5 Fastest MicroSD Card Speed Tests

If you're using a microSD card in something like a GoPro or other action camera, speed matters. Here's a comparison of the speed of some of the most popular fast microSD cards.

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These are the current fastest microSD cards I’ve come across so far in my independent speed tests:

  1. Delkin Devices Power V90
  2. Lexar Professional 1800x U3
  3. Verbatim Pro+ II V90
  4. ADATA Premier ONE V90
  5. Silicon Power Superior Pro V90
  6. ProGrade Digital V60

These are ranked by tested sequential write speed results. That’s the measure that’s most relevant to recording 4K, 8K, and high-bitrate video as well as fast photo burst modes. You can find more details below about each of these cards as well as more information about how these tests were conducted.

What Are These microSD Card Speed Tests?

I try to buy and test as many SD cards as I can. This post is based on the results of those tests, and I update it regularly as I have the opportunity to test new cards. My focus here is on microSD cards that are well-suited to use in cameras for recording high-resolution video (4K and above) or burst sequences of photos. So I’m most concerned with sequential write speed rather than the types of write speed that some other applications need, such as gaming and computing devices.

There are quite a few devices these days that need fast microSD cards. From action cameras like GoPros to phones to gaming devices, a card that’s fast enough can help you make the most of your device. But there are several different types of speed when it comes to memory cards, and manufacturers don’t make it easy to compare apples to apples.

MicroSD cards are the smallest of the SD-style of memory cards. They’re about the size of a thumbnail and are commonly used in smartphones, gaming devices, and the smallest cameras like action cams. You’ll often see them referred to as microSDXC or microSDHC cards. That distinction doesn’t have anything to do with the physical size of the card–I have more on that below.

You can check How to format MicroSD or SD card on Mac? as well as Windows. So that you can use some easy to use the process to format the SD card.

While the speeds and storage capacities of microSD cards have tended to lag behind the larger SD-sized cards, as they’ve become essential to more and more small devices, the card manufacturers have been improving microSD cards rapidly.

They’re getting faster and with larger storage capacities. The SD Association has even created a new specification for future cards going up to a whopping 128TB of storage capacity. And with those increases in storage capacity have come significant improvements in speed. That means that they can better keep up with the high-bitrate video recording of 4K action cams (and, potentially, 8K ones as well).

1. Delkin Devices Power V90 microSD Card

Delkin Devices isn’t as well known as some of the other brands that appear on this page, but they’ve been making flash memory cards for a long time. I’ve used several of their cards over the years and have always found them to be excellent. Headquartered in San Diego, they’ve typically focused on the higher end of the market. They’ve recently overhauled their memory card lineups into distinct categories; the Power line is for their fastest cards.

2. Lexar Professional 1800x U3 microSD Card

This card is very, very fast. But there are two catches. The first is that not all the sizes have the same speeds. I had originally tested the 128GB version and been somewhat surprised that its performance wasn’t better. A reader alerted me to the difference in speeds between the different sizes, so I tested the 64GB version. And that’s the one here. So if you want the fastest one, go with the 64GB size.

The second catch is that they’re not always easy to find, although that has been improving more recently. Lexar has been going through some corporate upheaval lately, including a change in ownership. I don’t know to what extent that has affected manufacturing and supply lines, but the upshot as a customer is that these high-end Lexar cards aren’t always as readily available as some of the other options here.

It comes with a UHS-II microSD-to-SD adapter cartridge (it used to come with a very fast USB thumb reader too, but that no longer seems to be bundled with it).

3. Verbatim Pro+ II V90 microSD Card

Verbatim has a very long and impressive history in all manner of data storage media. But they haven’t put the same amount of consumer marketing oomph behind their memory cards that they used to do with floppy disks and CD-Rs. But they know what they’re doing, and this is a very fast microSD card.

It’s rated to V90 and has a UHS-II interface. It comes with a microSD-to-SD adapter, but the adapter is only UHS-I, which seems like an odd choice. I haven’t found this card widely available at many retailers. If you do find it, make sure it is the Pro+ II version (it will be printed on the card, and it’s UHS-I). There’s a big jump in performance from the regular Pro+ V30 UHS-I version.

4. ADATA Premier ONE V90 microSD Card

The ADATA brand is relatively new to memory cards–at least ones that are readily available–but this Taiwanese company has been in the flash storage business since 2001. They don’t have a particularly large retail presence, but they seem to be focusing on the fast end of the market. This particular card is very fast. I haven’t used ADATA cards enough in real-world shooting to form my own opinion as to their reliability, but I’ve heard good things from others.

5. Silicon Power Superior Pro V90 microSD Card

Silicon Power is a Taiwanese company that specialies in digital storage, with an emphasis on flash memory for consumer and industrial uses. Their memory cards that I’ve tried in the past have tended to aim at the middle of the market. This is by far the fastest of their microSD cards I’ve tried.

It’s a UHS-II card that carries a V90 rating and comes in 64GB and 128GB sizes.

About These Real-World microSD Speed Tests

In real-world use, a range of technical factors in the camera and its transfer hardware and software can prevent you from hitting the speed numbers on the card’s packaging. What I’m focusing on here is real-world uses, not scientific lab results that can’t be replicated in practical use.

In conducting these tests, my objective is to test the performance that we can realistically expect using off-the-shelf hardware in normal use.

There are two things I am not trying to do. I’m not trying to replicate the manufacturers’ benchmark lab tests. And I’m not trying to play gotcha and test whether the speed ratings the manufacturers claim are accurate. There are, after all, several things that can affect the speeds you can get out of cards in practice.

What I am trying to do is find out which cards perform best in real-world conditions and how they compare relative to each other. Because those are the things that matter to me when I’m trying to decide which card to buy. In short, I’m looking for practical speeds, not theoretical speeds.

So I’m using a real-world computer setup, not some high-end custom rig optimized to squeeze every last bit of bus transfer speed but not much good for actually processing photos and videos. There are dedicated hardware devices that exist only to test the speed of memory cards. Those are ridiculously expensive and not useful for any other purpose. Instead, I’m using readily available standard hardware that photographers might have on hand.

For the reader, I’m using a ProGrade Digital USB3.2 Gen. 2.0 Dual-Slot microSD UHS-II reader. It’s connected with a ProGrade Digital USB 3.2 Gen 2 Super Speed+ certified cabled via the Mac’s USB-C port. After extensive testing, I’ve found that this reader gives me the most reliable and consistent results, especially with the newer, faster cards.1

For the software, I’m using the benchmarking tools in Digital Media Doctor by LC-Technology, the company behind SanDisk RescuePro. All cards are new and freshly formatted with the SD Association’s official SD Card Formatter app. Because it’s quite normal for results to vary a bit between tests, I’m running each set of tests five times and averaging the results. And I’m using a 5GB data stream for each test.

For the computer, I’m using an iMac Retina 5K 2019 with an internal SSD. There are faster, more powerful computers that might squeeze out higher transfer rates, but this provides a useful real-world platform that is widely used and available.2

And, finally, the cards themselves. I buy all of these myself through standard retail. I don’t accept freebie cards or conduct sponsored tests.

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