How We Tested Them
To test the performance of each of the units, we assembled a variety of JPG files taken with our Canon PowerShot G2 camera. The pictures were taken in a variety of resolutions in order to mix up the file sizes being read and written to the flash card. This was a total number of 397 files with a total size of 254 MB.
In order to account for performance differences among flash cards, we selected two flash cards for use in our testing. The first was the Lexar 12X 256 MB CompactFlash Card, Lexar Part Number 2174 Revision A, and the second was the Crucial/Micron 256 MB CompactFlash Card, Crucial Part Number CT256 MBC1. We selected these two cards at random, not based any previous performance testing.
We first recloned the system with a fresh Windows XP image. We then installed the drive for testing. Once the drive was installed, we made sure that all caching options for the drive were disabled. We then did a fresh long format of the Lexar test card. Next, we copied our test files to the card using script and timed the results until the write was completed. Then, we copied all of the files from the test card back to the hard drive. After these tests were completed, we repeated the identical process, this time using the Crucial/Micron test card. We repeated this process three times, looking for any possible differences among the results. Once we were sure that the results were consistent, we assigned a read and write score in minutes and seconds to the unit for both the Lexar and Crucial/Micron test cards.
After we were done with the unit, and we obtained the scores that we needed, we again recloned the system and began the identical process yet again. Each unit was tested with a fresh load of the system, and all devices were connected to our Adaptec DuoConnect AUA-3121 on the same USB or FireWire port.
Realize that testing under Windows would not be the most efficant way to test the performance of CompactFlash Media because of the large amount of overhead that Windows, USB, and 1394/FireWire have. However, for our testing purposes, we are just looking at the raw performance of the multi-format flash card reader in the enviorment in which it is used. This is not a performance test on CompactFlash modules that were used in the testing.
Test System Configuration
|Motherboard||Asus P4T-EIntel 850 Chipset|
|CPU||Pentium 4a 2.2 GHzNorthwood CoreRetail Box|
|Memory||2 - 256 MB PC800 RambusSamsung|
|Graphics Card||ATI Radeon 9700 Pro - 128 MB|
|Hard Drives||IBMIC35L040AVER0741 GBATA-1007200 RPMWestern DigitalWD800JB80 GBATA-1007200 RPM|
|Sound Card||Turtle Beach Santa Cruz Sound Card|
|Network Card||3Com 3C905C-TX-M NIC|
|CD Drives||Asus DVD-61616X DVD / 48X CD-ROMAsus CRW-1610A16X/10X/40X CDRW Drive|
|USB / 1394 FireWire||Adaptec DuoConnectAUA-3121|
|Case and Power Supply||Antec SX-1000 Mid-Tower CaseEnermax EG365P-VE Power Supply|
|OS||Microsoft Windows XP Professional Service Pack 1All Patches & Updates Applied|
|256 MB CompactFlash Modules Used For Testing||Micron 256 MB CFLexar Media 12X2174|