Is there a difference between generic and name brand SD memory cards?

12 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yes and No! Short answer: Yes the chips are most likely made by the same silicon chip fabricator and most likely assembled in Malaysia, Singapore, China, Taiwan or South Korea and that's where most all Brands come from. You may run into a off brand that has no markings and is not SD Association Certified, but that alone doesn't mean it will fail. But you are safer and better off getting a card that has their logo, class and ratings on it. So if the SD card you buy is properly packaged and labeled it will most likely work and you'll most likely see very little difference in brands if they adhere to the following specifications on the label and packaging! :D

    **** SD Card Speciafications ****

    For the most part memory module chips that go into these SD cards are all made by Samsung. They are the largest manufacturer of memory chips in the World. Meaning they have the clean white rooms necessary to grow/manufacture silicon chips. There are other chip fabs, but for memory they are the king.

    Picture of SD card taken appart:

    So most all of the SD card makers use chips from them. But that doesn't mean all SD cards are of equal quality, speed, class, etc or that they even reach certain standards. Such things as how they are applied to the printed circuit boards, ratings, passive cooling efficiency (not necessary for anything under SDXC), memory speed, memory size and most importantly what type of application you'll be using them for. Like video camaeras, mp3 players, cell phones, etc!

    ***** For instance lately if you are using the SD card for your new JVC or Canon HD Camcorder you most likely will want it to be an SDHC capacity and here are how those size designations work (SDXC are as yet, not being made):

    Standard SD: 4 MB to 4 GB

    SDHC: 4 GB to 32 GB

    SDXC: 32 GB to 2 TB

    ***** You would also want it to be fast enough memory for the application you will use it in most. Here's how that works from 6x to 300x speed of a CDROM:

    Rating Speed (MB/s) SD Class

    6x 0.9 n/a

    10x 1.5 n/a

    13x 2.0 2

    26x 4.0 4

    32x 4.8 4

    40x 6.0 6

    66x 10.0 6

    100x 15.0 6

    133x 20.0 6

    150x 22.5 6

    200x 30.0 6

    266x 40.0 6

    300x 45.0 6

    SD cards are speed rated just like your CDROM in your computer and read/record in multiples of 150 kB/s (1x = 150 kB/s). The basic SD speed is 6x in ordinary SD cards. While this is fine for smaller capacity mp3 players, they won't be fast enough to use in higher capacities or devices such as a camcorder recording in high definition!

    ***** Lastly they are rated by SD Speed Class (SD Association). So if you are using this in a device like a HD Camcorder you are going to want "Class (6)" and this is judged on speed variables required for certain devices. MP3 players are most likely only going to require a Class (2) card. So check the SD card device specifications for what you mainly want to use it for, to get the Speed Class.

    Class 2: 2 MB/s - 13x

    Class 4: 4 MB/s - 26x

    Class 6: 6 MB/s - 40x

    So now you know that just any SD card may not work in your particular application unless you get these specs right. Also remember you'll need a card reader that is capable of reading the newest SDHC sized cards. Older readers may not work for these larger capacity Class 4 and Class 6 SDHC cards. However if you see these specifications displayed and SD Association tag on them (even on brands you don't recognise), they should be fine. The reality is they are all generic (even the big name brands), because they all most likely have Samsung chip modules!

    Note: DRM = The "Digital Rights Management" scheme embedded in the SD cards is defined as the Copy Protection for Recorded Media (CPRM) by the 4C enity and is centered around use of the Crymeria Cypher (also known as C2). Although SD cards carry this protection it has never been used and most likely never will!

    I personally see this as a marketing ploy that is no longer valid. It has to do with C2 "Copy Protection" being hacked within a very short time of the SD Association releasing this Copy Protection scheme/program to the public. It took one ingenious person in that public release, a matter of minutes to defeat it. So at this time Copy Protection on SD cards is a moot issue. In the Urban Dictionary, DRM is defined as "Digital Rectal Manipulation" of your own customers! ;)

  • 4 years ago

    Sd Card Brands

  • 1 decade ago

    no real noticeable difference in normal usage. some things you might wanna consider is the customer service of the company, it's warrant and any customer comments you find on the product. dose a very good job of showing customer comments on all of it's products.

    also besides the size of the SD card their are also Class/speed differences between cards of the same size, but you really only need to worry about class/speed of a card if your really getting into digital photography.

  • 1 decade ago

    You pay for quality.

    The main problem with generic SD cards are basically because of the usage of low quality materials. So there's a chance it will break down faster than brand name memory cards. But it's pot of luck really.

    The best of the generic SD cards can beat the worse of the brand name SD cards.

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Yes. Brand names usually ensure their products are quality and will last for a really long time. Generics just want to chug out a product for someone who does not have the money to afford the higher qualities. Honestly, I would not go cheap with anything that has to do with either a camera or a television. You usually get what you purchase.

  • The quality and of course the cost.

    Also SD cards are formatted before you buy them. The Generic work just as well for me.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes. SD cards are formatted before you buy them. Also, only SD's work in phones, not the generic version

  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    Sandisk stands behind their products. I had a 2 year old card that went bad, couldn't erase or add anything on to the card. I contacted Sandisk and they told me the card had a lifetime guarantee, they replaced my card but I had to verify it was a genuine Sandisk card by sending them a photo and giving them the the markings on the card. I imagine most manufacturers have the same policy Sandisk has the buying a generic card wouldn't provide you.

  • DrDave
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Yeah, the cost

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Not really that much difference.So no.

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