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Performance in FC-Test 1.0

FC-Test will help us examine the flash cards 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

Let’s check out the write speeds, which are the most important results of this test.

The standings of the cards haven’t changed but the overall picture is different. The Extreme IV card is unrivalled if compared in the same reader. The write speeds are lower than the read ones and equal 26MB for the Extreme IV in the Extreme FireWire and 12.5MB/s for the Extreme III in the Extreme USB (this card still performs worse in the FireWire reader). The Ultra II is slow, its write speed being no higher than 5MB/s. The old ImageMate card-readers can’t stand a comparison with the new Extreme series.

The speeds get higher when we switch to larger files, but the standings do not change. The Extreme IV is almost as fast as 30MB/s while the Ultra II nearly notches a speed of 7MB/s.

It’s on largest files that the maximum of speed can be achieved. The Extreme IV does not deliver the promised 40MB/s, yet it overcomes the 30MB/s mark which is a good practical result. The Extreme III is close to 15MB/s and the Ultra II to 9MB/s. The card-readers perform just as they’ve done in the earlier tests.

The read tests come next.

Processing 1MB files, the cards all deliver the same speed in the ImageMate FireWire. It is the card-reader that’s the bottleneck here rather than the flash card installed. The old ImageMate USB is only sufficient for the Ultra II card – the others can do better as they prove in the newer card-readers. The Extreme USB yields 17MB/s, which is enough for the Extreme III card but not enough for the Extreme IV. The latter card can only shows its best in the Extreme FireWire and is very close to the specified speed of 40MB/s, leaving the other pairs far behind. Surprisingly, the Extreme III card has better results in the USB-interfaced Extreme series card-reader rather than in the theoretically faster FireWire model.

The transition to 10MB files doesn’t have a big effect on the results.

The results don’t change again when we switch to a single 100MB file.

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