These are just a few of the random memory cards I have laying around the house. I thought since my collection stretches back to the Canon HF100 I might as well run a few of them through a speed test. I used H2testw 1.4 to run the tests. This is the same program I use to check for fakes or bad memory cards when buying from ebay.  I’m sure there are a lot of other great speed check programs that could be used, but this was simple and easy. The only thing I’m not sure of is the packet size written by the test. Larger or smaller size wirte files can sometimes make a dramatic difference in speed test results with flash memory. This isn’t really intended to be a perfect speed test, but more of a chance to compare and contrast different class memory cards using the same program.

The first test was the SanDisk Extreme 16GB card. This ended up being the best out of the tests I ran this morning. 15.9 MByte/s Seems to be the high mark in which to compare the rest of these cards.

The SanDisk Extreme 32GB card did test out a little bit slower then the 16GB version at 15.3 Mbyte/s. This ended up being faster then most of the cards I tested, but it’s odd that it’s results were slightly slower then a card of the same rating and brand.

The Transcend 16GB Class 10 came in 3rd place behind the 2 SanDisk cards at 11.3 MByte/s.  The performance is still good, but there is a noticeable speed drop from SanDisk to Transcend cards.

This Adata 16GB class 6 card was kind of a surprise. I was expecting it to kick out numbers around 8 or 9 MByte/s but ended up with a respectable 10.5 MByte/s. I wonder If I got lucky with this card. I’ve seen many complaints about Adata cards being much slower then other brands.

This Is the PNY 32GB Class 4 card. The speeds are pretty good for a Class 4 card, but a bit slow for DSLR film making. PNY prominently displays the word “premium” across the front of the card, but it’s 7.71 MByte/s seem to drop out about every 3rd shot on my T2i. This card, on the other hand works great on my old Canon HF S100.

This last one is the Patriot 32GB Class 4 card. It’s data speeds are very close to my PNY card at 7.68 MByte/s. I think I originally paid around $80 for this card and used it constantly in numerous AVCHD cameras over the last few years.

These class 4 and class 6 cards are rarely used in my Canon T2i, but it’s nice to see how they stack up against newer and faster SDHC cards. Early AVCHD cameras encoded video at about a 1/4 the data rate of Canon’s current DSLR cameras and even the newest AVCHD based cameras encode video at around half the data rate of the T2i. These slower cards can easily handle that.

I’ve even heard from a few people that they’ve had little to no problems using their old 16GB class 4 cards in their DSLR cameras. Although I don’t recommend it, there are some cards out there that work great regardless of what’s stamped on the front.  These tests aren’t perfect, but they should give you something to think about the next time you go memory shopping.

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