In January, OWC introduced their new Atlas S Professional V90 UHS-II SD Playing cards, obtainable in 32GB, 64GB, 128GB and 256GB capacities. They’re priced very competitively, too – that’s to say, they’re cheaper than lots of their V90 rivals however nonetheless a little bit dearer than V60 UHS-II playing cards.
As V90 playing cards, they assure sustained write speeds of at the very least 90MB/sec. In response to OWC, real-world testing has supplied write speeds of as much as 276MB/sec and browse speeds of as much as 290MB/sec. Such claims are straightforward sufficient to confirm – at the very least, one would assume so – so when OWC provided to ship us some to check out, we determined to place these speeds to the check ourselves.
We’ve discovered prior to now from some producers that completely different capacities of reminiscence playing cards, even from throughout the identical product line, can typically present completely different learn and write speeds, so we requested OWC to ship us one in every of every capability to check and evaluate with one another.
We’ve spent the final couple of weeks placing the playing cards by means of some real-world use inside precise cameras. Meaning Nikons for stills and Panasonics for video. There’s not a lot to report on this facet. They behaved just about as one would anticipate. Buffers cleared rapidly when taking pictures stills and the playing cards have been by no means discovered to be too gradual with video for the type of footage we have been taking pictures. Admittedly, we weren’t capable of max out the in-camera write speeds all that a lot as our output velocity was restricted by the max 400Mbps footage on the Panasonic GH5. 400Mbps will be dealt with simply superb by V60 playing cards, so the OWC V90 playing cards additionally all dealt with it as simply with out breaking a sweat.
In addition to the velocity claims, OWC additionally boasts as much as 10x the endurance of competing playing cards, with as much as 10x as a lot whole information written earlier than the playing cards die out. This specific declare wasn’t actually doable to check with out killing a bunch of playing cards to see the place they fell over, so the long run sturdiness exams must wait. We’ll replace this put up if and when one dies. If we haven’t informed you that one’s died but by the point you’re studying this, then you may safely assume they’re all nonetheless working simply superb.
The velocity exams
I’m utilizing the ProGrade Digital CompactFlash and UHS-II SD card reader for these exams for causes that may grow to be obvious in a future article. However the brief model is that relating to velocity, the reminiscence card reader you select issues simply as a lot because the reminiscence card velocity itself. And the ProGrade reader seems to be the quickest reader I’ve for these playing cards. I examined 5 completely different card readers from Lexar, SanDisk, Hoodman and even OWC’s personal UHS-II USB hub however the ProGrade reader got here up on high and probably the most constant speeds from one check to the subsequent with every card I attempted from quite a lot of completely different manufacturers when plugged into the USB 3.2 Gen 2 Sort-C USB socket on my ASUS ZenBook Professional. So, that’s the one I used.
As talked about, OWC despatched us all 4 capacities of Atlas S Professional V90 playing cards to check out in order that we will see if the velocity is constant all through the vary. We’ve seen prior to now that there will be some variability between completely different capacities in a product line, so we needed to see the outcomes first-hand. OWC does be aware some very slight variations on the packaging with their very own real-world exams displaying 290MB/sec learn velocity throughout the board and between 275-277MB/sec for the write velocity.
For every card, we ran the velocity check 5 instances utilizing AJA System Take a look at to present us an concept of consistency and to offer an total common throughout a number of exams. This is identical course of we’ve used prior to now with the SanDisk and Silicon Energy 1TB microSD playing cards because it tends to supply probably the most steady and dependable outcomes. I’ve added images of the packaging above every of the charts to indicate the OWC’s personal marketed max velocity check claims for every of the 4 capacities.
32GB OWC Atlas S Professional V90 UHS-II SD Card
The 32GB OWC Atlas S Professional V90 UHS-II SD card offered common learn and write speeds of 268.6MB/sec and 254.6MB/sec respectively.
64GB OWC Atlas S Professional V90 UHS-II SD Card
The 64GB OWC Atlas S Professional V90 UHS-II SD card offered common learn and write speeds of 267.4MB/sec and 246.4MB/sec respectively.
