QWQ Extreme Pro 16GB

  • Obtained from: AliExpress
  • Price paid: $2.99
  • Advertised capacity: 16GB
  • Protected area: 0 bytes
  • Speed class markings: Class 10, A1
  • CID data:
    • Manufacturer ID: 0x00
    • OEM ID: 0x0000
    • Product revision: 0x00
Sample #123456Average
Logical capacity16,106,127,360 bytes16,106,127,360 bytes16,106,127,360 bytes15,938,355,200 bytes15,938,355,200 bytes15,938,355,200 bytes16,022,241,280 bytes
Physical capacity8,478,740,480 bytes8,438,415,360 bytes4,097,835,008 bytes15,938,355,200 bytes15,938,355,200 bytes15,938,355,200 bytes11,471,676,074 bytes
Fake/skimpy flashFake flashFake flashFake flashSkimpy (0.39% skimp)Skimpy (0.39% skimp)Skimpy (0.39% skimp)N/A
Product name0x00000000000x00000000000x00000000000x0050fffffc0x0050fffffc0x0050fffffcN/A
Manufacture dateSep 2023Sep 2023Aug 2023Oct 2023Oct 2023Oct 2023N/A
Serial number0x000237860x0002377b0x000253ee0x128001880x128001880x12800188N/A
Sequential read speed (MB/sec)21.7421.5821.6920.539.2120.6819.24
Sequential write speed (MB/sec)11.1710.5015.2514.919.0510.2011.85
Random read speed (IOPS/sec)1,098.461,178.111,225.081,408.721,317.551,341.441,261.56
Random write speed (IOPS/sec)0.820.822.080.860.540.790.99
Read/write cycles to first error184Not yet determined11317070
Read/write cycles to complete failureNot yet determined763Not yet determinedNot yet determinedNot yet determinedNot yet determined763
Total days to complete failureNot yet determined15Not yet determinedNot yet determinedNot yet determinedNot yet determined15
Card reader usedJJS CR-UTC4ACJJS CR-UTC4ACJJS CR-UTC4ACJJS CR-UTC4ACJJS CR-UTC4ACJJS CR-UTC4ACN/A
Package frontN/A
Package backN/A
Card frontN/A
Card backN/A

Discussion

In early 2024, AliExpress started running sales where items — seemingly from a single seller — were priced at either $1.99, $2.99, or $3.99, and you were allowed to purchase any combination of 10 items…I think per day? This one caught my attention for a couple of reasons: first, the bright orange color; and second, the fact that they offered it in a 618GB capacity — it’s rather odd for an SD card manufacturer to be offering a card in a size that isn’t a power of 2. However, given that the prices on all of the sizes were practically identical, the 618GB card is almost certainly fake, and hence I didn’t buy any of them (yet).

This particular brand also has two different card designs: one whose cards had a primarily orange and white design, and one whose cards had a primarily blue and black design. When I ordered these, I must have thought that there was a significant difference between the two — and if memory serves, I thought that one of them had the “Extreme Pro” label on it, and the other one didn’t — but after receiving them and looking at them more closely, I can’t see a difference between them. They both appear to have the “Extreme Pro” label — and thus, I’m going to lump them both under this section.

Plugging them in, however, revealed a few differences:

  • The orange/white cards are fake — two of them were 8GB in size, while one was only 4GB in size. The blue/black cards, on the other hand, were genuine (if slightly skimpy).
  • The orange/white cards have a different product name than the blue/black cards.
  • The orange/white cards have unique serial numbers — whereas the blue/black cards all have the same serial number.

I’m guessing that all of this means that the seller sourced these cards from more than one manufacturer.

I was surprised that the first three samples turned out to be fake — usually smaller capacity cards like this are genuine. But, I suppose there are sellers who will skimp on just about anything to make a buck.

The performance on them so far has been…terrible. All performance metrics were below average, with most measurements being more than one standard deviation below average. In fact, its best single measurement — the random read score on sample #4 — was only enough to put it into the 37th percentile in that category.

This card bears the Class 10 and A1 marks; and while performance on 5 out of the 6 samples was good enough to qualify for the Class 10 mark, it missed the mark on both random read and random write speeds that would be needed for the A1 mark. And while I’ll throw in my standard disclaimer — that perhaps this card would have done better had it been tested under the proper conditions — I highly doubt it, especially with random write speeds as terrible as they were.

On the endurance front, 5 of the 6 samples are still undergoing endurance testing:

  • Sample #1 only managed to go for 18 read/write cycles before it experienced its first error. It has survived 5,811 read/write cycles in total so far.
  • Sample #2 only managed to go for 4 read/write cycles before it encountered its first error. It continued to experience errors every few rounds — affecting about 1,024 sectors at a time — until round 763, when suddenly over half of the sectors started reading back as all 0xff‘s. Here’s what this sample’s progression looked like:
  • Sample #3 has survived 2,406 read/write cycles so far, and has not yet encountered any errors.
  • Sample #4’s first error was a 64-sector wide data verification error during round 12. It has survived 620 read/write cycles so far.
  • Sample #5’s first error was a series of bit flips affecting two sectors during round 318; it has survived 497 read/write cycles in total so far.
  • Sample #6’s first error was a 10-sector wide bit flip error during round 1. It has survived 497 read/write cycles so far.

My overall opinion on these cards? Don’t buy them. They’re garbage. They perform terribly, their capacities are inconsistent, and 4 of the 6 started running into issues before hitting 20 read/write cycles, and the fifth only made it a few hundred read/write cycles before running into issues. Only one of them managed to make it past the 2,000 read/write cycle mark without issues. Don’t waste your money on them.

June 9, 2024

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