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  1. #1
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    SD card speed - difference by brand

    I have been using a Lexar 128MB SD card with my 7135, keeping BackupMan files and lots of other data. I had the Lexar card from when I had my Tungsten T; SanDisk cards have issues with that particular model.

    Last week I picked up a 256MB SanDisk card from Costco for $60, and when I did my first BackupMan backup I noticed a speed difference right away. I formatted both cards and installed only BackupMan to do a test. I had about 12MB of data on my 7135.

    Results:
    SanDisk 256MB (first run): 2 min 9 sec
    SanDisk 256MB (2nd run): 2 min 10 sec
    Lexar 128MB (first run): 6 min 58 sec
    Lexar 128 (2nd run): 6 min 49 sec

    I am kind of suprised at these results, I can't imagine why one card would beat the other by such a wide margin.

    I'll test application and document loading time and report back.

    Does anyone have any ideas why this would happen?

    Brian
    Paper -> Apple Newton 110 -> PalmPilot Personal -> Palm V -> Palm Vx -> Sony Clie T615 -> Palm Tungsten T -> Kyocera 7135

  2. #2
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    bherskovitz;

    I am not a memory card specialist, but my guess is memory cards are like hard drives. To some degree you get what you pay for. SanDisk tends to be be the higher priced brand while Lexar and others are cheaper. There has to be a reason why other than SanDisk just charges more.

    It seems your Lexar is an older card than the SanDisk. It could be that Sandisk has used new technology on their 256 meg cards than did Lexar on their 128 meg card.

    I am suprised the SanDisk is three times faster than the Lexar. That is a significan disparity.

    Regards;
    bcottun

  3. #3
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    SanDisk cards are generally considered to be among the slower cards. I have some of their CF cards and they work well, but in my cameras speed is not a huge issue.

    The biggest thing may be the age of the card, as bcottun suggests. All the makers seem to be constantly improving the speed on what they offer.

    Most makers also offer several levels of cards - from non-marked (assumed to be the slowest) to ??x cards, the faster the more you pay. Is your new SD card a ??x one?

    Dennis

  4. #4
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    LEXAR 4x or 32x ?

    Lexar provide different kind of memories, 4X and 32X, of course, the 32X is faster !

    Lexar : http://www.lexarmedia.com/digfilm/index.html

    Some tests : http://www.steves-digicams.com/2003_..._mcr-usb2.html
    Regards,

    Yves MARTIN
    ymartin@mail.com
    www.PointCA.com

  5. #5
    pzc
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    I got a Lexar 256 four months ago and a Lexar 512 two weeks ago. The 512 is twice as fast as the 256 because both take same amount of time to get fully loaded. Neither indicates special speed enhancement technology. So I guess later is better.

  6. #6
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    I just posted a message talking about BackupMan vs BackupBuddyVFS and said that I thought BackupMan was pretty fast, about 4 minutes on my 256 Lexar card. Saw this thread and thought and thought I should try it out.

    I was really surprised when my 14.5 meg backup took just under 10 minutes (9:50). Seems like BackupBuddyVFS was around 4 minutes or so.

    Ouch. The Lexar card is about 4 months old.

    Not sure whether anything that I was running might be slowing things down (just Energy Saver, no hacks).

    I still like BackupMan and thought that it wasn't much slower than BackupBuddyVFS but I guess it might be.

    Suppose it could also be the version change, I was running BackupMan 1.3 and now it is up to 1.45.

  7. #7
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    I used to use BackupBuddyVFS and it is faster. I stopped using it because the one time I really needed a backup it didn't work and I lost quite a bit of data. I switched to BackupMan 2 months ago and it has worked perfectly since, through many hard resets.

    I'm willing to sacrifice speed for stability.

    Brian
    Paper -> Apple Newton 110 -> PalmPilot Personal -> Palm V -> Palm Vx -> Sony Clie T615 -> Palm Tungsten T -> Kyocera 7135

  8. #8
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    Actually, I believe the difference has to do with the fact that one card is 128MB and the other 256. In my experience, SanDisk are usually slower than other card brands - and Lexar are among the best rated. However in this case, the 256 MB card uses a different memory architecture than the 128. If I recall correctly, going up to 256 and higher made a big speed difference for all manufacturer's cards.

    The best way to test would be to get two 256 cards of course...

  9. #9
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    I am using my very recently purchased Lexar 256 32X. ($83 US at computers4sure) I used BackupBuddyVFS and had 15.6 MB of aplications and data including an act! database.

    It took exactly 6 minutes to run a backup and delete the orphaned files.

    So I ask:

    1. Does formatting the SD card first make it faster? How do you format an SD card?

    2. Do databases and other aplications backup much slower than simpler data files?

    __________________________________

    'Your job is not to do things...It's to make sure things get done'

    Smoothop

  10. #10
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    Formatting SD Cards

    Smoothop;

    Formatting memory cards can be done a couple of ways. Your 7135 came with a rudimentary memory card manager called Card Info, which gives basic info about amount of memory used and available on a card. It also allows you to format the card.

    Start Card Info, clicl on the Card Info label box in the upper left hand corner and the drop down menu lists four options, one of which is Format Card. Select same and your card is formatted, meaning all files and the directory tree are deleted.

