SDHC Class 4 vs. SDHC Class 10 (drum kit load times) + Firmware 1.2.9 and 1.4.1

Greetings my fellow BB users. My BB arrived today and I did some comparison testing of drum kit load times using the SDHC Class 4 (the card that came with the BB) vs. an SDHC Class 10. Please take note that my BB arrived with firmware v1.2.9. My initial time tests were done first with v1.2.9 and then after an update to v1.4.1. I used the stopwatch on my iPhone to take time measurements and performed the test three times for each drum kit. Here are the results:

Firmware v1.2.9
SDHC Class 4 (card that came with the BB)

  1. Standard = 6.21 sec.
  2. Rock = 5.70 sec.
  3. Metal = 5.30 sec.
  4. Jazz = 4.85 sec.
  5. Brushes = 4.53 sec.
  6. Percussion = 1.89 sec.
  7. Latin = 2.55 sec.
  8. Dance = .86 sec.
  9. Ethereal = .90 sec.
  10. Voice = 1.63 sec.

Firmware 1.2.9
SDHC Class 10 (PNY Elite Performance 16GB 90mb/sec.)

  1. Standard = 6.18 sec.
  2. Rock = 5.61 sec.
  3. Metal = 5.16 sec.
  4. Jazz = 4.88 sec.
  5. Brushes = 4.45 sec.
  6. Percussion = 1.84 sec.
  7. Latin = 2.70 sec.
  8. Dance = .86 sec.
  9. Ethereal = .95 sec.
  10. Voice = 1.65 sec.

NOTE: The load times are nearly identical, so it does show that there is not a significant speed difference between a Class 4 and Class 10 SDHC. However, things got a little more interesting when I updated the BB firmware to v1.4.1.

I dragged the v1.4.1 update files to the Class 10 SDHC and performed the update without any issues. But I thought I would see if the firmware update made any difference in the drum kit load times. Here is what I discovered. If you leave the firmware update files on the SDHC card, your load times will increase.

Firmware v1.4.1
SDHC Class 10 (PNY Elite Performance 16GB 90mb/sec.)
SDHC card contains the update files.

  1. Standard = 7.71 sec.
  2. Rock = 6.68 sec.
  3. Metal = 6.40 sec.
  4. Jazz = 6.33 sec.
  5. Brushes = 6.01 sec.
  6. Percussion = 2.40 sec.
  7. Latin = 3.23 sec.
  8. Dance = 1.01 sec.
  9. Ethereal = 1.26 sec.
  10. Voice = 1.98 sec.

The increase in load time is not drastically different but there is a notable difference. However, when I removed the firmware update files from the SDHC, then load times became shorter again and matched the original results. So this begs the question, as we load additional content to the SD card, will the load times continue to increase over time?

Okay, I’m back with some more information. I wanted to do some additional testing of drum kit loading times with other SD cards. So I went to Frys Electronics and purchased (2) SDHC SH-1 8GB Class 10 cards. One was from Sony, the other one was from Patriot. When I tested drum kit load times with both of these cards I was expecting them to both be equal with kit load times since both cards are essentially equal in regards to tech-specs.

Well…I was wrong. The cards did perform differently. The Sony card was just as fast as the other two cards I reported on yesterday (see comment post above). But the Patriot card, well, that was another matter. The card was actually slower. Here are those test results.

Patriot LX Series SDHC 8GB Class 10 SH-1

  1. Standard = 7.43 sec.
  2. Rock = 6.88 sec.
  3. Metal = 6.05 sec.
  4. Jazz = 5.90 sec.
  5. Brushes = 5.51 sec.
  6. Percussion = 2.45 sec.
  7. Latin = 3.20 sec.
  8. Dance = 1.08 sec.
  9. Ethereal = 1.05 sec.
  10. Voice = 2.08 sec.

So this just shows that identical (spec-wise) SDHC cards are not all created equal and that you might want to compare a few cards and see which ones are the fastest when loading drum kits. Of course, we’re really only talking about a difference between a few 100/th to 1 sec. (give or take). So it’s not anything to get concerned about. All the drum kits load far faster than any VST/Software drum apps. Obviously, keeping the drum kit size limited to 100MB or less allows the kits to load so quickly. But it would be great if the kit size could increase. I mean, if there’s a way to increase the kit size to perhaps 200MB or 300MB, we would still have fast loading drum kits without much of a time load increase.