre-test. Compared to the
direct write rate, this gives a write efficiency of
98.7% through the filesystem.
- 2011-02-05 - First SDXC Tests
The first 64GB UHS SDXC card to break the 200 Euro mark was the
integral ultimaPRO SDXC 64GB (INSDXG64G10RU1).
As special bonus, a very small Realtek based
SDXC compliant USB 2.0 SD/microSD reader is included.
The card turned out to be a Toshiba THNSU064G AA2BC.
The results from the
Direct Read/Write Tests
are already available. The card has an average read rate
of 60.8MB/s and an average write rate of
38.4MB/s in binary calculation, where the write rate
exceeds the advertized value by 10%.
The card comes pre-formatted with an exFAT filesystem
of 128kB cluster size (256 sectors per cluster) and
offers 59.8GB user space. The overhead for SD compliant
partitioning and filesystem is 32.5MB. Please note
that by default, exFAT uses only one FAT. Together with
the large cluster size and the allocation bitmap,
the actual average sustained write rate with filesystem
involved is about 36MB/s, only slightly below the best rate.
Quick tests with current and older non-SDXC SDHC readers
showed that many (maybe most) SDHC readers will mount the
SDXC card. One of the checked readers mounted the media with
32GB less the actual size, i.e. the size modulo 32GB.
Actually, non-SDXC readers should not mount the card,
but it looks like the chaos lives on. I suggest
that SD cards should be renamed to "NBT"
cards, for "nothing but trouble"...
- 2011-01-21 - SD 3.0 seems to take up speed...
Now, two years after the announcement of SD 3.0 and UHS-I,
the market finally seems to take up some speed. More and more UHS enabled
cards hit the market, although many might be re-labeled Toshiba cards.
So don't forget to visit the
SD 3.00 page
from time to time.
- 2011-01-19 - SanDisk joins the UHS Club
SanDisk finally announced their first UHS cards, the
» SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC
with 8GB (SDSDXP1-008G), 16GB (SDSDXP1-016G)
and 32GB (SDSDXP1-032G) cards.
The claimed transfer rate is 45MB/s read and write,
only half the rate of the Extreme Pro CompactFlash cards.
This could be due to the fact that they can only fit
half as many flash modules inside the SD jacket.
At the same time, the
» SanDisk Extreme Pro ExpressCard 34 Adapter
with support for SDHC and SDXC UHS-I cards
The adapter most likely uses the JMicron JMB389 controller,
and seems to be the first retail product with UHS support.
- 2011-01-13 - The Need for Speed!
Lexar just announced the first 128GB SDXC card, but
the interface seems to be "High Speed" only.
This means that downloading a full card would take
at least 90 minutes!
More than one year after the launch of SD 3.00,
there are still very few faster SD cards available.
An actual speed of 22MB/s of currently 100MB/s possible,
and the speed roadmap aiming at 600MB/s ist just ridiculous.
The situation with CompactFlash is completely different:
Only one month after the announcement of CF 6.0
and UDMA-7, SanDisk announced the
SanDisk Extreme Pro UDMA-7 128GB CF card.
This card could be downloaded in 22 minutes or less.
As a rule of thumb: If you want to copy a media in
reasonable time, it should support at least
1MB/s per 1GB of size.
- 2010-12-13 - Card Pricing Information
It's time for another update regarding the card pricing.
- The SanDisk Extreme Pro cards still keep their high price:
16GB at about 140 Euro, 32GB at about 240 Euro, and
64GB at about 460 Euro.
The are still no 128GB CF cards announced.
- There was a significant price drop during the last four months,
the current range for 64Gb SDXC is from 105 Euro to
360 Euro, but cards of decent speed are still at 300 Euro or more.
The 32GB Transcend Class 10 SDHC is at about 46 Euro, the lower
end of the 64GB SDCX price range comes close to twice the 32GB price.
- Memory Stick
- Memory Stick PRO-HG are at
about 120 Euro for the 32GB SanDisk Ultra and
about 100 Euro for the 32GB SONY PRO-HG HX.
The non-HG 32GB models are at about 90 Euro.
There are still no 64GB Memory Stick XC announced.
Together with the big price gap between SDHC and Memory Stick Pro-HG,
the future of the Memory Stick standard does not look very bright.
- 2010-12-06 - CompactFlash 6.0 Summary
The CompactFlash Association continues to work on the
previously abandoned CompactFlash standard. This time,
the major update is an additional UDMA mode,
increasing the theoretical data rate from
133M to 166M in decimal calculation.
