Toshiba Exceria Pro N502 review

Reviews

Toshiba’s latest high-end Exceria Pro full-size SD card has arrived, the N502. The box claims that we’ll see read speeds of up to 270MB/s and write speeds of up to 260MB/s in order to allow for 8K video recording, so let’s see how realistic those numbers are in our rapid-fire review of the 128GB variant of the drive.

Features & Specifications

  • Up to 270MB/s reads, up to 260MB/s writes
  • UHS-II, U3, V90, Class 10
  • Available in 32, 64, 128 or 256GB
  • -20℃ to 85℃ operating temperature
  • Comes with LC Tech Data Recovery software
  • Five year warranty

Benchmarks

To test the Exceria Pro N502, we hooked it up to our test rig via a USB 3.0 card reader that supports the faster UHS-II interface. Here’s how the card fared in some synthetic and real-world benchmarks, with scores from other SD cards we’ve tested in the same fashion for some extra context.

CrystalDiskMark

CrystalDiskMark has been one of my favourite benchmarks for evaluating storage speeds for a while now, thanks to its varied incompressible workload and extremely readable results. Here’s the 3.0.3 x64 version of the benchmark; all results are in MB/s.

CrystalDiskMarkRead (Seq)Write (Seq)Read (4K)Write (4K)
Toshiba Exceria Pro N502 (UHS-II, U3)20821517.41.8
Toshiba Exceria Pro N101 (UHS-II, U3)248220130.9
Transcend R95 W60 (UHS-I, U3)94665.50.7
Sandisk Ultra (UHS-I, Class 10)96157.52.2
Toshiba Exceria N301 (UHS-I, U1)471661.0

The N502 outperforms all other cards we’ve tested when it comes to random reads and shows strong random write speeds too, almost twice as fast as the N101 card we tested a few years ago. However, while fast, the sequential read and write speeds are actually a little slower than the previous-generation card. On balance, I think the faster random performance makes up for the slight setback in sequential performance, but your mileage may vary.

AS SSD Benchmark

AS SSD is another benchmarking tool quite similar to CrystalDiskMark, which uses predominantly incompressible data across a range of workloads including sequential tests, random performance and access times. First three numbers are MB/s and access time is in ms.

Read (Seq)Write (Seq)Access (Read)Access (Write)
Exceria Pro N5022102170.4382.5
Exceria Pro N1012112140.3773.7
Transcend R95 W6090280.6157.05
Sandisk Ultra93150.6684.51
Exceria N30145130.88710.6

The N502 seems nigh-identical to the N101 in this test, with extremely similar read and write speeds, slightly worse read access times but slightly better write access times. All-in-all, a solid result.

HD Tune

We conclude with HD Tune, a benchmark which produces three scores for average read speed (in MB/s), read access time (in ms), and burst read rate (in MB/s).

HD Tune Pro 5.50 ReadAverage ReadAccess TimeBurst Rate
Exceria Pro N5021430.485.3
Exceria Pro N1011600.482.8
Transcend R95 W60800.635.4
Sandisk Ultra810.742.8
Exceria N301440.727.1

Again, the N502 feels very similar to the N101 in terms of performance, with a slightly lower average read speed but equal access times and a slightly faster burst rate. Interestingly, the card seems to be limited in some way that the N101 wasn’t, perhaps by the interface or its own controller, as the speeds peak higher but then fall lower; the N101 by contrast was much more stable in its speeds.

Real-world test

We copied a 24.3GB video file between a Samsung 960 Evo SSD and the card to test real-world read and write speeds. The drive stayed nicely consistent throughout the test, taking two minutes and four seconds to write the file at a speed of around 196MB/s and two minutes and six seconds to copy the file back.

Read

Write

Wrapping up

In our testing, the Exceria Pro N502 didn’t quite manage to live up to the 270MB/s reads and 260MB/s writes emblazoned on the front of the box, instead only managing around 210MB/s for both reads and writes – at least on the 128GB card we have.

Depending on its pricing – which at this time remains unknown, with no UK stores having stock of the card – it could still be a good high-speed performer suitable for high-definition video recording.

  • 7/10
    Performance - 7/10
7/10

Last modified: December 11, 2018

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