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Patriot EP Pro 32 GB SDXC/SDHC Card Review

BluePanda    -   July 19, 2012
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
Price: $69.99
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Introduction:

Flash memory has become the key component to each part of our everyday lives. For some of us our smartphones alone use microSD cards just to carry all our extra Angry Bird games and thousands of camera phone pictures. Others of us take for granted our larger memory cards for our cameras when we go on vacations and no longer have to choose which pictures to delete to take some more – jus the ability to look at the pictures we’ve taken has been a long process of development in the memory world. We’re a bit further in the world of technology today and flash memory is a bit more than just a camera card. Today we’ll be taking a look at Patriot's newest addition to the family: The Patriot EP Pro.

The Patriot EP Pro is a high performance addition to Patriot Memory's SD card lineup. It was designed specifically for all HD video and photography enthusiasts. As better and better quality imaging becomes more affordable to the average household, the ability to store recordings is moving up too. The ability to capture high quality video at high resolutions is the new demand and perhaps here to meet that demand is Patriot. 

The Patriot EP Pro can provide uncanny transfer speed of up to 90MB/s read and 50MB/s write with a capacity up to 128GB; I remember when a 1GB SD card was "huge," these things are getting massive! Because it’s an UHS-I card, when used with compatible devices it can go nearly five times as fast as a standard SDHC card – I can hardly imagine the lag time between taking pictures. Heck, with these sizes just talk about the awesome storage solution on the go for my laptop or netbook; especially with UHS compatible devices. It's got speed and capacity – a win-win for memory.

Overall it looks to be a good option for anyone trying to capture high definition video at high resolutions – the way it should be done. Somehow I now have the urge to get a new video camera…

 

About the Ratings:

So if you don't know a whole lot about Classes and UHS or all that technical jargon – here's a quick synopsis of the two to let you see exactly how significant all these things are. I saved your Google noodle a couple minutes.

Class 10 is a strange rating that has developed over the years to measure speed. When I hear Class 10, it really means nothing more to me than "fast" as I know it is the highest "class." The class speed ratings come in Class 2, 4, 6 and 10; what happened to 8, I don't know. The class ratings represent the minimum expected read and write speeds you should see from the card. Class 10 is 10MB/s, Class 6 is 6MB/s, etc.

UHS Speed is a newer designation available on some SDHC and SDXC cards standing for "Ultra-High Speed." The UHS-I cards support a clock frequency of 100MHz in which a 4-bit transfer can allow 50MB/s. They also support a clock frequency of 208MHz allowing for 104MB/s. There is also a UHS-II designation, which further raises the theoretical data transfer rate to a maximum of 312MB/s (though there aren't any products on the market for this class yet). However, in either case, the theoretical values are only even closely obtained when using UHS host devices – so if your old camera or card reader doesn't support UHS don't expect to see these top speeds.

 

Closer Look:

The Patriot EP Pro comes in the standard packaging for any regular SD card. The SD card itself is in a protective, plastic, carrying case that is sealed up in a plastic shell and then covered with a decorative cardboard overlay. The front of the package seems to be designed to note three important factor: 1) It's the 32GB EP Pro from Patriot; 2) It is a "PROFESSIONAL" card, and 3) It is a Class 10, UHS-1, super-duper fast card. It's pretty obvious what you are getting from the front of the packaging alone.

The back of the package doesn't really give you a ton of information; and actually all that is in English is: "For use only with SDHC & SDXC compatible devices; 10 Megabytes per second minimum sustained write speed." The rest of the back is covered in the same two phrases in different languages. But don't forget the Facebook and Twitter pages… not that these will tell you much about the product.

 

 

I opened the package the simple way; a sharp knife around the edge of the carrying case. I didn't have to worry about hurting the card itself and I always hate cutting apart plastic covered in cardboard, but maybe we can call that one a scissor user error? Either way out of the package it looks like any other SD card in a carry case. It's red and black with an easy to identify front. It reminds you it's your 32GB, Class 10, UHS-I, SDHC card… so when it ends up in a pile with the rest of your cards from over the years – you'll be sure to know you've got the right one.

 

 

Out of its little carry case, where it will probably spend the rest of its life (or in use), it's ready to go. The back side of the card looks the same as any other SD card, showing off its shiny, un-scuffed contacts. With it plugged into my new USB 3.0 reader I'm ready for benching. Let's see how well this little guy can do – I hope it's ready to keep up with me.

 




  1. Introduction and Closer Look
  2. Specifications & Features
  3. Testing: Setup & Flash Memory Toolkit 2.0
  4. Testing: Flash Memory Toolkit 2.0 (Continued)
  5. Testing: SiSoft Sandra
  6. Testing: Custom Files
  7. Conclusion
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