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  1. ctoe's Avatar
    1 Posts
    Greetings, just wondering if the speed of the SD card really matters with a Treo 600. I understand that interaction with the PC can be slow but does a Treo read music, etc., the same no matter what?

  2. #2  
    I have a Treo 650, but the concept is the same. The speed of the card DOES matter.

    The problem is that people get hung up on some numbers, like VFSMark. That number alone does not tell the whole story. You need to dig a little deeper and look at File Read speed and File Write speed.

    For MP3s, you want to maintain a constant read speed. Most cards on the market can handle that. Even the cheapest cards can be had with 16X and 20X and 32X speeds, so they will work fine with MP3s. Writing MP3s to those cards can be slow and painful, but once the music is there you can enjoy it without hassle.

    Other applications, like an SD card backup (, will benefit from faster WRITE speeds. A backup can take 2 minutes or 15 seconds, depending on the write speed of the card.

    If you take two cards, for example the Sandisk Ultra II and Sandisk Extreme III, they both give similar VFSMark numbers on a 650 - around 500. However, the Extreme III show almost FIVE TIMES the write speed of the Ultra II, and believe me it SHOWS when doing an SD card backup.

    It all boils down to how much money you want to spend and what applications you use the most. You can schedule backups automatically at 2:00am, so write speed could be unimportant to you. Or perhaps you deal with large databases back and forth from RAM to the SD card, and waiting 15 seconds for one to load in unacceptable to you. For listening to MP3s, almost all of the new cards will work fine. Unless you plan on swapping songs (re-writing to the SD card often), they play just fine.
    Cingular Treo 650
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  3. #3  
    The card speed does matter for most multimedia applications. Most of the newer cards are fast and most of the older cards are slow. Audacity Audio has a free utility called Card Speed. Go to
  4. #4  
    Zboater and Cuter are correct, ASSUMING that the hardware into which the SD card is inserted will support higher write speeds. Your actual write (and read, for that matter) speed is the speed of the slowest device in the in the path. Palm said, at the Treo Roadshows, that the i/o bus of the 650 will support speeds up the Sandisk Ultra II, or about 60X.

    But, it has been widely demonstrated that the i/o bus of the 600 is the slowest part of the chain, by far. Tests like VFS mark exist for a reason--they do effectivly demonstrate the maximum throughput of the device, not just the card. Simply put, test after test after test, conducted in the first several months after the 600 was widely available, demonstrated the the 600 is incapable of moving data fast enough to take advantage of high speed cards. (Use the search function, and you'll find plenty of reports.) The only time a faster card will help is if you're using a USB 2.0 or Firewire card reader to move data from your computer to your card.

    If you're planning to upgrade to a 650, or will also use the card in a digital camera, buy a fast card. Otherwise, spend the money on a larger card, or on something else that will actually help your productivity.
    Bob Meyer
    I'm out of my mind. But feel free to leave a message.

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