The performance gap between SSDs and memory cards just became smaller: SDHC cards based around the UHS-I high-performance standard have started hitting the market.
The first two companies announcing cards based around the new standard are Toshiba, as reported by Gizmodo
, and Panasonic, as reported by Digital Photography Review
Both cards use the UHS-I standard, but it looks like Toshiba has the edge in performance in this first generation of products: the Toshiba SDHC UHS-I models measure at an alleged 95MB/sec read and 80MB/sec write, while Panasonic's equivalents manage 60MB/sec read - an impressive speed, but not quite on a par with Toshiba. Strangely, Panasonic hasn't provided a write speed for its cards.
Toshiba might have the performance edge, but Panasonic will be hitting shop shelves first: the company claims that 8GB and 16GB models will be ready for retail by November, while Toshiba is looking to launch 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB models in December. Sadly, neither company has been forthcoming on expected pricing.
While neither have quite
managed to hit the upper limit of 104MB/sec defined by the UHS-I section of the SD Memory Card Specification v3.01, it's clear that SD cards are becoming faster - and that the speed gap between high-end SD cards and low-end SSDs is reducing all the time.
Are you pleased to see the performance of SD cards increasing, or will it all boil down to exactly how much the extra money speed costs - and how many devices actually support
such speeds by the launch date? Share your thoughts over in the forums