Hero 3 memory cards (1 of 1)

I’ve been using my Gopro hero 3 allot lately and I’ve been getting occasional dropouts when shooting in protune mode. I ended up throwing the hero 3 off that cement structure 3 times in the Cobalt cage review video because of it. Turns out i’m yet another victim of Sandisks buzz word labeling system. I had wrongly confused the “Sandisk Ultra” with the “Sandisk Extreme Plus” when I was replacing a few lost memory cards. It turns out “Ultra” is actually Sandisk’s term for pretty slow and “Extreme Plus” is code for decently fast. So I figured before I return the Sandisk Ultra, i’d run a quick test on it to see how well it actually stacks up against the Sandisk Extreme Plus.

Sandisk ultra speed test

For this test I set H2testw to write 3GB to the Sandisk Ultra, than read that 3GB back from the card. As you can see the average write speeds are only 3.5 MBytes per second. Since my Gopro hero 3 is running the slightly older firmware update (new firmware takes data rates down to 35 Mbits per second) in protune mode it requires 45 Mbits per second write speed, that works out to about 5.6 MBytes per second. I’m kind of surprised at how slow “Ultra” really is and the number of dropouts in recording I was getting make sense.

Sandisk extreme plus speed test 2

Testing the Sandisk Extreme Plus really shows how slow the Sandisk Ultra is. With the same 3GB read/write test the Extreme plus was able to average 35.7 MBytes per second write speeds and 63.1 MBytes per second read speeds. That means for the price difference of $17 (Extreme Plus $39 and Ultra $22) you are getting 10 times the write speeds and 3 times the read speeds. That’s basically the difference between occasionally losing a shot and never having a recording dropout.

From these speed tests it’s pretty easy to see that the Sandisk Extreme Plus is worth the extra $17 if you plan to record in protune mode. If you don’t use protune mode, you can probably still get away with the Sandisk Ultra although for the price difference the Extreme Plus still seems like the way to go.

My request to Sandisk is that they make the fast cards red and the slow cards some other color. That way when I’m quickly ordering a replacement card on Amazon, I don’t get the Ultra and the Extreme Plus confused. Or maybe I should take the time to read through the description before placing an order, it could go either way.

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