Stealth Upgrade: Sandisk Extreme SD Cards (80 MB/s Version)

Sandisk Extreme SD Card

I saw this over the weekend in the stores and in a small event the local Sandisk distributor was holding in one of the local shopping centres: Apparently Sandisk has released a new version of the Extreme line, and in a slightly disappointing fashion, have taken to reporting the faster read speed of 80 MB/s all over the front packaging and on the card itself. The write speed is 60 MB/s, which makes it on par with the Lexar equivalent. A quick look at this point of writing on Amazon shows it to be somewhat overpriced though – it should be priced only slightly more than the current 45 MB/s versions. I got a 32GB one, in line with The Switch (more on that in the near future).

Unfortunately since I currently (emphasis on currently) don’t have a USB 3.0-equipped system, I am not able to perform any proper benchmarks. It pretty much maxes out on a USB 2.0 Lexar Dual Card Reader with read and write speeds of 20MB/s in ATTO Benchmark. CK, however, does. See what he says after the break!

CK: I managed to get hold of the new 80MBps Sandisk Extreme from David, who happened to have bought one yesterday. I did a benchmark using the ATTO Disk Benchmark Utility. First, let’s measure the performance of the 45MBps card which it replaces.

Read/write performance of the Sandisk Extreme 45MBps SD card.
Read/write performance of the Sandisk Extreme 45MBps SD card.

The card achieved write and read speeds of up to 45MBps and 46.36MBps, very close to its rated 45MBps.

And now the new 80MBps version. The results are impressive! It achieved a maximum write speed of 73.95MBps and a maximum read speed of 90.69MBps. This is a little higher than the rated 80MBps read/60MBps write speeds.

Disk transfer speeds for the Sandisk Extreme 80MBps SD card
Disk transfer speeds for the Sandisk Extreme 80MBps SD card achieves a maximum write speeds of 73.95MBps and a maximum read speed of 90.69MBps.

Let’s see how the older and more expensive Extreme Pro SD card, rated at 95Mbps performs.

Sandisk Extreme 95MBps
Sandisk Extreme Pro 95MBps performance.

As you can see, it didn’t perform significantly faster, maxing out at a write speed of 85.76MBps and a read speed of 92.4MBps.

I also did a test of all the three cards on my D7000. I set the drive mode to Continuous – High and shot a burst of NEF (Raw) images. The buffer filled up at about 9 shots, with the frame rate dropping significantly from 6fps to about 1.5fps as the camera writes the images to the card. However, I noticed that in all 3 cards, it took about the same time (about 10s to write 10 NEF files) to the card. The D7000 NEF files are about 16MB each, so this translates to a write speed of only 16MBps. Maybe that’s the maximum speed that the camera can write at.

Nonetheless, if you are looking to buy a reasonably priced and fast card, this is the one to get. It gives the more expensive 95MBps “Pro” model a very good run for its money and there’s really no reason to pay more for that any more. Unless, like David, you dig that nice gold strip on its label.

YS: Well, I’m certainly glad my timing is good then. A month earlier and I would have bought the older one!

(Image Credit: Sandisk website)

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