Memory cards - what’s the difference?

Dec 23, 2011

If you love your modern toys and gadgets, like tablets, smartphones and digital cameras, you are going to have to, if you haven’t already, spend some time familiarising yourself with memory cards. From greater capacity to enhanced security, they are now providing greater capabilities that unlock the full potential of your favourite devices.

Memory cards might not exactly be the most talked-about pieces of technology, especially with the current popularity of devices such as smartphones and tablets, but they are certainly a must-have item. For this reason, let’s take a look at the features and issues impacting on and distinguishing memory card performance.

Class

One of the often overlooked features of memory cards is the Class system. Usually we think of size and compatibility when choosing a memory card for our digital devices, but class is just as important. There are currently five classes; Class 2, Class 4, Class 6, Class 8 and Class 10. This class rating is actually a speed class rating, and represents the amount MBs transferred per second. So, Class 4 memory cards, such as Samsung’s SD cards, transfer at 4MBps and Class 10 memory cards, which are the latest on the market and ideal for devices such as DSLR cameras, transfer up to 10MBps.

Compatibility

The world of memory cards is moving at a rapid pace. Everything from physical size and storage space to transfer speeds are constantly evolving. So it no surprise that the compatibility with devices is linked heavily with the age of the memory cards. Even if a card fits into a slot, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work. This logic works adversely with the device you wish to use. If you have the latest memory card and an old PC, there is a good possibility that it won’t work. The different technology just isn’t compatible.

Security

Considering the delicate size of a memory card, which ranges from small to very small, it’s little surprise that damage is an area of concern. Luckily most modern memory cards, like Samsung’s Micro SD card, have enough protective measures to help even the clumsiest person. For those who drop their devices a lot, there’s the latest shockproof technology. Ops you drop your smartphone in the bath! The Samsung SDHC is covered by an Epoxy Molding Compound to provide extra cover from water and dust. And finally there’s the protection from magnetic fields and X-rays, which is a common problem associated with refrigerators and magnets. Your precious data has never been so safe.