26 February 2015

REVIEW: PNY MicroSDHC Card Speed Test

On your marks...

Often overlooked, SD and MicroSD cards are an absolute must for many of today's gadgets. From phones to laptops, cameras and quadcopters, SD cards are required to store data and gather images and footage from the heart of the action. After being sent one of their new Elite Performance 32 GB MicroSDHC Cards, we wanted to pit PNY's kit against another leading flash storage provider, Kingston. Let the transfers begin!

There is a lot of software out there that lets you test a card or flash drive's speed simply by plugging it into your laptop. However, we wanted to do something a little more guerrilla by simultaneously copying the same file from two identical devices onto the two SD cards, and observe which one completed the copy first. Then (by way of USB card readers) copy that file from the SDs to the same computer, again at the same time. Like the rebels we are.

The device we chose was the Samsung Galaxy S4 (as we had two of the same specification and age available) while the file was a 300MB .avi Simpsons episode, ripped from the DVD. It was a simple case of transferring the file to both phones via USB cable, then inserting the PNY card into one phone, and Kingston card into the other.

Using the phones' native Samsung File Manager, we set both phones to transfer the Simpsons episodes to their waiting SDs, tapping copy at the very same time. This would test the cards' write speed, the speed at which data can be copied onto them.

The winner... well, after 11.5 seconds of copying, the PNY card won the race, with the Kingston coming closely in second with a time of 12.9 seconds. And in case you were wondering if it was the phones that made that crucial difference, we swapped the cards in the handsets and set the transfer going once again. This time the PNY won at 11.9 seconds, and the Kingston came in at 12.5. So, in terms of the write speed, the PNY has it.

Next we removed both cards from the phones and inserted them both into the same model of MicroSD card reader. Don't ask us the make of this reader - they were picked up cheaply on Ebay several years ago for a few pence each, but have stood the test of time very well ever since (the same model of which enjoyed a repair job courtesy of Sugru right here).

Both readers were then inserted into neighbouring USB ports on an Acer Aspire One laptop, and the copy of the Simpson episodes was started. Clearly both cards can be read from much quicker, as this time the PNY scored a impressive 4.1 seconds, while the Kingston was just piped at 4.4 seconds. Barely anything in it, but still it was an interesting experiment.

So do check out PNY's range of cards as they have the honour of receiving our seal of approval. We know... a pretty big deal, yeah?

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