The venerable Samsung
EVO brand is well known among PC performance enthusiasts and workstation pros for its speed and reliability with respect to NVMe
Solid State Drive (SSD
) products. However, you may not recognize the brand so easily as is relates to the microSD card format for Flash memory. What's interesting here though is that microSD cards are getting much more capable, and as you can see, Samsung has some new EVO goodness on tap here as well.
The SD memory card format has been around for many years and has evolved greatly to the point that the newer SDXC card format affords up to a whopping 2 Terabytes of storage for digital cameras, video cameras, smartphones, and other devices that can make use of the tiny chip-based external storage technology. The microSDXC format takes this capacity level of the storage medium down to absolutely minuscule proportions and it's a format that's becoming more pervasive, with SD card-sized adapters providing backwards compatibility to the larger slot type.
Hot off the press here is Samsung's EVO Plus line of microSDXC Flash memory cards that are offered in large 64GB, 128GB and 256GB capacities. Unless, you're shooting 4K video, you may not need this kind of capacity for your point-and-shoot or DSLR camera, but you'd surely enjoy the speed at up to 100MB/sec and 90MB/sec for sequential reads and writes, respectively. File transfers of digital media, even over simple USB 3.0 speeds can hit up to a theoretical 640MB/sec, so the faster the memory is, the faster it's going to feel pulling pictures and video footage off a microSDXC card.
But what if you were building something like a Raspberry Pi-based self-contained mini PC
, or perhaps building your own NES Classic
Edition with a Raspberry Pi or ASUS Tinker Board
for that matter? In semi-embedded applications like this, big, fast SDXC memory storage can be a real boon for device performance. That's one of the prototypical applications for the new Samsung EVO Plus line of microSDXC cards, though if you're shredding lots of 4K and HD video footage you might appreciate the obvious benefits too. Here's a quick gander at the specs and then we'll take the 128GB version around the test track a bit...
Left: Sequential Read File Transfer - Right: Sequential Write File Transfer
In our quick and dirty file transfer test -- which was comprised of transferring a large 800MB+ MP4 video file
from our workstation system to the card and from the card back to the workstation -- you can see the Samsung
EVO Plus microSDXC lives up to the theoretical limit of its 100/90MBps read/write specification, give or take a bit of bandwidth for overhead. This test represents very large sequential file transfers, however, so let's break things down a bit more with ATTO.
With ATTO you can see performance drops down significantly with respect to very small transfer sizes of less than 64Kb but it still maintains north of 10MB/sec down to 16Kb transfers. For the average photo image file or video file transfer this is plenty snappy as file sizes tend to be much larger.
128GB of storage in the palm of your hand and at up to 100MB/sec, that's a great thing for smartphones, DSLR, and video cameras; not to mention if you're looking for a larger, quality storage subsystem for that home brewed single board computer. You'll want to keep an eye out for these cards in the channel
, however. This newest version of the Samsung EVO Plus microSDXC line lists its higher speed spec plainly on the gray, black and red packaging you see above. There are older versions of the series in white packages though that aren't rated for the same level of performance. Also, keep an eye out for counterfeit fake cards as they have been known to be circulating. Make sure you trust that e-tailer and have recourse for return if you do decide to pick one of these up and don't receive what you were expecting. Either way, we're pretty happy with the Samsung EVO Plus micronSDXC 128GB version we tested and certainly do recommend it.