More and more memory cards appear on the market every day. They get faster and come with ever higher capacities.
Memory cards now available on the market can be bought at capacities up to 512GB, where only a few years ago a maximum would be 64GB.
Something that hasn’t really changed, in most cases, is that the fastest memory cards are expensive. But can we get almost as fast cards for a decent price?
And what about those of us who shoot video, especially 4K video?
The main focus here is going to be on the speed of memory cards and reviewing the most popular capacity of 64GB. I’ll also focus on the most popular memory cards – SD cards. Compact Flash is only used in some DSLR cameras (and not many really), where more and more DSLR cameras and all mirrorless cameras use SD cards.
Just to explain the main names of SD cards, SDHC cards, which appeared around 2006 and superseeded SD, are limited to 32GB. SDXC that came after around 2009 could be as big as 2TB. So we’re focusing on SDXC cards here.
With SDXC cards you get two main standards:
- SDXC UHS-I – with transfer speeds of up to 104 MB/s
- SDXC UHS-II – with transfer speeds of up to 312 MB/s
Note: Before you buy a UHS-II card, make sure that your camera can take advantage of UHS-II speed because even though the camera that doesn’t support UHS-II will take this card you won’t be getting the extra speed and UHS-II cards are much more expensive.
So how do some of these cards compare in terms of speed? That varies. For example, SandDisk Ultra 80 MB/s advertised as speed of 80MB/s will give you a read speed of about 85-88MB/s but write speed of only 25-27MB/s.
Here are some of the fastest SDXC UHS-I cards:
- SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s – read: 87-90MB/s, write: 69-73MB/s
- SanDisk Extreme Plus 90MB/s – read: 87-90MB/s, write: 56-58MB/s
- Transcend 300S – read: 88-91MB/s, write: 31-32B/s
- Toshiba FlashAir – read: 84-86MB/s, write: 61-65MB/s
- PNY Elite Performance – read: 87-91MB/s, write: 66-70MB/s
- Lexar Professional 633x – read: 87-89MB/s, write: 61-66MB/s
- Integral High Speed V10 – read: 87-90MB/s, write: 61-64MB/s
Some of the fastest SDXC UHS-II cards:
- SanDisk Extreme Pro 300MB/s – read: 220-226MB/s, write: 164-184MB/s
- Integral Ultima Pro X2 V90 – read: 227-240MB/s, write: 160-180MB/s
- Toshiba Exceria Pro – read: 215-230MB/s, write: 160-180MB/s
- Lexar Professional 2000x – read: 220-240MB/s, write: 154-177MB/s
- Sony M Series – read: 228-238MB/s, write: 90-95MB/s