What is Memory Card Speed?

memory card speed
In a few short years since the launch of the primary 4Mb non-volatile storage card, the amount of non-volatile storage cards available for digital cameras and other devices has exploded with variety of various formats and speeds of memory card. It's no wonder the typical person is completely baffled by this plethora of memory cards.
Not only are there different shapes (the format) and sizes like Secure Digital (SD) Compact Flash, Memory Stick etc, but also different speed ratings.

Memory card speed is that the card's performance with reference to how quickly data are often transferred to or from it. the cardboard speed is usually stated in 'Times' ratings i.e. 12X, 40X etc (just because the speed of recordable CD's and DVD's is measured), and sometimes more specifically in megabytes per second (Mb/s). By today's measure, sub 20X represents a typical speed, 20X to 40X is mid-high speed and over 40X is high speed. The chart below shows the connection between the 2 figures.

8X = 1.2 Mb/sec
12X = 1.8 Mb/sec
20X = 3.0 Mb/sec
25X = 3.8 Mb/sec
30X = 4.5 Mb/sec
40X = 6.0 Mb/sec
60X = 9.0 Mb/sec
66X = 10.0 Mb/sec
80X = 12.0 Mb/sec
90X = 15.0 Mb/sec
133X = 20.0 Mb/sec

Why can we need different or higher speeds cards?


This is mainly thanks to the advancement of our digital devices, especially digital cameras, camcorders and music devices. As manufacturers develop higher and better spec devices (i.e. higher resolution cameras and more intense multi-media functions), they're creating increasingly larger amounts information to store pictures, movies, music then on. This successively takes longer to record onto the memory card. for instance if you've got ever used a high megapixel camera with a typical speed card you'll have noticed the delay between pressing the shutter button and having the ability to require subsequent picture. This lag or delay, in most cases is caused by a slow write speed, similarly copying your photos to your PC could take time too and is caused by a slow read speed.

So who really needs high-speed memory cards?


Professional photographers and enthusiasts using professional grade cameras like digital SLR's should use high-speed memory cards of a minimum of 40X speed. If you own a camera with a megapixel rate above three million pixels, you'll certainly enjoy a card with a better speed rating. If you are like most folks employing a compact camera under 3 million pixels, you will get great performance from standard cards with 12X or more.

Those using digital camcorders and devices recording MP3 music or video also will enjoy higher speed cards. It wont to be the case where only a few people would actually enjoy very high-speed cards, typically only professionals who used expensive, specialized products benefited, but it's fast becoming a requirement on many of the newest PDA's, Cameras, phones and other mobile devices to form use of the additional speed made available by high speed cards.

People using high speed memory cards with equipment that has been on the market a short time might not notice any difference in performance, but this has more to try to to with the restrictions of the device than the flash card itself. this is often because not only does your memory card have a maximum speed rating, but your camera or mobile also will have its own speed rating. When these products are combined, they'll work on the "slowest common denominator" e.g. if you employ a 12X flash card during a camera with a designed for a maximum of 8X speed, you will be transferring data at the slower 8X speed.

You should always check the capacity of your device before forking out on mega fast cards, but determining the speed compatibility of your device are often tricky. Most manuals just don't tell you what speed of flash card you ought to use, now that might be far too easy, but they are doing tell you to shop for their brand, which isn't much help! So a general rule of thumb, if your camera is a smaller amount than three megapixels the speed rating of the flash card doesn't matter much. latest cameras have the power to support far higher speeds than the cards available to get today, therefore, if speed is of importance, choose a faster card. Most mobile phones, PDA's and Satellite Navigators are fine with standard speed cards although some newer models will enjoy higher speed cards but not generally over 60X speed.

The internet may be a good resource to seek out out about your device, but in our experience the device retailer and forums aren't always the simplest source of data , you'd be better to hunt information from the manufacture's website or from dependable review sites.

Thank you for reading this article to the end, hopefully it will be useful for you.

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