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Many ordinary consumers, when choosing a flash memory card for a smartphone, camera or any other gadget, are only interested in its capacity. Less commonly asked is the speed of writing and reading. And even less often they find out other parameters, such as compatibility with a specific device, and these parameters are sometimes the most important, especially when it comes to their work in DVRs.

The editors of Expertology magazine have prepared for you an overview of the latest flash cards, the most closely adapted for use in DVRs. Our subject matter experts have selected three groups of models with maximum coverage of compatibility.

How to choose a memory card for the DVR

To begin with, let’s clarify the main points that should be kept in mind when choosing a memory card specifically for the DVR, and not for other, less demanding gadgets. This will help you better navigate the 2020 market and make an informed choice.

What should be able to memory card for the DVR

Unlike most other ways to use an SD flash card and its derivatives, in a DVR, such memory is most often subjected to constant and continuous load. While working on the road, data is continuously recorded on it, and when the volume is filled, the recording continues (automatically with overwriting of old records or manual restart) in a new circle. This means that, by definition, a card should have an increased rewriting resource, and not all models have this property.

Critical Factor – write speed, and in this context it is disproportionately more important than reading speed. After all, if the DVR is new and configured to record video in high resolution, and even with geodata and other related information, then insufficient speed will cause fragmentary recording, which can become an unpleasant, if not fatal, factor in resolving disputes.

Memory size important, but at the same time secondary. A large-capacity card requires less attention and is less likely to need to be drained for storage. Often, higher-capacity flash cards automatically mean higher data transfer speeds. But such specimens are much more expensive – often a multiple of the increase in volume.

Finally, compatibility. New cards may not be tritely supported by DVRs of past generations, and for an obsolete, but solid and working device, a memory card must be selected especially carefully.

Key Differences Between Memory Cards

  1. The first and most obvious difference is the form factor. The options used in DVRs are SD, MicroSD, CompactFlash, SXS. Here, when choosing a model, you don’t have to guess – which format is compatible with the DVR, you should buy it. The most common is microSD. For greater versatility, you can buy a MicroSD card with an adapter (adapter) for a large SD slot, and manufacturers often supply just such mini-kits. In our review, we will consider the MicroSD format, optionally with an adapter.
  2. The second point that determines whether the flash card will work in the DVR even if it physically enters it is the speed class. Here, if we discard subtle nuances, two criteria are distinguished – the speed class and the data organization format, and these criteria are closely interconnected.
  3. So, if your DVR can record a stream with maximum FullHD quality, then a card with speed class 10 (indicated on the card itself) will suffice. These are microSDHC cards, their minimum write speed is 10MB / s, and the actual one can be many times higher. A speed class below 10 is inappropriate to consider for the normal operation of a more or less modern DVR. It is optimal if, in addition to all this, the card also belongs to the UHS 1 class – it is marked with the “1” icon.
  4. If your registrar is more advanced and can record video in UHD 4K resolution, then you will need a UHS 3 class card – marked with a “3” icon. Here, the minimum speed is already 30 MB / s, and the upper limit can exceed one hundred MB / s. The UHS 3 class with high speeds automatically assumes a more advanced data organization format and, accordingly, the card format is microSDXC.
  5. Now, the capacity of the memory card. The maximum capacity for microSDHC cards is 32GB. For the microSDXC format, on the contrary, 32GB is the minimum base volume, and expensive models are hundreds of gigabytes in volume. The most voluminous cards are prohibitively expensive and it is not very advisable to use them, if only for the reason “not to keep all your eggs in one basket.”
  6. And a few words about backward compatibility. A significant part of users of old DVR models do not see the need to change an outdated, but well-functioning model. But rapidly developing technologies dictate their own terms, and old registrars may not support cards with a capacity of 32GB or more. In this case, everything is quite simple – you need to choose a card of such a volume that the registrar can “digest”. Fortunately, there are still plenty of cards with a capacity of 16GB or less on the 2020 market.

