Are high-speed/high-capacity (A1, A2, U3) microSD cards worth it for Android? With Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals coming up, I (re)tested 5 of those and 2 older ones in 3 quite different Android phones, including the LG G8X : LGG8X
Driver on

Are high-speed/high-capacity (A1, A2, U3) microSD cards worth it for Android? With Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals coming up, I (re)tested 5 of those and 2 older ones in 3 quite different Android phones : Android

After just lately buying a 1TB microSD card in a pre-Black Friday deal, I made a decision to re-test my assortment of bigger/quicker microSD playing cards. I’ve accomplished Androbench reminiscence benchmark posts earlier than in 2019 and 2018 utilizing my LG V20. This time I used to be curious how a lot the Android cellphone’s card reader and different {hardware} contained in the cellphone impacts the efficiency. So I examined them in telephones that I’ve out there to me:

  • The 2020 Poco X3 NFC with the Snapdragon 732G (64GB mannequin) – extra in r/PocoPhones/

  • The 2019 LG G8X with Snapdragon 855 (EU dualsim mannequin) – r/LGG8X

  • The 2016 LG V20 with Snapdragon 820 (the two quickest H990DS models I personal) – extra in r/lgv20/

I already knew from these earlier checks that even the quickest microSD playing cards are notably slower than virtually any cellphone’s inner storage. Nonetheless, for lots of makes use of it may be good to retailer to and skim from a microSD: As a result of it’s expandable storage (holding treasured area free on the interior reminiscence), but in addition as a result of it’s detachable and thus replaceable. It’s a solution to protect the non-removable inner storage from pointless shenanigans inflicting put on. So utilizing a microSD can assist to maintain an Android cellphone speedier (extra space free on the interior storage means higher efficiency) and make it last more, so extra endurance (much less put on of the interior storage).

Testing took longer than I had anticipated, as a result of I did some discoveries that made me run extra follow-up checks to determine what was happening.

TL;DR / Most related findings

  • Efficiency outcomes of the costliest A2 playing cards (just like the Sandisk A2 Excessive PRO 1TB and Sandisk A2 Excessive 400GB) are usually not blowing away the normally inexpensive Sandisk A1 playing cards and the Samsung U3 512GB card. (Nonetheless it may possibly nonetheless be a good suggestion to choose up the next rated card if the worth distinction is quickly small throughout particular affords, particularly in case you plan to later re-use a excessive efficiency card in a DSLR or drone)

  • I see some notable efficiency variations inside the identical product line. E.g. considerably decrease Sequential Write speeds on a model new Sandisk A1 Extremely 64GB vs an older Sandisk A1 Extremely 400GB one.

  • Between telephones, clear traits may be seen with the identical playing cards, particularly in the case of write speeds (sequential and random) – additionally examine the gallery So this provides me the impression that outcomes of sure playing cards in sure circumstances (e.g. free area, age, formatted) may be extrapolated between telephones, taking some margins into consideration.

  • Of the areas Androbench checks, Sequential Learn velocity (1st desk, 1st graph in gallery) is essentially the most constant between telephones and playing cards. It is essentially the most flat graphic. The Poco has essentially the most constant sequential learn speeds between playing cards.

  • I found that utilization historical past and out there area can have a major affect on the outcomes – this may be most clearly seen in graph 05 with the disappointing Sequential Write speeds within the Samsung EVO Choose after utilizing it in three gadgets. Efficiency was significantly better in Could 2019 and most of it returned after freshly formatting earlier than my newest checks. Take graph 05 and 06 / desk 5 and 6 beneath into consideration when trying on the Samsung EVO Choose 512GB and the Sandisk A2 Excessive 400GB. I didn’t have time to redo all my checks in all telephones after I did that discovery.

  • The Poco X3 NFC which is beneficial for use with 256GB max solely had no issues with working checks on the larger capability playing cards, together with the 1TB Sandisk. Notice that I’ve not each day pushed it with any of the bigger playing cards in my spouse’s Poco.

All of the nitty gritty particulars can be found on this Google Docs Sheet. Under are listings of essentially the most notable outcomes. Graphics may be seen in an Imgur gallery.

01 – Sequential Learn (MB/s)

Model Inside Storage Sandisk Samsung Sandisk Sandisk Sandisk Sandisk Sandisk
Velocity branding A2 (Excessive PRO, Black/Gold) EVO Choose (Inexperienced/White) A2 (Excessive, Gold/White) A1 (Extremely, Silver/White) Extremely (Silver/White) Extremely (Black/Pink) A1 (Extremely, Silver/White)
Capability 1TB 512GB 400GB 400GB 256GB 200GB 64GB
Poco X3 NFC 498 68 69 73 75 74 70 73
LG G8X 725 61 76 62 62 51 71 69
LG V20 (Oreo) 452 63 72 63 82 80 68 82
LG V20 (Nougat) 464 69 62 77 84 49 53 84
Common 66 69 70 75 66 67 76

Sequential Learn speeds – My takeaway: Comparatively small vary between playing cards: 66-76 MB/s

02 – Sequential Write (MB/s)

