SD Card Buying Guide 2020: An Ultimate Bible

Introduction

Buying an SD card seems like an easy thing to do, but can be difficult sometimes. There are so many items and features which makes it hard to buy an SD card. There are quite a few specifications that an SD card provides so we always need to do some research to find an SD card which is compatible to our needs. There are many options available in the market, which makes it confusing to decide which SD card to buy.

Here on Top Reviews 24, we have multiple options to choose from. We came up with a comparison chart which gives us maximum properties along with maximum choices. We provide the best buying guides. We inquire about every kind of SD card and compare them methodically. From price points to all the features, we check them all.

We also provide comparison tables not just for SD cards, but also micro SD cards, memory cards, etc.  We have an accurate comparison table for each of them. For every comparison table, we first check the speed, customer review, warranty and other important features like whether it is waterproof, temperature-proof, X-ray proof, magnet-proof, shock-proof etc. All of the reviews are from reliable sources and from top websites and stores.

We provide the best study for any type of gadgets and the best reviews available. We collect information from various reliable sources and go through them very carefully and with great accuracy. All the tables created are a study from various sources and meticulously drafted and made. The information is updated from time to time. Whenever there is a new gadget or a newer version, it is immediately studied and updated and then added to the table.

Every gadget is tested and reviewed with great care. This is the only website where you will find a wide range of variety about different gadgets. If you are a nerd for gadgets, this is the perfect website for you.

We recommend the best reviews according to the customer needs. We see to it that no feature is missing and we also add other more delightful functions as these features are something which the customer needs. Be it any gadget, be it any version, we have it all!

Buying any gadget can really be confusing, especially if you are on a budget. But we have it covered. We provide direct links to popular websites and also a direct study of price points so it is easier for the viewer to check the prices. The comparison tables are crafted carefully and always see to it that they are easy to read and understandable. The usage of fancy language is minimal so that some people who are not technical experts will find it easy to study and see which product they really want. The charts are made in such a way that it is easy to know which product is compatible for them.

SD Card Comparison Table

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Micro SD Card Comparison Table​

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Types of memory cards and typical Applications

Buying a memory card can be very confusing, especially when there are so many options to choose from. There are so many types of memory cards that it can be hard to understand what we require exactly.  

SD cards are mainly used for storage of data. The price depends on the amount of the memory stored or the capacity of the card. They best part is that they are small and very easy to carry. Every electronic device has space to insert an SD card. They are universal and easy to transport data from one device to another. They are also made in such a way that they don’t crash. They are easily available in the market and they are also not very expensive. They have a removable non-volatile memory. They are also available in different sizes.

There are many types of memory cards. The most popular ones are SD card, SDHC card, SDXC card and SDUC card. These are the most common ones found.

SDHC:

The SDHC stands for Secure Digital High Capacity. They have a capacity over 4GB using a FAT32 file system, where as a normal SD card has up to 4GB memory capacity on a using FAT 12 and 16 file system.

SDXC:

The SDXC stands for Secure Digital Extended Capacity. It has a memory capacity over 32GB using ex FAT filing system.

SDUC:

SDUC stands for Secure Digital Ultra Capacity. It has a larger memory capacity of over 2 TB and up to 128 TB.

Comparison of SD card capacity standards

 
SD
SDHC
SDXC
SDUC
Logo
Min. Capacity
128MB
4GB
32GB
2TB
Max. Capacity
4GB
32GB
2TB
128TB
Typical FS
FAT16
FAT32
FAT32/exFAT
exFAT

These memory cards are very popular and a comparison table is given below which will help you choose the right memory card which is meant for you and satisfies your needs or requirements. There are many other kinds of SD cards available in the market, but these cards are the most common ones.

The following tables are the comparison of various SD or memory cards based on various features. The first table states the comparison based on the memory space the card provides. It also states the filing system with how the cards work. The next table states about the SD or memory card applications. It shows the compatibility of the SD or memory cards over various devices. Mostly all the cards are compatible with almost all devices like phones, DSLR cameras, digital cameras, laptops etc.

