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Appeared on: Friday, June 27, 2014
Toshiba Exceria Pro 32GB UHS II SD card review


1. Features

Today we will run some benchmarks with Toshiba's 32GB EXCERIA PRO SD memory card (XPRO32UHS2(BL8), which is designed for users of high-end digital cameras. The EXCERIA PRO (32GB and 16GB) cards compliant with UHS-II promise to offer impressive, near-SSD data write speeds of 240MB/sec and read speeds of 240MB/sec.

The cards are the first in the EXCERIA line-up to integrate a newly developed controller compliant with UHS-II the ultra high-speed serial bus interface defined in SD Memory Card Standard Ver. 4.10, and they achieve significantly higher data transfer speeds than earlier UHS-I compliant cards. UHS-II is the ultra high-speed serial bus interface in SD Memory Card Standard Ver4.XX that delivers data at 156MB/s by single lane access and 312MB/s by dual lane access.

Toshiba is also offering the EXCERIA series that will write at 120MB/sec.

- Specifications

Part Number

SD-XPRO32UHS2(BL8

SD-XPRO16UHS2(BL8

Capacity

32GB

16GB

Maximum Read Speed

260 MB/s

Maximum Write Speed

240 MB/s

UHS Speed Class

UHS Speed Class 1

Interface

Reference clock = 52MHz
Data rate = 1.56Gbps(FD156), 3.12Gbps(HD312)
UHS-II Bus modes = HD312, FD156

Power Supply Voltage

VDD1=2.7~3.6V, VDD2=1.7V~1.95V

Compliant Standard

SD Memory Card Standard Ver.4.10

File Format

FAT32

External Dimensions

32.0mm(L)×24.0mm(W)×2.1mm(T)

Weight Approx.

Approx. 2g


2. Closer look, benchmarks

The Toshiba Exceria PRO comes in a retail box, and not the typical plastic sleeve met in other SD cards. As you see below, on the outside of the package you can find everything that we need to know from the capacity and speed to the more detailed card information. The back of the box contains additional specifications and information.

The card has the typical 32.0 mm (L) x 24.0 mm (W) x 2.1 mm (H) size for the category and its read and write speed ratings are visible on its body, along with its SDHC UHS-II interface and UHS speed class 1 speed class symbols. As a note, the pin layout on the backside of the card is different than what we have seen in other cards.In this case we have 17 pins which is necessary for additional communication and higher bandwidth of the built-in controller.

It's time to run some benchmarks with the new SD card. For our tests, we measured speeds of the Toshiba Exceria PRO 32GB card using two different card readers; the Kingston MobileLite G3 and a Panasonic AJMPD1 USB 3.0 card reader. The card readers were plugged into a USB3.0 port of a PC, with the following specs:

We also run the benchmarks two times. The first time the Kingston/Panasonic USB 3.0 card readers were connected to an Intel USB 3.0 controller. For the second benchmark, the card readers were connected to a VIA USB 3.0 controller. The latter controller features the UASP/Turbo mode, which significantly boosts the data transfer rate between the controller and the card reader.

Below you see the Panasonic microP2 AJMPD1 memory card drive:

 

We start with the CrystalDiskMark 3.0.2e x64 edition benchmark, and our Exceria PRO 32GB card connected to the Kingston MobileLite G3 card reader and the Intel USB 3.0 controller:

Under the specific configuration, the sequential reading speed for the Exceria PRO 32GB was around 89 MB/s while writing hit the 88MB/sec. That's way to far from the specs quoted by Toshiba for the SD card.

We then used the same Kingston MobileLite G3 card reader connected to the VIA USB 3.0 controller of our PC. Here we had the options to enable/disable the UASP/Turbo mode of the USB 3.0 controller. Let's start with the UASP/Turbo disabled:

As you see from the benchmarks above, keeping the UASP disabled on the VIA USB 32.0 controller did not make any difference compared to the results we got with the Kingston USB 3.0 reader and the Intel USB 3.0 driver. Moving on, enabling the UASP/Turbo mode using the Kingston MobileLite G3 card reader did not help:

Let's now use the Panasonic microP2 AJMPD1 memory card drive. We start with the Intel USB 3.0 drivers installed:

As you see the performance gain is significant, with the Exceria PRO 32GB card to reach the 170 MB/s read and 152 MB/s write speeds. Obviously, the Panasonic card reader works much better that Kingston's device, although we have not seen the maximum performance of the Exceria PRO card yet.

