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Appeared on: Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Kingston UltimateX 100X 32GB SDHC review


1. Features

Until the day when all devices have ultra-fast broadband wireless internet access as well as sync'n'store features with cloud computing services, memory cards will remain the most convenient, pocketable storage medium.

Today we will benchmark Kingston 's UltimateX 100X 32GB SDHC. As its name denotes, the card is in the Class 10 100x range aimed at the enthusiast. It comes in capacities of 8GB, 16GB and 32GB and we will test the 32 GB version. Kingston quotes speeds of up to 15MB/s write and 20MB/s read, meaning that the SD card should be fast enough for storing HD video.

The SDHC Ultimate Class 10 is covered by a lifetime warranty.

- Features

- Specifications


2. Package, tests

The Kingston SDHC 32GB UltimateX is sold online for about $25- a very attractive price is very attractive for the category.

Below you see the retail package of the SD card, which is secured into a hard plastic shell:

The Kingston UltimateX 100X 32GB SDHC card has the typical dimensions and appearance of SD cards. It measures 24mm x 32mm and is 2.1mm thick.  These cards are the most widely used for digital cameras of all sizes. The card can be write-protected using the lock slide on its left side.

The card's speed class rating (10) is within a letter "C" on the label. The Class 10 rating ensures a 10MB/s minimum write speed. Generally, the speed classes are minimum requirements and SD card manufacturers can define constant minimum write speeds that are higher than the speed class designation of the SD card.

The speed class ratings are crucial for video capture. And since video capture data rates are critical for camera manufacturers, they typically recommend a particular SD speed class for use when capturing video with a camera or camcorder.

Let's run some benchmarks with Kingston UltimateX 100X 32GB SDHC. For the test we used a USB2.0 adapter and ran the H2Testw and the CrystalDiskMark software packages.

With the H2Testw, Kinsgton's SDHC gave a 18.8MB/sec read and 12.8Mb/sec write - both sequential:

The CrystalDiskMark 3.0.2e x64 edition gave slightly higher numbers. The sequential reading speed was 20.12MB/sec and writing was 14.47MB/sec:

The results confirm the performance figures quoted by Kingston. Of course, have in mind that we are dealing with a Class 10 card here, so do not expect to see the performance of the some more expensive UHS Speed Class 1 cards, especially in the writing part. For instance, below you see a CrystalDiskMark test with Sandisk's Extreme UHS-1 SDHC 32GB:

H2Testw Sequential Read Sequential Write
Kingston UltimateX 32GB SDHC 18.8MB/sec 12.8MB/sec
Sandisk Extreme UHS-1 SDHC 32GB 19.2MB/sec 17.4MB/sec

 

CrystalDiskMark Sequential Read Sequential Write
Kingston UltimateX 32GB SDHC 20.12MB/sec 14.47MB/sec
Sandisk Extreme UHS-1 SDHC 32GB 20.62MB/sec 19.86MB/sec

3. Summary

When it comes to SD cards, write/read speeds as well as compatibility are the three main factors that you should consider before buying a card for your camera.

Write speeds are more important since that number affects how fast your cameras can dump info from the processor to the SD card. Read speeds are also important when you transfer your photos or videos in your computer.

Compatibility is also very important, but in most cases you can find a camera’s SD card type compatibility on the camera itself, on the camera’s box, or on the manufacturer’s web site listing for the camera.

The Kingston UltimateX 100X 32GB SDHC will most probably cover your data storage needs with modern digital cameras and electronic devices. The card performed even better than its rated specifications - 20MB/s for sequential read and 12-14MB/s for sequential write.

Without any doubt, these speeds are high enough for your mid-range camera. With more advanced point and shoot, super zoom and DSLR cameras, you may need to seek for a faster performance with UHS-1 cards. For instance, we are not sure how Kingston's class10 card copes with a 16 shot burst of RAW files from a Nikon D800's 36mp CCD, where the camera may be forced to buffer for some time before writing the images on the card.

The Kingston UltimateX 100X 32GB SDHC has enough capacity to handle everybody's 2-week vacation. As a class 10 device it has the speed to record 1080P video and still images. Priced at less than $26, is is a god option to upgrade from a standard SD card.



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