Gigastone Full HD Video 32GB

  • Obtained from: Amazon
  • Price paid: $6.48
  • Advertised capacity: 32GB
  • Logical capacity: Unknown
  • Physical capacity: Unknown
  • Fake/skimpy flash: Unknown, but definitely not fake flash
  • Speed class markings: Class 10, U1
  • CID data:
    • Manufacturer ID: Unknown
    • OEM ID: Unknown
    • Product name: Unknown
    • Product revision: Unknown
    • Manufacture date: Unknown
    • Serial number: Unknown
  • Sequential read speed (MB/sec): Unknown
  • Sequential write speed (MB/sec): Unknown
  • Random read speed (IOPS/sec): Unknown
  • Random write speed (IOPS/sec): Unknown
  • Read/write cycles to first error: 1,785
  • Read/write cycles to total failure: 1,785
  • Total days to complete failure: 58
  • Card reader used: Probably a SmartQ Single
  • Package front: Not available
  • Package back: Not available
  • Card front:
  • Card back:

Discussion

I had tried to start this project a couple years back, but I lost track of some of the SD cards I purchased for the project. Instead of simply buying new ones, I was determined to figure out what happened to them — and lost interest in the project after I failed to locate them. Back then, my goals and methods were not as well defined, and thus I don’t have as much data on this card as I do on many of the others. This is more of an honorable mention than anything — however, I did include the endurance data for this card in my overall results.

I’ll note that capacity was determined using f3probe, and endurance figures were determined using stressdisk. I don’t recall what the card’s exact capacity was, only that it was roughly 32GB — close enough to be considered “not fake flash”. In addition, while my other test rigs are laptops using Intel Core i7 processors, this card was tested on a Rock64 single-board computer, so it’s possible that CPU speeds could have been a bottleneck on performance. While I didn’t run proper speed tests, stressdisk did periodically log the average read/write speeds that it had been seeing — and the last numbers it recorded before the card failed were a read speed of 80.66MB/sec and a write speed of 23.74MB/sec. If this had represented a proper sequential I/O test, it would put it slightly above average for read speeds, but slightly below average for write speeds. It is good enough to qualify for the Class 10 and U1 markings that it bore.

The notable disadvantage to using stressdisk is that it operates at the filesystem level — it writes files of a predetermined size to the filesystem, then reads them back in a random order. This means that it’s not able to evenly test the entire user area of the flash, as space for things directory structures, file allocation tables, boot sectors, etc., would get written to at a different frequency than the test files. It’s possible that this card would have behaved slightly differently — perhaps it would have failed sooner or later than it did — had the entire user area of the card been tested evenly instead. Stressdisk also deleted any partial files that it wrote (e.g., due to running out of space on the card) without verifying them — so any data integrity errors in the portion of the card occupied by that space would have gone undetected. This is not to say that there is not value in testing a card using a tool like stressdisk — it could be argued that the type of test run by stressdisk better simulates how something like a digital camera or digital video camera would use a card. However, for my purposes, I want to make sure the entire user area of the card is tested. That said, however, this card was able only able to endure 1,785 read/write cycles before it failed. Once it failed, it became completely unresponsive to commands from the reader.

February 25, 2024

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