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Friday | October 15, 2021
UHS-1 SD Card Roundup

UHS-1 SD Card Roundup

Many devices support SD cards for storage and as a result there is a massive amount of models on the market. Many of them claim enhanced durability and fast speeds but not all will deliver. Today we take the latest UHS-I class cards from 3 major brands for a spin to see how they stack up. Especially useful if you have a recent DSLR which can take advantage of modern cards.

The Adata XPG SDXC Card (ASDX64GUI3CL10-R)

adata-sd-card-packaging adata-sd-card

ADATA package their card in a cardboard sleeve with the product protected by a plastic cover. There are no bundled items with the card however we do get plenty of info on the specs. Those are a 64GB capacity, SDXC Class 10, 95MB/s read, 85MB/s Write and support for 4K2K and 3D though no detail on those last 2 features is provided. ADATA also note that their cards are waterproof, shock proof, magnet proof, x-ray proof and will operate from -25c to 85c. This card has a lifetime warranty.

The Kingston SDA3 (SDA3/16)

kingston-sd-card-packaging kingston-sd-card

Kingston also package their SD card in a cardboard container with plastic protector with this family containing 16 -64GB versions. Again we get information on the speeds from the packaging as well as its UHS-I class 3 status and video certifications, including 4K2K and the lifetime warranty.

The Lexar Professional 600x Card and Professional Reader (LSD32GCRBEU600 REV.A AND LRW300U REV.E)

lexar-sd-card-packaging lexar-sd-card

Lexar have the largest packaging on show here and inside the find the card suspended in a plastic tray. It is also contained in a plastic holder which is ideal for storing a spare card and there is a leaflet for free image recovery software included too (In the event of accidental format/corruption). This 32GB card is rated for 90MB/s read but we have no note of the write speed on the packaging. We shall establish that later. Lexar also offer a lifetime warranty and note their rigorous quality testing as well as HD, 3D and 4K support. Models of 16GB to 256GB are available in this range and to match their cards Lexar offer a similarly branded card reader.

lexar-sd-card-reader-packaging lexar-sd-card-reader-device

The card reader is shown above and while that image shows the compact flash and SD card slots (and activity LED location), this black section pushes down into the transparent area for protection during transport. The reader has a rubber base to keep it steady on our desk and the USB 3.0 port can be found on the back. This reader supports UDMA7 CompactFlash, CF, SD, SDHC, SDXC and SD UHS-I cards.

Performance and Conclusion


Today we are testing all three cards using Lexar’s UHS-I compatible reader. It is connected by USB3.0 however the limitation of the benchmark is likely to be the cards themselves as UHS-I spec is lower than USB 3.0. Our comparison cards are two “high end” SDXC Class 10 cards the Samsung SDXC/Class 10 and Sandisk Ultra.

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Shown above are the peak results we achieved on each of the cards. The basic summary is that the ADATA was the fastest on write operations and very competitive with Lexar which was fastest on reads. Kingston were close to both on reads and between the two on writes, leaving Lexar as the slowest writing part of the three UHS-I cards.

For those on Class 10 products, there is a clear advantage in moving to UHS-I as the Sandisk and Samsung models were significantly slower than our three new generation models.

What does that mean in real world use? We tested a few standard card readers and they all sat at around 80mb/s read, 55mb/s write. So we would get a decent boost in transfer speeds just from upgrading cards. Moving to the Lexar reader would boost performance even more though which saves time when transferring large amounts of images (or data) from our card to a PC.

The other key advantage of the UHS-I cards was our experience when used in camera. With a model which supports the new format our shooting speed didn’t increase, that is a camera limitation, but our ability to clear the camera buffer dropped significantly. Using the Sandisk card as an example, it cleared images from the camera buffer to SD card in 53 seconds. Using a UHS-I card dropped that time to 21-23 seconds depending on the model. That means less time (approx. half) waiting for our camera to become available to shoot again after a long burst of images.


Not all cards are created equal and gear clearly has an impact on the overall experience however there is no doubting that a quality reader like the Lexar Professional, mixed with a UHS-I card allows us to work faster. Have a UHS-I capable camera? Then you also get the bonus of being ready to shoot in less time when on the job.



Recommended Award

Kingston SDA3 (SDA3/16) Card and
Lexar Professional 600x Card

Lexar Card Reader

Lexar Professional Card Reader

Pricing: Varies

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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