A little over a year ago we were able to take a close look at a new breed of SD cards thanks to SanDisk releasing the world’s first UHS-II SD card, the SanDisk Extreme Pro. The standard was so new, besides the Fujifilm XT-1, no other camera even supported the form factor at the time. In September Lexar finally released a product to compete against it, but not only did it compete, it took the crown as the fastest SD card in the market. Today, we get to put the Lexar Professional 2000x SDXC UHS-II through its paces and see how it performs.
WHAT IS UHS-II?
For those who do not know what UHS-II is, it is the latest adaptation of SD card standards which, through the addition of another row of contact points, allows for increased bandwidth over older SD cards. Right now, however, even a year after its release there aren’t many cameras that support this new interface. So, you may be wondering what’s the point in buying this over a cheaper UHS-I card? Well, it all comes down to speed. Just like the SanDisk Extreme Pro, this Lexar Professional card is not your ordinary storage media, it can deliver astonishing read speeds of up to 300MB/s!
For those with HDD RAID 0 arrays or SSDs, you can utilize this card’s read speed to help expedite your workflow. With some cameras’ RAW files reaching 40-50MB in size as well as 3D and 4K video being storage hogs, having reads speeds of up to 300MB/s off your storage media can substantially better your workflow or user experience.
Okay, so now that you understand the use for such fast storage we are sure you are wondering about compatibility, especially since only a handful of cameras actually support the interface natively today. Well, luckily UHS-II media is backwards compatible with UHS-I and non-UHS devices, so you can go out and use this in almost any camera you want and still benefit from fast read speeds.
PACKAGING, PRICE, SPECIFICATIONS, AND AVAILABILITY
As just mentioned the Lexar Professional 2000x is a SDXC UHS-II storage device that is capable of read speeds of up to 300MB/s. It also carries a U3 rating, which means that it has a minimum write speeds of at least 30MB/s, but as you will soon see in our benchmarking, it is much greater than that. It is available now in capacities of 32GB and 64GB for $59.99 and $99.99 respectively. Finally, this card is covered by a limited lifetime warranty.
The packaging is standard of their product line. On the front it states not only the capacity and speeds, but that it comes with a UHS-II card reader, which is USB 3.0. It also includes a media recovery software called Image Rescue to aid in the recovery of your accidentally deleted photos and videos, even if your SD card is corrupted.
FLASH MEDIA TEST PROTOCOL
To connect the SDXC card to our computer we will be utilizing the included USB 3.0 UHS-II card reader. In order to test the rated speeds of the card we choose to use a few popular synthetic benchmarks which include ATTO, CrystalDiskMark, and Anvil Storage Utilities Professional. Not only are we going to use these benchmarks, we are going to run a comparison against other cards we have on hand and test in a real world use scenario. This should give us enough to confirm the rated specs and give us a more in-depth view on how it performs.
There is a big difference for maximum IOPS compared to the fastest SanDisk Extreme.
Anything smaller than 32KB per transfer is much slower with the Lexar. The 4K R/W performance gap is 2.9/26.5 -vs- 57.5/143.7 MB/s (Lexar -vs- SanDisk). 256KB sequential R/W speed favours the Lexar but real world cameras don’t seem to use the pattern (more like 32KB ?). The SanDisk low write latency is great, however the small read performance and higher queue depths are not optimised.
When it comes to cameras all that matters is large block sequential speeds. Small block performance is useless.
If you are right then why does the SanDisk beat the Lexar when in a camera, albeit camera not UHS-2 compatible, Queue=1? The high seq benchmark has little indication of real world in camera performance.
Well, we didn’t compare the SanDisk UHS-II card. That was against an older UHS-I card. Also, the numbers on the chart are rounded. The SanDisk on the chart = 7.43s while the Lexar = 7.64s average…not really much of a difference, but you can see that after rounding the SanDisk = 7 seconds while the Lexar – 8 seconds.
Even if we did compare the SanDisk UHS-II card, we would still be comparing them in a non-UHS-II camera and they would be running at UHS-I speeds. You can’t really show how much better one card vs another is in that bench when they are actually capable of so much more speed. I just included it to show that there weren’t any inherent slow down issues that I have seen with other cards in the past. Essentially I look at that graph and conclude that all perform practically the same. Unless one takes significantly longer, varying 1-2 frames doesn’t really matter.
Two weeks ago I bought 2 Lexars card: 64GB Professional 2000x UHS-II SDXC and XQD 2933x 128Gb. XQD – ok; about SDXC you could see down:
1. Look good. All the next – bad.
2. Speed. Testing system – MacBook Pro; 16Gb 1600 ?Gz DDR3RAM; 2,8 GHz Intel Core i7; Intel Iris Pro 1536Mb; SSD PCIe 1024Mb.
Reading from Lexar – volume of 27195Mb NEF (Nikon raw photo format) files, approximately 20-30Mb each separate file. First: without card reader – reading time 322s => 84,46Mb/s. Second: throw the special Lexar USB card reader – 687s => 39,59Mb/s. It’s a pity.
Writing to Lexar – the same as reading. First: without card reader – reading time 358s => 75,96Mb/s. Second: with Lexar card reader – 800s => 33,99Mb/s.
As alternative I tested SanDisk Extreme Pro 64Gb (95Mb/s). Conditions – as previous case. Without card reader. Reading time 317s => speed 85,79Mb/s. Writing – 357s => 76,18Mb/s. Very interesting!
3. Reliability. Testing camera – Nikon D500. When I took a photo and them saw a preview, camera gave Error: “SD This memory card cannot be used. Card may be damage. Insert another card.” It’s awful.
Sometimes card work, but has slow camera preview reading speed.
Card formatted in camera.
You got a bad card. It happens but in no way is it reflective of the card as a whole. My main go to for my D600 is the Lexar and I can tell you it has been totally reliable, and speedy, for two plus years. Trust me when I say that I put more media through that card than most and it is used daily.
Thank you 🙂
Have a good photo!
You too. Sorry about your experience!
Dude are you FFF serious? The Samsung NX1 supported the SDXC UHS-II standard in 2014… And the Samsung NX500 right after.