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What SD Card format setup for speed and stability? [Test Updated 8/22 & Conclusion]

OP johnboatcat

17th August 2010, 01:38 AM   |  #1  
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See Post 8 and 9 for test data, updates and conclusion.
What setup for the best speed and stability are you using when you format your SD card? What program are you using?

I have tried a number of different configurations and methods including the PC format, the Panasonic and the WinMo format in the phone. I have used about all combinations of cluster size. I have found the Storage Tools program on the phone with the following configuration:

FAT32
512 byte Sector Size
32KB Cluster Size
Backup FAT - NO

seems to give me slightly better results than the second runner up which is WinMo on the phone.
I still am not able to benchmark to the level I could get when my Transcend 8g, class 6 came out of the box. (12-14) Now getting 9-12.

What are you using and what is your best solution?
Last edited by johnboatcat; 22nd August 2010 at 08:21 PM. Reason: Update with test data.
17th August 2010, 05:17 PM   |  #2  
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Does "the weakest link in the chain" apply here?
Does "the weakest link in the chain" apply here? If the SD card has the wrong format will it effect the performance/stability of Android when run off of the card?

Is there anyone who has determined what the optimum SD card format for an HD2 using Android should be? Does it even matter?

If we are running the OS from the SD than the SD becomes the first link in the chain of events. Why no information or knowledge concerning how this first link should be formatted?
18th August 2010, 12:46 PM   |  #3  
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Very interested in knowing some exact configurations for the sd formatting..I have done quick format and have done full format and still seem to have problems..I just bought a 4gb class 4 so I am going to see how it works..I am going to try without formatting and see what happens and by then hopefully someone posts the perfect configuration..
18th August 2010, 01:29 PM   |  #4  
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I wouldnt mind hearing some oppinions on this too as I am just waiting for my SD backup to complete before fomatting (in the hope of curing some slight stutters in android).

I'd mainly like to know if there is any firm eveidence that formatting on the device (HD2) is better than formatting on PC (Vista in my case).... or is it just best to format on the PC? No difference?

BUMP
18th August 2010, 02:39 PM   |  #5  
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Test data
Test data on four different SD cards with four different tests on each coming soon. This will only show how each "specs out" not what is best. It will give me a baseline for further tests. Working on the last card tests now.
18th August 2010, 02:46 PM   |  #6  
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intersted in this question lets see what others will say
18th August 2010, 02:53 PM   |  #7  
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I always used the Format SD Tool in Windows Mobile and have never faced any problems (hiccups, slow downs) while using Android.

16GB Transcend Class 2 card.
18th August 2010, 04:55 PM   |  #8  
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First set of test data here.
All disks contain exact same Android folder on root (Mattc 1.5+overclock)
and same other directories with media etc. from Winmo & Android.
Fresh boots to Andro. no tasks killed, live wallpaper running.
Full blown Miri v18 rom, Cookie and apps. Not a crippled Andro. ROM.


Sandisk 6g class 4 - Formated 512/64 (Format method unknown)
H2testw v1.4 Writing speed Win 7/64: 10.9 MByte/s
H2testw v1.4 Reading speed Win 7/64 19.0 MByte/s
Pocket Mechanic Write WinMo: 9.23 MByte/s
Pocket Mechanic Read WinMo: 20.9 MByte/s
SD Card Speed Tester Write Android: 8 MByte/s
SD Card Speed Tester Read Android: 15 MByte/s
Quadrant score: 1539

Transcend 8 Gig Class 6 - Formated 512/64 (Format method unknown)
H2testw v1.4 Writing speed Win 7/64: 9.17 MByte/s
H2testw v1.4 Reading speed Win 7/64 15.0 MByte/s
Pocket Mechanic Write WinMo: 6.11 MByte/s
Pocket Mechanic Read WinMo: 10.96 MByte/s
SD Card Speed Tester Write Android: 6 MByte/s
SD Card Speed Tester Read Android: 13 MByte/s
Quadrant score: 1522

Original 16G, Class 2 that came with T9193 - Formated 512/64 (Format method unknown)
H2testw v1.4 Writing speed Win 7/64: 5.30 MByte/s
H2testw v1.4 Reading speed Win 7/64 19.0 MByte/s
Pocket Mechanic Write WinMo: 2.14 MByte/s
Pocket Mechanic Read WinMo: 7.98 MByte/s
SD Card Speed Tester Write Android: 4 MByte/s
SD Card Speed Tester Read Android: 14 MByte/s
Quadrant score: 1344

Sandisk 4 G, Class 2 - Formated 512/32 (Format method unknown)
H2testw v1.4 Writing speed Win 7/64: 2.94 MByte/s
H2testw v1.4 Reading speed Win 7/64 10.6 MByte/s
Pocket Mechanic Write WinMo: 3.34 MByte/s
Pocket Mechanic Read WinMo: 7.93 MByte/s
SD Card Speed Tester Write Android: 2 MByte/s
SD Card Speed Tester Read Android: 3 MByte/s
Quadrant score: 1528

Note: H2testw v1.4 is the Gold Standard test for Windows drive speed testing. Google it and download for free. Pocket Mechanic has a 30 day trial. Quadrant and SD Card Speed Tester from market for free. Run each test
3 times in a row. Pocket Mechanic " Card Information" test will tell you what your current card is formated with.

