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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old November 23rd, 2009, 09:32 AM   #1
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Lifespan of SxS Cards

Since the new cheaper cards will have a 5-year lifespan, I'm wondering what the lifespan is of the current, more expensive cards. I had assumed it was forever, since it's solid state with no moving parts. But now I'm not so sure. Has anyone seen anything besides the standard one-year warranty?
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 09:49 AM   #2
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I seem to remember reading 10 years somewhere. And 10,000 cycles.

But that is just my memory. I am sure someone here or on the rest of the web can give a factual answer.
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 10:22 AM   #3
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Also, is it 10 years OR 10 000 cycles - which ever comes first - or 10 000 cycles PERIOD.
If the card does not "age" when not in use then the new budget cards would last a lot longer than five years for a user that does not use the card everyday.

Anyone who knows the technology behind the different card types?
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 10:42 AM   #4
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The original blue cards use SLC memory cells and the new orange cards use MLC. Typically SLC is good for up to 100,000 cycles while MLC is good for up to 10,000 cycles. MLC is less reliable as a single cells state can have 4 values depending on the voltage stored in the cell. As the cell ages there is more voltage leakage and eventually the ability to determine which of the 4 levels the cell is at becomes impossible. SLC on the other hand is either "on" or "off" so is more tolerant of voltage fluctuations.
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 11:16 AM   #5
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Further it is more advisable to use a larger card if possible than to fill up smaller cards all the time.
The card controller will organize the writing in that way, that the cells are used somehow equally. Even if you use only 20% of the card per shot and reformat it afterwards, the card controller will write another 20% at the next shot, and so on. This way all the cells will age almost equally.

If you use your 8 GB card every time for filming full 20-25 min. of material, the card controller has no chance to use different cells. Better get a 16GB or 32GB card, even if your shots are normally shorter...
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 03:38 PM   #6
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Do we know which (if any) SDHC brands offer SLC? Could this be why the ATP cards cost so much more than the Transcend or Sandisk versions?
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 04:55 PM   #7
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With the new SXS-1 economy card, does it make any difference on the lifespan whether the card is full or not when reformating it. I am just currious about how the card internal clock mecanism accounts for usage. So for exemple, if a sxs-1 card is 50% full and reformatted, does this count as one cycle or as 50% of a cycle. I was told that the new P2 Eco cards works this way, the Internal clock keeps track of the amount of data recorded before reformatting so the cards may actually yields more cycles if they are partially used prior to formatting.

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Old November 23rd, 2009, 05:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Durham View Post
Do we know which (if any) SDHC brands offer SLC? Could this be why the ATP cards cost so much more than the Transcend or Sandisk versions?
Welcome to Transcend website - 150x SDHC Class 6

Green stripe, 8gb.

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Old November 23rd, 2009, 05:53 PM   #9
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Reading between the lines, it seems both ATP and Transcend offer single layer cards, but only in capacities of up to 8gb. Either (as you've identified) the green stripe Transcend 8gb or the ATP Pro Max II 8gb cards.

The Transcend site explicitly says SLC while the ATP site says the Pro Max 2 is good for 100,000 write cycles which I guess means its SL

The standard ATP Pro Max 16gb cards will be MLC.
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 06:05 PM   #10
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Do we know which (if any) SDHC brands offer SLC? Could this be why the ATP cards cost so much more than the Transcend or Sandisk versions?
There's no way to tell without inside information, but in general, MLC is slower and higher capacity. So, paying top dollar for the highest speed cards will probably buy you SLC or fewer levels of MLC. Though, it's important to remember that higher capacity cards use each bit less often if you are not always filling the entire card.

Apparently, Transcend Class 6 with a green stripe is SLC and red stripe is MLC.
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Old November 24th, 2009, 09:28 AM   #11
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Very interesting info on memory technology. Thanks guys! Now - is time also a factor for the aging of SxS-1-cards or only the number of read/write cycles?
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