Rating of the best memory cards for the DVR

Nomination place Name of product price

Best microSDHC memory cards for dash cam

one

SanDisk Ultra microSDHC Class 10 UHS-I 80MB/s 32GB

285 ₽

2

Kingston Canvas Select microSDHC Class 10 UHS-I U1 32GB + SD adapter (SDCS/32GB)

390 ₽

3

Transcend microSDHC 300S Class 10 UHS-I U1 32GB + SD adapter

363 ₽

four

SmartBuy microSDHC Class 10 32GB + SD adapter

210 ₽

Best microSDXC memory cards for dash cam

one

SanDisk Ultra microSDXC Class 10 UHS Class 1 A1 100MB/s 64GB + SD adapter

890 ₽

2

Transcend microSDXC 300S Class 10 UHS-I U3 A1 V30 128GB + SD adapter

1 041 ₽

3

Samsung Evo Plus U3

1 290 ₽

four

Viofo Professional High Endurance

1 490 ₽

Best Memory Cards for Older DVRs

one

Kingston SDCS/16GBSP

191 ₽

2

SanDisk Ultra microSDHC Class 10 UHS-I 80MB/s 16GB

210 ₽

3

SmartBuy microSDHC Class 10 8GB + SD adapter

181 ₽

four

Transcend microSDHC 300S Class 10 8GB

290 ₽

Best microSDHC memory cards for dash cam

And now we turn to the analysis of specific models. In the first selection, we will consider microSDHC memory cards, the maximum volume of which cannot exceed 32GB. Actually, it is these 32GB cards that we will take into account, fortunately, they cost a few hundred rubles. This capacity is enough to record approximately 160 minutes of video in Full HD, and at a lower resolution – almost a multiple of the time.

Expertology specialists offered each position as an example, and in the model range of each manufacturer there are copies identical in technical characteristics, only of a smaller volume. As a rule, there is no fundamental difference between 32 and 16 GB cards of the same line. The price difference in this segment is also usually minimal.

SanDisk Ultra microSDHC Class 10 UHS-I 80MB/s 32GB

Rating: 4.9

SANDISK ULTRA MICROSDHC CLASS 10 UHS-I 80MBS 32GB.webp

First, let’s look at an inexpensive, reliable microSDHC memory card from the well-known SanDisk brand. The brand is associated with the American corporation of the same name. Most of the products are made in China.

As you can already see from the specification, this card belongs to the Class 10 and UHS-I speed classes, which implies a write speed of at least 10MB / s. Here, we would like to draw your attention to the fact that a very similar card with a HIGH ENDURANCE note in the specification may be on sale. Despite such a loud statement, it only applies to Class 10 and does not support UHS-I, which means it has limitations on read and write speeds. You should not take into account the wording HIGH ENDURANCE, as these are just words that do not oblige you to anything. Hereinafter, this applies to all cards with loud slogans in the name. What matters is precisely belonging to the speed class, which must be marked, as we described above.

As for the reviewed model, the manufacturer emphasizes a good 80MB / s read speed, but modestly keeps silent about the write speed. And this is quite understandable, since in this respect the card barely fits into the minimum characteristics of the class. So, according to tests conducted by Expertology, the speed of writing small files corresponds to a minimum of 10MB / s, occasionally dropping to 8MB / s. As for large files, here the write speed reaches up to 15MB / s and even a little higher.

Against the background of not too record speed, this model pleases with endurance. The official warranty period is 1 year, and the declared service life is 3 years. There are cases of failure and failure, but not higher than the statistical error.

The obvious minus here is the real volume, which can be less by 2 or even 3 GB. Although this is a “disease” of many cards, experts still credit this circumstance as a disadvantage. A less obvious disadvantage is a noticeable percentage of failure before the service life declared by the manufacturer. Therefore, after the warranty period, it is worth thinking about replacing it “just in case”, since the price is more than affordable. The old card can be rearranged in a smartphone or any other gadget, where, with a much lower load, it can work for more than one year.

Advantages

  • generally reliable and trouble-free;

  • affordable price;

  • high reading speed.

Flaws

  • a noticeable percentage of failure before the declared service life;

  • the actual volume can be less than 10%.

Kingston Canvas Select microSDHC Class 10 UHS-I U1 32GB + SD adapter (SDCS/32GB)

Rating: 4.8

KINGSTON CANVAS SELECT MICROSDHC CLASS 10 UHS-I U1 32GB + SD ADAPTER (SDCS32GB).webp

The second number is the kit – a microSDHC card with an SD adapter for a large slot. The manufacturer is the American company Kingston. The products themselves are made in China and Taiwan.

The declared write and read speed for this model is exactly the same as for the previous one – 80MB / s – reading, 10MB / s – writing. And independent tests show that this model exactly matches the official specifications, even slightly better than the previous one, that is, without drawdowns when writing small files.

The manufacturer also emphasizes that this model belongs to the V10 class according to another standard – Video Speed ​​​​Class. This is the standard by which memory cards are classified depending on the recording speed of video files. In this case, V10 means the second most productive class. The information content of such a classification is not very representative, since it only emphasizes belonging to the C10 class, that is, the ability to record any data at a speed of at least 10MB / s. But this once again confirms that the card can confidently write video in FullHD 1080 resolution.

