Best SD card to expand memory?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Highdom_MAc, Aug 22, 2017.

  1. Highdom_MAc macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2017
    I have a Macbook Air 13'' with a 128GB SSD. I need to save up some memory for the daily works. I realize that moving the iTunes Library (~/Music/iTunes) to an external drive would be a nice way to save up more or less 20 GB...
    I was thinking about buying a micro SD card/SD card. This one has to be really stable and with good performance. Any ideas? A size of 32GB could work for me! Thanks!

    ps: if I buy a micro sd card I'll need also an adapter. It would be cool if there's anyone for macbook air (so with the right size that fits perfectly with the macbook)

  2. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    Is your MBA a USB3 model?

    You are likely going to want a microSD card that uses MLC NAND - where as most SD cards use the cheaper TLC NAND, they are often much slower with their write speeds and tend to have inferior endurance (and I would argue many have inferior reliability.) It may also be financially justifiable to go for at least the 64 GB size, if not 128, if you are already using 20 and only have a 128 internal drive.

    The Transcend Jet Drive Lite* is a one-piece model that fits flush with the MBA's unibody construction and has both the adapter and the flash storage in a single product. IIRC the smallest available size is 64 GB and it goes as large as 256 GB. It uses MLC flash memory, and so its working speeds are comparable to some 5400 RPM hard drives. This is the simplest solution as you only need one product, and this product has been proven to be reliable when used for longer-term storage. Like many other MLC Transcend products, it has a lifetime warranty.

    Additionally, other third party Makers offer some flush adapters, such as the Nifty Drive (a product I own and am very happy with.) These adapters require microSD cards to be purchased separately.

    The two standalone mSD cards models I like for this sort of use with an adapter are the Samsung PRO* and the Transcend Ultimate* - both of these microSD cards also use MLC flash memory as well. Their write speeds are higher than the JetDrive Lite, although the adapter being used could impact performance.

    Other models made by Transcend and Samsung use TLC NAND (such as the Samsung EVO and Transcend Premium lines). These cards often have slower real-world speeds, especially in the smaller 32 and 64 GB sizes. For reference, my 32 GB Samsung PRO microSD cards have a write speed that is about five times that of my 32 GB Samsung EVO microSD card. For a product you will use as a second hard drive, the faster working speeds can come in handy.

    (*While the item links I have shown you are on Amazon, I highly encourage everyone to NOT buy SD cards or flash drives from Amazon because there is a huge ongoing issue of fake flash products that Amazon has been unable -or unwilling- to do anything about - and this issue does not apply only to third party Amazon sellers, either.)
  3. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2006
    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    I wish I saw this post before I ordered the Samsung 256GB EVO Plus Class 10 UHS-I microSDXC U3 and the BASEQI aluminum microSD Adapter. I just installed both into my 15" Mid-2014 MacBook Pro and am in the process of moving 200+gb onto it from the computer. I'm shocked that it's going to be a 12 hour process. By comparison, when I just did a full back up of around the same gb of content over Firewire, it was a 2 hour process.

    You linked to a Samsung Pro+ but I'm not seeing a 256gb available. I do see one for the Transcend JetDrive. But I only want to get it if it's significantly faster. Otherwise, maybe I can make due with this drive once all this data finally gets onto it.
  4. El_JeFe macrumors newbie


    Sep 19, 2018
    I would recommend doing some research on this, Ive read more than a few posts on these forums of ports burning out due to using them with some sort of an adapter and sd card as a way to expand storage. I realize thats what they are meant for but I think their issue was they just left the adapter plugged in permanently and acted like it was apart of the computer.

Share This Page

3 August 22, 2017