Somnambulist 128GB

  • Obtained from: AliExpress
  • Price paid: $3.99
  • Advertised capacity: 128GB
  • Fake/skimpy flash: Fake flash*
  • Protected area: 134,217,728 bytes (inaccessible)
  • Speed class markings: U3, V30, A1
  • CID data:
    • Manufacturer ID: 0x00
    • OEM ID: 0x3432 (ASCII: 42)
    • Product name: 0x5344313647 (ASCII: SD16G)
    • Product revision: 0x20
Sample #123Average
Logical capacity95,420,416,000 bytes97,517,568,000 bytes101,711,872,000 bytes98,216,618,667 bytes
Physical capacity95,420,416,000 bytes97,517,568,000 bytes101,711,872,000 bytes98,216,618,667 bytes
Manufacture dateNov 2023May 2023Jan 2005N/A
Serial number0x000003980x000003080x00000381N/A
Sequential read speed (MB/sec)0.7794.0493.8862.90
Sequential write speed (MB/sec)0.7515.4915.7010.65
Random read speed (IOPS/sec)170.461,495.081,499.671,055.07
Random write speed (IOPS/sec)104.73210.36214.32176.47
Read/write cycles to first errorNot yet determinedNot yet determined3434
Read/write cycles to complete failureNot yet determinedNot yet determinedNot yet determinedNot yet determined
Total days to complete failureNot yet determinedNot yet determinedNot yet determinedNot yet determined
Card reader usedJJS CR-UTC4ACJJS CR-UTC4ACJJS CR-UTC4ACN/A
Package frontN/A
Package backN/A
Card frontN/A
Card backN/A

Discussion

Ok, this has to be one of the weirdest trio of cards I’ve reviewed so far.

A number of new brands of questionable flash appeared towards the beginning of 2024, and this was one of them. I imagine that they’re trying to mimic Lexar, since the design mirrors that of the Lexar Blue 633x (including the “633x” mark). But what really made them weird? The fact that all three are different sizes — and none of them is 128GB. Rather, they’re all somewhere between 64GB and 128GB. I would have understood if the CID register indicated that they were 128GB but had turned out to actually be 16GB — in fact, the product name in the CID register is “SD16G”, which I’ve only ever seen associated with 16GB cards — but that wasn’t the case here. They are the size that the CSD register says they are.

On the performance front…well…sample #1 got the lowest sequential read/sequential write scores of any card I’ve reviewed so far — primarily due to the fact that it failed to break even 1MB/sec in either one — and the second worst random read score. Samples #2 and #3 did better, but were still below average in 3 out of the 4 categories — only scoring above average in sequential read speeds.

Endurance tests for all three cards are still ongoing:

  • Sample #1 has not yet reached the 2,000 read/write cycle mark. It is currently expected to reach this point sometime in July 2025.
  • Sample #2 has not yet reached the 2,000 read/write cycle mark. It is currently expected to reach this point sometime in July 2025.
  • Sample #3 experienced a 1,152-sector wide data verification error during round 34. It has survived 56 read/write cycles in total so far.

On a random side note, it was pointed out that the word “somnambulist” refers to someone who sleepwalks. It definitely felt like there was some sleepwalking involved in the creation of these cards.

June 9, 2024

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