SDCard Shootout: Stock v Class 4 v Class 6

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by jmxp69, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. jmxp69

    jmxp69 Well-Known Member
    68

    Feb 26, 2010
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    Engineering Manager
    Hardware/Software
    • Sprint HTC Hero
    • Rooted/Fresh 1.1/Gumbo 1.5/SetCPU msm7k 528/245
    • Heroc 1.5.2
    • 17" Macbook Pro C2D USB2.0
    • All commands issued from CLI (vs. Finder [explorer])
    • 8g Transcend Class 6 from Newegg.
    • 8g Kingston Class 4 from Microcenter
    • 2g Stock (Class 2?)

    Caveats

    Unfortunately I didn't have the same make SDCards for the test. Memory speed from manufacturer to manufacturer can vary so keep this in mind as you read. I will say that the read results were sufficiently close across all three cards to make me believe phone hardware was a limiting factor more than the memory itself.

    All recorded large file transfers were conducted in the full OS. The small file transfers were conducted in recovery mode. I wanted to see if there were any OS optimizations/drivers that would impact test results and there weren't. I ran two large file tests in recovery mode and got the same results as in the full OS, so I stopped testing/recording and just stayed in recovery mode.

    The phone was rebooted for card swaps. The card was unmounted/remounted between each test.


    Test Results

    Full OS Boot - Large File Transfer: 691MB mp4 video

    Transcend 8g Class 6
    READ: Copy from phone to MBP 0m56s
    WRITE: Copy from MBP to phone 2m17s

    Kingston 8g Class 4
    READ: Copy from phone to MBP 0m57s
    WRITE: Copy from MBP to phone 2m48s

    Stock 2g
    READ: Copy from phone to MBP 0m59s
    WRITE: Copy from MBP to phone 3m45s

    Observations:

    - Read from SDCard to Computer - No practical benefit from stock card to class 6 card.
    - Write from Computer to SDCard - Class 6 was fastest by 31 seconds. Beat stock by 1m28s.

    Operational Benefit: Applications on SDCard won't launch faster. Applications writing to SDCard will see improvement (i.e. Cache2SD Apps, Camera, etc.)


    Recovery Mode - Small File Transfer Test: 89 files, 67MB


    Transcend 8g Class 6
    READ: Copy from phone to MBP 0m5s
    WRITE: Copy from MBP to phone 0m13s
    READ AND WRITE: Copy SDCard to SDCard 0m12s

    Kingston 8g Class 4
    READ: Copy from phone to MBP 0m6s
    WRITE: Copy from MBP to phone 0m13s
    READ AND WRITE: Copy SDCard to SDCard 0m14s

    Stock 2g
    READ: Copy from phone to MBP 0m5s (WTH?)
    WRITE: Copy from MBP to phone 0m29s
    READ AND WRITE: Copy SDCard to SDCard 0m24s

    Observations:

    - Read Speed: Same as above, no discernible difference when reading from the card <sigh>.
    - Write Speed: Class 4 and Class 6 on par with each other. Nearly twice as fast as stock.
    - Read/Write Speed: Class 4 and Class 6 about equal again and nearly twice as fast as stock.

    Operational Benefit: Simultaneous read/writes with a Class 6 card see significant improvement over stock, negligible over Class 4. ie If you're a multitasker, this will matter.


    Bottom Line

    The Class 6 is 23% faster than the Class 4 in large file write operations (think camera). My camera absolutely feels faster with the Class 6 compared to Stock, and I *think* it's faster than the Class 4, but I wouldn't put money on it. :)

    The difference between read/write on the Class 6 and Class 4 cards looks small, but look again, it's actually also ~ 20% faster on the Class 6. I take this to mean anytime the phone is reading and writing to the SDCard simultaneously, you would see ~ 20% performance improvement over the Class 4. I'm not a programmer, so I can't say how often this occurs, but I've been using Linux long enough to know that multitasking OSs can keep filesystems plenty busy with read/write activity.

    The Class 6 won or tied in every test. I paid $22 for the 8g Class 6 (Newegg), and $20 for the 8g Class 4. The test results only show ~ 20% improvements during Write and simultaneous Read/Write operations. Even with this limited scope and disappointing read results, I believe the the Class 6 shows enough of a speed improvement to warrant a few extra dollars.

