Best way to test SD Card Speed?

Started Jun 22, 2011 | Discussions
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iharley Regular Member • Posts: 223
Best way to test SD Card Speed?

I just picked up a Class 10 8 GB PQI card and am thinking there's something wrong with it. I'm "upgrading" from a Class 4 4GB SanDIsk ULtra 2, but the PQI feels to be half the speed of the SanDisk. What are some good ways to test this out?

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ms18
ms18 Senior Member • Posts: 1,743
LEXAR

Try Lexar Class 10 very good.. Nice pricing

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MisterBG Veteran Member • Posts: 5,989
Re: Best way to test SD Card Speed?

iharley wrote:

I just picked up a Class 10 8 GB PQI card and am thinking there's something wrong with it. I'm "upgrading" from a Class 4 4GB SanDIsk ULtra 2, but the PQI feels to be half the speed of the SanDisk. What are some good ways to test this out?

Two useful programs which allow you to benchmark and test transfer speeds:

HD Tach: http://www.simplisoftware.com/Public/index.php?request=HdTach
Or
HD Tune: http://www.hdtune.com/
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sherwoodpete
sherwoodpete Veteran Member • Posts: 7,766
Re: Best way to test SD Card Speed?

MisterBG wrote:

iharley wrote:

I just picked up a Class 10 8 GB PQI card and am thinking there's something wrong with it. I'm "upgrading" from a Class 4 4GB SanDIsk ULtra 2, but the PQI feels to be half the speed of the SanDisk. What are some good ways to test this out?

Two useful programs which allow you to benchmark and test transfer speeds:

HD Tach: http://www.simplisoftware.com/Public/index.php?request=HdTach
Or
HD Tune: http://www.hdtune.com/

Yes, I've used both of these programs and they can give useful insights into the performance of different cards, as well as hard drives and other storage devices.

Regards,
Peter

iharley OP Regular Member • Posts: 223
Re: Best way to test SD Card Speed?

Thanks for the program recommendations. I also found that CHDK, a Canon OS hack (for lack of a better word) does SD card benchmarking.

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Klickitat New Member • Posts: 9
Re: Best way to test SD Card Speed?

I like h2testw.  It's available from http://mympx.org/Downloads/p13_sectionid/2/p13_fileid/13

That page will give you the details and the DL link is near the bottom.  I test any new card I get so I can decide whether I'm keeping it.

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JPR.lda Regular Member • Posts: 161
Re: Best way to test SD Card Speed?

Klickitat wrote:

I like h2testw. It's available from http://mympx.org/Downloads/p13_sectionid/2/p13_fileid/13

That page will give you the details and the DL link is near the bottom. I test any new card I get so I can decide whether I'm keeping it.

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Klickitat
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520 rd 44 Pasco, WA 99301

Very bad, does not work on win7 64

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Bob Janes Senior Member • Posts: 1,654
A real-world method

iharley wrote:

I just picked up a Class 10 8 GB PQI card and am thinking there's something wrong with it. I'm "upgrading" from a Class 4 4GB SanDIsk ULtra 2, but the PQI feels to be half the speed of the SanDisk. What are some good ways to test this out?

I'm surprised that an Ultra 2 is only class 4, I thought they were all class 10...

Anyhow, if you are interested in how quickly a particular card works in the camera, the following method can give you a reasonably good idea.

1. Set the camera up for RAW only (because the files are good and big and reasonaly constant size), fixed exposure (so there is no delay in shoot ing while the camera adjusts exposure), a shutter speed over synch speed, reasonably wide aperture (so the shutter speed and stopping down does not affect the figures) and manual focus (again, so this does not affect shooting rate). Set the camera on to the highest continuous shooting rate that allows the previous settings.

2. Google for an online stop watch and get the image as big on a PC screen as you can.

3. Adjust focus and ISO so that you can get an image recorded that is well enough exposed to read the stopwatch down to hndredths of a second.

4. Start the stopwatch and then shoot continuously at the stopwatch. Note that you don't need to start shooting when the stopwatch is at zero, as it is just the interval between shots you are interested in.

5. After some time, the rate of shooting will stutter and slow - this shows that the cameras buffer is full - continue to shoot at least another 10 shots...

6. Note the stopwatch reading for each shot. From the first shots you can tell the true shooting rate of your camera by seeing how many shots it actually makes in a one-second burst, but the timings for the slower shots near the end are telling you how fast the camera is dumping data to the card - ignore the first slow shot as that might be part buffer speed and part card speed, but the average of the other differences in readings will tell you how fast the camera is pushing data out to a card - this can then be compared to another card.

What you can also do to work out a rough MB/s figure for the card in the camera is to take the times of 10 or so of the slower shots and work out how many MB of data have been transferred in what number of seconds.

Typically, I find that the write speed in camera will probably be soemwhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of the quoted speed on the card (my 95MB/s Sandisk actually gives about 45MB/s write-time in my camera).

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Cylon007
Cylon007 Forum Member • Posts: 75
Re: A real-world method

HDTACH is for windows xp or 2000.

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