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49 SD and MicroSD cards tested: there's a difference

SD and MicroSD have been the most popular type of memory card for some time. People use them for digital cameras, smartphones, tablets and other portable devices that require storage. There's a huge number of them on the market, and not all of them are equally fast. The specifications from the manufacturers won't be able to tell you, so Hardware.Info tested 49 of them to find out which ones are the quickest.

The era of different and incompatible compact storage cards is fortunately behind us. Aside from SD and MicroSD, the most well-known remaining older card is CompactFlash, primarily found in high-end DSLR cameras and industrial applications. Sony realised that introducing its own MemoryStick standard was bound to fail; its latest products all feature SD slots. Only the most expensive models still come with a MemoryStick reader. The ill-fated xD cards, the replacement for the aging SmartMedia format, quietly went away, likely because its main proponents Olympus and Fujifilm weren't able to get a greater market share. Nowadays pretty much every new digital camera and video camera use SecureDigital, or SD cards. In thin tablets and smartphones the more compact MicroSD variety has become the standard.

There's a huge amount of different SD cards on the market, from countless brands. The most common ones are from the traditional storage firms. We asked large number of companies to send us one or more SD and MicroSD cards with a capacity of at least 32GB, and we ended up with a total of 49 of them. We tested them all.

In order to keep increasing the storage capacity, a number of updates were introduced to the SD standard over the years. In 2005, SDHC (SD High Capacity) came, which made capacities in excess of 2GB possible. SDHC cards have a different controller, and are formatted for FAT32 instead of the FAT16 file system. FAT16 is limited to 2GB. You can read the rest of 49 SD and MicroSD cards tested on (opens in new tab).