    There is no question you will see performance gains moving from stock to either class 4 or 6 in write or simultaneous read/write operations. I was disappointed that read operations--which has everything to do with overall performance--appears to be a dead heat between all three cards.

    Hope this helps. Fire way...
     

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  2. jmxp69

    jmxp69 Well-Known Member
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    Feb 26, 2010
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    Sorry...first post :( Perhaps a mod can move this to the Sprint HTC Hero sub pleaaase. Won't happen again, scouts honor.
     
  3. antipesto93

    antipesto93 Well-Known Member
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    Feb 4, 2010
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    hey i allways wondered this,i have allways purchased class 6 sd's because they are not much more expensive than the generic ones on ebay- good to know that having a class 6 sd card is actually better than the generic one :)
     
  4. spiderweb

    spiderweb Member
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    Feb 25, 2010
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    J2EE Developer
    Bitola, Macedonia
    I don't think there will be a significant difference from the Sprint HTC Hero and the regular one. Nice thread
     
  5. andy d

    andy d Well-Known Member
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    Aug 19, 2009
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    UK
    Good info well put together.
    Cheers.
     
  6. jmxp69

    jmxp69 Well-Known Member
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    Feb 26, 2010
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    Engineering Manager
    Glad you guys like it. I have a Muegen 1800, Andida 2000 on the way, and of course the stock battery. I think I'll run a similar test after 5 days with each new battery.

    J
     
  7. lekky

    lekky Lover
    VIP Member
    313

    Would a test moving files around the phone have any relevance? Thats what we'd be more interested in knowing probably?
     
  8. jmxp69

    jmxp69 Well-Known Member
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    Feb 26, 2010
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    Perhaps. Read and write from the laptop should have saturated the channel between the memory and the hard drive, so I expect the results would simply be a factor of what you see on this test; however, it might be worth the effort just to make sure.
     
  9. jmxp69

    jmxp69 Well-Known Member
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    Feb 26, 2010
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    Ok, update for the simultaneous Read/Write:

    Same hardware/software environment as above. Booted into recovery mode. Commands issued from CLI.

    All files read from the card and written to a subdirectory on the card.

    Test Files: 80 jpg images/55MB.

    Transcend Class 6: 0m8s.
    Kingston Class 4: 0m12s.
    Stock 2g: 0m14s.

    So it looks like a fairly significant advantage with Class 6 cards during simultaneous RW operations. Good call to check this. No question a 50% boost here will matter in daily use.

    J
     
    lekky likes this.
  10. mgillespie

    mgillespie Well-Known Member
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    Mar 5, 2010
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    Glasgow, Scotland
    Can i ask how you benchmarked from recovery mode? I have recovery rom 1.6.2 and there is no option there.

    I want to ensure my 16GB Class6 is actually a class6 and not a knock-off
     
  11. Wanna sell me the class 4? :D
     
  12. LBPHeretic

    LBPHeretic Well-Known Member
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    May 29, 2010
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    Wilmington, Delaware
    I hope you understand that the "Class X" (where X is the writing speed in megabytes) is only in reference to the minimum writing speed. It has nothing to do with reading speed on the microSD card. ;)

    That is why the reading speed in your tests did not seem all that improved even with the Class 6 microSD card being used. Take a look at this Wikipedia article: Secure Digital - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia . That being said, I do appreciate your test and the results were very interesting. :)
     
  13. jmxp69

    jmxp69 Well-Known Member
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    Feb 26, 2010
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    I booted into the RA Recovery, and mounted the sdcard as a usb drive. After that, I just used unix commands:

    time cp blah /sdcard/blah

    Simple.
     
  14. jmxp69

    jmxp69 Well-Known Member
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    Feb 26, 2010
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    I did not know that. Thanks for pointing it out. Learn something new every day.

    J
     
  15. xbrokdikdogx

    xbrokdikdogx Well-Known Member
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    Mar 16, 2010
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    In addition to the class rating not being about the read speed, it also doesn't mean that a class 6 card is necessarily better than a class 2 or 4 card. Some cards are labelled class 2 though they perform much better. I have a class 2 8GB Sandisk that outperforms my old class 4 4GB Sandisk. The class 4 would write just about 4MS/s and the class 2 8GB would write at just over 5MB/s. I have read of some Sandisk class 2's outperforming class 6 cards even. it just takes luck of buying from the right batch.
     
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