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Top 10 Best SD Memory Cards Tested 2016

Top 10 Best SD Memory Cards Tested 2016 - We test the latest SDHC, SDXC, UHS-I and UHS-II memory cards to find out which are the quickest. Updated July 2016.

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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.

Top 10 Best SD Memory Cards

Here's what 448GBs 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:

Top 10 Best SD Memory Cards Speed Chart

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 Buy
1 Lexar Professional 2000x UHS-II U:3 Lifetime 284.6 279.9 264.25 Y Buy
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 Delkin Devices Cinema UHS-II U:3 Lifetime 222.4 255.7 239.05 X Buy
5 Integral Ultima Pro-X2 UHS-II U:3 5 year 79.44 210.8 145.12 X Buy
6 Sony M UHS-II U:3 5 year 73.51 169.3 121.40 Y Buy
7 Samsung PRO + UHS-I U:3 10 year 87.15 96.75 91.95 X Buy
8 Kingston 600x UHS-I U:3 Lifetime 79.93 97.54 88.73 X Buy
9 Sandisk Extreme Pro UHS-I U:1 Lifetime 83.21 93.37 88.29 Y Buy
10 PNY Elite Performance UHS-I U:1 5 year 63.52 97.27 80.395 X Buy
11 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.

 

Looking for a MicroSD card? Have a look at the Top 10 Best MicroSD Cards.
If you're looking for a Compact Flash card, have a look at the Top 10 Best Compact Flash memory cards.

Find out more about memory cards, in our complete guide to memory 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.

Updated: July 2016.

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Comments


Some the cards in this test are advertised for very high speeds, where as in practice they seem to be capable only a third of that. I would like to see a similar review of high speed CF cards.

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What do you think about the qumox sd card? I heard it's good one and cheap sd, I found a review and sd test here http://tweaknology.org/2014/07/27/migliore-micro-sd-da-32gb-per-rapporto-qualitaprezzo/ Would you advice me to buy it? Thanks for your time guys Smile
Be careful with Lexar cards if you are a Nikon shooter. They may give problems when used with the Nikon D500 (reported by Dpreview and others). Personally I had problems on Nikon D700 and D810 with Lexar CF cards which would occasionally destroy my images. In comparison I never had problems with Sandisk.
You haven't tested the fastest Sandisk cards, or Delkin - I found the Delkin 1900x to be amazingly fast, and the Delkin USB3 reader downloads at an incredible speed
I have the 1000x Lexar card and it slows down to a crawl when less than half full in a Canon 7D Mark II. None of my CF cards slow down at all and some 600x are faster than the Lexar. It would be good to have a comparison between the 2 formats.
lemmy 9 2.7k United Kingdom
Having tried an array of high speed cards in cameras shooting stills, the main advantage of a high speed card seems to be in shooting a high speed sequence, when the camera slows down after the buffer is filled.

My Panasonic GX8 will shoot a sequence of about 40 RAW 20Mp frames or 100-120 full size JPGs before slowing down. I'd rarely shoot such a long sequence but I found that cards above the 85 or 90 MBs made no noticeable difference. It's one thing writing to a card with a powerful desktop computer but quite another with the chip in a camera.

Panasonic recommend a 100 Mbps card for the quite resource hungry 4K video - note Mb not MB. That is only 12.5 MB throughput, of course.

Quote:You haven't tested the fastest Sandisk cards, or Delkin - I found the Delkin 1900x to be amazingly fast, and the Delkin USB3 reader downloads at an incredible speed


Hi, we'll be testing a high speed Delkin card and update as soon as possible. Also, when we get hold of a Sandisk card we'll update,

Thanks
Josh
PLEASE DON'T POST SUCH BIASED RESULTS. FOR LEXAR U HAVE USED NEW CARD USING UHS II- U3, BUT FOR SANDISK U HAVE USED OLD ONE UHS I-U1.

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