Just this week, I had a need to get some more 32Gb SDHC cards, preferably full size cards, at a good price for some short-haul work. I would expect these to be subjected to a lot of insertion/removal cycles, so I didn’t want to sacrifice any expensive cards as I’ve had a history of case-cracking over time.
While doing some shopping, I came across the Toshiba 32Gb UHS-I card, model SD-K032GR7AR30, for about AU$20 a piece posted. They’re not particularly notable, and are more “no-frills” when it comes to their line-up. It doesn’t even feature the Exceria branding. I have faith in Toshiba, and Japanese made products in general, so I decided to buy some. They did claim Class 10, so it couldn’t be too bad.
The card is packaged in a colour thin-card package with a plastic bubble, as many cards are packaged nowadays. This package is not particularly big, and is unlike the “boxy” tray-style packaging normally associated with the Exceria series.
The front is coloured green (my favourite colour), and advertises a maximum read speed of 30MB/s over the Class UHS-1/Class 10 write speed of 10MB/s. The front features a verification hologram and scratch-off (which requires a phone-in) probably because this is an imported card from overseas. The card is visible, and is black in colour, with a very plain black, white and gold front label.
The rear provides more detailed specifications, where this card is specified as supporting SDR50 mode in UHS-I. Very few cards provides this information.
The package can be opened by cutting along the dotted line, which encourages you to cut-through the hologram, where it allows the card bubble pack to be removed and the card to fold out and provide some information on the “manual”.
The card features a 1-year warranty according to the package, and the manual can be downloaded from their website.
Similar to other cards, the plastic bubble is a fold-over design with “wings” to prevent it from being slipped out of the backing card.
A closer look at the card reveals nothing too special, with the laser etching at the back being very sharp and deep, and similar to some you will find on the back of some Kingston cards (which seem to be OEMed by Toshiba).
The card’s details are as follows:
CID: 02544d534133324712439cf00300e855 CSD: 400e00325b590000ea977f800a400003 Size: 31,486,640,128 bytes
As usual, prior to commissioning, some testing of the product is performed to ensure that it performs correctly.
HDTune Pro with Transcend RDF8
From a clean state, with no data written, the card averages a 42.2MB/s read rate, which is close to the limit of an SDR50 bus connection.
However, once data is written to the flash, the true read speed is shown, averaging 35.4MB/s, which is higher than the claimed 30MB/s maximum, so the card is speeding. Good!
HDTune Pro with Kogan RTS5301
From a clean state, the RTS5301 mirrors the same read speeds as the RDF8, being slightly faster at 44.3MB/s. No test with the RTS5301 was performed in the dirty state.
CrystalDiskMark with Transcend RDF8
The card meets the specifications under CrystalDiskMark, with a read speed of 38.49Mb/s exceeding the 30Mb/s claimed, and a write speed of 13.98Mb/s exceeding the 10Mb/s guaranteed. However, from there, the performance for small and medium block goes downhill, with poor 512kB write rates, and fairly average 4kB write rates which seem to be time sensitive.
It seems that the card is nothing special, as expected from the packaging and price. However, comparing it to the Sandisk Ultra microSDHC, it’s fairly similar and trades blows back and forth, although that is expected since microSDHC cards are disadvantaged by the lower card volume meaning less space for flash, with less chance of getting higher speeds.
CrystalDiskMark with Kogan RTS5301
The Kogan RTS5301 turns out very similar numbers, which means good things in terms of card compatibility.
H2testw with Transcend RDF8
The card passed with no errors, and was able to maintain a very similar speed across the whole card as benchmarked above.
The Toshiba card is sold as “no frills”, and it performs as such. It’s not a bad card by any measure, and exceeds its stated claims, however, it is not a truly speedy card compared to the Exceria series. It is still plenty fast enough for recording high definition video (where Class 6 is even sufficient), and is probably no disadvantage if you’re not looking for every second in the download process or rattling off burst RAW shots on a DSLR like no-tomorrow. For the price, it provides the expected level of value, but the small and medium block performance is not particularly noteworthy.