    I do not know if this format does a high security type delete of files and tree, meaning deleted files become unrecoverable to us mere mortals, but for our purposes the files are deleted and the original amount of disc space is again availble for storage.

    I also use Filez 5.3 Beta 4 to manage my SD card. While it does allow one to delete files and directories, it does not seem to have a format function. My guess is there are other file managers that do have this function.

    One can also reformat a memory card using the Windows File Explorer but I do not recommend this. I used this on an Sandisk 64 meg SD card a year or so ago and lost about 4 meg of storage. Now the card shows only 59.4 meg availble. I don't know what the Windows reformat did to zap 4 meg but that was the end result. The card works fine, but is not a "large" as when I purchased it.

    I do not know if formatting a memory card makes it faster than when it was out of the box. My guess is no. The card may be faster after a format than it was when loaded with files, but it would get "slower" as you added files back.

    As for part two of you question, I speculate that as with a PC harddrive, certain types of files are "faster" than others. I have noticed a native Windows Office file such as Word or Excel are dog slow on my 7135 while the same file in proprietary Documents To Go format are much faster. DTG optimizes the files for the Palm plagform while the native Windows Office formats are not.

    Hope this helps.
    bcottun

  11. #11
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    bcottun, thanks for the info! Much appreciated. I will apply what you've told me and try some other tests. I have DTG from a previous PDA but thought I didn't need it b/c of the QuickOffice programs. So I should get it going again then, thanks.

    ___________________


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  12. #12
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    I've got my first SD card, a Sandisk 256, about 3 mos old, and it's giving me fits. I'm about to flush it down the toilet. When transferring files to it via a reader I get a CRC error crash, after which it has to be reformatted, which I can only accomplish in the 7135. The card seems unable to accept more than about 50mb of files without that happening. VEry temperamental -- and it's not a particular file, or a particular volume point; sometimes it's 60mb, sometimes 70. I've read other websites about lots of problems with Sandisk, and I'm just about done with them. I'd love to get some better info on reliable brands, first, though, before I shell out some more dough. Grrrr.

    update: I'm thinking I'll try and load the files in overnight, using the cradle (slow, I know) as a test. That might eliminate the reader, or point to the card, as the likely culprit.

  13. #13
    pzc
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    Originally posted by mikewillnot
    ... I'd love to get some better info on reliable brands, first, though, before I shell out some more dough. Grrrr.
    I have a Lexar 256 for about 6 months and a Lexar 512 for about a month. No problems at all.

  14. #14
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    Sandisk and the other vendors all guarantee their flash memory cards for at least a year. Lexar replaced mine as soon as I told them about my problem, even though I bought it from a mail order house.

    Originally posted by mikewillnot
    I've got my first SD card, a Sandisk 256, about 3 mos old, and it's giving me fits. ... I've read other websites about lots of problems with Sandisk, and I'm just about done with them. I'd love to get some better info on reliable brands, first, though, before I shell out some more dough. Grrrr...
    In my family, I have one Laptop with an SD slot, and two 7135's, and I've had better luck with Sandisk SD cards (one 512M and two 256M cards and no problems), than with Lexar (two 256's and one death), although the prevailing opinion is the opposite, from what I can tell. I'm about to get an SD card digital camera for The Boss (wife), and personally, I'm going to order the cheapest cards I can find, and let the computer gods sort them out...

    St

  15. #15
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    I may be onto a solution. I went around to the stores and bought a bunch of stuff for testing purposes: a Sandisk SD reader, a Lexar card, a Lexar reader, etc etc. I kept everything the same but switched to the Sandisk reader, and the "bad" card now seems to be working properly. One additional change: Previous readers were plugged into the USB 1 port; this one is plugged into the 2.0 port, which I didn't realize even existed on this machine. As of yet, I don't know if the problem was the reader or the port, but the previous readers I was using were off brands (SmartDisk, YE) bought from JR in NYC. I'll update this if I figure anything else out. Seems relevant.

  16. #16
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    My daughter and I use off brand ($10 from Fry's in Palo Alto) USB readers all the time, and never have noticed any differences. When my Lexar Card died, it was dead, dead, dead in all my readers some of them saw a card (I tried the Sandisk Cruzer and the $10 one for sure, on PC's and Mac's), but none wouldn't read it, but when I stuck the bad card in my phone, it actually killed the phone and wiped its other memory.

    For what it's worth, it sounds like you have a bad card to me--even if it works in some reader some of the time, I wouldn't trust it.

    St

  17. #17
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    I wonder about the usb 1.0 v 2.0 thing. I've never used 2.0 before, and I haven't heard anthing in the forums about performance quirks either way, and forward or backward compatibility. Maybe the cheap readers I had weren't backward compatible. I'll test this next week.

  18. #18
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    Yeah, it might be a USB 2 problem, I don't have much to say about that, since all my readers and all but one of my computers have USB 1 only. My experience with USB 2 is limited, although I've never noticed any problems one way or the other compatibility-wise. I did have a USB 2.0 reader for a while that I bought for a friend, and tested it with a couple of CF cards, and it worked fine on USB 1 and USB 2 ports.

    Originally posted by mikewillnot
    I wonder about the usb 1.0 v 2.0 thing. I've never used 2.0 before, and I haven't heard anthing in the forums about performance quirks either way, and forward or backward compatibility. Maybe the cheap readers I had weren't backward compatible. I'll test this next week.

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