The next part also tells us about the abbreviations that are written on every memory card and what they mean. A lot of times people don’t know the full forms which don’t help them to understand the features of the SD or memory card. The content is very well explained with the help of a diagram and labeling. It may be a small item, but it’s a very important piece of information to share.

The following information which is described through easier methods will definitely help you understand and clear as many doubts as possible when it comes to buying an SD or memory card. It’s like a bible of how to buy an SD card.

Typical Memory Card Applications

Memory Card / Device
SD
SDHC
SDXC
MicroSD
Compact Flash
Mobile Phones
x
Digital Cameras
x
x
x
x
Laptop/Computers
x
x
x
Tablets
x
DSLR Cameras
x
x
x

What do all these abbreviations on the memory cards mean?​

sd_card_shortcuts

A.) Maximum reading speed (for photographers, the writing speed is more relevant!)

B.) The card can be write-protected with the manual slider.

C.) The maximum capacity of the card.

D.) SD: Maximum 4GB
      SDHC: 4GB – 32GB
      SDHX: 32GB – 2.000 GB

E.) Video Speed: Minimal writing speed (V10 = 10 MB/s; V30 = 30 MB/s)

F.) Writing Speed:
UHS-I: Maximum 104 MB/s
UHS-II: Maximum 312 MB/s

G.) Writing Class 10: Minimal 10 MB/s (Outdated classification)

H.) Writing Speed:
U1 = Minimal 10 MB/s
U3 = Minimal 30 MB/s

SD card speed ratings

While buying an SD card, it is important to check its speed rating. Speed rating is important as it tells you how fast the SD card is. Living in a world where time is an important factor, the speed rating of an SD card is important. The main reason to check the speed rating is for better video streaming and recording. There are various symbols on the SD card which define its speed rate. There are 3 types of speed ratings, which are printed on the SD card which are also known as Speed Class Mark. The first one is Speed Class Mark. The second one is known as UHS Speed Class Mark and the third one is called Video Speed Class Mark. They represent the minimum writing speed and are denoted in the form of symbols. The speed rating is mainly for recording purposes in devices like camcorders, video recorders and other devices.

The following tables describe various SD cards and their speed ratings. The comparison table is easy to follow and clearly describes and suggests the best combination to buy. The Speed Class card comes under Class 2,4,6 and lastly 10. The Class 10 can be applied to a High-Speed bus IT family. The UHS Speed Class comes under UHS class 1 and 3. Lastly, the Video Speed Class comes under V6, 10, 30, 60 and 90.

When you buy an SD card, you need to take a look at the speed rating as it does depend on your requirements. If you are a professional video editor or recorder, then Video Speed Class type SD card is for you. The speed rating is just the minimum speed required for recording. Generally, it is measured in Megabyte per second or MB/se. The higher the class, the higher the speed.  The higher the speed, the better the quality. Also, the higher the speed, the heavier the files which can be recorded.  The classes which the following SD cards fall under are actually the speed rate, which the SD card follows. It is measured in MB/sec as mentioned earlier. Therefore, before buying an SD card, make sure you check and study the speed ratings as per your requirements. A higher speed rate gives you a higher resolution in a still photograph or a video. Most of the time, all professionals use an SD card belonging to the UHS or Video Speed Class. These types of SD cards have a low sustained performance and can accommodate multiple higher resolution videos and photos. 

The following table shows the accurate description of an SD card speed rating with minimum content. Everything possible is added in an easier way. The arrangement is such that it makes it easy for the consumer to understand and choose an apt SD card to buy. This is the best place to compare and get to know your requirements. Lastly, make sure to check the speed ratings on the SD card which you wish to buy by studying this table and you are good to go!

Minimum sequential writing speed
 Speed Class Video format
Speed Class
UHS Speed Class
Video Speed Class
SD
HD
4K
8K
2 MB/s
N/A
N/A
Yes
No
No
No
4 MB/s
N/A
N/A
Yes
Yes
No
No
6 MB/s
N/A
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
10 MB/s
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
30 MB/s
N/A
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
60 MB/s
N/A
N/A
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
90 MB/s
N/A
N/A
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes

Application Performance Class

Application performance in simple words means the managing and monitoring of software and applications. This is also an important feature to consider when it comes to buying an SD card which fulfills your requirements. It can also be called load testing. It is nothing but the performance of your SD card and how good it works. It is a technology which monitors the running of your memory card.

