by Josh Shaman

Lexar Professional 600x SDXC UHS-I Review

The Lexar Professional 600x SDXC UHS-I is the company's strongest performing SDXC memory card that ships in capacities of 64GB, 128GB or 256GB and is designed for high-end content capturing via DSLRs, HD camcorders or even 3D cameras. That 256GB capacity point is a drastic increase doubling offerings comparables provide that top off at 128GB, sometimes even 64GB. Performance is another main draw and is accelerated to quoted transfer rates of 90MB/s read and 45MB/s write - and Lexar says the read activity spec is a guaranteed minimum sustained transfer rate (of course depending on the host system). These speeds are extremely significant to photographers as reduced transfer times and smoother in-camera operations lead to more shots snapped and more time to edit them, and with that, likely higher quality work. Lexar also includes a software code for users to download Lexar Image Rescue 4, which is image recovery software enabling users to recover lost or deleted photos or videos.

Lexar obviously also produces other cards to meet the range of applications consumers and prosumers are likely to put the cards through. While the Lexar Professional 600x SDXC UHS-I is the most premium, Lexar also offers the Professional 400x with a lower performance spec of 60MB/s read, the Platinum II rated at 30MB/s read and other lower performance models (the SDHC Full-HD, Multi-Use SDHC/SDXC, and Gaming memory cards). The driving factor behind consumer purchasing decisions will largely be related to use cases, budget and capacity requirements.

The Lexar Professional 600x SDXC UHS-I is available now with street pricing at $113 for the 64GB, $216 for the 128GB and $504 for the 256GB. Our tester is the 64GB model. The Lexar Professional 600x SDXC UHS-I also includes a lifetime warranty.

Lexar Professional 600x SDXC UHS-I Specifications

  • Form factor: SDXC
  • Available capacities: 64 GB, 128GB, 256GB
  • Performance/speed: Up to 90MB/s read and 45MB/s write
  • Support: Lifetime limited warranty

Design and Build

The Lexar Professional 600x SDXC UHS-I features the SDXC design consumers are familiar with. Lexar states that the Pro 600x is compatible with any SDXC device.

On the front of the card is a gold and black sticker featuring the relevant branding, speed ratings and capacity information. The left side of the card features the lock slide button. Moving to the back of the card, there are nine gold pins at the top serving as connectors. There is also some model number information and the country of origin (Korea).

Performance

Using our Consumer Testing Platform and the Lexar Professional USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader that supports CompactFlash UDMA 7, SDXC and SD-UHS I with which we were provided, we measured transfer speeds from the Lexar Professional 600x SDXC UHS-I 64GB with IOMeter. The Lexar Professional 600x SDXC UHS-I delivered sequential read and write speeds at 81.31MB/s and 44.29MB/s respectively, while random large-block transfers measured 79.57MB/s read and 10.76MB/s write. The sequential transfer rates were close to the quoted 90MB/s and 45MB/s marks Lexar provided, with our 2MB sequential write figure nearly hitting the mark dead-on.

Comparing the Lexar Professional 600x SDXC UHS-I 64GB, we stacked it up against the SanDisk Extreme microSDXC UHS-I 64GB. SanDisk offers it and its Extreme Pro in the upper-echelon of their microSD and SD card offerings. The SanDisk Extreme SDXC featured a similar quoted transfer rating of 80/50MBps. In testing, its sequential speeds measured 89.41MB/s read and 58.51MB/s write, while random large-block transfers measured 82.10MB/s read and 41.54MB/s write.

We also compared against the SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC UHS-I 32GB, which posted sequential read and write speeds of 89.13MB/s and 73.08MB/s respectively, while random large-block transfers measured 80.91MB/s read and 15.30MB/s write.

Conclusion

The Lexar Professional 600x SDXC UHS-I is Lexar's high-end SDXC memory card that is quoted at hitting 90MB/s read and 45MB/s write. Those robust transfer rates combined with the cards UHS Speed Class 1 (U1) and Class 10 video recording ratings optimize the card for a range of photography and video capture and editing applications. The card can handle Full 1080P HD Video or even 3D content. And, with capacities at 64GB, 128GB or 256GB, users won't have to keep swapping out their card to continue their shooting or editing processes. To deliver a bit more value to the package, Lexar also includes a software code for its Image Rescue 4 image recovery software that makes it simple for users to recover lost or deleted photos or videos.

In testing, the Lexar Professional 600x SDXC UHS-I 64GB did fairly well. Lexar quoted transfer rates at 90MB/s for read activity and 45MB/s for write activity, and in our 2MB sequential testing using IOMeter the card hit 81MB/s and 44MB/s. These figures were somewhat outmatched by the SanDisk SD and microSD offerings. However, they were still quite close to the quoted rating. Additionally, what really makes the Lexar Professional 600x SDXC unique is that it ships in capacities that range up to the 256GB mark - double that of what SanDisk offers in their second-highest tier Extreme line of SD cards and quadruple of what SanDisk offers with the highest tier Extreme Pro SD card.

Pros

  • Maximum capacity hits 256GB (2-4 times larger than competitors)
  • Free image recovery software adds value

Cons

  • Performed just under quoted marks and competition

Bottom Line

The Lexar Professional 600x SDXC UHS-I is the company's top of the line SDXC card and features a robust high-end capacity of 256GB while providing high-end performance.

Lexar Professional 600x at Amazon.com

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