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    FAST SDHC Memory for the EX1
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    Senior Member Stevet's Avatar
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    Sorry for the long rant, but this MAY be extremely helpful is getting us closer to finding a MUCH cheaper memory solution for the EX1. Please read on, I need your help to find the fastest SDHC cards possible

    I've been trying to find the fastest SDHC memory possible to use with the AFT PROExpress-7 ExpressCard Reader.
    PROExpress-7-Atech Flash Technology

    Why this expresscard adaptor. Easy, the SDHC memory cards fit in the adapter AND allows the EX1 memory compartment to close!


    OK, I've been having "almost success" with some cards.
    Why "almost"? Well, I've been able to capture 20 minutes of 1080 24P without any errors recording and playback. Here's the issue. the success rate is intermittent.

    My thought RIGHT NOW is that the majority of the issue is the slow RANDOM ACCESS time from these SDHC cards. Also, the sustained data rate must be kept high for READING and ESPECIALLY WRITING data.

    What I'm finding is that several cards I've tested are reading sustained data rates with no issues and maintaining around 18MB/s.
    The problem is, the WRITE speed runs from 3.7MB/s to 10.6MB/s (NOTE: this was using the ADATA 8GB SDHC TURBO CLASS 6 card. This card does not perform (at least based on the CLASS 6 designation) as advertised. CLASS 6 states the minimum data rate should not fall below 6MB/S.

    Interesting, I tried the SansDisk Ultra II CLASS 4 (min. 4MB transfer rate).
    The sustained (MB/s) READ and WRITE speeds were consistant (At least during my tests) and maintained between 16.8 to 17.4 WRITE and 18.19 to 18.21 READ data rate.

    Having seen that, I was surprised that the card does occasionally error when used in the EX1. Here's the deal, my thought is it's not JUST the sustained data rate, but how well it writes and reads randomly when asked to.

    My conclusion is based on several factors. One, the card works best with no errors when formated and recording without stopping. If I start and stop recording times quickly, an error can occur. Two, I am using memory data rate testing software which evaluates sustained and random data writes and reads.

    I was able to test the SxS memory card as a comparison.
    Here's the results:

    ADATA 8GB SDHC TURBO CLASS 6:

    Sustained data rate: Read: 18.64MB/s to 18.69MB/s Write: 3.72MB/s to 10.68MB/s
    Random 512K file: Read: 17.96MB/s to 18.69MB/s Write: 2.70MB/s to 3.10MB/s
    Random 4K file: Read: 3.57MB/s to 3.91MB/s Write: 0.033MB/s to 0.035MB/s


    SanDisk Ultra II SDHC CLASS 4:

    Sustained data rate: Read: 18.19MB/s to 18.21MB/s Write: 16.02MB/s to 17.40MB/s
    Random 512K file: Read: 17.34MB/s to 17.44MB/s Write: 2.69MB/s to 2.85MB/s
    Random 4K file: Read: 3.13MB/s to 3.31MB/s Write: 0.027MB/s to 0.031MB/s


    Sony SxS PRO 16GB:

    Sustained data rate: Read: 27.53MB/s to 27.57MB/s Write: 20.52MB/s to 20.68MB/s
    Random 512K file: Read: 27.51MB/s to 27.54MB/s Write: 7.45MB/s to 8.41MB/s
    Random 4K file: Read: 6.45MB/s to 6.46MB/s Write: 0.132MB/s to 0.148MB/s

    Just IN (09/17/08):

    SanDisk SDHC 16GB Extreme III 30MB/s

    Sustained data rate: Read: 19.06MB/s Write: 15.81MB/s
    Random 512K file: Read: 18.76MB/s Write: 3.703MB/s
    Random 4K file: Read: 3.581MB/s to 6.46MB/s Write: 0.036MB/s

    Since all the values were very close to each other, I did not write down a min max range.


    As you can see, the SxS random write is between 2 to 3 times faster than the SanDisk Ultra II CLASS 4 card. I'm sure no one is suprised with these results. Also the data is based on one test run. For all I know, and I imagine so, the SxS card within the EX1 performs even faster than these results show.

