If you’re looking to add storage space to your Nintendo Switch, GoPro, or Raspberry Pi, a microSD card is essential. However, not all cards are created equal in terms of performance and affordability. To assist you in finding the best microSD card, we recently conducted benchmark tests on a dozen options. Here’s what you should consider when purchasing a microSD card:
Capacity: The first thing to determine is how much space you require. MicroSD cards are available in sizes ranging from 32GB to 512GB, with a few offering 1TB models. For most users, a 128GB or 256GB card strikes a balance between price and capacity. However, if you need more storage, a 512GB card might be a better choice, offering a favorable cost-per-GB ratio. Prices for decent 128GB cards start at around $15, while 256GB cards can be found for under $30. Sales can bring the price of a decent 512GB card down to as low as $40, though most range from $50 to $60. 1TB cards typically cost around $100.
Read and Write Speeds: MicroSD cards’ performance is primarily measured by their read and write speeds, usually in megabytes per second (MB/s). Sequential read and write speeds are crucial for accessing or saving long, continuous streams of data for media storage. Random performance, on the other hand, relates to how quickly a card can read and write small files scattered throughout the device, which is important for gaming devices or single-board computers like the Raspberry Pi. Therefore, it’s important to consider both sequential and random performance when choosing a microSD card.
SD Association Speed Ratings: MicroSD cards display various symbols and ratings that indicate their speed class and performance. The Video Speed Class (V-rating) denotes the minimum sequential write speed, especially important for recording video. The UHS Speed Class (U-rating) also indicates the minimum sequential write speed, while the Application Performance spec (A-rating) measures random read and write speeds. Cards with V30, U3, and A2 ratings generally offer the best combination of price and performance. However, other ratings may be suitable depending on your specific needs.
UHS Bus Speeds: MicroSD cards come in UHS-I and UHS-II options, with UHS-II being faster. UHS-I cards have a theoretical maximum speed of 104 MB/s, while UHS-II cards can reach up to 312 MB/s. UHS-II cards are ideal for capturing high-resolution photos and videos, but they come at a higher cost compared to UHS-I cards. Most microSD cards available are UHS-I, and they are generally sufficient for the average user’s needs.
Card Readers, Nintendo Switch, and Steam Deck: It’s important to note that the performance of a UHS-I card may exceed the theoretical maximum of 104 MB/s through proprietary extensions. However, to take advantage of this extra performance, you need a compatible card reader and host device. Devices like the Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck support the UHS-I interface, which limits the sequential speed. Therefore, it’s essential to consider all components in your setup to ensure optimal performance.
Warranty: MicroSD cards are designed to be durable, offering protection against water, extreme temperatures, X-rays, and drops. However, it’s always advisable to choose a card with a long warranty, especially in case of unforeseen issues. Lifetime limited warranties are common, although “endurance” cards designed for continuous writing may have shorter warranty periods.
Avoiding Counterfeits: The memory card market has faced issues with counterfeit products. To protect yourself, only purchase from well-known brands and reputable retailers.
By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and find the best microSD card to meet your storage needs. Remember to assess your requirements for capacity, read and write speeds, speed ratings, UHS bus speeds, warranty, and authenticity to ensure optimum performance and reliability.
Denial of responsibility! SamacharCentrl is an automatic aggregator of Global media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, and all materials to their authors. For any complaint, please reach us at – [email protected]. We will take necessary action within 24 hours.
Deepak Sen is a tech enthusiast who covers the latest technological innovations, from AI to consumer gadgets. His articles provide readers with a glimpse into the ever-evolving world of technology.