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The differences between memory cards

Posted by Refresh Cartridges Admin on 13 September 2011 11:39 AM

Ever more popular as a means of storing and transferring digital data, memory cards can now be used in all manner of devices – from digital cameras, MP3 players, PDAs and notebook computers to modern mobile phones. Photographs, MP3 music files, word files and contact lists are just a few examples of the many different types of data your memory card can be used to store or exchange. To guide you through the different types of memory card available on the market today, we’ve composed a brief overview to help you fully understand your memory card options.

Secure Digital Cards (SD)

Far and away the most popular and commonly used memory card, the SD card is quickly becoming the standard for digital connectivity. Measuring just 24mm by 32mm by 2.1mm, the compact design of this particular card ensures ease of use that is ideal for this kind of ‘bridge media,’ moving as it does between different appliances. SD cards vary in memory size, and you can also buy High-Speed cards with a faster transfer rate, or MiniSD cards, which are significantly smaller than the standard SD card making them ideal for modern mobile phones.

Compact Flash Cards

Sometimes known as CF cards, these memory cards are, physically, the biggest available, making them popular choices for larger devices. An important thing to remember with Compact Flash cards is that there are both type I cards and type II cards, type II typically having higher storage capacities but being much thicker. You will need to ensure that your device supports the particular type of CF card you wish to buy.

MultiMedia Cards (MMC)

Essentially exactly the same as an SD card, some devices will accept both MMC and SD cards, and others only one of the two. Always ensure that your device either accepts both, or that you purchase the particular card that your device prefers.

SmartMedia Cards (SM)

Another larger card, with a distinctive gold chip on the front,SmartMedia cards are used predominantly in digital cameras and are slowly being phased out as people find they prefer the more compact SD and MMC cards.

xD Picture Cards

xD cards are for use with Fuji and Olympus digital cameras, designed as they were by these companies. About the size of a thumb and with a distinctive shield design, often xD cards are Fuji or Olympus branded, but sold in slightly different packaging.

USB Flash Drives

Differing from a memory card in that flash drives need to be inserted into an available USB port, they can store the same kind of data and transfer it from one device to another as most memory cards can. Your computer will recognize the drive as an external drive, allowing you to drag and drop files to and from the USB flash drive window.  Long and thin instead of card shaped makes transporting these USB drives more convenient, and most come shaped specifically to fit on your keyring.

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