    But, this MAY give us a baseline for finding the fastest SDHC cards possible. As I mentioned earlier, the SanDisk Extreme III 30MB/s card "might" just work. I'm hoping its random read/write is faster along with the claimed data rate improvement.

    If anyone can help us out here, it's SanDisk. The results on the Ultra II CLASS 4 SDHC card are better than the CLASS 6 card ADATA.

    I won't have the new Extreme card until 2 weeks.

    PLEASE download the following Drive Speed Software (PC based, although there maybe a mac version up there too?). It's real easy to run. Just unzip and run the executable. There's no install program, only an executable. Since each tests runs five times, you need to write down the numbers as it runs. This way we can see the min-max data rate range.

    Download (Win 2000, XP, VISTA):
    http://dl.crystaldew.info/CrystalCPUID

    Their Site: http://crystalmark.info/download/index-e.html

    PLEASE try your SDHC cards (Transcend (I'm wondering about this card) ect...) and post the results like I did with the above. If you want, take my above results and paste into your message and we can keep a running log of tried SDHC cards.

    Also, use only on SDHC cards. PLain old SD cards will not work with the EX1/AFX Express card.


    BTW, If none of this crap works good enough in the end. It was worth a shot.
    But, SInce I was able to capture over 20 minutes of 1080 24P without an error, it would be stupid not to try to find the fastest memory possible.
    We are real close.
    Last edited by Stevet; 09-17-2008 at 07:21 PM.


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    Senior Member GuyB's Avatar
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    Here are some numbers for reference:

    RiData 52x CF in Lexar Firewire CF card reader:
    Sustained data rate: Read: 5.8MB/s Write: 5.0MB/s
    Random 512K file: Read: 5.8MBps Write: 3.7MBps
    Random 4K file: Read: 3.5MBps Write: 0.108MB/s

    RiData 52x CF in Lexar USB Pro CF card reader:
    Sustained data rate: Read: 6.5MB/s Write: 5.3MB/s
    Random 512K file: Read: 6.4MBps Write: 3.9MBps
    Random 4K file: Read: 2.8MBps Write: 0.105MB/s


    Lexar 300x UDMA CF in Lexar Firewire CF card reader:
    Sustained data rate: Read: 43.0MB/s Write: 29.40MB/s
    Random 512K file: Read: 42.7MBps Write: 12.9MBps
    Random 4K file: Read: 12.1MBps Write: 0.160MB/s

    Lexar 300x UDMA CF in Lexar USB Pro CF/SD card reader:
    Sustained data rate: Read: 31.4MB/s Write: 25.30MB/s
    Random 512K file: Read: 31.4MBps Write: 11.9MBps
    Random 4K file: Read: 5.1MBps Write: 0.160MB/s

    SanDisk 16GB Ultra II SD 15MBps Class 4 Lexar Pro USB CF/SD card reader:
    Sustained data rate: Read: 17.9MB/s Write: 17.1MB/s
    Random 512K file: Read: 17.3MBps Write: 3.1MBps
    Random 4K file: Read: 3.9MBps Write: 0.028MB/s

    SanDisk 16GB Ultra II SD 15MBps Class 4 Integrated SD card reader Asus laptop:
    Sustained data rate: Read: 16.0MB/s Write: 14.9MB/s
    Random 512K file: Read: 15.8MBps Write: 3.1MBps
    Random 4K file: Read: 5.5MBps Write: 0.030MB/s

    SanDisk 16GB Ultra II SD 15MBps Class 4 Sandisk Express Card SD/MS card reader:
    Sustained data rate: Read: 17.5MB/s Write: 16.7MB/s
    Random 512K file: Read: 16.4MBps Write: 3.0MBps
    Random 4K file: Read: 3.2MBps Write: 0.029MB/s

    Lexar 16GB Express Card in Laptop:
    Sustained data rate: Read: 33.2MB/s Write: 8.1MB/s
    Random 512K file: Read: 33.4MBps Write: 1.7MBps
    Random 4K file: Read: 6.4MBps Write: 0.016MB/s

    Sony 8GB SxS in laptop
    Sustained data rate: Read: 99.9MB/s Write: 75.7MB/s
    Random 512K file: Read: 97.3MBps Write: 8.6MBps
    Random 4K file: Read: 10.4MBps Write: 0.078MB/s

    Sony 16GB SxS in laptop
    Sustained data rate: Read: 98.3MB/s Write: 77.3MB/s
    Random 512K file: Read: 96.8MBps Write: 8.9MBps
    Random 4K file: Read: 10.3MBps Write: 0.083MB/s

    You really do have to be impressed by SxS read speed (and sequential write).

