Best/Biggest SD Cards For 13' MBA Storage Expansion

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by HardBucket, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. HardBucket macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2011
    Hey guys, first-time poster here, using my 13-inch MBA, enjoying it very much.

    I'd like to ask about using SD just for storage expansion, since I'll be getting close to the limits of my 256 gb if I add much more media to my HD. While I have my external hard drive at home, I am thinking about getting an SD card that I always keep inside my MBA to increase storage space, and perhaps some spares beyond this for the road. Not sure what I'm gonna put on the one that I keep inside the MBA 99% of the time, perhaps my MP3 collection, backups of my aperture library of iphone pics (I'm not a professional) or my collection of scanned documents and books that I plan to put onto an organizational program like Devonthink or calibre for ebooks. Each of these takes up a few dozen gigabytes, or more if I transfer more from my ext HD.

    I'm not so familiar with SD cards, and the various types and calibres out there, but I figure that if I really want the extra space, it'll be cheaper to get some, rather than paying $750 for a 360gb or $1300 for a 480gb SSD drive from Other World Computing at this point. And I realize that would be more expensive for various reasons, not just space.

    So, can anyone recommend the biggest possible SD I should get for storage purposes? Beyond size, I'm willing to pay for quality, reliability, and speed, but obviously don't need the type of SD cards meant for professional photographers. Any suggestions I should keep in mind for dealing with 1 of the 3 possibilities above (photos, mp3s for itunes, or scanned documents) if accessing them from an SD card all the time would also be appreciated, but perhaps not necessary if it's not a big deal.

  2. tranmillitary macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2011

    dude Sd cards are slow as hell and you can't leave it in the slot because it sticks out like a sore thumb. I tried to leave it in there but for 16 or 32 GB it's not worth it. Write speeds are slow as hell.

    get a portable hard drive and just stick it in the usb. If you need more then 256GB, then something is wrong. Get a desktop or NAS at home. Macbook Airs aren't made to store media... that's like getting a ferrari as a daily driver and having 5 kids.
  3. HardBucket thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2011
    Hmmmm, point taken, I was thinking it would be more 'worth it' for something like 64 gb or 128 gb if decent sd cards like that are available. If it was for 16 gb or something, I'd be looking at ZIP disks as well :)

    Didn't realize it was so slow, but maybe still decent enough for my purposes?

    Also, haven't even inserted one yet as I don't own any, so I didn't know it stuck out so much....perhaps not very good for leaving inside all the time since I really like being able to pick up the MBA and go anywhere.

    Any other opinions welcome!
  4. CardboardGiant macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2011
    I have a question...

    What's the biggest SD card size MBA accepts?
  5. mana2326 macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2011
    Theoretically the SDXC slot supports up to 2TB.
    Right now the biggest card size on the market is 128GB.
  6. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    The SD cards are slower than the SSD, but if your intent is to use it as storage expansion for media (movies, music), then the speed won't matter (except for the first time you copy the files onto the card). Music and movies play just fine off the SD card.
  7. Cynicalone macrumors 68040


    Jul 9, 2008
    Okie land
    You could use an SD card but would you really want to?

    You could get a lot more space from a simple external HDD.
  8. richpjr macrumors 68030


    May 9, 2006
    It depends on how it will be used. While I agree having a card stick out is not an optimal solution and they are slower and have much less capacity, if you are using your MBA on the fly, than plugging in an external hard drive is even worse. One kind of in between solution that had several threads over the past few weeks was using a micro SD card in a low profile usb adapter for something less obtrusive than an SD card.

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