Poor performing SD cards to blame for smartphone lag?

Is there anything more frustrating than purchasing the latest and greatest smartphone, booting up and loading all your favourite applications only to find that performance is sluggish. You took the time to ensure that your new pride and joy has the latest dual core processor, more RAM than you could ever need and a state of the art GPU yet still certain processes show notable lag. Well according to recent research from the Georgia Institute of Technology and NEC Corp, it may well be your flash memory that’s to blame.

The research tested 16GB cards from eight of the leading flash card manufacturers using several leading Android handsets. The tests covered the use of popular applications such as WebBench Browser, Facebook, Android Email, Google Maps, App Install, Pulse News Reader and RLBench SQLite. Results showed that performance over WiFi declined on average between 100% to 300% with one test showing a shocking 2000% decrease in performance.

Hyojun Kim, a Ph.D. student in the College of Computing at Georgia Tech, stated “A good chunk of time for users is spent waiting for websites to load … [and for] applications to load, why would anyone want to see a 20-second wait time on their phone, particularly if the network is not the problem,”  Kim and his team working hard to find a solution to the problem, one path they’re exploring is the use of phase-change random access memory (PRAM) to store performance critical data. On the subject of PRAM, Kim stated “We find that changes to the storage subsystem can significantly improve user experience; our pilot solutions demonstrate possible benefits and serve as references for deployable solutions in the future”

So there we have it, perhaps there is some logic to the omission of SD card expansion slots in recent, flagship smartphones. For those of you who just can’t live without that expandable memory slot, check out the test results below.

 

source : computerworld

 

» See more articles by Chris Stewart


  • Anonymous

    So for stupid consumers like me: which card should I buy?

    • Anonymous

      Buy a class 10 microSD card. Those are fast, and it is quite noticeable

      • Anonymous

         Damn that was fast :-) Thanks. I will keep that in memory (no pun intended). I wanna try Nemo on my N900 and it isn’t exactly fast to start with.

    • Anonymous

      NuLLnVoiDes won’t work with anything below a Class 4. The Class is an indicator of read/write speed. Buying a Class 6 is more than enough. Most phones can’t take advantage of a Class 10. There is also another factor to consider. The ROM also dictates the maximum read ahead cache which has a significant effect on the perceived speed. If you have a rooted phone, use any one of the apps similar to SD Speed Boost to change the read ahead cache from 128k to 2048k. This helps a lot with the card you have. Don’t spend a lot on a Class 10 unless you find a great deal <$40. Otherwise, stick with a Class 6 and you'll be just fine.

      • Anonymous

         Thanks to you too – now I know at least ten-fold more about SD-storage ;-) Gotta check for something like that Speed booster you mentioned.

  • Anonymous

    super true. I tried running my Nook Color from a crappy sd card and you guessed it – it sucked. But with a decent sd card, the experience is good.

  • http://twitter.com/sv0o 3@ns@y 1nc3ntv@y

    I’ve been wondering about this myself.  Also, if the phone is slower, I think there may be an impact on battery life as well.  My wife and I noticed both when we put 32GB class 2 cards in our phones: me G2 her MTq