Model Inside Storage Sandisk Samsung Sandisk Sandisk Sandisk Sandisk Sandisk
Velocity branding A2 (Excessive PRO, Black/Gold) EVO Choose (Inexperienced/White) A2 (Excessive, Gold/White) A1 (Extremely, Silver/White) Extremely (Silver/White) Extremely (Black/Pink) A1 (Extremely, Silver/White)
Capability 1TB 512GB 400GB 400GB 256GB 200GB 64GB
Poco X3 NFC 162 47 14 40 37 10 15 16
LG G8X 484 44 14 37 37 16 14 15
LG V20 (Oreo) 140 44 13 37 53 19 15 17
LG V20 (Nougat) 153 50 12 41 45 10 10 17
Common 46 13 39 41 13 14 16

Sequential Write speeds – My takeaway – Big selection: 13-46 MB/s – so anticipate large variations in efficiency, relying on which card you decide. Additionally learn the top of this put up about additional testing after noticing the comparatively low outcomes of the Samsung EVO Choose 512GB and the Sandisk A2 400GB.

03 – Random Learn (IOPS)

Model Inside Storage Sandisk Samsung Sandisk Sandisk Sandisk Sandisk Sandisk
Velocity branding A2 (Excessive PRO, Black/Gold) EVO Choose (Inexperienced/White) A2 (Excessive, Gold/White) A1 (Extremely, Silver/White) Extremely (Silver/White) Extremely (Black/Pink) A1 (Extremely, Silver/White)
Capability 1TB 512GB 400GB 400GB 256GB 200GB 64GB
Poco X3 NFC 34361 2383 2844 2153 2827 2305 1369 2914
LG G8X 34506 1868 3149 1177 2278 1437 1170 2991
LG V20 (Oreo) 19284 2320 2976 1858 2819 2319 1308 2896
LG V20 (Nougat) 22866 2422 2901 2054 2879 2261 1231 2955
Common 2275 2943 1879 2726 2125 1290 2934

Random Learn speeds – My takeaway – Massive vary general: (1290-2934 IOPS), however medium (2125-2934 IOPS) if one is trying solely on the newer A1 and A2 playing cards. So the newer playing cards could also be safer guess in order for you excessive random learn speeds.

04 – Random Write (IOPS)

Model Inside Storage Sandisk Samsung Sandisk Sandisk Sandisk Sandisk Sandisk
Velocity branding A2 (Excessive PRO, Black/Gold) EVO Choose (Inexperienced/White) A2 (Excessive, Gold/White) A1 (Extremely, Silver/White) Extremely (Silver/White) Extremely (Black/Pink) A1 (Extremely, Silver/White)
Capability 1TB 512GB 400GB 400GB 256GB 200GB 64GB
Poco X3 NFC 23351 724 508 485 611 470 148 456
LG G8X 7848 541 544 430 626 360 140 484
LG V20 (Oreo) 4691 737 524 617 647 449 161 483
LG V20 (Nougat) 4657 735 557 582 640 399 144 482
Common 692 528 520 627 430 148 472

Random Write speeds – My takeaway – Medium vary of outcomes (472-692 IOPS) when simply trying on the newer A1, A2 and Samsung playing cards. If you’re utilizing an older or no-brand microSD card, you could need to run Androbench on it to see if there may be something to achieve.

SQL checks: notably larger rankings on the two newer telephones, particularly the Poco

Androbench additionally checks SQL Ins (QPS) SQL Upd (QPS) and SQL Del (QPS) throughout every full check. Detailed outcomes for this may be discovered within the Google Docs Sheet. The Poco X3 is the clear winner on this space, the place among the microSD playing cards even beat the Poco’s Inside Storage, one thing that I had not seen earlier than. The G8X follows the Poco at a distance and the 2 V20s lag behind on this space. This makes me imagine that SoC energy and SoC optimizations for SQL efficiency are an element on this space.

Attempting to resolve the thriller of variation in write speeds on two of the playing cards that I examined in 2018 and 2019

I had examined these playing cards already (within the V20 solely):

Within the 2018 and 2019 overview benchmark posts, I had re-used outcomes from earlier checks, probably not contemplating that check outcomes might change over time. So this has actually been the primary time I structurally reviewed all playing cards on the identical time.

Throughout early November 7-9 (2020) testing (with fairly low 7% and 12% free area respectively), I observed a lot decrease outcomes, particularly with the Sequential Write scores.

After seeing that, I made a decision to unencumber some area (to 29% free) to examine if this might give extra comparable outcomes than what I had measured through the 2018/19 checks. I ran these checks on all 4 telephones. Those with 29% free is what you see in tables / graphs 01 by way of 04.

Not seeing any actual enhancements, I made a decision to do centered testing solely on the V20 (Oreo).

My first step (17 November) was to format the playing cards within the V20 and run benchmarks with 100% free area.

My subsequent and closing step (18 November) was re-filling each playing cards and doing benchmark rounds.