128GB OWC Atlas S Professional V90 UHS-II SD Card
The 128GB OWC Atlas S Professional V90 UHS-II SD card offered common learn and write speeds of 267MB/sec and 255.4MB/sec respectively.
256GB OWC Atlas S Professional V90 UHS-II SD Card
The 256GB OWC Atlas S Professional V90 UHS-II SD card offered common learn and write speeds of 266.8MB/sec and 255.8MB/sec respectively.
Outcomes and conclusions
As you may see, the outcomes don’t fairly meet the best velocity claims of OWC, though they’re nonetheless very quick and much exceed the V90 specification. I wouldn’t hesitate to make use of these in any digital camera that required a V90 card, from a velocity standpoint. So far as longevity and reliability… OWC says that they’ve very excessive endurance, with over 29,000 whole full-card write cycles, because of their use of pseudo-Single-Degree Cell (pSLC) expertise – which claims 10x larger endurance than commonplace SD playing cards. However, solely time will inform. All I can say for now could be that these have behaved completely for us within the time that we’ve been placing them by means of their paces thus far.
As a aspect be aware, one factor I discovered fairly stunning whereas doing these exams was the velocity variability of UHS-II reminiscence card readers. As talked about above, I attempted 5 completely different readers from well-known manufacturers through the exams, with write velocity outcomes as little as 185MB/sec and as excessive as 260MB/sec on the identical card relying on which reader I used to be utilizing. For that reason, I don’t assume we will actually blame OWC if our personal exams don’t fairly match up with OWC’s exams. The cardboard reader used undoubtedly comes into play and we don’t know which reader OWC was utilizing for their very own “real-world exams” – it might be good if reminiscence card producers might publish this data together with their velocity claims in order that we will all profit from these speeds at house and never be crippled by our card readers. I have to do some extra testing with all of those readers and completely different playing cards, however anticipate a put up on this subject sooner or later!
Whereas the entire playing cards carried out a little bit beneath the marketed speeds printed on the packaging, all of them carried out fairly constantly, though there was a slight dip in write velocity on the 64GB capability card for some motive. However a ~9MB/sec variance is just a couple of 3.6% deviation from the opposite three, which is fairly negligible at these speeds. Over an hour’s value of transfers, it’s about an additional two minutes.
Word: It’s additionally value mentioning at the moment that the 128GB ProGrade Digital V90 card in the identical reader on the identical USB 3.2 Gen 2 socket on the identical laptop gave common learn & write speeds of solely 248MB/sec and 220MB/sec respectively. That is considerably decrease than all 4 OWC playing cards on this assessment, though additionally effectively above the V90 specification.
For many people, that velocity distinction between V60 and V90 won’t be essential given the speeds that almost all of our cameras truly require proper now. However with new cameras being launched that demand increasingly more velocity – significantly for prime bitrate, excessive framerate video – V90 goes to be important for some. And even when your digital camera doesn’t want it proper now, unloading recordsdata from V90 playing cards to your laptop remains to be going to be quicker than unloading V60 playing cards. If you happen to’ve obtained 4 or 5 cameras going concurrently to cowl a number of angles of an occasion, that may be an enormous time saver.
UHS-II playing cards are nonetheless fairly costly in comparison with their UHS-I counterparts, however they’ve come down in value quite a bit during the last couple of years. And whereas OWC’s UHS-II V90 playing cards may nonetheless appear a little bit costly, sitting round $1 per gigabyte, in comparison with the UHS-II V60 playing cards obtainable available on the market at the moment, they’re on the decrease finish of the value vary for UHS-II V90 playing cards with a lot of the competitors costing 10-50% extra for a similar capacities.
If you happen to want (or just need) a V90 UHS-II card, the OWC playing cards are a strong contender. They simply meet and exceed the expectations required of the V90 specification, however do keep in mind that if you’d like these max marketed learn & write speeds once you’re utilizing them on the pc, it’ll rely closely in your card reader.