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Hardware Storage & Memory Flash Memory

Flash Memory

Find the right memory with Misco

From SD cards to CompactFlash, our range has it all

Discover cheap deals on SD cardsCompactFlash and other flash memory card formats at Misco, where we stock a wide range of cards for consumer electronic devices - including tablets, digital cameras and mobile phones. This includes the popular formats of microSD™, SD High Capacity SDHC™ and SD Extended Capacity SDXC™, together with CompactFlash and MMC Plus™ cards.

Below you'll find our Buyer's Guide for flash memory products from leading brands such as Transcend, Kingston, Toshiba and Sandisk.

What do I need to consider when buying a Flash Memory Card?

When selecting a memory card for your chosen camera, phone or tablet, it's important to consider not only price, but speed, capacity and compatibility.

As a non-volatile memory format, flash memory cards do not lose data when removed from a host device. Being an inherently stable format, flash memory cards are capable of handling hundreds of thousands of write/read/erase cycles. In practice, depending upon the manufacturer, SD/SDHC/SDXC Cards typically ship with five-year guarantees, while more expensive, higher-capacity professional CompactFlash cards often carry lifetime warranties.

The weakest part of their design - both for SD cards and CompactFlash - are the socket connectors. Over time, repeated insertion and removal may reduce a card's lifespan although in practice, it would need to be performed thousands of times for wear and tear to occur.

As mentioned, for each of the formats listed, price is often not just dependent upon memory capacity but also speed. For SDHC/SDXC cards, each manufacturer will declare a guaranteed speed, measured in MB/s. For example, Class 2 cards have a transfer rate of 2MB/s, while Class 6 cards have a greater rate of 6MB/s.

Below is a guide to each card type, including today's fastest high-capacity SDXC cards.

SD Format

For original specification SD cards, capacities range from 128MB to 2GB, with FAT16 being the default formatting for this card type. SD cards will work in all host devices supporting SD, SDHC or SDXC standards.

SD High Capacity (SDHC) Format

This is a SD memory card based on the later SDA 2.0 specification, with capacities ranging from 4GB to 32GB. The default partition format is FAT32, with SDHC not being backwardly compatible with the original SD format (i.e for devices capable of handling only 128MB - 2GB cards). To ensure compatibility, look for the SDHC logo on your host device or consult the manufacturer's instruction manual.

SD Extended Capacity (SDXC) Format

An SD card based on the more recent SDA 3.0 specification, with capacities ranging from 64GB to 2TB. Adopting Microsoft's exFAT file system, SDXC is not backwardly compatible with host devices that only take SD cards (128MB to 2GB) or those only accepting SDHC (4GB to 32GB). Host devices built after 2010 tend to be SDXC compatible, although if in doubt, check the manufacturer's instruction manual.

Note: on some SDHC and SDXC cards, an Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus is available, designated on the card with the Roman numerals 'I' or 'II' next to the SD card logo. Although the numerals indicate the bus mode, speed ratings are identified separately with a 1-rating guaranteeing a transfer rate of 10MB/s (suitable for full HD video) while a 3-rating (30MB/s) is suitable for 4K/2K video applications.

With the continued success of the SD format, equivalent versions for mobile phone use have also been developed. These are as follows:

MiniSD Card

Now superseded by the Micro SD, the MiniSD card format typically supports up to 512MB of storage. Such cards are often supplied with a MiniSD adapter providing compatibility with a standard SD memory card slot.

MicroSD Card

For micro cards equivalent to the SDHC standard, capacities up to 8GB are available (and up to 200GB for microSDXC UHS-I cards). Card adapters can often be purchased with each card to enable backwards compatibility with larger SD slots (with no difference in speed or capacity between a full-size SD card and a Micro SD placed in an SD adapter). For cameras with only an SD slot, it is still possible to use a MicroSD card, providing an adapter is used.

CompactFlash (CF)

CF cards are larger in size than SD cards and are used in flagship or high-end cameras from manufacturers such as Nikon. Known for their physical durability, they are available in Type I and Type II formats (the only difference being the thickness of the card i.e. Type I being 3.3mm thick and Type II 5mm thick). Typically CompactFlash cards are available with capacities of up to 512 GB.

MultiMediaCard (MMC)

These cards are similar in dimension to SD cards. As such, MMC cards can be used in many devices that can use Secure Digital (SD) cards and are typically available in capacities up to 128GB.

For further information, please contact the Misco team on 0800 038 888 today.

This Week's Featured Products
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8GB USB 3.0 DataTraveler I G4 - Yellow
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Integral 8GB USB Key
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Product Review Available

Kingston 16GB Micro SDHC Card with Adapter
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Kingston 32GB Micro SDHC Card with Adapter
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Kingston Ktc 8Gb Datatraveler50 Usb3.0
Kingston Ktc 8Gb Datatraveler50 Usb3.0
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Items Found: 375
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