4 Things to Consider When Looking for the Best SD Card

Buying an SD card used to be easy, now in the year 2017 searching for the best SD card can be quite a feat. Secure Digital (SD) cards started out as a simple flash storage format that replaced other types of cards like the MMC.

As SD Card usage grew, the need for different speeds and sizes grew as well. Thanks to this, you get to experience how chaotic buying an SD card for your device can really be. Follow our guide below to gain a better understanding of how to select the SD card that best fits your needs.

A Secure Digital (SD) card is a type of removable flash memory that can be used to store data. SD cards are available in different sizes. Including standard SD cards, mini SD cards, and micro SD cards. Micro SD cards are the smallest type of SD card available on the market today. These fingernail-sized cards can be used on a variety of mobile devices. Including smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, music players, and laptops.

Here are 4 things to Consider When Buying an SD Card

If you are shopping for a micro SD card as a first-time buyer, you probably aren’t conversant with the particular features you should look for. Here are important aspects to consider to ensure the best bang for your buck:

A micro SD card measures 15 mm × 11 mm × 1 mm, which is about a quarter of the size of an average-size SD card. Even with their small size, these cards provide ample storage for most devices that support SD cards. However, not all micro SD cards will fit into matching slots in the devices they are plugged into. If your device has a standard SD card slot, you’ll have to buy an adapter that allows you to plug your micro SD card into a larger slot.

2. Capacity

Like other storage devices such as hard drives and flash drives, micro SD cards come with varying capacities. Today, SanDisk owns the bragging rights to the micro SD card with the highest capacity in the world. The manufacturer unveiled its 400GB micro SD card in August 2017, breaking Samsung’s record 256GB micro SD card. Depending on your budget, you can choose the card with the most capacity for your performance needs.

Just because a micro SD card fits perfectly in the designated slot, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work. It’s important to ensure the brand you are about to buy is compatible with your device. Micro SD cards come in 3 different formats:

  1. MicroSD: Compatible with devices that have a micro SD slot. They have a capacity of up to 2GB.
  2. MicroSDHC: Compatible with devices that support either SDXC and SDHC. They have a capacity between 2GB and 32GB.
  3. MicroSDXC: Compatible with devices that support SDXC. These cards have a capacity of at least 32GB.

Storage devices are categorized in different speed classes, which basically indicate the minimum read and write speed of a card in megabytes per second.  They include class 2 (2MB/s), class 4 (MB/s), class 6 (6MB/s), and class 10 (10MB/s). Reaching potential speeds up to the 90MB/s mark. If you want to buy an SD card for shooting HD videos, it’s best to buy a class 10 micro SD card as it boosts the highest write speeds. But mark you; a good class 2 card may be faster than a class 10 card because sometimes the classes reflect the lowest speed and not the actual one.

There’s also a little trick you need to learn. Megabytes per second (MBps) also written as MB/s on SD cards are eight times faster than megabits per second (Mbps) because 8 bits make up a single byte. To be on the safe side, check out your device’s specifications and conduct a benchmark test on your SD card to see whether it’s worth its salt.

Conclusion

You’ve now established that SD cards aren’t created equal. This means that what works for one device or purpose may not work for another. By making the wrong choice of micro SD card, you may end up overpaying for something you don’t need. Happy SD Card Shopping.

Dan Mitchell President & Solution Architect at Rack Simply
Dan Mitchell

President & Solution Architect at Rack Simply

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