Test System and Testing Procedure
- Gigabyte Z370 Gaming 7
- Intel I7 8700k @ 4.5 GHz
- 64gb of G. Skill Trident Z @ 3200 MHz
- Intel 660p NVME M.2 SSD
- EVGA 1600-Watt SuperNova P2
- EVGA 1080 TI FTW 3 Elite Edition
- Swiftech H320 X2 Prestige AIO Cooler
- Primochill Praxis Wetbench
- Microsoft Windows 10 Professional
- ATTO Disk Benchmark
- AS SSD
- Anvil’s Storage Utilities
- CrystalDiskMark 3.0
For this review, I used my personal system. This also happens to be my standard test bench and where all storage devices I personally review are tested. We used a Transcend USB 3.1/3.0r Type C card reader recommended by Patriot. This card reader takes several types of memory cards including SDHX. SDXC. Micro SD, Compact Flash, MS Duo, and MS PRO/XC cards. However, for this review, all we care about is the Micro SD card slot, as that’s how we tested the card. With speeds of up to 100 MB/s, a USB 2.0 card reader just won’t cut it.
We treat an SD card review like any other storage review. This means running the Patriot EP SDXC card through our suite of storage benchmarks. This includes the ATTO Disk Benchmark, AS SSD, Anvils Storage Utilities and Crystal Disk Mark 5. Each benchmark was run three times. In the case of a graphics card review, I’d usually average them out. However, for a storage review, I go with the highest of the three results.
ATTO Disk Benchmark
The ATTO Disk Benchmark utility was designed to measure regular disk drive performance. However, its more than capable measuring both USB flash drive and SSD speeds as well. The utility measures disk performance rates for various sizes of files and displays the results in a bar chart showing read and write speeds at each file size. The results are displayed in megabytes per second.
The sequential read speed of the 256GB EP Series SD card in the ATTO Disk Benchmark was about 86.87 MB/s. The write speed was 74.77 MB/s. The spec sheet has the read and write speeds advertised as up to 100 MB/s read speed and up to 80 MB/s write speed. So, the ATTO results were very close to the advertised speeds but slightly lower.
AS SSD Benchmark
AS SSD Benchmark is a simple and portable utility which helps you measure the effectiveness and performance of any solid state (SSD) drives connected to your system. It will test “Seq”, “4K”, “4K-64Thrd” and Access Time. At the end, it will give your SSD a score. 4K tests the read/write abilities by access random 4K blocks while the Sequential test measures how fast the drive can read a 1GB file.
In the AS SSD Benchmark, the 256GB EP Series SD card hit 82.38 MB/s on the read and 70.89 on the write. This is a bit slower than the advertised speeds, but still very close.
Anvil’s Storage Utilities
Anvil’s Storage Utilities is a powerful, older, yet still relevant performance measurement tool for traditional hard drives and SSDs. The tool can monitor, and test read and write speeds on hard drives while also providing information from the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) that provides basic information about the disk and its parameters, including partitions and volumes.
We tested the 256GB EP Series SD card in the Anvil’s Storage Benchmark on both the 0-Fill and 100% incompressible settings. On the 0-Fill test, the 256GB EP Series SD card hit 92.13 MB/s on the read and 70.24 on the write speed. This gave the 256GB EP Series SD card an overall score of 343.32. On the 100% in the compressible test, the 256GB EP Series SD card hit 81.84 MB/s on the read and 70.40 on the write speed. This gave the 256GB EP Series SD card an overall score of 336.75. The 256GB EP Series SD card did better on read speed in the 0-fill benchmark, hitting closer to 100 MB/s than on ATTO and AS SSD. The write speed was about the same as in the first two tests.
Anvil also has random read, write and mixed IOPS (Input/output operations per second) tests as well. For random read IOPS, the 256GB EP Series SD card hit 1,375.1 IOPS. For Random write IOPS, the 256GB EP Series SD card hit 1,377.7 IOPS. Last was the random read/write or mixed IOPS test. The 256GB EP Series SD card hit 1,113.4 IOPS on this test.
“CrystalDiskMark is designed to quickly test the performance of your hard drives. Currently, the program allows to measure sequential and random read/write speeds.”
Crystal Disk Mark 5 gave similar results to AS SSD. The sequential read speeds of the 256GB EP Series SD card hit 82.61 MB/s. The write speeds hit 71.12 MB/s. Again, the read and write speeds were slightly lower than advertised, but in line with the rest of the results.