Lexar 16GB High-Performance microSDHC UHS-I card (633x)
Earlier this month at the Consumer Electronics Show we got a chance to sit down and meet with Lexar and talk about some of their upcoming products for 2014. During that meeting we got our hands on their upcoming high-performance microSD UHS-I cards 633x (95MB/s). The current high-end range of MicroSDHC and MicroSDXC cards by Lexar were rated at 600x (90MB/s), so Lexar was able to squeeze a little more performance from their cards. This card can do it all, so you can quickly capture, play back, and transfer 1080p full-HD, 3D, and 4K video, as well as the highest-quality movies, photos, and songs. It also happens to work in smartphones, tablets, digital cameras and the latest sports camcorders.
It should be noted that Lexar's high-speed 600x microSD cards run great in sports cameras like the GoPro HD Hero 3 Black Edition where you need a card capable of handling high bit rates when you are shooting in 1080P at 60fps or 4K (3840x2160) at 15 fps. Leading cameras like the GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition require the use of a Class 10 memory card. Not all Class 10 microSD cards have the same data write speeds, so you really need to watch what card you buy as you might be stuck with something that doesn't work properly. If you plan to shoot in 4k, 2.7k, or Protune video modes with your HERO3: Black Edition or HERO3+ Black Edition camera you'll have a data stream rate of 45Mb/sec and you need a quality card. Lexar's 600X microSD cards were one of just four brands cards that were recommend by GoPro for use with their HERO3: Black Edition & HERO3+ Black Edition cameras. You can also use this microSD card on the latest AR.drones as the AR.Drone 2.0 has a built-in 720P HD camera and needs a microSD card for storage.
Lexar microSD UHS-I Card (633x) Pricing:
- 16GB microSDHC - LSDMI16GBSBNA633R - $26.95 USD
- 32GB microSDHC - LSDMI32GBSBNA633R - $52.95 USD
- 64GB microSDXC - LSDMI64GBSBNA633R - $92.95 USD
Lexar offers this card in three different capacities, but all are speed rated at Class 10 and leverage UHS-I technology to deliver a transfer speed of up to 633x (95MB/s). We are unable to find this card at major retailers right now, but Lexar confirmed that they are shipping cards to customers and expect them on store shelves very soon.
One thing that we need to touch on is the speed of the Lexar High Performance microSD series. All three capacities of this card are rated at 95MB/s for read speed, but the write speeds differ greatly. The 16GB model has a 25MB/s write speed, whereas the 32GB and 64GB models are rated at 47MB/s. There is a huge increase in write performance with the higher capacity cards use more NAND and therefore have more channels available to move data along to the controller. At a certain point the channels get saturated and this is why you see a performance difference due to the capacity of the card.
One of the nice things about this memory card is that it comes with a tiny USB 3.0 adapter to ensure that you are able to get the most performance possible from file transfers as long as you have a computer that has USB 3.0 ports. As with any memory card, the host system and the device you are using it on will play a major roll in the performance you'll see with this card.
The front of the Lexar High-Performance microSDHC UHS-I card (633x) shows the brand name, capacity and speed ratings. Everything has been printed onto the card, which is nice as there is nothing to peel off.
On the back side of the card there is the FCC-Approved Equipment Authorization Label for the United States along with CE marking for the European Economic Area. You also have the model number, serial number and where it was made. Our particular card was made in Korea.
The USB 3.0 adapter is very simple to use as the microSD card just slides in the end and you are good to go. The microSD slot is not spring loaded, so you have to use your fingernail to pull the microSD card out with the raised edge at the end.
We tried out the Lexar High-Performance microSDHC 633x 16GB UHS-I Mobile Flash Memory Card on an Intel Ultrabook (ASUS Zenbook Prime UX31A) running Windows 8.1 and also our Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone running Android 4.3. Let's see if we can hit that 95MB/s speed rating on the next page!
Lexar 16GB MicroSD 633x USB 3.0 Performance
CrystalDiskMark 3.0.3 x64:
CrystalDiskMark is a small benchmark utility for drives and enables rapid measurement of sequential and random read/write speeds. Note that CDM only supports Native Command Queuing (NCQ) with a queue depth of 32 (as noted) for the last listed benchmark score.
Benchmark Results: CrystalDiskMark showed that we hitting 93.71MB/s read and 25.02MB/s write on the sequential tests! Lexar rates this drive as having up to 95MB/s speeds, so we are able to get pretty close to those ratings with this particular benchmark.
ATTO is one of the oldest drive benchmarks still being used today and is still very relevant. ATTO measures transfers across a specific volume length. It measures raw transfer rates for both reads and writes and places the data into graphs that can be very easily interpreted. The test was run with the default runs of 0.5kb through 8192kb transfer sizes with the total length being 256mb.