05 – LG V20 (Oreo) with Samsung EVO Choose (Inexperienced/White) 512 GB

When Could 2019 eight Nov 2020 13 Nov 2020 17 Nov 2020 18 Nov 2020
State throughout testing After formatting and copying knowledge from my Sandisk 400GB A2 card After utilizing the cardboard in two totally different telephones and fairly full with knowledge After eradicating media knowledge (utilizing cellphone) – to carry extra according to free area on different playing cards After formatting – card in empty state After formatting and copying Android-style knowledge onto the cardboard (utilizing PC)
Area free throughout testing 32% 7% 29% 100% 29%
Seq Rd (MB/s) 83 83 72 83 66
Seq Wr (MB/S) 50 14 13 44 43
Rnd Rd (IOPS) 3003 3054 2976 3016 2708
Rnd Wr (IOPS) 639 565 561 637 619
SQL Ins (QPS) 496 478 450 463 504
SQL Upd (QPS) 666 694 651 623 667
SQL Del (QPS) 724 722 692 704 721

Efficiency variation Samsung 512GB – My takeaway – Sequential Write speeds suffered quite a bit after 18 months of utilizing in three totally different gadgets. Formatting the cardboard (Nov 17) recovered many of the Sew Wr efficiency and recovered the Rnd Wr velocity. Even after re-filling the cardboard Seq Wr and Rnd Wr stays good. Seq Rd efficiency appears to have dropped, primarily based on out there area. I’m wondering if I can reproduce that in future checks.

06 – LG V20 (Oreo) with Sandisk A2 Excessive (Gold/White) 400GB

When Nov 2018 eight Nov 2020 13 Nov 2020 17 Nov 2020 18 Nov 2020
State throughout testing After formatting and copying knowledge from my Sandisk 400GB A1 card After utilizing the cardboard in several gadgets and fairly full with knowledge After eradicating media knowledge (utilizing cellphone) – to carry extra according to free area on different playing cards After formatting – card in empty state After formatting and copying Android-style knowledge onto the cardboard (utilizing PC)
Area free throughout testing 25% 12% 29% 100% 26%
Seq Rd (MB/s) 81 68 63 81 60
Seq Wr (MB/S) 50 45 37 51 37
Rnd Rd (IOPS) 2172 1919 1858 2102 1960
Rnd Wr (IOPS) 633 612 617 670 589
SQL Ins (QPS) 484 447 442 497 506
SQL Upd (QPS) 655 543 585 690 618
SQL Del (QPS) 718 602 620 676 697

Efficiency variation Sandisk 2 400GB – My takeaway – This card was much less intensively used than the Samsung. I didn’t use it so lengthy in a each day driver machine. Formatting the cardboard didn’t actually make a giant change in Seq Wr and Rnd Wr efficiency. All Learn and Write performances appear to go up and down extra, primarily based on out there area.

How I examined

  • All numbers proven within the tables listed below are an common of units of three measurements, with out cherry choosing outcomes – my uncooked check knowledge may be discovered within the fifth by way of eighth tab within the Google Docs Sheet.

  • Room temperature – within the frisky 17-19 Celsius (62-66 F) vary in my case

  • No case or pores and skin – circumstances and skins can affect warmth dissipation and thus SoC temperature and affect outcomes

  • Airplane mode ON – poor mobile (indoors) and Wifi reception can preserve the SoC and battery busy, which might blur the outcomes

  • Localization (GPS) OFF – identical cause as airplane mode

  • Anti-malware de-installed – I had ESET Cell Safety and BitDefender Safety put in on a number of telephones. I had them de-installed whereas working the checks.

  • Battery within the 40%-100% vary – Under 40% battery, warmth and efficiency results can happen. Not one thing you need to blur outcomes with.

  • No charging throughout benchmark runs – Charging = warmth = potential efficiency affect

  • No USB-C gadgets linked throughout benchmark runs (though I take advantage of it for screenshots in between checks)

  • At the least 28% free area on examined medium – Some early checks (as seen in desk 05 and 06 and graph 05 and 06 I had much less area free in 2 playing cards)

  • I didn’t format every card anew in every machine on this check (one thing I usually would do when committing a microSD card to a particular machine for an extended time). Should you intend to make use of a card in an Android cellphone, I’d suggest formatting it within the supposed cellphone. However I didn’t do that in this check, as this might have taken too lengthy, contemplating the quantity of phone-card combos and the frequent swapping of playing cards in between checks.

Overview of my uncooked check knowledge and evaluation

Concerning the (Androbench) screenshots: You can also make sure-fire screenshots from the AndroBench log utilizing an exterior keyboard (USB utilizing hub or OTG cable or bluetooth), offered the exterior keyboard has a PrtScr key.

Notice that AndroBench tends to reset very simply to the interior reminiscence setting, e.g. in case you join or disconnect USB-C gadgets. So all the time examine which you might be measuring: inner or microSD.

Exterior Assets

I discovered the next weblog posts helpful, e.g. the dialogue of A1 vs A2 Efficiency Courses and the relativity of these in day-to-day utilization:

Associated discussions in semi-crossposts

For numerous causes I posted the identical core info in comparable, however barely totally different posts within the subs of the examined telephones: Poco X3 NFC , LG G8X and LG V20 (fairly than doing a traditional crosspost)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *