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Memory Performance

Here are performance measurements for various memory cards. Remember that for digital cameras write performance is the most important because it can limit a camera's shooting speed. Read performance is important when a digital camera is in playback mode. The following measurements were all done using the same USB 2.0 multi-format card reader. The contents of the table below show that practical performance can be very different from advertised performance. Memory cards are often advertised with either a speed rating (4X,10X,40X, etc.) or a memory bandwidth (4MB/s, 8 MB/s, 12 MB/s etc.) rating yet read and write speeds are very different.

Type Card Size Write Speed Read Speed
Accepts Secure Digital (SD) memory.Accepts Secure Digital (SD) memory.ATP MicroSD 80X 256 MB 3209 K/s 5693 K/s
Accepts Compact Flash Type I memory.Accepts Compact Flash Type I memory.Lexar Pro 80X 2 GB 2990 K/s 5475 K/s
Accepts Compact Flash Type I memory.Accepts Compact Flash Type I memory.Kingston Elite Pro 50X 2 GB 2898 K/s 5718 K/s
Accepts Secure Digital (SD) memory.Accepts Secure Digital (SD) memory.Kingston Elite Pro 50X 2 GB 2685 K/s 7762 K/s
Accepts Memory Stick Duo memory.Accepts Memory Stick Duo memory.Lexar Platinum II 1 GB 2373 K/s 7691 K/s
Accepts Secure Digital (SD) memory.Accepts Secure Digital (SD) memory.Kingmax 150X 2 GB 2149 K/s 5478 K/s
Accepts Compact Flash Type I memory.Accepts Compact Flash Type I memory.Lexar 40X 1 GB 1929 K/s 4764 K/s
Accepts Compact Flash Type I memory.Accepts Compact Flash Type I memory.Lexar 40X 512 MB 1869 K/s 4771 K/s
Accepts Secure Digital (SD) memory.Accepts Secure Digital (SD) memory.Corsair 60X 512 MB 1776 K/s 6270 K/s
Accepts Compact Flash Type I memory.Accepts Compact Flash Type I memory.Kingston Ultimate 100X 2 GB 1767 K/s 6272 K/s
Accepts Secure Digital (SD) memory.Accepts Secure Digital (SD) memory.Verbatim 256 MB 1760 K/s 4792 K/s
Accepts Compact Flash Type I memory.Accepts Compact Flash Type I memory.Sony MS Duo Adaptor*Size depends on the Memory Stick Duo card inserted into the adapter. 0 MB 1636 K/s 3312 K/s
Accepts Secure Digital (SD) memory.Accepts Secure Digital (SD) memory.Kingmax Platinum 66X 512 MB 1591 K/s 6158 K/s
Accepts Secure Digital (SD) memory.Accepts Secure Digital (SD) memory.Sandisk Ultra II Plus*Has a built-in USB interface 2 GB 1537 K/s 6858 K/s
Accepts Compact Flash memory.Accepts Compact Flash memory.IBM Microdrive 1 GB 1482 K/s 4216 K/s
Accepts Secure Digital (SD) memory.Accepts Secure Digital (SD) memory.Sandisk 16 MB 1200 K/s 4720 K/s
Accepts Memory Stick memory.Accepts Memory Stick memory.Sandisk Pro 512 MB 1099 K/s 7655 K/s
Accepts xD memory.Accepts xD memory.Fuji 16 MB 688 K/s 4270 K/s
Accepts Compact Flash Type I memory.Accepts Compact Flash Type I memory.Sandisk 16 MB 646 K/s 1712 K/s
Accepts xD memory.Accepts xD memory.Olympus Type H 1 GB 567 K/s 3478 K/s
Accepts xD memory.Accepts xD memory.Fuji 512 MB 564 K/s 2940 K/s
Accepts Compact Flash Type I memory.Accepts Compact Flash Type I memory.Fuji xD to CF Type 1 Adapter*Size depends on the xD card inserted into the adapter. 0 MB 564 K/s 822 K/s
Accepts Compact Flash memory.Accepts Compact Flash memory.Hitachi Microdrive*FAT32: The raw performance of the 6 GB microdrive is supposed to be higher but that is what we measured. We suspect that the FAT32 file system must cause some devices to operate extremely slowly. The 6 GB microdive operates that slowly in our benchmark system and our Konica-Minolta digital cameras. At this time, we are unable to confirm since this is the only FAT32 memory we have. 6 GB 177 K/s 1758 K/s
Accepts xD memory.Accepts xD memory.Fuji Type M*This abysmal write-speed does not seem to affect the Fuji Finepix F10s speedy performance, but makes it very slow to download images and video. And yes, we triple-checked the performance! 1 GB 147 K/s 1957 K/s
By on 2005-05-05

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