SD Card vs. SSD: Is There Really a Difference?

So, you want to expand your memory storage on your devices. Easy! You set forth to purchase a memory device, but instead of landing on a one and done answer, you discover a whole new world of letters, numbers, and confusing tech talk.

With overwhelming options and specs, you’re left wondering: What’s the difference between an SD card vs SSD, and how do I know which one I need? When it comes to flash memory, there’s no need to fear. We’re breaking down the differences to help you decide which option is best for your memory needs.

What is Flash Memory?

Flash memory is the high tech upgrade to hard disks. It’s become increasingly popular over the years as a quick and portable way to store information.

MediaĀ that utilizes flash memory has the ability to retain data without a power supply. This makes it easy to move, and unlikely to suffer the loss of information like RAM. These devicesĀ have no moving parts, making them more durable and shock-resistant.

The interface used for both SD and SSD devices isĀ NAND flash memory.

A NAND cell is a series of semiconductors that hold the desired data. The speed and performance of these systems are heavily weighted on how the cells arranged and how the process of picking up and storing each piece of data is coordinated.

SD Card vs SSD

So what’s the difference and how do you choose? Let’s look at each option and their application a little closer.

SD CardsĀ 

SD cards are specifically designed for tiny-sized storage, packing as much information as possible into chips such as theĀ micro SD card. While this is fantastic for mobile phones or cameras, it can be limiting for data transfer. The fact is, given its limited size, there’s only so much it can do.

Because of this size, the controller that the chip uses to write information to storage is incredibly small and pushed right off to the outer edge. It doesn’t have much room to spare, so it won’t be able to retain too many instructions.

This device will essentially write information to whatever space is available and then do its best to read that information in order as accurately as possible.

SSD Memory

SSD, on the other hand, brings forth the flash memory features and boasts increased size advantages. They are ideal for use in PCs, notebooks, or tablets, with both internal and external options.

The SSD controllers are able to utilize a larger amount of space to organize stored information more effectively. It even balances files by ensuring that no single cell is used more than the others.

While SD cards are limited for intelligence, manufacturers of internal SSD devices such as theĀ Samsung SSDĀ are able to store cached data in the chip. This data can increase their efficiency when organizing sizable data writing or repetitive processes.

Beyond this, the larger size provides an opportunity for better heat distribution and qualifies the SSD for higher power controllers. These high powered controllers are not an option for SD cards as they would draw too much power from small devices and overheat quite quickly.

Select Your Storage

Now that you know the distinct differences between the SD card vs SSD options, you can choose your perfect storage option with ease. Remember to consider what you are going to be filling the memory card with if you are going to be saving just a normal file or photos.


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