Testing Participants Summary table
For the sake of convenience, the information about the controllers is listed in the following table:
Testbed and Methods
We used the following software:
- FC-Test version 1.0
- FC-Test version 2.0
- IOMeter version 2003.02.15
Using two versions of FC-Test allows to compare the results with those we got in our earlier tests while transitioning to the newer version of the testing program.
The following PC configuration was used for the test:
- Albatron PX865PE Pro II mainboard
- Intel Pentium 4 2.4GHz
- IBM DTLA-307515 (15GB) as the system disk
- Radeon X600 graphics card
- 512MB of DDR2-533 SDRAM
- Windows XP Professional SP2
I used the generic OS drivers for the test. The memory cards were formatted in Windows XP as one FAT32 partition with the default cluster size. The card-readers were connected to the mainboard’s connectors with the standard cables, without USB hubs or extension cords.
The following cards, which are among the fastest available now, were used for the test:
- Compact Flash: SanDisk Extreme IV. It is one of the fastest memory cards of this format as well as in general. The manufacturer claims it to be able to achieve a data-transfer speed of 40MB/s. You can refer to our review for details about it.
- Secure Digital: Transcend 150x
- SDHC: Transcend 150x class 6
- MMCplus: Apacer 290x
- Memory Stick Pro Duo High Speed
We did not test SM and xD cards due to their low popularity and a total lack of progress in their characteristics.
The speed of a card-reader depends entirely on the controller installed in it, so I will compare not the reader models, but the controllers – you can look up what reader a specific controller belongs to in the table above. SanDisk seems to prefer to change the Vid and Pid strings for the chips of its card-readers, so I will call these chips by the name of the device they are installed in.