Memory Cards, Part 2: SDHC Cards From 8GB To 16GB

Benchmark Results: Read/Write Throughput

On most card readers, read and write performance is typically limited by the reader device. Therefore, we recommend looking for a device that specifically supports more than 20 MB/s bandwidth. SanDisk’s ImageMate proves a great solution, as it doesn't bottleneck the SD cards’ performance to less than 20 MB/s, unlike in our last SD memory card review.

The fastest card in this review (and the only product that clearly passes the 20 MB/s mark) is SanDisk’s Extreme. It sustains more than 25 MB/s on reads. Three other products are virtually identical when it comes to read performance: Transcend’s Ultimate 16GB, the Lexar Professional 8GB 133x, and Silicon Power’s Class 10 card. The smaller Transcend card has a much lower minimum throughput, making it a secondary choice for enthusiasts.

A similar picture develops when looking at write throughput results. SanDisk takes the lead while Lexar, Silicon Power, and Transcend follow in second place. Samsung cannot keep pace, but since its specification only says Class 6, we can't really object.

Our interface test reveals the maximum transfer speed of the SDHC cards in this review.