What is remarkable about this card is the warranty period. Here, on various trading floors, there are discrepancies – 60 or 120 months. But, in any case, even a 5-year warranty is a lot. Another thing is that when used in DVRs, even such an increased resource will give a real life (according to user observations) of only 2-3 years. One way or another, if we take the average figure, this model is significantly more durable and more durable than the previous one.

And one more thing – unlike the previous model, there is practically no noticeable discrepancy between the declared volume and the real one.

Advantages

  • conformity of speed and reading to the declared characteristics;

  • reliability;

  • increased resource;

  • SD adapter included;

  • long warranty period.

Flaws

  • no fundamental flaws were identified.

Also Read: 12 Best DVR Cameras

Transcend microSDHC 300S Class 10 UHS-I U1 32GB + SD adapter

Rating: 4.7

TRANSCEND MICROSDHC 300S CLASS 10 UHS-I U1 32GB + SD ADAPTER.webp

The review of the best memory cards for DVRs continues with a model similar in class and volume to another well-known global manufacturer of flash drives Transcend.

Here we see a slightly higher declared performance in terms of read speed – up to 95MB / s; and significantly, many times higher write speeds – up to 45MB / s. Yes, indeed, the recording speed of this model is significantly higher, but in terms of the upper limit, the whole trick is in this “before”. Up to 45MB / s, the write speed is extremely rare, but in general, the speed is still higher than that of neighboring models. Variations may already depend on the performance of the DVR itself. Approximately all the same can be said about the speed of reading.

Transcend also provides users with some details about the terms of use of the card. So, the officially permissible operating temperature range is from -25 to +85 degrees Celsius. Protection class – IPX7. This means that the card is completely protected from dust penetration inside and confidently withstands immersion under water to a depth of 1 meter for up to 30 minutes.

Like the previous manufacturer, Transcend provides a 60-month warranty for this model. There is only one drawback in this card, and that is not fundamental for everyone – the real volume does not correspond to the declared 32GB, but a little less.

Advantages

  • increased maximum reading speed;

  • significantly increased maximum recording speed;

  • protection class IPX7;

  • 60 months warranty;

  • SD adapter included.

Flaws

  • the actual volume is slightly more than 29GB.

SmartBuy microSDHC Class 10 32GB + SD adapter

Rating: 4.6

SMARTBUY MICROSDHC CLASS 10 32GB + SD ADAPTER.webp

The first part of the review of the best memory cards for video recorders according to Expertology magazine is completed by one of the best-selling models of the SmartBuy brand. The secret of such popularity on all more or less well-known trading floors in Russia is the simplest – the minimum cost.

We emphasize right away that miracles still do not happen, and such an affordable price, and even if there is an adapter in the kit, cannot but contain a catch. Here it is expressed in the low endurance of the card. This can be seen already in the warranty period. If previous manufacturers are not afraid to give a guarantee for their flash cards for 5 years or more, then SmartBuy offers a standard 12 months, and does not declare the service life at all. In user reviews, you can notice not the smallest percentage of complaints about failure after six months or a year of use.

All things considered, this model appears in our review as the “best temporary” card for DVRs. It is best suited if you urgently need to replace an existing card, and there is only a couple of hundred rubles available. Then, at the first opportunity, it is better to change it to something more durable.

Now about dry statistics. Independent testing shows that this card is not without difficulty, but still fits into the write speed of 10MB / s, which corresponds to class 10. Reading is slightly faster – 17MB / s, sometimes up to 20MB / s. Different testing programs may show different results, but on average the results converge at the specified level.

Advantages

  • corresponds to the declared speed indicators;

  • SD adapter included;

  • the most affordable price;

  • best temporary memory card for dash cam.

Flaws

  • fragility, applicable only as a temporary.

Best microSDXC memory cards for dash cam

The second selection of the best memory cards for dash cams includes models of a much more powerful format. If for the previous group 32GB of volume is the maximum, then for microSDXC this is the minimum volume. These models are suitable for new or obsolete registrars capable of working with large-capacity cards. Some units can record video in UHD 4K resolution.

See also: 8 best video recorders under 5000 rubles

SanDisk Ultra microSDXC Class 10 UHS Class 1 A1 100MB/s 64GB + SD adapter

Rating: 4.9

SANDISK ULTRA MICROSDXC CLASS 10 UHS CLASS 1 A1 100MBS 64GB + SD ADAPTER.webp

First in this part of the review, we will analyze another SanDisk branded card, but this time in the microSDXC format. Hereinafter, we will mean a volume of 64GB, although in the same line there are copies of both the base volume – 32GB, and much more – 128GB and higher. It is this series that is known for serious discounts with the start of sales, which attracted a large audience. I must say, buyers for the most part were not disappointed, and the line maintains stable demand to this day.

