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Compact Flash, XQD and SD card speed tests

Compact Flash, XQD and SD card speed tests

I periodically renew my SD and CF cards for my cameras. There is so much choice now it’s hard to know what to buy. Sandisk and Lexar are the big name brands for memory cards. You also pay a premium for them too of course. I recently started buying Transcend cards after a friend put me onto them. I’ve been pleased with them esp with the price.

How quickly will they download to your computer?

I had an idea to see how fast each card is. There are websites that measure speeds in cameras. Which is hard to do. I wanted to find out the other side.. how quick were then to read in your computer. Obviously this will change with card reader and how fast your computer is. So I decided to use a good fast usb3.0 lexar pro card reader and also the card slot built into the Macbook pro as it has a SSD inside so isn’t limited by the speed of the hard disk inside for speed tests.

Speed Database – Work in Progress

Brand Size| Format| Write Speed| Read Speed
Sony N Series 32 XQD 33 157
Lexar 1333X Pro XQD 32 XQD 132 166
Lexar 1333X Pro XQD 64 XQD 146 171
Transcend 1000x 32 CF 115 132
Sandisk Extreme 160MBs 64 CF 102 105
Sandisk Extreme 120MBs 64 CF 79 107
Sandisk Extreme 120MBs 128 CF 80 107
Transcend 800x 64 CF 90 133
Transcend 800x 32 CF 48 133
Transcend 400x 32 CF 37 69
Sandisk Extreme 60MBs 32 CF 60 36
Sandisk Extreme 60MBs 16 CF 50 34
Kingston 90MB/80MB 64 SD 82 88
Lexar 1000x (in UHS-II capable reader) 128 SD 74 138
Lexar 1000x (in UHS-I capable reader) 64 SD 73 87
Lexar 1000x (in UHS-II capable reader) 64 SD 81 138
Sandisk Extreme Pro 95MBs 32 SD 80 89
Transcend R95 W60MB/s 64 SD 65 87
Transcend Ultimate R95 W80MB/s 32 SD 82 88
Sandisk Extreme Plus 80MB/s 16 SD 63 90
Sandisk Extreme 90MB/s 64 SD 47 90
Sandisk Ultra 80MBs 32 SD 20 88
Sandisk Extreme 60MBs 16 SD 54 63
Transcend 600x 32 SD 40 87
Samsung Pro 16 SD 52 87
Eyefi Mobi 8 SD 5 20

Conclusions

Updated:

The newer Transcends do really well in these tests and the older Sandisks put in a good write performance which is important in cameras.

Remember however that it’s read speed that’s important in reading the data off the card.

Write speed is important in camera if you’re shooting into the buffer all the time.

If you’d like to donate some cards for my testing please send me an email.

The Lexar 1000x cards offer the fastest read speed for offloading to your computer if you use a UHS-II card carder like the one linked above. Write speeds are also among the fastest too. If you use a uhs-i card reader (I suspect most people still do as the most popular ones don’t support uhs-ii yet). Then you’ll see good performance but not as good as the faster sandisk, kingston and transcend cards. I’m hoping to test some of the 2000x cards too and see how they perform. I also need to test how they perform in camera (again depends if you’re a heavy buffer user.

Best value card

For fast offload and good (but not the best) write speed then I recommend the 64GB transcend below. Lots of capacity and quick enough for all but the most trigger happy users 🙂

Transcend R95 W60MB/s

Fastest Writing card (best for in camera)

These cards all write about the same speed. The Kingston is the best value of the bunch, with the transcend second and Sandisk 3rd.
Kingston 90MB/80MB
Transcend Ultimate R95 W80MB/s
Sandisk Extreme Pro 90MBs

Fastest Reading card (best for offload to computer)

If you want fastest offload speeds these cards are the quickest reading to a computer.

Lexar uhs-ii 1000x read speed is fastest tested so far

Lexar uhs-ii 1000x read speed is fastest tested so far


Lexar 1000x (in UHS-II capable reader)
Sandisk Extreme Plus 80MB/s
Sandisk Extreme Pro 95MBs
Kingston 90MB/80MB
Transcend Ultimate R95 W80MB/s
Transcend R95 W60MB/s
Transcend 600x

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