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Old Oct 21, 2004, 7:15 AM   #1
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I'm planing to buy a 256 or 512MB SD card, but am a little confused... there's so many different types...

1. Is there realy a big difference between Ultra II and standard type?

2. What manufacturer offers the bestvalue (speed/price)? Kingston, Pretec, OEM, Sandisk or Panasonic?

Thanks, Cheers,

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Old Oct 21, 2004, 9:45 AM   #2
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I would go Panasonic, Simpletech (uses Panasonic Components) orSandisk Ultra II for the fastest times (although, personally, I'd trust the Panasonic components more).

The Lexar "High Speed" 32x cards are also fast (most, but not all,use Panasonic Components -- so, if you get one of these, it's actually faster than rated).

I'd probably avoid most others. As a general rule, most of the inexpensive cards use the same components as theSandisk Standard SD Cards (which are usually very slow). Kingston (on your list) uses the slower components (same as Sandisk Standard Cards, too).

Originally, there were only 3 "real" manufacturers of Secure Digital Media: Sandisk, Panasonic, and Toshiba. This is still the same for most "manufacturers" (although Lexar and a couple of others seem to be making some of their own now). However, be careful of the non-High Speed Lexar Cards, as they used Sandisk Components in some of them.

Many other brands (Dane_Electric,PNY, Transcend, Pretec and Viking, etc.) use more than one component supplier.So, determing if you'll get a "good" card, or a "bad" card is difficult (one batch may be using one supplier, and the next batch a different supplier).

As a general rule, the cards using the same components as Sandisk's standard cards tend to have the most problems (compatibility with some devices, etc.). The 256mb SD card tended to have the most problems (particularly in some PDA's that had a controller that did not work well with the components Sandisk used in this size card).

However, Sandisk appears to have sorted out the problems, and is now making a card that seems to work well with all devices (although you still risk getting one of the older ones, they will swap it out if you have problems).

Some PDA's have a "Card Info" function that lets you see who really made the components. However, this is not possible to tell when ordering the cards (with some exceptions). Personally, I'd go with a Panasonic or Simpletech card in 256mb or larger size as a first choice (Simpletech cards in these sizes use the same components as Panasonic).

Sandisk's Ultra II cards are actually the fastest (based on mostbenchmarks). But, the difference between them and the Panasonic cards is usually neglible in most devices.

I have not yet seen any benchmarks of the newer cards from Sandisk and Panasonic (they have now released 20mb/second cards in larger sizes). These are the new Sandisk "Ultra III Extreme", and Panasonic "Pro High Speed" SD Cards.
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Old Oct 21, 2004, 9:58 AM   #3
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Thanks Jim,

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