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Is internal storage faster than micro SD?

Is it better to have a phone with lots of internal storage rather than one that relies on micro SD? Does it make a difference to performance?

Most Useful Answer matt101101  Nov. 11, 2011 at 21:09

I forgot to mention the power of the phone itself, as well as the quality of the memory chip. A more powerful phone will be able to deal with more Mb/s than a slower phone, if the slow phone's bottleneck is the CPU not the speed of the memory.

Basically, it varies massively, determined by a variety of factors.

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matt101101 / MOD  Nov. 11, 2011 at 19:17

Depends what phone you have really.

Internal storage can have faster or slower transfer speeds than a Micro SD card, especially since there are different classes (speeds), of Micro SD card as well. The fastest being class 10 and the slowest being unclassified (class 2 is the lowest numerical class). The class number refers to minimum write speeds in Megabytes per second.

I can tell you my Samsung Galaxy S2's internal memory is about the same speed as the Class 10 Micro SD card which I also have in it.

I hope that kinda helps :).

JanSt / MOD  Nov. 11, 2011 at 20:58

Matt's right.
Plus, it depends on the OS, on the file type etc...

matt101101 / MOD  Nov. 11, 2011 at 21:09

I forgot to mention the power of the phone itself, as well as the quality of the memory chip. A more powerful phone will be able to deal with more Mb/s than a slower phone, if the slow phone's bottleneck is the CPU not the speed of the memory.

Basically, it varies massively, determined by a variety of factors.

blizzard7  Nov. 11, 2011 at 22:56

Actually the fastest microSD on the market is not class 10, but UHS-1 (Ultra High Speed - Class 1). I believe the most recent phones are secretly able to utilise the speed of this class of card.

matt101101 / MOD  Nov. 11, 2011 at 23:23

Fair enough, I'd never even heard of them :p. Any idea which phones accept them (and can use them to faster than class 10 standards)? Also, any idea what the write speeds you'll actually get are? I get around 15 Mb/s from my Class 10, UHS-1 must be an absolute beast of a card :D.

blizzard7  Nov. 11, 2011 at 23:56

Check out here for some info. They're gaining popularity in professional cameras because of their speedy writes but the microSD classification is a bit watered down TBH, but still better than a lot of class 10s.

The only one on the market I know of is Sandisk's, which hits about 30 MB/s read and 14 MB/s write. There's a review here.

NB: Even though this is the 64 GB microSDXC version, the Galaxy S II, Xperia Play, Sensation etc etc. support it just fine. As these phones don't explicitly support this type of SD card, it could be holding back a little bit more performance.

matt101101 / MOD  Nov. 12, 2011 at 07:21

Cheers for the info, Blizzard, it's something I genuinely had no idea existed.

I knew there were 64GB Micro SDXC cards available (and that they're wallet cripplingly expensive :p), but I didn't know they actually worked, even if unofficially, in the SII & co.

I also had no idea that SDXC cards were available in speeds faster than Class 10, might have to look at getting one when my current 16GB card is full ;).

In the review it says the 64GB card is 220 US Dollars, that's apparently £136ish, which is bloody expensive :p. Though it would push the S2's storage to a total of 80GB oO!!

EDIT: Amazon have it on sale for £115...still expensive but less so...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/SanDisk-Mobile-MicroSDXC-Memory-Adapter/dp/B005LFT40G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1321087644&sr=8-1

blizzard7  Nov. 12, 2011 at 13:26

Well the link now says £99. So for the same price difference between a 16 GB and a 32 GB iPhone 4S, you can get 64 GBs of fast flash storage (_;)

matt101101 / MOD  Nov. 12, 2011 at 14:15

Usually dispatched in 1-2 months :(.

It does go to show just how much of a rip off Apple's storage upgrades on the iPhone are. Going by the £100 increase per 100% increase in storage, an iPhone with no memory should cost £399.00 (as the 16gb is £499.00), meaning Apple charge you £300 for 64gb of storage on the top end 64gb model oO!!!

Treab  Nov. 12, 2011 at 15:23

which probably costs apple what £50?

matt101101 / MOD  Nov. 12, 2011 at 15:34

At most mate, at most...

JanSt / MOD  Nov. 12, 2011 at 15:41

Nuts, indeed. Only reason they don't do an expansion slot ;)

blizzard7  Nov. 12, 2011 at 15:44

@Treab
You can get 64 GB USB drives for £50, and the retailer probably gets at least a tenner out of that alone.

Treab  Nov. 12, 2011 at 15:52

i dunno the retailers dont usually make that much money off low cost items...

but you do make a good point why do micro sd cards cost 100 quid for a 64gb card and a 64gb usb drive cost 50???

blizzard7  Nov. 12, 2011 at 16:14

Actually most retailers work on a 25% - 100% markup. So a £20 item would normally cost a retailer £10 to buy.

Treab  Nov. 12, 2011 at 16:17

you would think if thats true HMV etc would be financially stable then ;) so explain how alot of shops are going under ;)

blizzard7  Nov. 12, 2011 at 16:23

Just because a retailer buys something for £10, doesn't mean that's it's automatically going to be bought by a customer.

Treab  Nov. 12, 2011 at 16:26

oh true. but if you buy a product for 50% of the end selling cost you only need to sell half before you break even.... the risk factor should be small but it isnt...

blizzard7  Nov. 12, 2011 at 16:28

A bit off topic, but you are thinking about the £10 the retailer gets as profit, when it is revenue. The retailer still has to pay for distribution, staff wages, equipment, property, utility bills etc.

matt101101 / MOD  Nov. 12, 2011 at 16:40

Lads, I think we're a bit off topic here :p. The moderator deep inside me feels we should wrap this up haha :D.

Treab  Nov. 12, 2011 at 17:51

very true mate. i realised it was revenue after i left my pc to go get dinner ;)

but its still shocking to see just how badly run they must be to be aiming to sell at 25%-50% more then it costs to buy and places like comet still end up being sold at £2 due to poor sales...

JanSt / MOD  Nov. 12, 2011 at 21:10

SDXC compatibility is what makes the Toshiba AT100 (Thrive) stand out ;)

matt101101 / MOD  Nov. 12, 2011 at 21:17

Official compatibility?

blizzard7  Nov. 12, 2011 at 21:21

I don't think my mum is going to rush out and buy a Thrive just because it has SDXC though :p

blizzard7  Nov. 12, 2011 at 22:46

Actually, just thought I'd mention as well, going back to the original post.

"Is it better to have a phone with lots of internal storage rather than one that relies on micro SD?"
You have to remember that if your phone with built-in memory breaks, depending on how it is broken, it may be hard to retrieve your data off it. With a microSD card, even if you dropped your phone out a second floor window, the phone may be completely demolished, but your microSD card should be fine.

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