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Silicon Power SDHC Class 10 (16GB)

Memory Cards, Part 2: SDHC Cards From 8GB To 16GB
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Our next card is Silicon Power’s 16GB Class 10 SDHC. Like Samsung's card, the Silicon Power product is also backed by a lifetime warranty, but the manufacturer is more specific with technical details.

There is a specified operating range of -25°C to 85°C and up to 95% humidity. You can also opt for Class 2, Class 4, or Class 6 versions of the card, but the Class 10 model definitely is the fastest. Also, 4, 8, and 16 gigabyte capacities are available.

We measured read performance between 18.3 and 19.7 MB/s and sequential writes between 10.2 and 18.7 MB/s. SanDisk and Transcend provide a bit more performance, but they cost more. Compared to other vendors, the roughly $100 price point for the 16GB model appears on-target .

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  • 1 Hide
    jsowoc , April 23, 2010 6:45 AM
    I see I'm not the only one who tried booting an OS off the SD card in my camera :-).

    If I have write access times in the 100s of ms, doesn't that seriously impact how fast I can take photos? Some cameras can take 5 fps, so if I'm waiting 700ms for each photo to start writing, isn't that really bad?
  • 3 Hide
    Sihastru , April 23, 2010 8:39 AM
    @jsowoc: Not really, because the "burst" capture sequence uses the camera's cache memory, that will later dump it to the SD card. When the cache fills (usually very quickly) the camera's "burst" rate will decrease considerably, until you allow it to clear it's cache.

    @TH: I don't doubt the quality and speed of SanDisk's products, but is there any posibility that the SanDisk branded card reader is "optimised" for SanDisk memory cards, and give better results for SanDisk-SanDisk combinations then any other combination?
  • 0 Hide
    ArgleBargle , April 23, 2010 11:35 AM
    I have an independent film (video) company, and our camera uses two SD cards (it seamlessly records to the second when the first is full). The only card I have been able to find that can "keep up" and capture the footage in hi-def is the Sandisk III Extreme (30 Mb/s rated).
  • 0 Hide
    nukemaster , April 23, 2010 2:25 PM
    jsowocI see I'm not the only one who tried booting an OS off the SD card in my camera :-).If I have write access times in the 100s of ms, doesn't that seriously impact how fast I can take photos? Some cameras can take 5 fps, so if I'm waiting 700ms for each photo to start writing, isn't that really bad?

    Most Cameras that have a burst rate also have a built in cache memory for that so it can take pictures then it transfers to the card(may even be able to take more while sending the other pictures to the card). It helps to offset it a bit. Not saying you do not want the fastest card you can get your hands on. you still do.
  • 0 Hide
    konjiki7 , April 23, 2010 3:20 PM
    The Patriod Lx series is missing.... They have 8gb -32gb sd cards...
  • 0 Hide
    konjiki7 , April 23, 2010 3:22 PM
    konjiki7The Patriod Lx series is missing.... They have 8gb -32gb sd cards...

    *Patriot LX*
  • 0 Hide
    asalari , April 24, 2010 1:54 PM
    @TH I'm disappointed 2 things..
    1 - No coverage of ATP or A-DATA which seem to be fairly fast (I find both faster than Sandisk Class 6 at least).
    2 - No testing/benchmarks on Wear leveling, error rates, and recoverability. Many Pro Photographers swear by Sandisk & ATP because of their reliability, and recoverability with the unthinkable happens. Personal experience has taught me to avoid Lexar and Kingston

    @sihastru, Even if the Sandisk Readers are optimized for Sandisk, I've fond them the most Reliable and consistent readers. They support ALL makes of cards, and even better than the Manufacturer's Own readers in many cases.
  • 1 Hide
    matthelm , April 24, 2010 4:03 PM
    Did you guys forget to check power usage?
  • 1 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , April 25, 2010 12:28 AM
    Interesting article. Will SDHC ever catch up to CompactFlash?
  • 0 Hide
    cemetbook , April 25, 2010 4:42 PM
    i bought my 8 gb SD card for $50 for my camera, damm its expensive...interesting article mate..
  • 0 Hide
    g00ey , April 26, 2010 3:31 PM
    I'm really waiting for a cell phone with Andriod, Maemo or Meego that has a full-fledged SDXC slot. It's amazing that cell phones and portable media players have existed for over 10 years and we still don't have more than 32G memory in them.
  • 0 Hide
    TheGreatGrapeApe , April 28, 2010 4:25 PM
    Got my two SanDisk Etreme-III 16GB card for $69 CAD each, and that was before Xmas. Now I use one in my T91MT Tablet for add-on storage, more than zippy enough for everything not system based no lag for movies or anything.

    For most cameras something class 6 or even slow Class10 is fine specially with a good local buffer, but for file transfer to the computer afterwards or for use in other situations like direct PC storage, I find the ExIII (30MB/s model) cards to be the only choice. ATP are fine (preferred their MMCplus cards since they were one of the few that sold them) but aren't as fast from my experience but close, and A-Data are more like the UltraII speeds (so likely closer to the Lexar Pro in this test).

    Can't wait for SDXC to become more ubiquitous.
  • 0 Hide
    TheGreatGrapeApe , April 28, 2010 5:28 PM
    Quote:
    Interesting article. Will SDHC ever catch up to CompactFlash?


    No, can't within spec (40MB/s on standard CF and 60+ on UDMA) but SDXC will catch and surpass CF.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 30, 2010 2:20 AM
    The fact that only certain card readers can handle speeds above 20 MB/sec as stated in the article makes me wonder about the controllers in most cameras. For your typical entry level DSLR (or even a high end one that uses SD), are the controllers fast enough to read or write from/to something like the Sandisk card that can hit consistently manage speeds above 20 MB/sec in both directions?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 1, 2010 7:26 AM
    Great article, just what I was looking for...

    *goes off to buy Sandisk card*
  • 0 Hide
    hellwig , May 3, 2010 8:10 PM
    That Sandisk and Lexar might be fast enough for a OS disk, but wouldn't CF be a better solution for someone in the market? CF can plug near-directly into an IDE port if necessary, and there are plenty of USB readers if that's the way you want to go.

    Besides some high-end camera where $400 for an SD card pales in comparison to the $thousands you spent on the device itself, how are these cards practical? And do they even make cameras like that that don't use CF or internal HDDs?

    I guess I'm surprised this article wasn't on Tom's Guide instead of Tom's Hardware.
  • 0 Hide
    g00ey , September 4, 2010 6:24 PM
    TheGreatGrapeApeNo, can't within spec (40MB/s on standard CF and 60+ on UDMA) but SDXC will catch and surpass CF.


    Unfortunately SD will never surpass the CompactFlash. CF will always have the upper hand since it is based on the PATA specification and therefore offers a high level of expandability. It is actually a derivative of the PCMCIA interface. The latest CF5.0 specification has a storage limit of 128 PetaByte compared to the SDXC that can only take up to 2 TB due to addressing limitations.

    Also fathom that SD cards are smaller than CF cards and can therefore not fit as much hardware as a CF card, so therefore no matter how much capacity an SD card will have, a CF card will always be bigger.

    Sure, one day SD may surpass today's CF cards in terms of speed but when that day comes newer generations of CompactFlash will implement a SATA based interface which is faster than PATA. There is already a variant available known as CFast which is built upon the SATAII spec. PCMCIA has evolved into the ExpressCard which makes it likely that a similar implementation will reach future generations of CF.