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 28 November 2004
 SanDisk
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 Storage
 Dr. Adrian Wong
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512MB SanDisk Memory Stick PRO Review Rev. 2.0
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Introduction

In typical Sony fashion, Sony just had to come up with their own (read : proprietary) flash memory card. Dubbed the Sony Memory Stick, it was introduced in 1998 in all Sony products.

Although Sony boasted its technical superiority over competing standards like CompactFlash and MMC, the Memory Stick's success in the marketplace was entirely due to Sony's practice of making their products support only the Memory Stick standard. With Sony users forced to buy Memory Sticks, is it a wonder that Sony shipped over 60 million Memory Sticks by 2003?

But eventually, the Memory Stick standard began to show cracks in its "technical superiority". While the performance of competing memory cards was improving over time, Sony's Memory Stick was stuck with a rather poor write speed, which prevented it from supporting real-time recording of data. Worse of all, Sony just could not come up with a Memory Stick that would provide more than 128MB of storage.

In the end, Sony was forced to create a 256MB Memory Stick with Memory Select Function that was nothing more than two 128MB Memory Sticks in a single case. You cannot access all 256MB of the Memory Stick. Instead, it comes with a switch that allows you to access one of two 128MB partitions. As you can tell, that was a most unsatisfactory design.

 

The New Memory Stick PRO

With the writing on the wall, Sony was forced to partner with SanDisk to create the new Memory Stick PRO standard.

The Sunnyvale, CA company is the world's largest supplier of flash memory products. So, it's no wonder Sony turned to them for help with the Memory Stick PRO standard.

As a result of this collaboration, the new Memory Stick PRO was born. Featuring a maximum capacity of 32GB and a maximum transfer rate of 160Mbits/s (20MB/s), the new standard also boasts a minimum write speed of 15Mbits/s (1.875MB/s)! That's slightly faster than a 12X CompactFlash card. While not the fastest memory card standard in the world, it is a world of difference from the old Memory Stick standard.

Now, the question is - do all Memory Sticks perform the same?

Today, we will be taking a close look at the 512MB SanDisk Memory Stick PRO.

We will show you everything you need to know about this Memory Stick PRO card and how it performs when compared to other Memory Sticks. Let's check it out!



 
   
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