    Oh, and as reported before, the Sandisk Ultra II SD card in the Sandisk Express Card reader (model SDAD-109) does not work in the EX1, reporting as unrecognised media. Eagerly awaiting my Kensington reader and your report on the new 30MBps Sandisk SD card Steve. They are possibly the best hope we have for a fully functional solution even if it does still out a little.
    Last edited by GuyB; 09-16-2008 at 08:46 PM.


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    Senior Member Stevet's Avatar
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    Thank you GuyB.
    Man, that was a lot of work you did!

    I imagine the numbers you posted were the last numbers shown in the speed test. The program always displays the highest out of each test 5 runs.

    So of the data rates tend to deviate depending on the memory card. This may of been the reason why a couple SDHC cards I've tested worked intermittently.

    Hey, I should have the new 30MB/s SDHC extreme by thursday.
    I keep you posted.


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    Stevet, thanks for the hard work. We are all awaiting anxiously for your results... I'm on the fence on jumping to the EX side of things also due to the SxS cards, since I've invested a small furtune on P2. Keep us posted!
    SÚrgio Perez
    Macanese Director
    http://vimeo.com/user1503556


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    Senior Member Stevet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPZ View Post
    Stevet, thanks for the hard work. We are all awaiting anxiously for your results... I'm on the fence on jumping to the EX side of things also due to the SxS cards, since I've invested a small furtune on P2. Keep us posted!
    Thanks SÚrgio.
    You're right, an investment on a number of these memory cards can come close or exceed the cost of the camera.


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    Senior Member GuyB's Avatar
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    Hi Steve,

    I generally entered the first number I saw but didn't always see all the test results as they ran. Having said that, from what I saw I didn't see any fluctuations that didn't just make me simplify it to what I posted. Maybe one was 39.5 and another was 39.7 etc, but the differences were minimal enough to not bother with.

    Cheers

    Guy


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    Senior Member Stevet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuyB View Post
    Hi Steve,

    I generally entered the first number I saw but didn't always see all the test results as they ran. Having said that, from what I saw I didn't see any fluctuations that didn't just make me simplify it to what I posted. Maybe one was 39.5 and another was 39.7 etc, but the differences were minimal enough to not bother with.

    Cheers

    Guy
    I hear you...

    On the ADATA 8GB SDHC TURBO CLASS 6 I tested. There was a large difference in each write test:

    Sustained data rate: Read: 18.64MB/s to 18.69MB/s Write: 3.72MB/s to 10.68MB/s
    3.72MB would cause the EX1 to have a memory error.

    Also, the random 512K write was to slow at 2.70MB/s.
    IMO, I believe the write numbers for 512K random and sustained need to maintain consistant writes above at least 6MB/s


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    Format!
    #8
    Senior Member Carl Marxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevet View Post
    Sorry for the long rant, but this MAY be extremely helpful is getting us closer to finding a MUCH cheaper memory solution for the EX1. Please read on, I need your help to find the fastest SDHC cards possible

    I've been trying to find the fastest SDHC memory possible to use with the AFT PROExpress-7 ExpressCard Reader.
    PROExpress-7-Atech Flash Technology

    Why this expresscard adaptor. Easy, the SDHC memory cards fit in the adapter AND allows the EX1 memory compartment to close!


    OK, I've been having "almost success" with some cards.
    Why "almost"? Well, I've been able to capture 20 minutes of 1080 24P without any errors recording and playback. Here's the issue. the success rate is intermittent.

    My thought RIGHT NOW is that the majority of the issue is the slow RANDOM ACCESS time from these SDHC cards. Also, the sustained data rate must be kept high for READING and ESPECIALLY WRITING data.

