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Lifewire / Jonno Hill
Great read speeds
Adequate for some uses
Write performance inconsistent
Slow write speeds
The SanDisk 32GB Ultra SDHC Card offers so-so performance, but its rock-bottom price is hard to argue with.
The SanDisk 32GB Ultra SDHC Card isn’t the fastest of the UHS-I cards that we tested—in fact it was the slowest of our roundup of the best SD cards. This would normally be a good reason to pick up and continue your search elsewhere, but this card still has enough to offer that it’s very low price point can make up a lot of the difference. Should you still consider the SanDisk 32GB Ultra? Let’s take a closer look.
The SanDisk 32GB Ultra SDHC Card has no big surprises in the design department. The card features a silver sticker on the front with an “80 MB/s*” speed listed on its front. As we will learn later, that asterisk is doing some really heavy lifting. The card also displays its Class 10 rating - ensuring a minimum of 10 MB/s write speed. If it could manage 30 MB/s, it would have earned a U3 rating, which tells you everything you need to know regarding that “80 MB/s*” figure.
The least expensive card that we tested by a significant margin.
SanDisk also leaves a small area at the bottom of the card intentionally blank so that you can label the card with its contents. If you’ve worked with a large volume of cards before you will definitely find this a helpful addition.
The SanDisk 32GB Ultra SDHC Card doesn’t require any additional effort to setup beyond what you would normally expect from an SD card. We removed the card from its packaging and were able to begin using it right away without any additional fuss.
The SanDisk 32GB Ultra SDHC Card features a Class 10 rating, good for a guaranteed 10 MB/s of write performance. This will be fine for a good deal of full HD recording scenarios, but even then, not all of them. The Panasonic GH4, for example, has a 1080p recording mode that still demands 25 MB/s write capabilities. In our testing, the SanDisk 32GB Ultra achieved more than its minimum rating, but not enough to reach U3 speeds of 30 MB/s.
In CrystalDiskMark, using a 1 GiB sequential write file test over 9 iterations, the SanDisk 32GB Ultra achieved 20.55 MB/s write speeds. The results in Blackmagic’s Disk Speed Test were slightly less favorable, reaching just 13.7 MB/s in our 5 GB stress test.
Read speeds were a different story altogether. The SanDisk 32GB Ultra managed 94.66 MB/s in CrystalDiskMark, and 92.3 MB/s in Blackmagic’s test. It’s interesting to see how consistent UHS-I cards are with their read speeds—none of the cards we tested deviated much here. Still, the SanDisk 32GB Ultra actually achieved the fastest speeds of all the cards in its class in this metric, if only by a hair.
Overall we were not incredibly impressed by the SanDisk 32GB Ultra’s performance, finding better results in most of the other cards that we tested in this category.
The SanDisk 32GB Ultra SDHC Card can be found for a little under $7, making it the least expensive card that we tested by a significant margin. It was also the only 32GB card however, so this is to be expected. At $0.21 per GB, the SanDisk 32GB Ultra lagged behind the Lexar 633x 256GB, which cost a mere $0.15. Although, none of the 32 GB variants of the cards in our roundup were cheaper than the SanDisk 32GB Ultra—including the Lexar 633x 32 GB. Those on a particularly tight budget won’t be able to find a better deal.
If you can afford to spend a little bit more, you will find significantly better value in Samsung’s EVO Select cards, starting with the 64 GB model at $12 ($0.18/GB) and especially the 256 GB model at $39 ($0.15/GB). These cards don’t just offer more storage per dollar, they also outperform the SanDisk 32GB Ultra by a large degree. The EVO Select consistently delivered 65 MB/s write speeds, leaving the SanDisk Ultra’s 13-20 MB/s in the dust.
Worth skipping if possible.
The SanDisk 32GB Ultra is simply outmatched by most of the competition, winning only in pure price alone. If you only need a 32 GB card, aren’t terribly concerned about performance, and absolutely need to save every penny, it’s the best deal right now. For anyone else, there is a better card out there.