Monday, 28 November 2011

Memory Card Classifications Explained

Memory cards provide data storage to many electronics devices, from digital cameras, camcorders, computers, tablets, and many others. As these devices evolve into more complicated gadgets, they require more and more data capacity and faster transfer rates in order to maximise their capabilities.

Storage facilities, like SD cards, are also keeping up to the gadgets technical improvements, by offering bigger capacities and faster read and write data transfers.

What to look for?

There are classifications that are printed in a SD card. One is class, the other is x classification.

Class Speed Rating

You might have noticed the word class  followed by a number printed on a memory card. The above photo  has class 6 written on it. This means the card is capable of  6mbps write speed.The higher the class number, the faster it is in processing and transferring digital data from a camera's sensor to the data storage. This means, the faster your camera to be ready to take the next picture. This is noticeable in larger sensor cameras like DSLR's or camcorders.

X Speed Rating

You may also notice cards with x speed ratings. Each x is equal to 1.2 Mbps. To get the overall speed, multiply the number that comes before X by 1.2 Mbps.

For example above, 60 x 1.2 = 72 mbps. One thing to watch out for the X classification when it comes on it's own, it can either be the read speed or the write speed.  The image above has also a class clasification, if you noticed the C and the number 4 inside it, this means the write speed for this card is 4mbps.
 The image above is class 4 (4mbps write speed) and 15mbps read speed or 12.5X speed (15/1.2 = 12.5)

For this reason, paying attention to the Class speed rating is a more accurate way to judge SD cards.  X speed ratings can refer to the maximum read or write speed.

Getting a fast card is important for camcorders and digital audio recorders, where audio or video is written in real time. It’s less important for things like cell phones and computers, where you’ll mostly be transferring data.

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