    What I'm finding is that several cards I've tested are reading sustained data rates with no issues and maintaining around 18MB/s.
    The problem is, the WRITE speed runs from 3.7MB/s to 10.6MB/s (NOTE: this was using the ADATA 8GB SDHC TURBO CLASS 6 card. This card does not perform (at least based on the CLASS 6 designation) as advertised. CLASS 6 states the minimum data rate should not fall below 6MB/S.

    Interesting, I tried the SansDisk Ultra II CLASS 4 (min. 4MB transfer rate).
    The sustained (MB/s) READ and WRITE speeds were consistant (At least during my tests) and maintained between 16.8 to 17.4 WRITE and 18.19 to 18.21 READ data rate.

    Having seen that, I was surprised that the card does occasionally error when used in the EX1. Here's the deal, my thought is it's not JUST the sustained data rate, but how well it writes and reads randomly when asked to.

    My conclusion is based on several factors. One, the card works best with no errors when formated and recording without stopping. If I start and stop recording times quickly, an error can occur. Two, I am using memory data rate testing software which evaluates sustained and random data writes and reads.

    I was able to test the SxS memory card as a comparison.
    Here's the results:

    ADATA 8GB SDHC TURBO CLASS 6:

    Sustained data rate: Read: 18.64MB/s to 18.69MB/s Write: 3.72MB/s to 10.68MB/s
    Random 512K file: Read: 17.96MB/s to 18.69MB/s Write: 2.70MB/s to 3.10MB/s
    Random 4K file: Read: 3.57MB/s to 3.91MB/s Write: 0.033MB/s to 0.035MB/s


    SanDisk Ultra II SDHC CLASS 4:

    Sustained data rate: Read: 18.19MB/s to 18.21MB/s Write: 16.02MB/s to 17.40MB/s
    Random 512K file: Read: 17.34MB/s to 17.44MB/s Write: 2.69MB/s to 2.85MB/s
    Random 4K file: Read: 3.13MB/s to 3.31MB/s Write: 0.027MB/s to 0.031MB/s


    Sony SxS PRO 16GB:

    Sustained data rate: Read: 27.53MB/s to 27.57MB/s Write: 20.52MB/s to 20.68MB/s
    Random 512K file: Read: 27.51MB/s to 27.54MB/s Write: 7.45MB/s to 8.41MB/s
    Random 4K file: Read: 6.45MB/s to 6.46MB/s Write: 0.132MB/s to 0.148MB/s


    As you can see, the SxS random write is between 2 to 3 times faster than the SanDisk Ultra II CLASS 4 card. I'm sure no one is suprised with these results. Also the data is based on one test run. For all I know, and I imagine so, the SxS card within the EX1 performs even faster than these results show.

    But, this MAY give us a baseline for finding the fastest SDHC cards possible. As I mentioned earlier, the SanDisk Extreme III 30MB/s card "might" just work. I'm hoping its random read/write is faster along with the claimed data rate improvement.

    If anyone can help us out here, it's SanDisk. The results on the Ultra II CLASS 4 SDHC card are better than the CLASS 6 card ADATA.

    I won't have the new Extreme card until 2 weeks.

    PLEASE download the following Drive Speed Software (PC based, although there maybe a mac version up there too?). It's real easy to run. Just unzip and run the executable. There's no install program, only an executable. Since each tests runs five times, you need to write down the numbers as it runs. This way we can see the min-max data rate range.

    Download (Win 2000, XP, VISTA):
    http://dl.crystaldew.info/CrystalCPUID

    Their Site: http://crystalmark.info/download/index-e.html

    PLEASE try your SDHC cards (Transcend (I'm wondering about this card) ect...) and post the results like I did with the above. If you want, take my above results and paste into your message and we can keep a running log of tried SDHC cards.

    Also, use only on SDHC cards. PLain old SD cards will not work with the EX1/AFX Express card.