The next step is to use the Panasonic reader with VIA USB 3.0 drivers installed. We start with the UASP/Turbo mode disabled:

Not much has changed with the Turbo mode disabled on the Panasonic reader / VIA USB 3.0 drivers test. However, enabling it will finally unveil the real performance potential of the Toshiba Exceria PRO 32GB card:

The Toshiba card finally hit the impressive 236 MB/s and 210 MB/s speeds in the sequential read and write tests, respectively.

Below we summarize the results so far:

CrystalDiskMark - Toshiba Exceria PRO 32GB

Sequential Read
Sequential Write
Kingston MobileLite G3 card reader plugged to Intel USB 3.0 controller
89 MB/s
87.75 MB/s
Kingston MobileLite G3 card reader plugged to VIA USB 3.0 controller, UASP disabled
91.24 MB/s
88.29 MB/s
Kingston MobileLite G3 card reader plugged to VIA USB 3.0 controller, UASP enabled
89.29 MB/s
47.73 MB/s
Panasonic microP2 AJMPD1 card reader plugged to Intel USB 3.0 controller
170.9 MB/s
152.4 MB/s
Panasonic microP2 AJMPD1 card reader plugged to VIA USB 3.0 controller, UASP disabled
169.7 MB/s
154.5 MB/s
Panasonic microP2 AJMPD1 card reader plugged to VIA USB 3.0 controller, UASP enabled
236.5 MB/s
209.8 MB/s

Below you see the results we got when we benchmarked other SD cards under the same configurations (Card reader / USB 3.0 drivers):

Kingston MobileLite G3 card reader plugged to Intel USB 3.0 controller
CrystalDiskMark Sequential Read Sequential Write
Kingston UltimateX 32GB SDHC Class 10
20.12MB/sec
14.47 MB/sec
Kingston UltimateXX 32GB SDHC
89.29 MB/sec
47.73 MB/sec
Sandisk Extreme UHS-1 SDHC 32GB
20.62 MB/sec
19.86 MB/sec
Toshiba Exceria PRO 32GB
89 MB/s
87.75 MB/s
Kingston SDHC 32GB UHS-I U3
93.31MB/sec
88.03 MB/sec

 

Panasonic microP2 AJMPD1 card reader plugged to VIA USB 3.0 controller, UASP/Turbo mode enabled
CrystalDiskMark Sequential Read Sequential Write
Kingston UltimateX 32GB SDHC Class 10
33.58 MB/s
17.02 MB/s
Kingston UltimateXX 32GB SDHC
92.97 MB/s
48.59 MB/s
Sandisk Extreme UHS-1 SDHC 32GB
47.83 MB/s
43.99 MB/s
Toshiba Exceria PRO 32GB
236.5 MB/s
209.8 MB/s

3. Final words

With the Toshiba Exceria Pro series, Toshiba is definitely targeting the demanding users who seek not anything less than speed. And according to our benchmarks, this UHS-II SD card is offering top performance in its class, matching the speeds of some low-end SSD drives. We measured some really impressive sequential speeds of 236 MB/s for read and 210 MB/s for write.

Of course, these performance numbers require high bandwidth using a fast USB 3.0 controller and the right drivers. We tested the card using two different configurations, with USB 3.0 card readers from Kingston and Panasonic. The best results came with the pricey Panasonic reader and the VIA USB 3.0 drivers with UASP/turbo mode enabled. In any case, this SD card has showed its potential and you'll have to experiment a bit in order to enjoy optimal performance.

 

The Toshiba Exceria Pro 32GB is not very widely available in online stores and when it's there, it retails for $180 or even more (32GB). It is certainly not a low price, but that's he case with most premium products, and the Toshiba Exceria PRO 32GB deserves your attention as it outperforms the competition in SDHC cards.

Toshiba is offering a long, five-year warranty for their Exceria cards.

 





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