by Adam Armstrong

SanDisk Ultra Plus SD Memory Card Review (32GB)

The SanDisk Ultra Plus SD memory card is a small step up from their Ultra memory card.  Available in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB, the SanDisk Ultra Plus memory card boasts of speeds "twice as fast as ordinary SDHC cards;" claiming read speeds of 40MB/s. It is ideal for taking pictures and recording in full HD, while maintaining a budget-oriented approach. The SanDisk Ultra Plus is compatible with SDHC/SDXC enabled and SDHC-I/SDXC-I UHS-I enabled devices.

The SanDisk Ultra Plus memory card is aimed at enthusiasts using compact-to-midrange point-and-shoot digital cameras and camcorders. With the speeds advertised, users will be able to quickly take pictures and transfer files. Being fairly rugged (the device is waterproof, shock-proof, x-ray-proof, and extreme temperature proof), and having a low price point, the SanDisk Ultra Plus is ideal for the those taking lots of pictures or videos on the go but don't quite need the benefits of the Pro line of cards.

The SanDisk Ultra Plus 32GB Memory card comes with a limited lifetime warranty and a street price of $25.

SanDisk Ultra Memory Card Specifications:

  • Form Factor:
    • SDHC – 16GB & 32GB
    • SDXC – 64GB & 128GB
  • Capacities: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB
  • Dimensions: 0.94in x 1.25in x 0.08in (24mm x 32mm x 2.1mm)
  • Operating temperature: -13ºF to 185ºF (-25ºC to 85ºC)
  • Storage temperature: -40ºF to 185ºF (-40ºC to 85ºC)
  • Compatibility: Compatible with SDHC/SDXC and SDHC-I/SDXC-I UHS-I enabled devices
  • Security: Built-in write-protect switch prevents accidental data loss
  • Lifetime limited warranty

Design and build

The SanDisk Ultra Plus memory cards appear like most other standard size SD cards. It has a black casing and a white sticker on the front indicating speed, class and capacity. There is a line to write the contents of the card on the front, and there is a lock on the side to prevent accidental overwriting.

The gold pins used to transfer data are on the back on the card, along with the serial number at the the bottom of the card.

Performance

In this review we tested the 32GB memory card, and we will include the following comparables with their respective advertised performance numbers:

Using our Consumer Testing Platform, we measured transfer speeds from the 32GB SanDisk Ultra Plus memory card, which gave us sequential speeds of 46.6MB/s read and 11.8MB/s write; the memory card came in above the claimed speeds. The EVO had speeds of 44.6MB/s read and 19.0MB/s write, which were right on par with the SanDisk Ultra Plus. It was slower than the retiring Samsung Plus, which had sequential speeds of 70.00MB/s read, while write activity hit 19.82MB/s.

Switching to random large-block transfers, we measured slower speeds at 43.03MB/s read and 3.87MB/s write. These were much lower than the Samsung cards on the write side; the EVO had 44.0MB/s read and an impressive 31.6MB/s write and the Samsung Plus had random large-block transfer speeds measured at 66.13MB/s read and 19.71MB/s write.

We've also begun measuring random 4K IOPS performance for those evaluating cards for embedded systems. The SanDisk Ultra Plus SD posted 411IOPS read and 336IOPS write. 

Conclusion

The SanDisk Ultra Plus memory card ranges in capacity from 16GB to 128GB. It is durable, has a low price point and comes with a lifetime warranty. It is ideal for those who use compact-to-midrange point-and-shoot digital cameras and camcorders.

The SanDisk Ultra Plus performed well in sequential speeds but gave up quite a bit to Samsung in random large-block writes. Sequential speeds were above where SanDisk claimed: 46.6MB/s read and 11.8MB/s write vs. 40MB/s read and "write speed lower." Ultimately for the target sequential workload the card did what was advertised and should be more than sufficient for budget-oriented workloads that need a bit more grunt power than true low-end commodity flash.

Pros

  • Low price point
  • Durable
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Low random large-block write speeds

The Bottom Line

The SanDisk Ultra Plus is a durable memory card, with a low price point and lifetime warranty, perfect for mainstream users who use compact-to-midrange point-and-shoot digital cameras and camcorders.

SanDisk Ultra Plus SD Memory Card at Amazon

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