Saturday, August 4, 2012

Patriot Signature Line 16GB Class 4 microSDHC Card

Rating: 5 out of 5
Pros: Good speed and capacity. Comes with a case and SD adapter
Cons: None noticed

I've had good luck with sticks of RAM from Patriot Memory in the past, so when it came time to order a new microSD card (microSDHC in this case) I had no qualms about choosing this brand over Kingston or Corsair. Since this card is going into a cell phone (Motorola DROID 4) I wasn't too concerned about the speed rating, but reliability was important followed closely by pricing. Since this card was a little cheaper than the Kingston card I was comparing it with, I opted to pick this one up.
This card (model number PSF16GMCSDHC43P) is a 16 GB memory card. They do also make an 8 GB version as well as 4 GB and 32 GB versions in the Patriot Memory Signature Line of microSDHC cards. This 16 GB card comes pre-formatted with the FAT32 file system and a capacity of 16,002,318,336 bytes (14.9 GB).
This card being a microSD card is really small. Measuring only 15 mm long, 11 mm wide and 1 mm thick you can lose this thing easily. Thankfully this card came in a nice plastic case that measures 1.75" long by 2" wide by .25" thick. Also inside the case is a SD to microSD adapter which allows you to slide the microSD card into the bottom of it and use it just like a regular SD card. It's really nice to get the adapter free in the package because not all card readers will have microSD card slots (my USB card reader that I use with this computer has both, but the card reader in the other computer only has an SD slot). The adapter also has a standard write protection switch on the side. Both the card itself and the adapter have side-by-side notches inside the case to keep them held in place, and the case hinges open on one side and latches on the other.
The card is plain black without any unnecessary colorful designs or goofy patterns. Since the card is usually going to be stuck down inside a device most of the time, that's perfectly fine with me. It does have the brand name and capacity stamped on it in white though, along with the microSDHC logo. The card is also notched about half-way down the right side, helping to prevent it from being inserted upside down. I have seen one wedged into a card reader upside down before, and I don't know why they shoved it in so far because the thing broke apart pulling it back out, ruining the card.
This is a class 4 card which means it should sustain a minimum write speed of 4 MB/s. Some devices require higher speed classes to function properly, especially things like DSLR cameras and other devices that stream high quality video. As you can see from the following benchmarks this card is about triple that, but remember the 4 MB/s rating is a minimum speed. The following benchmarks were taken using CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1c:
Sequential Read: 16.97 MB/s
Sequential Write: 12.67 MB/s
512k Random Read: 18.84 MB/s
512k Random Write: 11.74 MB/s
4k Random Read: 3.807 MB/s
4k Random Write: 0.964 MB/s

The Patriot Signature Line 16 GB microSDHC card complies with SDA 2.0 specifications and is compatible with all microSDHC card readers. It has an operating temperature of -25ºC to 85ºC, and a storage temperature of -40ºC to 85ºC. This device is made in Taiwan and comes with a 5 year warranty.
Overall a good card, and it even comes with that SD adapter and a plastic carrying case -- all for a $10 price tag. The speed, capacity and quality are all good so I'm happy with this card. An easy recommendation unless your device requires something faster like a class 6 or class 10 card. One final note would be to make sure your device can handle SDHC cards, because some older devices can only handle regular SD and hot the High Capacity variant.

Update: Well, we had this in my brother's cell phone and he accidentally put it through an entire wash cycle and half of a dryer cycle. The phone was toast, but this microSDHC card still worked fine. Whether that can attributed to the phone design or the card is debatable, but hey, at least it worked!

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