Without an APM or an Application Performance tool, you will get a limited front-end performance monitoring options which is not good for your device. It helps you tell the health of your device, mostly its lifespan. It is important to see whether your SD card has a good Application Performance. The better Application Performance or APM, the better life of an SD card or any other device.

Application Performance is generally measured by user satisfaction or Apdex scores. This has become an industry standard for tracking the relative performance of an application or device. We have a simple formula to get to know the application performance. You can find it anywhere on the internet. The higher the application performance, the better the application or software or device is.

There are two types of Application Performance Classes, the first one is A1 and the second one is A2. The Application Performance Class 1 or simply called as A1 is defined as specification of 5.1. It is meant for storing maps, videos, dictionaries, pictures and documents. It also helps the user to be free from sluggish and annoying editing as well as updating the data.

The Application Performance Class 2 or simply known as A2 is having a specification of 6.0. It has a relatively greater performance than A1 due to usage of Command Queuing and Cache as a function.

The following table shows the performance difference between A1 and A2. The unit IOPS stands for input-output per second. The access is usually in megabytes/second or MB/sec, but IOPS is a more reliable unit. IOPS depends on the minimum read and write speeds and is a better unit. The higher the IOPS, the better the application performance. Here A2 is always a better choice as it provides minimum performance for reading and a minimum speed to write.

Although the Application Performance is not really relevant to cameras at this time, there could be a change in the near future as the technology is developing at a very drastic rate. Even though this function is not really relevant at present, it is always better to buy an SD card with an A2 class or an Application Performance Class 2 and V/U speed rating for a better usage. Many experts recommend buying an SD card with A2 performance as it is always a better option. It will always provide a better performance when it comes to saving a heavier file in your SD card and help you have a better quality of data in your memory. 

Application Performance Class
Minimum Random Read
Minimum Random Write
Minimum Sustained Sequential Write
1500 IOPS
500 IOPS
10 MBytes/sec
4000 IOPS
2000 IOPS
10 MBytes/sec

How should I decide which type of SD card to buy?

After reading about all the features an SD card covers, the main question is what type of SD card should I buy? This has always been a big question as an SD card is such a simple device and having so many varieties and specifications, things can be confusing and overwhelming. 

Whenever you want to buy an SD card, make sure you know for what reason you are buying it. Is it for a professional video shooting or photography, or just simply storing your documents or selfies you took from a party?  Know why you need it!

Once you know why you want to buy an SD card, go through the list of features you are looking for in an SD card. To explain in a clear way, go through the list of features. The important features you need to check is the memory. It is the most important feature in an SD card since that is the main reason it is created.

Next, you need to check what type of a memory card you need. Is the memory card which fulfills your requirements compatible for the device you are using?  Although SD cards are compatible with almost all devices, checking the compatibility is important.

The next thing you need to check is the speed class or the speed rating of the SD card. The higher the speed class, the better the resolution of the SD card. Again, if you are a looking for an SD card for a professional use, then a card with a higher speed rate is always better.

After checking the speed rate, you need to check the performance application. Although it is not directly related, it is always better to check it in case you accidentally choose an A1 class, although you may get an A2 class SD card with the same set of requirements.

After studying all the features, compare the prices of the selected SD cards chosen. You need to shortlist at least 3 SD cards to choose the best one.  Study their pros and cons and then choose which SD card you want to buy.

Buying an SD card is not a difficult task. You just need some knowledge and know exactly why you want it. For professional work like video shooting and still photography, an SD card with a higher memory or storage is recommended.  Type SDUC or SDHC is recommended or an SD card with speed class of Video Speed Class is also recommended. An A2 performance class is the best as it has a higher IOPS which takes better loads.

After following these instructions, you know exactly which SD card to buy. The above information and comparison charts answer all your small questions and clear all your doubts about what SD card to buy. This is the ultimate bible solely about SD cards.

Amzon Bestseller SD Card

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Amzon Bestseller Micro SD Card

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