PNY Elite-X review: Affordable SDXC card for photo and video capture

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While microSD cards are the norm for many devices, SD cards are still kicking around, especially in the photography world. PNY is a brand you may not have heard of before. Generally speaking, they offer memory cards, flash drives, and solid-state drives at slightly more affordable prices.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Our PNY Elite-X Class 10 U3 V30 SD Flash Memory Card review takes a look at their 256GB SD Card with read speeds of up to 100MB/s. Read on for our full review!

Specifications

The PNY Elite-X Class 10 U3 V30 SD Flash Memory Card has the following features and specifications:

FormatSDXC
InterfaceUHS-I
Speed ClassClass 10, U3
Video Speed ClassV30
Capacity64, 128, 256, 512GB
Read PerformanceUp to 100MB/s
CompatibilityPoint & Shoot cameras, DSLR cameras, standard & advanced HD-enabled video cameras, and desktops & laptops
Other featuresTemperature, shock, magnet, and water proof

What’s in the box

  • PNY Elite-X Class 10 U3 V30 SD Flash Memory Card

Design

There’s not much to say here; an SD card is an SD card. They’re all the same shape and design. The PNY Elite-X Class 10 U3 V30 SD Flash Memory Card is black in colour, has a label on the front of the card, and the typical sliding lock switch on the left side.

The PNY Elite-X Class 10 U3 V30 SD 256GB Flash Memory Card
The PNY Elite-X Class 10 U3 V30 SD 256GB Flash Memory Card.

Performance

The PNY Elite-X Class 10 U3 V30 SD Flash Memory Card is rated at up to 100MB/s read speed. While the company doesn’t divulge the exact write speed, it does say it is lower “depending on the host devices and user’s settings and configurations.” PNY also specifies that they are great for burst mode HD photography and 4K Ultra HD videography.

As I usually do with storage drives and memory cards, I ran it through several benchmarks on their default settings.

AS SSD Seq Read87.79 MB/s
AS SSD Seq Write76.27 MB/s
ATTO Disk Benchmark Seq Read (max)87.85 MB/s
ATTO Disk Benchmark Seq Write (max)79.88 MB/s
CrystalDiskMark Seq Read (Q8T1)92.42 MB/s
CrystalDiskMark Seq Write (Q8T1)83.56 MB/s

We averaged around 2830 read/1570 write speed during the 4K test, and 3679 read/1245 write speed during the 512B test during our IOPS test. In practice, this means it meets the performance metrics required by an A1 rating for app performance use. Benchmarks are great, but real-world performance is what matters most. Of note, the PNY card did slightly better on the IOPS tests than the Samsung PRO Plus SDXC card we reviewed previously.

Before I upgraded to the Samsung PRO Plus SDXC card, I’d been using a SanDisk Ultra SDHC UHS-I card in my Sony a6000 mirrorless camera. While it worked well enough, it only gets about 20MB/s write and 87MB/s read in the ATTO Disk Benchmark test. Shooting in RAW mode, continuous burst, I could get around 15 images over about 1 1/2 seconds before the camera would stop. It would then take another 28 seconds for the write operation to complete on the memory card.

With the PNY Elite-X Class 10 U3 V30 SD Flash Memory Card, real-world performance was much better and on par with the Samsung card. Again, shooting RAW files in continuous burst mode, I was able to take 25 pictures in about 2 1/2 seconds before the camera would stop firing. It then only took about another 12 seconds for the write operation to complete on the memory card.

Of course, your performance will vary depending on the camera you use, but as you can see, the PNY Elite-X Class 10 U3 V30 SD Flash Memory Card offers up pretty decent write speeds compared to an SDHC card.

Price/Value

The PNY Elite-X Class 10 U3 V30 SD Flash Memory Cards are very reasonably priced. Starting at $11.99 for the 64GB version, our 256GB review sample will only set you back $34.99. The largest 512GB card is priced at $79.99. With similar performance to the Samsung PRO Plus, they are definitely more affordable.

Wrap-up

If you’re looking for a faster card for your digital camera, the PNY Elite-X Class 10 U3 V30 SD Flash Memory Cards offer good speeds at a more affordable price than other more popular OEMs.

*We use revenue-generating affiliate links and may earn a commission for purchases made using them. Read more on our disclaimer page.

Last Updated on July 27, 2021.

PNY Elite-X Class 10 U3 V30 SD Flash Memory Card

US$11.99+

Design

10.0/10

Performance

9.5/10

Price/Value

10.0/10

Nailed it

  • Fast read/write speeds
  • More affordably priced than other OEMs
  • Temperature, shock, magnet, and water proof

Needs work

  • Falls a bit short of rated speeds, but those are "up to" speeds
PNY Elite-X Class 10 U3 V30 SD Flash Memory Card
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