When it comes to flash storage, it seems as though each day we see a significant milestone reached, especially when it comes to the reduced size of today’s flash modules. As this trend continues, camera and camcorder manufactures quickly adapt to allow these new modules to be used, which in turn allows for more physical space inside of the camera and camcorder for greater capabilities. And if it’s not the increasing of space within the unit, it’s the reduced physical size of the camera or camcorder. Today we are looking at the Patriot EP Series Micro SD Card, a minuscule SD card which can be used in most of today’s action cameras and camcorders.
WHAT IS SDHC? – SD CARD PERFORMANCE
First, there are a few acronyms and short forms that some may not know, some of you may, so let’s run through it quickly to keep everyone on the same page.
What does SDXC mean? When considering the size necessary for your photography or videography, your storage device will be your ultimate determinant. Obviously a flash card with a lower capacity will hold less videos and photos, which is pretty straight forward. If you have an SD (Secure Digital) card, you are probably going to want to upgrade that shortly, as that is an older technology that accompanied the first digital photography and videography devices. With it you will find not only lower capacities, but slower transfer speeds. To go the next step up to a more prevalent storage option, especially for photography enthusiasts and weekend photo shoots, is SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity). SDHC cards can allow for capacities of up to 32GB, and transfer speeds of up to 42 MB/s. If you are looking to shoot video in a higher resolution, then you will find yourself looking one step further with SDXC (Secure Digital Xtended Capacity). SDXC can allow for capacities greater than 32GB, and have a maximum write speed of up to 95 MB/s.
If you are interested more in videography, then the next acronym is your key point to look for, especially if you are worried about transfer speeds. If you have a flash card handy, take a look at it, you may notice that there is a number that has a circle around it. This is your class rating, which denotes the guaranteed minimum write speed. To give you an example if you have a ’4′ within your circle, your flash card is guaranteed to write at a minimum of 4 MB/s. When you start to get up to higher minimum write speeds, you will notice that the number will not increase past ’10?, instead the denotation changes to UHS-1, or a U with a ’1′ or a ’3′ within it. ‘Ultra High Speed 1′ would guarantee minimum write speeds of 10 MB/s and UHS-1 Speed Class 3 would denote minimum speeds of 30 MB/s. If your DSLR or video camera is not capable of UHS-1, then the flash card will revert back to Class 10 performance. To reach these higher transfer speeds on your PC or Mac, you would need to use a USB 3.0 card reader to get the full potential.
The Micro SD Card we are looking at today from Patriot is a UHS 3 and Class 10 Micro SDHC card. From what we have learned from above, we can expect to see 30 MB/s minimum of sustained write speed. Plus, Patriot has listed the Micro SD card to reach read speeds of 90 MB/s and write speeds of 45 MB/s.
With our test bench we utilized the Kingston MobileLite G3 USB 3.0 Card Reader. This is a simple plug-and-play device that you will connect into your USB 3.0 port on your system, and insert your flash card to transfer content. Additionally, the MobileLite G3 is backwards compatible to USB 2.0. This means that if your USB port on your computer is not blue in colour, then you can still use the drive. You will just receive that annoying notification from Windows letting you know that the drive can perform faster in a USB 3.0 port. If your computer is not equipped with the latest USB technology, then we encourage you to have a look at our report of the HighPoint 4-Port HBA. This PCIe expansion card easily allows you to add four additional USB ports to your system, as well as the addition of USB 3.0 technology.