SD memory cards have been around for quite some time. In fact, what started out as a joint venture between SanDisk and Toshiba in 1999 has ballooned into the industry standard for storing digital media on cameras and camcorders and even that fancy new Raspberry Pi you just purchased.
Since the launch of the SD card it has undergone a number of changes to keep up with modern devices giving us two classes of SD cards with five sub-classes to choose from, those being Speed Class 2,4,6,10 and UHS Speed Class I. Each of these classes are designated by the sustained write performance of the drive i.e. a class 4 drive has a minimum 4MB/s sustained write speed, class 6 a 6MB/s sustained write speed and so on. Many SD cards will employ two speed classes one for the SD Speed Class and the other for the UHS Speed Class, because the two are not compatible.
The SDXC card we will be looking over today, the EP Series, comes from Patriot Memory and carries a UHS Speed Class I and SD Speed Class of 10 with marketing specifications of 50MB/s read and 35MB/s write. This memory card comes in two flavours, those being 64GB and 128GB with our sample being the 64GB version. As with many of Patriot's products, this SDXC card is warrantied for five years.
The EP Series 64GB SDXC card comes in a plastic case to keep your drive safe during travel or for safe keeping.
Looking over the card, Patriot chose to dress it up a bit with custom graphics emphasizing the EP. Along the bottom the speed class is listed along with its capacity of 64GB.
The back of the card lists the model number along with its place of manufacture.
Pulling the card apart we find that Patriot chose to secure the NAND and controller for this SDXC card with another layer of plastic. This gives the card waterproof capabilities shielding the internals from all weather conditions.
To test Secure Digital cards we utilize the same benchmarks we use for flash drives. These include CrystalDiskMark, ATTO and DiskBench. The card reader utilized in these test is the Vantec UGT-CR935.
Looking over our ATTO results we see the Patriot EP exceeded marketing specifications by a slim margin with 39MB/s write and 56MB/s read.
CDM produced similar numbers as well with the EP series giving us 54MB/s read and ~39MB/s write. 512K results were also impressive during the read test with them falling off slightly during write operations.
Transferring our 10MP RAW file shot with our Panasonic Lumix took only 1.3 seconds at a rate of 11.2MB/s. For a comparison I ran this exact test on a Class 4 card and came up with 1.8 seconds at 8MB/s.
The video used in this test was shot with a Panasonic x900 Camcorder at 1080p 60FPS. Transferring this video to our SDXC card took 38 seconds at a rate of 36MB/s. If we compare this to our class 4 card that was capable of 16MB/s and took nearly two minutes to transfer the same video, it becomes clear the UHS Class I Patriot EP excels in this area.
When it comes to aesthetics the Patriot Memory EP Series does have a bit of added flare with the custom design and pronounced EP logo on the front of the card.
As far as performance is concerned Patriot has done a great job with this 64GB SDXC giving it UHS Class I specifications and living up to the standard as well. In our testing we were able to achieve numbers slightly above marketing specs in both ATTO and CDM with both tests seeing 56MB/s read and 38MB/s write.
After running through DiskBench and comparing this EP model to our previous Class 4 card, we don't see too much improvement transferring our 10MP RAW file. However transferring our 1080p video was nearly twice as fast.
As of this writing pricing for the Patriot EP Series SDXC card will dock you $49.99 for the 64GB and $139.99 for the larger 128GB setup.