Secure Digital (SD) card Speeds

There are different speed grades available, measured the same as CD-ROMs, in multiples of 150 kB/s (1x = 150 kB/s). Basic cards transfer data up to six times (6x) the data rate of the standard CD-ROM speed (900 kB/s vs. 150 kB/s). High-speed cards are made with higher data transfer rates like 66x (10 MB/s), and high-end cards have speeds of 200x or higher.

SanDisk classifies their cards as:
* Ultra II—minimum read speed of 15 MB/s (100x)
* Extreme III—maximum speed of 30 MB/s (200x)
* Extreme IV—up to 45 MB/s (300x)

Note that maximum read speed and maximum write speed may be different. Maximum write speed typically is lower than maximum read speed. Some digital cameras require high-speed cards (write speed) to record video smoothly or capture multiple still photographs in rapid succession. This requires a certain sustained speed, or the video stops recording. For recording, a high maximum speed with a low sustained speed is no better than a low speed card. The 2.0 specification defines speeds up to 200x.

Capacity  Standard SD: 1 MB to 2 GB

SDXC (2009) – 64GB to 2TB
SDHC (2006) – 4GB -32 GB
SD (1999) – up to 2GB

SDXC cards are formatted in the exFAT file system, which allows for files of virtually unlimited size. (SDHC, which uses FAT32, can only record files up to 4 GB.)

Rating Speed (MB/s) SD Class
  6x  0.9  n/a
  10x  1.5  n/a
  13x  2.0  2
  26x  4.0  4
 32x  4.8  4
 40x  6.0  6
 66x 10.0  6
100x 15.0  6
133x 20.0  6
150x 22.5  6
200x 30.0  6
266x 40.0  6
300x 45.0  6




4 Responses to “Secure Digital (SD) card Speeds”

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