Benchmark Results: ATTO showed the Lexar 16GB microSDHC 633x card was able to reach 94MB/s read and 25MB/ write speeds with the default benchmark settings. We are very close to the rated speeds, but we really wish we could have hit that magical 95MB/s mark in the benchmarks on our test platform.
Real World File Transfer Tests
TeraCopy 2.3 is a compact program designed to copy and move files at the maximum possible speed and features a timer that works great for review purposes as we can easily show you time differences between different file transfer scenarios. TeraCopy also uses dynamically adjusted buffers to reduce seek times and has asynchronous copy speeds up file transfer between two physical hard drives.
We recently moved over 4.18GB of pictures and movies that we shot on our Canon 70D SLR camera during CES 2014 to our ASUS UX31A Zenbook that runs Windows 8.1. We wanted to see how long it would take to move that folder to the Lexar microSDHC card and then back to the Ultrabook. There are 305 files in this folder and include just pictures and movies. This is a very real usage scenario, so we can’t wait to see how the drive performs!
Moving the ~4.2GB folder from our desktop to the Lexar High-Performance microSDHC UHS-I card (633x) took 3 minutes and 13 seconds and it looks like we averaged 22MB/s during the data transfer. We were seeing write speeds of 25MB/s in the synthetic benchmarks, so this is a pretty good result.
We then moved the folder from the Lexar High-Performance microSDHC UHS-I card (633x) back to the desktop the task completed in 1 minutes and 28 seconds! The read speeds for this averaged 49MB/s. This is a little lower than expected, but a respectable speed nonetheless.
Lexar 16GB MicroSD 633x Smartphone Performance
We also wanted to check out the speed on a mobile device, so we fired up the SD Tools v 3.5 App on our Samsung Galaxy S4 Smartphone that is running Android 4.3 to see what the Lexar 16GB microSDHC 633x card is made of.
As you can see from the screenshot above the App was showing that we were getting 19.6 MB/s read speeds and 13.7MB/s write speeds.
We also ran the A1 SD Bench v2.0.0 App and after running the long benchmark it was showing that we were getting 18.36MB/s read speeds and 15.28MB/s write speeds. Notice that there is a total of 15,263MB of space on this Flash drive.
Final Thoughts on The Lexar 16GB microSDHC 633x UHS-I Card
The Lexar High-Performance 633x microSD UHS-I memory card lineup is Lexar's premium series for microSD storage. It doesn't get any faster than this right now and with speeds hitting 633x or 95MB/s that should suffice for most everyone. Those looking for fast transfer rates and UHS-I and Class 10 speeds ratings can stop looking as this card can handle Full 1080P video recording and even some of the sports camcorders that are now shooting movies at Ultra HD 4K resolutions. Our testing showed that we were hitting 94MB/s sequential read and 25MB/s sequential write speeds. These speeds are close to the quoted rating.
When it comes to pricing the new Lexar high-performance microSD cards start at $34.99 for a 16GB card and going up to $99.99 for a 64GB card. Usually retailers will price items below the MSRP, so we expect to see street prices on these drives to be lower!
Lexar microSD UHS-I Card (633x) Suggested Retail Pricing:
- 16GB microSDHC - LSDMI16GBSBNA633R - $34.99 USD
- 32GB microSDHC - LSDMI32GBSBNA633R - $59.99 USD
- 64GB microSDXC - LSDMI64GBSBNA633R - $99.99 USD
The only thing 'new' about these cards other than the color is the 5MB/s speed increase, so right now that means the 'old' 600x speed cards that are still widely available might be the best bang for the buck. Lexar will be ending this product line, but for now they are available for significantly less and some might not care about that 5.5% speed increase. For example the 16GB 633x microSDHC card costs 40% more than the street price on the 16GB 600x microSDHC card. This is a horrible comparison though as you really can't compare street prices versus MSRP, but you should be able to figure out what we are getting at.
Lexar microSD UHS-I Card (600x) Street Pricing:
- 16GB microSDHC - LSDMI16GBSBNA600R - $24.95 shipped
- 32GB microSDHC - LSDMI32GBSBNA600R - $44.95 shipped
- 64GB microSDXC - LSDMI64GBSBNA600R - $92.25 shipped
At the end of the day the Lexar high-performance microSD lineup got a speed boost and no performance junkie can complain about that. If you want to have the latest and greatest Lexar microSDHC or microSDXC memory card in your tablet, smartphone, camera or sports camcorder look no further.
Legit Bottom Line: The Lexar High-Performance microSDHC 633x 16GB UHS-I memory card was able to handle everything we tried to do on it and the near 95MB/s sequential read performance we saw on USB 3.0 was impressive.