Based on these figures, a timing
of 24ns is used. The new UDMA-7 mode
allows a theoretical limit of 158.9MB/s in binary calculation,
equivalent to 1085x.
- 2010-08-17 - Quick Update
I'm still trying to keep the most important pages up to date,
but usually have no time to mention each update here.
UDMA CF :
Most manufacturers offer cards rated from 533x to 675x.
The SanDisk Extreme Pro are probably the fastest cards,
but I don't want to spend more money right now.
The market introduction of SDXC is developing a lot
slower than already expected slow. The prices for 64GB SDXC vary
from 180 Euro to 450 Euro, where I still
wait for a card of decent speed at acceptable price.
- Other cards: Although SONY released the
Memory Stick XC specification, I'm not sure whether we
will see such cards. With the recent SONY cameras having
MS/SD combo slots, the Memory Stick standard might
be fading away. The xD-Picture Card standard is already almost
as dead as SmartMedia.
Card Readers :
It is not sure whether we will see (m)any USB 3.0
card readers this year. To fill the gap,
have released a USB 2.0
card reader with SDXC and MS-XC support:
Digisol 65 in 1 IT1345E .
have released the first eSATA multi card reader with full
CompuApps eSATA Kiosk Flash Media Reader .
More test results for the two readers will be added step
by step, but this will become a slow process.
offer the fastest way to access SDXC cards: The
is a PCIe x1 multi card reader controller with full support
for SD 3.00 UHS-I speed. However, I can't tell if there
are already retail products available using this controller.
- 2010-02-26 - CompactFlash 5.0 Summary
With CF 5.0, the CompactFlash Association finally included
48-bit LBA in their standard, to allow media sizes
of more than 128GB. Another benefit is
the increased transfer block size of up to 32MB.
By including ATA Trim commands, CF cards could become
fully featured SSDs. The Video Performance Guarantee
with three targets of 10MB/s (HD), 20MB/s (Pro) and
75MB/s (4k) allows the use for true professional video
Now there are only two faster transfer modes missing
to keep CF cards future-proof.
- 2010-02-06 - SONY Cyber-shot DSC-TX7 - SONY goes SD
Yesterday I could pick up my
SONY Cyber-shot DSC-TX7
that I pre-ordered right after the press release.
The camera can work with
Memory Stick Duo / PRO Duo / PRO-HG Duo,
as well as
cards. There is definitely not enough room
to use two separate slots, so I was curious to see how the
dual media snap-in/snap-out slot would work. With MS Duo and SD cards
having the pads at the same depth, this is tricky:
The cards are inserted in opposite orientation, Memory Stick Duo
with the pads towards the front side of the camera,
SD cards with the pads towards the back of the camera.
The wider SD cards release a guiding frame for MS Duo,
pushing it towards the end of the slot. It looks like the extra space
was taken from the battery space, so now I have three different
T Series cameras (one of them retired)
using three different batteries.
- 2010-01-20 - More Fast CompactFlash Card Series
In the meantime, most card and label manufacturers
have new CompactFlash series with ratings from 400x to 675x.
It will take some time to update the
List of Current UDMA CF .
Note: 888x would be the highest acceptable rating,
the theoretical limit would be 868x with exact calculations.
However, I would not trust any rating above 800x.
- 2010-01-18 - SDXC and SD 3.00
With the actual launch of SDXC and SD 3.00, the
SDXC / SD 3.00
page now replaces the former
menu item. The old page can still be reached through a link
on the new page. Please note: Almost all pages can be reached
within only one or two clicks from the menu!
- 2010-01-12 - Welcome to the Year 2010!
A short summary on upcoming things and events...
Please note that I decided to spend more money in
cameras and lenses, and less time and money in
memory cards and card readers.
But stay tuned, this will most likely remain the
only place with reliable information and proper test
- USB 3.0: Host controllers are available,
and seem to work fine. The eSATA and FireWire killer
- CFast: A few cards were already available last year.
The question is, whether a camera manufacturer will be brave
enough to add an additional CFast slot to one of the professional
camera models. Unfortunately, CFast and CompactFlash can't be
used in one shared slot.
- Secure Digital: The SD Association is still busy
creating compatibility issues. While the first SDXC cards
of 48GB and 64GB are supposed to hit the market, the
next standard will be published soon.
- Memory Stick: SONY renamed their "Expanded"
standard to "XC", replacing the term "PRO".
There are no cards announced, yet.
- Filesystems: SDXC and Memory Stick XC with
media sizes of more than 32GB are supposed to use the exFAT
Some people think that FAT32 has a limit of 32GB, but this is not
true. FAT32 supports up to 2TB, the only limitation is
the file size of less than 4GB.