    BTW, If none of this crap works good enough in the end. It was worth a shot.
    But, SInce I was able to capture over 20 minutes of 1080 24P without an error, it would be stupid not to try to find the fastest memory possible.
    We are real close.
    Hey SteveT, Try formating each card before you do your test run. The design of these memory card are standard and not like the SxS memory cards. They are not as fast under load like the Sony by Sandisk. If it is written like a hard drive in sectors, the SD memory may not have enough time for random reads or writes. But, they may perform well as contiguous reading and writes. Every time you erase (or stop) the recording, the sector placement may change also. If this is the case, the memory may be only good for wedding or seminar recording. This is just a theory since I am not familure with solid state memory. But keep in mind your best shot on fring performance memory is to format it each time you use it -- wipe it clean! Lastly, what are the recording results in the camera for HQ 35mps and SQ 25mps. Please test them seperately. I have a need for HDV recording on cheap memory. It may end up that if HQ recording is not that reliable, SQ recording, since it has a lower recording rate demand, might work well all the time. In closeing, I was wondering if you tested the i-connect adaptor (17-1) from Fry's; This adaptor works well in the Sony AVIO read and write of MXF files @ HQ, but I still don't have the upgrade in my EX-1 yet, so I can't test it there. When this is all done, I going to recommend you guys for a Nobel Prize for the pioneering of memory in the 21th Century. -- Carl


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    Senior Member Stevet's Avatar
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    I agree. I concluded it was the random write speed in my note. Also, you have no choice but to format the SDHC. It asks this on the first time.

    During the tests I made earlier, the best success was to format each time of use, but even after formatting it would occasionally fail during recording.

    I will know a lot more later tonight. The new Extreme III 35mb/s is arriving today.


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    Senior Member Stevet's Avatar
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    Latest Update for EX1 only (No EX3 to try):

    GOOD NEWS SO FAR!

    First of all:
    It's important to understand that I've only done one 3HR session of testing.
    Please do not run out and buy this combo until I've had time to run it through longer testing.

    Read on...


    The only bad news is I could not get the AFT PROExpress-7 expresscard to work with the new Extreme III 30MB/s. It had a media error. Oddly, the very first time I tried the combo, it asked to be formatted, then failed with the media error. After that, It never gave the format option again, even after formatting the card on the PC and trying again.


    Here's my CrystalDiskMark data rates for the NEW Extreme:

    SanDisk SDHC 16GB Extreme III 30MB/s

    Sustained data rate: Read: 19.06MB/s Write: 15.81MB/s
    Random 512K file: Read: 18.76MB/s Write: 3.703MB/s
    Random 4K file: Read: 3.581MB/s to 6.46MB/s Write: 0.036MB/s

    Since all the values were very close to each other, I did not write down a min max range.

    My understanding is in order to actually get the new SanDisk Extreme III manufacture data rate claim (30MB/s), special device firmware must be programmed. The new Nikon D90 has just that. In fact, SanDisk designed the new Extreme III (30MB/s) for the D90.

    Having said that, I did notice that the cards data rates are very repeatable. Also, the 512K random data rate at 3.7MB/s is the highest I've measure and seen for SDHC cards.

    I'm not sure how high the Sony EX1 data rate may momentarily burst when using HQ mode, but based on the sustained 15.81 MB writes and 3.7MB/s 512K file random writes it appears it may be fast enough for all HQ modes. The sustained data writes were very repeatable. This along with a bit quicker random writes, may of been the ticket.

    It is not fast enough to run S&Q modes, but Sony's new SxS video capture hard drive is neither.

    Here's the ONLY problem, it works with the Kensington Expresscard which with the SDHC card inserted will not allow the EX1 memory door to close. It only misses it by a mm or so... bummer.

    Having said that, for 16GB:

    1, Kensington 7-in-1 Media Reader $ 36 (USD)
    1, SanDisk Extreme III 16GB 30MB/s version $120 (USD)
    ______________________________________________
    Total USD: $156.00 (USD) !!!


    Not bad for being able to record EX1 HQ modes.

    Again, I'd wait until you hear more from me. I want to test it everyday for a week or so.

    So far, I've been trying different record modes. I had one run recording over 40 minutes - no issues..
    Also, I've been starting and stopping recording after only a second or two. This has made my previous memory cards/AFT reader fail.
    Also, for some reason 1080i would fail easier.


    Right now, after three hours of testing, I have not had one error (knock on wood..LOL).
    It's looking good...
    Now, only if the damn memory door would close!

    Look for further updates.


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