When it comes to benchmarking we picked up Kingston and Sandisk which are the two most common 256MB MicroSD cards on the market today. Since it is hard to benchmark these cards on our phone we used the Kingston 15-in-1 Flash Memory Reader and ran the flash memory test found in SiSoft Sandra 2005.SR3 to get read and write performance numbers.
When reading various size files on the MicroSD card it is obvious that the Sandisk card has higher transfer rates. When reading the 64MB files the Sandisk operates at 62x where the Kingston card tops out at 49x. In the 512B test the cards were nearly identical with the read difference increasing as the file size increased. Let’s take a look at the write scores.
When it comes to the write scores Kingston started off behing in the 32kB file size test, but by 2MB it was nearly tied with the Sandisk and then blew it away at 64MB. When writing a 64MB file the Kingston card was able to write at 31x compared to the 18x on the Sandisk.
To confirm our Sandra benchmark results we also ran HD Tach which shows sequential read speeds.
In HD Tach we found the burst speed of the Sandisk microSD card to be 10.8MB/s and the Kingston microSD card came in at 8.8MB/s. These socres are nearly identical to the 64MB READ file test in Sandra and confirm our previous findings.
We tried the Kingston MicroSD card in the Sandisk microSD to SD adapter and the benchmark results were the same. Both the Kingston and Sandisk adapters have no impact on the performance numbers. The performance differences shown in the above charts was due to the selection of the flash memory chip in the microSD card. With phones being un-rated when it comes to read/write speeds it makes it hard to say if the extra speed in the SanDisk microSD will make a difference during phone use.
It should also be noted that the Kingston 256MB microSD card is actually 242MB and the SanDisk 256MB microSD card is 239MB. This is due to that fact that some of the listed capacity is used for formatting and other functions and is not available for data storage. All flash memory and hard drives are like this.