Kingston Ultimate XX (8, 16, 32 GB)
Kingston’s Ultimate XX is a state-of-the-art SDHC card that employs the UHS-I bus interface, allowing it to reach more than 60 MB/s read throughput and up to 43 MB/s write speeds. These numbers tell us that this could be one of the fastest SD memory products on the market today. Since this is a SDHC product, you do not necessarily need an SDXC controller. But Kingston specifically says that the Ultimate XX complies to the SD 3.01 standard.
The 32 GB version is the top model in Kingston’s Ultimate XX line. It currently sells for roughly $280 and is specified to reach 60 MB/s read speeds and 35 MB/s writes.
Our benchmarking confirms sequential reads as fast as 62.4 MB/s in CrystalDiskMark 3.0 and 36.7 MB/s sequential writes. We also use c’t magazine’s h2benchw benchmark to look at average and minimum transfer speeds. This benchmark returns 50.0 MB/s minimum read speed and a minimum of 12.3 MB/s on writes. However, average values are much higher.
The 16 GB model happens to deliver slightly better performance than the 32 GB flagship. Although the differences are hardly worth mentioning, there are a few more megabytes per second of bandwidth here and there. The only exception is the peak performance, which is almost identical at 62.7 MB/s for reads and 38.4 MB/s writes. We found this card for roughly $130.
Last but not least, we also received the 8 GB entry-level product for users who want good performance, but who do not necessarily require high capacities. The 8 GB card actually is the fastest SD card of the three when it comes to sequential writes, breaking the 40 MB/s barrier.
In sequential reads it also beats its larger brothers by 0.2 and 0.5 MB/s. However, minimum write througput may drop to 9.5 MB/s according to h2benchw. In exchange, this product is the fastest in our combined read and write test, reaching 20 MB/s, while the competition delivers a combined 7-18 MB/s read and write throughput using real data. The 8 GB card is available at less than $70.
In the end, Kingston’s Ultimate XX line only has one weakness, which is 512 KB random writes. While the three products range between 1.0 to 1.2 MB/s in this discipline, other cards deliver between 2 and 8.5 MB/s.