As you can see from the specification, this model is compliant with speed class 10 and also supports UHS-I class. This means that the DVR can easily manage to record a video stream with FullHD resolution on the card. Claimed read speed is 100MB/s. The minimum write speed, according to the class – 10MB / s, the actual write speed, according to the results of independent tests – up to 30MB / s.

In general, this is a very good and reliable “workhorse”, for which the manufacturer gives a decent warranty – 3 years. And this is an international guarantee that is really valid, so there are practically no questions about the service from official SanDisk representatives either.

The only point is that for the microSDXC format, the speed characteristics here are still closer to the basic ones, and for two-channel recorders or recording video with a high bitrate, it is still worth looking at a more productive model at a higher price. We will consider this in the second paragraph.

Advantages

  • reliability;

  • durability;

  • affordable price;

  • the actual write speed significantly exceeds the declared one;

  • actual 3 year warranty.

Flaws

  • relatively low speed, as for microSDXC.

Transcend microSDXC 300S Class 10 UHS-I U3 A1 V30 128GB + SD adapter

Rating: 4.8

TRANSCEND MICROSDXC 300S CLASS 10 UHS-I U3 A1 V30 128GB + SD ADAPTER.webp

The second number in this part of the review is a much more interesting memory card from the Transcend brand. It is twice the volume of the previous one, but this is not the main thing. And most importantly – its capabilities for the speed of data exchange.

The first notable advantage of this model is compliance with the U3 class and the V30 video recording speed standard. This implies that the minimum write speed to the card is 30MB/s. The declared read speed is 95MB/s. Independent tests show that the read speed is generally consistent with the declared, and the write speed can even exceed the minimum 30MB / s.

Here we emphasize that this particular model with a volume of 128GB corresponds to the U3 class with its speeds. A card with exactly the same specification, but at 64GB will be already class U1 with a much lower write speed, and it will no longer be suitable for high bitrate and dual-channel recorders.

The card also comes with an adapter for a large SD slot. The nominal service life of this model declared by the manufacturer is 730 days.

Advantages

  • large volume;

  • speed class U3;

  • write speed exceeds the declared;

  • suitable for dual-channel DVRs and recording in 4K resolution;

  • reliability;

  • SD adapter included.

Flaws

  • no obvious flaws were found.

Samsung Evo Plus U3

Rating: 4.7

SAMSUNG EVO PLUS U3.webp

The third number in this part of the review is one of the most popular microSDXC memory cards from Samsung. It has outstanding characteristics in terms of data exchange speed, but has some purely advisory restrictions from the manufacturer.

Let’s clarify this point about the restrictions right away. Evo Plus U3 is Samsung’s so-called “red” series of microSDXC memory cards and is known not only for its impressive speeds, but also for its stability, long life and low failure rate. However, the manufacturer himself clearly states that cards of this series are not recommended for use in video surveillance systems and other similar devices where multiple overwriting is expected.

In fact, this warning does not mean that the Evo Plus U3 card in the DVR will immediately burn out or will not work normally. The thing is that Samsung gives at least a five-year warranty on this line, and with continuous use with repeated overwriting for 5 years, the card will definitely not live. However, with strong equal reliability and durability of this model is much higher than any other of the above. So such statements by Samsung are just a policy to protect yourself from unnecessary claims and returns.

As for specific speed indicators, there is full compliance with the U3 class. The average read speed is up to 100MB / s, and the write speed reaches 90MB / s. Obviously, for recording video with a high bitrate and in high resolution 4K, this model is definitely suitable.

Most often, the package also includes an adapter for a large SD slot, and the price for such a kit is more than competitive;

Advantages

  • brand;

  • reliability;

  • durability;

  • compliance with class U3;

  • high real write speed;

  • suitable for recording in 4K;

  • SD adapter included.

Flaws

  • no objective negatives were found.

See also: 6 best navigators for trucks

Viofo Professional High Endurance

Rating: 4.6

VIOFO PROFESSIONAL HIGH ENDURANCE.jpeg

And this compilation of the best memory cards for DVRs is probably the most interesting model of the Viofo brand. Here we will see sufficient write and read speeds, but not as outstanding as in the case of the Samsung flash card described above. So what is the advantage of this particular model?

It’s all about the manufacturer, or rather, the original technological focus of this model. Viofo is a well-known manufacturer, famous for its wide range of DVRs. And in this particular case, we are talking about a memory card, which was initially “sharpened” for heavy loads, long continuous sessions and repeated overwriting. So the wording High Endurance (“high endurance”) here is by no means beautiful words, but the very reality.

