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December 13, 2003

Benchmarking USB 2.0 flash readers...

I've been sitting here unscientifically benchmarking two different USB 2.0 8-n-1 flash readers all evening. The results aren't what Steve's Digicams lead me to believe.

All testing is on an MSI K7N2Delta-ILSR motherboard on Windows XP w/SP1. System components are fast enough not to slow down USB, although Windows XP's SCSI write caching flag may be affecting testing? I'm only testing xD performance, as that's the only media I have here. All tests use a 256MB Fuji xD card.

The first reader I got was a Lexar 8-n-1. I tested it a while ago, but here are tonight's results.
1:23 read 103MB (pictures)
2:50 write 103MB
6:15 write 119MB (pictures)
1:09 read 119MB

I wasn't exactly happy with the performance... so I picked up a SanDisk 8-n-1 tonight.
6:07 write 119MB (pictures)
0:10 read 119MB (read results appear cached)
0:13 read 119MB (read results appear cached)
3:40 write 133MB (MP3s)
0:15 read 133MB (read results appear cached)
2:20 read 167MB (video)
1:11 read 103MB (video and a very few pictures)
5:37 write 99MB (video and pictures)
0:52 read 99MB (video and pictures)
4:29 write 59MB (pictures and one video)
0:16 read 59MB (pictures and one video)
5:18 read 102MB (pictures-- cache cleared)

Notice the weirdass, very fast results for the SanDisk-- this appears to be because of the OS's read and write caching.

Suffice it to say, I originally thought the SanDisk was much, much faster... now I'm not so sure. It may actually be slower (!).

Write speed on both units looks about the same, so I'm willing to wager that both units actually read about the same speed once you get caching issues out of the way. Both drives autodetect as the same in Windows too, so I suspect both us the same internal chipset...

Well, it was a cheap experiment at least, since the SanDisk cost me just $8 after rebate-- I need a USB flash reader so a while ago I bought the Lexar... I wasn't going to pay $30 again for the Sandisk, but heck I can handle $8!

Posted by brian at December 13, 2003 12:55 AM

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