Format Program test:
When I formatted the 16 G original Class 2 with all three programs (Windows, SD Format and WinMo), H2testw v1.4 came up with the same basic read and write speeds for all three at 512/64. The only difference that I see is the WinMo
only makes one copy of the FAT and the others make two. Single FAT is supposed to be faster in the real world according to the tech literature because it only has to write the FAT once. This fact only really shows up when the disk becomes fragmented according to the Xperts.

Methodology: This test was about as scientific as making Kool Aid, but I did start with freshly formated SD cards that I then copied the same exact file system on, so they were about as de-fragmented as possible. At least they were all the same. I had to delete some movies/music etc. from the small card so the SD Card test could run. It needs 300 mb of clean space. Test does not use those files anyway. Testing cards with H2testw v1.4 after format and after files were copied on them gave exactly the same read'write speeds basically.

Conclusion: I will run some more tests (see if 512/64 format helps the 4G Class 2 and format one card with all 3 programs and test all benchmarks), and graph the results before opening my big mouth about what I think all this means.
Last edited by johnboatcat; 18th August 2010 at 05:28 PM. Reason: `
18th August 2010, 04:55 PM   |  #9  
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Data From Tests of multiple format methods on individual cards
set of test data and further reports.

Spread sheet of above results below.

Conclusion thus far:
By label the card that should be the fastest/best is not. When it was fresh out of the box it was the fastest. The Sandisk 6G Class 4 is currently the best in all categories. The answer to this may be in what they were formatted with (program) and/or what parameters were used. All I can conclude thus far is "what you see is not necessarily what you get". I will now test to see if the format programs make a difference.

Update:
New Test Data concerning SD Formatter 3.0 (Beta). I formatted the 4G Class 2 Sandisk with the above program using every parameter it allows. You can only "overwrite erase an SD Card". The Quick and Full formats with erase on and off were tested. Who won? Fooled me. The Quick had faster write/read speeds using post format H2Testw benchmark test as compared to the full (which takes forever to format). It was only a little faster on read and the same on write. This would seem to indicate that you might as well take the easy, and quick, way out! Did not test the larger cards.

Update: (8/19/10):
Tests of Format programs and cluster size on Sandisk 4G, Class 2

This is the smallest card in size and rated class that I have.
It was interesting to see the Quadrant scores come out so close and in the same range as all of the larger/faster cards. This would seem to indicate that the Quadrant test is not dependent on the SD cad for it's scores.

Note: During these tests I noticed that the first run of the SD Card Tester under Android would run extremely slow. Usually giving a speed for write of 0 or 1. I would also get errors and SOD's when I used Windows or WinMo to format the card. I do not know why the Android program runs so slow on the first pass. Possibly some difference in windows card format and Android. I do not know. (This also happened on the upcoming 16G, Class 2 tests.) After the 1st pass the tests were normal. Maybe this initial slow down is the cause of some of the problems ppl have with class 2 cards. It is total speculation, but maybe running some initial write/read tests would help smooth out some of the problems on the smaller cards.

Update: Tested a card with direct copy of backup on fresh format and there is no fragmentation shown by windows. Pocket Mechanic shows 0.01 fragmentation so I think this one can be tossed out the window. As files are added like music etc. this may become a problem. But fragmentation does not have any effect on the tests done here.

Final Update:
And the winner of this adult tricycle race is the original 16 G Class 2 card. I am now trying this card in everyday use to see if the Windows 64 format or the WinMo in the phone format have any different characteristics in use.

If I was going to choose "A" Format Program for "Any" card, I think I would choose WinMo in the phone.
Using programs that only write one FAT, versus the normal 2, might help once the disk get's fragmented, but this is easy to fix by defraging or backup to hard drive, format and recopy. The second FAT is great insurance for file system recovery and this test shows that on a defraged card there is little if any downside in speed.

What we learned: (By this very limited test.)
1. Card Class on the label does not have much to do with true read/write speeds. So you can't buy a card by it's cover and expect price/performance.
2. Card size and Class have little, if any, effect on Quadrant scores.
3. The format program and parameters you use, at least by these results alone, are not going to make a great deal of difference. Some programs/parameters might have a slight advantage. Fragmentation and usage may make some format/parameter methods behave differently in the long run. This was not tested here.

Conclusion: So go, my children and format your cards haphazardly. It probably is not going to make a lot of difference.

Update 8/22: Tested suggested Ubuntu format method and found no advantage as far as speeds or scores. (This suggestion seems to have been based on incorrect knowledge.)
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Last edited by johnboatcat; 22nd August 2010 at 08:24 PM. Reason: Added data spread sheet.
18th August 2010, 06:11 PM   |  #10  
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why are you even worried about quadrant scores none of it matters...quadrant gives so many different results ...i dont even know why people are boasting about it .....

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