13 SDHC Memory Cards Reviewed

SanDisk Extreme III 4 GB, Silicon Power SDHC 16 GB

This is probably the best-known brand of flash-based memory cards, and the Extreme series has always been one of the fastest options on the market. The Extreme III SDHC comes bundled with a USB 2.0 card reader called the MicroMate, and SanDisk makes a very specific warranty statement: there is no lifetime warranty, which may come with lots of exceptions, and the 10 years exceed everything else in this roundup. Although nobody will probably use such a product for more than a few years, the additional warranty is comforting.

All Extreme III SDHC cards are rated Class 6, and they are available at 4 GB, 8 GB and 16 GB. However, SanDisk offers two different 4 GB and 8 GB cards that are both called Extreme III: there is the “regular” Extreme III that reaches 20 MB/s, and the 30 MB/s editions, which speak for themselves. Our 4 GB Extreme III reached 19.7 MB/s reads and up to 18.2 MB/s writes; this makes the Extreme III the second fastest SDHC card after Lexar’s Professional. If you are looking for value cards, then you can consider the Video HD SDHC series or the Ultra II SDHC series—in that order—which will save you a considerable amount of money. But these don’t come with the USB 2.0 card reader.

SanDisk’s Micromate isn’t as quick as the Transcend card reader we used for this roundup: 19 MB/s read throughput was the maximum sequential transfer rate.

Details are available on the SanDisk Web site.

Silicon Power Class 6 SDHC, 16 GB

Silicon Power is a Taiwanese company that specializes in memory products of all kinds. We received a 16 GB SDHC Class 6 card; there are also 32 GB, 8 GB and 4 GB versions. Our card reached the maximum read speed of 19.7 MB/s, while also providing fast write throughput: we measured between 16.5 and 17.2 MB/s, which is an excellent result. In fact, this card offers the highest minimum write throughput of all the cards in this test, and is only beaten in the maximum results.

Details are available on the Silicon Power Web site.