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FC-Test 1.0

FC-Test will help us examine the readers under real-life conditions. The test writes and reads a few file-sets and measures the time it takes to perform each operation. This allows to calculate the resulting speed and see how it depends on the number and size of the processed files. We use three file-sets that differ in the size (1, 10 and 100MB) and number (1, 10, and 100) of files included. Practice suggests that a 100MB file is large enough to reveal the maximum performance of a flash-based storage media and using a larger file doesn’t affect the results much

I will only publish the diagrams for the reading and writing of ten 10MB files to make the review shorter. You can view the other diagrams clicking on the links below.

Other read diagrams:

There are no surprises. The controllers perform up to the reputation they have earned in the previous tests. The AU6377 is in the lead, being 30% ahead of the closest pursuer, which is the SanDisk Extreme USB. The two AU6362 controllers are the slowest of all. The IC1210 and ND3260 are rather slow, too.

Other write diagrams:

The SanDisk Extreme USB goes ahead in this test, outperforming the AU6377. The four slowest readers are the same as in the previous test.

FC-Test 2.0

I will now test the cards in the newer version of FC-Test using the same methodology.

Other read diagrams:

The newer version of the test outlines the tendency better: the AU6377 enjoys a huge lead over the others. Next go five more controllers with similar results, and there are four very slow chips.

Other write diagrams:

The SanDisk Extreme USB goes ahead, pushing the AU6377 down to second place. The other chips do not show anything exceptional.

Performance with CF Cards Summary

So, it is all quite clear about this part of my tests. The card-readers based on the new AU6377 controller deliver the highest read speed while the SanDisk Extreme offers the highest speed of writing. The readers based on the IC1210, ND3260 and, especially, AU6362 controllers (the latter with firmware version 01.26 and 01.29) are slow. Even 45x card are going to surpass the capabilities of these readers.

I should note that the fastest Compact Flash cards have reached such high speeds that non-specialized card-readers cannot match them. The best models in this test session have but half of the speed the card could deliver. Most controllers supports speeds of 100-150x, but not 266-300x.

Now let’s check out Secure Digital format.

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