What You Should Know About SD Cards and Micro SD Cards

Almost all types of mobile devices nowadays have its own built-in storage, from your smartphone to tablets, and almost each of these device leaves a slot for additional memory space. Memory space on a handheld device range from a couple of GB (gigabytes) to tens of GB, and sooner or later, you will find out they can never be enough. Enter SD card, the solution to storage capacity expansion. Depending on its capacity, this little chip can store everything you need, be it you baby and family pictures, your favorite songs, movies, documents, eBooks, etc. But what are the things you need to know about it? Here’s our quick rundown.

sd card

A Quick History 

SD Card (short for Secure Digital card) quickly gained the top of memory heap for two reasons – improved storage capacity and speed. The first waves of these cards only 128MB to 2GB offered, which are obviously not a lot of storage space in today’s standards. Its file format was FAT16, and can be used in any device with the specific slot.

Standard SD cards have become a rare breed these days however, as the world has moved on to SDHC and SDXC cards, which both use different file system. SDHC for example, uses FAT32 and can handle 4GB to 32GB, while SDXC uses exFAT and can support from 64GB space up to 2TB (though 2TB is not offered in the market, yet). In terms of hardware, SDHC and SDXC are very much alike, though the older versions of the former are not compatible with the latter’s exFAT file format. While SDXC card compatible devices, particularly cameras, are backward compatible with both regular SD cards and SDHCs.

What is a Micro SD Card?

Micro SD cards are simply miniaturized version of the SD cards; they both share the same classification. Like its full size version, there are also microSDHC and microSDXC, but due to their small size, they don’t offer the same level of speed-class rating and are available at lower storage capacity than the full-size SD card.

How Much Storage Space Do You Really Need?

This is quite an easy question that only you can answer. Why? Because it all depends on what you need and how you want to use the storage space. For photographers, you should know the average number of pictures every GB of storage space can hold. A 4GB space for example, can store up to 280 RAW pictures and 1500 high-quality JPEG files. That’s basically the minimum space you need. A 128GB space is a monster space, as it can store 9,000 RAW and 48,000 high-quality JPEG files, which can be very difficult to manage. Most photographers use cards with smaller storage capacity, as they are easy to manage and label.  Check CheapChips for more details.

Non-photographers can surely benefit from SD memory cards, particularly for devices without or with very low internal storage space. Tablets for example, comes with very low internal memory space, and often used by the internal processes and system software of the device. An extra slot for the SD card means more things to store on the device; more apps, songs, movies, and games to enjoy.