THE SSD REVIEW TESTING PROTOCOL
At The SSD Review, we test our storage devices slightly different depending upon the device’s marketed purpose. Our goal is to test in a system that has been optimized with our SSD Optimization Guide, however CPU C State alteration may or may not have occurred depending on the motherboard and BIOS configurations. Benchmarks for our tests are that of fresh devices, so that we can verify that the manufacturer’s specifications match the device. Additionally, we also try to include links to the benchmarks used in our report so that you as the reader can replicate our tests to confirm that your device is top-notch.
This Test Bench build was the result of some great relationships and purchase; our appreciation goes to the below mentioned manufacturers for their support in our project. All of the components we use for testing and evaluation can be easily purchased at a relatively affordable price. The links provided below can assist in pricing, as well as availability for those of you who may find interest in our equipment.
|PC CHASSIS:||InWin 901 Mini-ITX Chassis|
|MOTHERBOARD:||ASUS P8H77-I Mini-ITX|
|CPU:||Intel i7 2600 CPU|
|CPU COOLER:||Corsair H80 CPU Cooler|
|POWER SUPPLY:||Cooler Master M2 Silent Pro 850W|
|SYSTEM COOLING:||Corsair Chassis Fan|
|MEMORY:||Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer 1600 MHz|
|GRAPHICS CARD:||EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti|
The software used for today’s analysis is typical of many of our reviews and consists of Piriform Speccy, ATTO Disk Benchmark, Crystal DiskMark, and Quickbench. In consumer reports, we prefer to test with easily accessible software that the consumer can obtain, and in many cases, we even provide links. Our selection of software allows each to build on the last and to provide validation to results already obtained.
Piriform Speccy is a great tool for checking the status and health of your computer system. It provides you with brief summary, or a detailed look, at your operating system, CPU, RAM, motherboard, graphics, storage, optical drives, audio, peripherals and network.
Speccy shows us that the Lexar SDXC card has a total capacity of 256 GB, yet the actual amount usable storage is 238 GB. Since the capacity is larger than 64 GB, we can see that the file format is exFAT.
ATTO Disk Benchmark is a relatively easy-to-use benchmark tool, which happens to be the benchmark of choice for many manufacturers. ATTO uses compressible data rather than random data, which results in higher performance and thus, higher benchmark scores. In our testing, we have selected the transfer size to range from 0.5KB to 8192KB, and have set the total length of the test to be 256MB.
Our first benchmark test looks at the performance of the SD card using compressible data, where we can see that the read speeds reached up to 85 MB/s and the writes speeds reached 59 MB/s. This is a great starting point for this card, as the write speeds surpass what we expected, and the read speeds are in the right ballpark, just slightly lower than the listed specifications.
You might also notice that performance isn’t really shown in the 600x until we reach 64K file size and then it hits home. This is similar with all SD cards. Unlike the typical system SSD, SD cards are not used for the storage, execution and saving of smaller system files. SD cards are built for larger media files such as photography and video, these files being highly incompressible in their makeup and ideal for the Lexar Professional.
CRYSTAL DISK BENCHMARK VER. 3.0.3 x64
Crystal Disk Benchmark is visually straightforward, and is used for measuring the speeds at which your storage device reads and writes in both compressible (oFill/1Fill) and random, mostly incompressible, data. Random data is more consistent with everyday use of a computer, such as transferring videos, pictures and music. We run the benchmark twice, using oFill data first, and then proceeding to test with random data. Since results typically return with nearly identical scores, we only include the results for random data samples.
Now switching to a benchmark that can utilize incompressible data, the Lexar SD card actually improves from it’s previous performance with ATTO. The read speeds are almost reaching the listed read performance, and the write speeds are still over performing.
QUICKBENCH VER. 4.0
QuickBench is another benchmark tool used to measure the transfer speeds and performance of storage devices. QuickBench is a good tool for confirming the previously produced read and write speeds seen above.
For our final benchmark test, we get another insight into how well the Lexar SD card performs. With Quickbench the write speeds again continue to over perform, but we do see a read speeds dropping slightly. Regardless, throughout all of our tests we can see consistent performance from the monstrous Lexar SD card.
I have actually been considering a high-capacity card such as this to use a semi-permanent storage drive in the card reader slot of my MacBook Pro. The computer came with a 512GB solid state drive, and this would effectively increase that by 50%, while allowing it to be removed with exceptional convenience.
The one downside to using a card this large as a professional photographer is that it inevitably leads you to put all of your eggs in one proverbial basket. If you shoot a large event or project all on one card, and it fails, then you’re in big trouble. Splitting up events/projects onto smaller capacity cards can sometime be a huge advantage if a card becomes corrupted or fails. That way, you are only losing a small portion of the coverage, and not the entire thing.
You can use a small sd card for that purpose like the Transcend JetDrive or a Nifty MiniDrive (you have to put in a microSD card of your own. Be sure to check the right model either 13-15 inch and year, some models have a deeper sd card reader than others. Mine stays flush to the macbook and is very hard to get out, and will never fall out.