If you’re looking for the fastest and most reliable SD memory card, then look no further, as we’ve tested all of the latest high speed UHS-I and UHS-II memory cards. Find out how these cards perform in our tests.
Here’s what 480GBs of storage looks like spread over 10 memory cards. Some of the cards have aged better than others, with some looking surprisingly aged despite being relatively new. Here is a list of all the cards we have tested, sorted with the quickest write speeds at the top. We used a USB3 UHS-II card reader for testing. We tested the read and write speeds using Crystal Mark x64, with 50MB sizes, as these are closest to photo file sizes, and ran each test three times.
On to the results, with the fastest memory card at the top:
In photography, write speeds are the most important as this is the speed at which a device, such as a digital camera, can write photos to the memory card. If write speeds are slow, then it may slow down your shot-to-shot time or the amount of photos you can continuously write to the card. The read speed is important for when you want to view the photos or copy them onto a computer or other device.
|Card Tested:||Warranty||Write MB/s||Read MB/s||Average||Recovery Software|
|1||Lexar Professional 2000x UHS-II U:3||Lifetime||284.6||279.9||264.25||Y|
|2||Transcend Ultimate UHS-II U:3||Lifetime||230.4||281.5||255.95||Y||Buy|
|3||Toshiba Exceria Pro UHS-II U:3||5 year||221.9||257.1||239.5||X||Buy|
|4||Integral Ultima Pro-X2 UHS-II U:3||5 year||79.44||210.8||145.12||X||Buy|
|5||Sony M UHS-II U:3||5 year||73.51||169.3||121.40||Y||Buy|
|6||Samsung PRO + UHS-I U:3||10 year||87.15||96.75||91.95||X||Buy|
|7||Kingston 600x UHS-I U:3||Lifetime||79.93||97.54||88.73||X||Buy|
|8||Sandisk Extreme Pro UHS-I U:1||Lifetime||83.21||93.37||88.29||Y||Buy|
|9||PNY Elite Performance UHS-I U:1||5 year||63.52||97.27||80.395||X||Buy|
|10||Verbatim PRO + UHS-I U:3||Lifetime||58.01||96.27||77.14||X||Buy|
|–||Sony Memory Stick Pro-HG Duo HX MagicGate 8GB*||16.18||17.15||16.66||–|
|–||Fujifilm 1GB M+ XD Memory Card*||2.33||5.4||3.86||–|
Another important factor to consider is warranty and reliability. Ideally, you would want the most reliable card possible so that your photos are never lost however, if the card does fail, then a long warranty will mean that the manufacturer should replace or repair your card. Although, recovery of images is unlikely when a card physically fails, recovery software can help recover accidentally deleted files, and some of these cards come with free recovery software.
Reliability can’t be determined on new cards, as it could take a long time for the card to fail, if it ever does. One thing to consider is how durable the card is and if you look at Samsung cards, for example, they are waterproof, shockproof, magnetic proof and come with a 10-year warranty so should survive much more mistreatment than others, as we found out in our test of one of their microSD cards.
* We’ve included XD and Sony Memory Stick memory just as a reference point, tested on a USB2 card reader, and you can see why it was a good idea for manufacturers to move away from using XD.