This model belongs to the class UHS-3. The nominal declared write speed is 30MB / s, read – up to 80MB / s. Depending on the characteristics of the receiving device, the recording speed may even be higher than stated.

We emphasize once again – despite the relatively low speed compared to the previous model, it is completely sufficient for recording video with a high bitrate and in 4K resolution.

Advantages

  • maximally adapted for heavy loads and repeated overwriting;

  • high endurance, reliability and reliability in general;

  • class UHS-3;

  • sufficient speed for 4K recording and use in two-channel recorders;

  • SD adapter included.

Flaws

  • no major downsides were found.

Best Memory Cards for Older DVRs

The third and final selection in Expertology magazine’s review of the best memory cards for dash cams presents cards with a capacity of less than 32GB. Such solutions may be suitable for obsolete, but working DVRs, which their owners see no reason to change to more advanced modern models.

Kingston SDCS/16GBSP

Rating: 4.9

KINGSTON SDCS16GBSP.jpeg

Let’s take a look at the Kingston SDCS card first. Specifically, this modification has a capacity of 16GB, but in the model range other options are offered, both smaller and larger – respectively, already in the SDXC format.

The declared data reading speed of this model is quite high – up to 80MB / s. Recording is much slower – 10MB/s. But this is already a guaranteed speed, since the card fully complies with class 10 in terms of speed and at the same time supports the UHS-I class, which is indicated in the marking on the case.

The manufacturer provides an official guarantee for this model for a period of 12 months. At the same time, the declared service life is much longer. The actual service life for intensive use in the DVR, according to users, is 2-3 years, and this can be considered as a good result.

In general, the card calls for a very good combination of price, features and quality. Cases of failure are extremely rare and are not regarded as a pattern.

Advantages

  • affordable price;

  • supports UHS Class 1;

  • sufficiently high speeds;

  • reliability and reliability;

  • durability.

Flaws

  • no fundamental flaws were identified.

Also Read: 13 Best Budget DVRs

SanDisk Ultra microSDHC Class 10 UHS-I 80MB/s 16GB

Rating: 4.8

SANDISK ULTRA MICROSDHC CLASS 10 UHS-I 80MBS 16GB.webp

Another memory card that is very popular despite its modest 16GB capacity, or perhaps because of it. This is the third representative of the SanDisk Ultra series, and in general, the performance here is very similar to the card of the same brand from the first category.

So, the formats are the same here – microSDHC; and speed classes – Class 10 UHS-I, which means that the write speed must be at least 10MB / s. Actually, this is actually the case – independent tests show a minimum write speed of about 10MB / s. The card does not demonstrate any “miracles” like a significant excess of the declared indicator, and this is expected, since this happens infrequently in small-capacity cards. Pleased with the high reading speed – up to 80MB / s.

The declared service life is 3 years, and it coincides with the warranty period, which can be considered an advantage of this model. The card is half the price of the previous one of the same size and with comparable features, but it has a much wider sample of feedback from real users.

Advantages

  • reliable enough;

  • durable;

  • the declared service life coincides with the official warranty period;

  • UHS-I support;

  • high reading speed.

Flaws

  • not fundamental.

SmartBuy microSDHC Class 10 8GB + SD adapter

Rating: 4.7

SMARTBUY MICROSDHC CLASS 10 8GB + SD ADAPTER.webp

Let’s lower the minimum volume barrier two more times and in the third paragraph of the section we will consider an 8GB memory card of the SmartBuy trademark, which has already appeared in the first section.

In this price category, the difference between the cost of models amounts to tens of rubles, so it makes no sense to single out any advantages in price. Here you should be guided only by considerations of compatibility with the receiving device and the performance of the card itself.

In terms of speed, this card is classified as Class 10, which implies a minimum write speed of 10MB/s. Reading speed is not particularly emphasized by the manufacturer, and this can be understood. If most other manufacturers of memory cards show a read speed several times greater than the write speed, then SmartBuy grazes the rear here – the read speed is only a little more than the same 10MB / s.

Official warranty from the manufacturer – 12 months. However, judging by user reviews, it is not so easy to change a card or return money – the supplier may simply not respond to complaints in any way. This is if we are talking about the official manufacturer’s warranty. If there is a desire to insure even such a small purchase amount (less than 200 rubles), then you can only rely on the guarantee of the point of sale.

Advantages

  • reliable enough;

  • speed class – 10;

  • SD adapter included.

Flaws

  • low reading speed;

  • difficult to return under official warranty.

Transcend microSDHC 300S Class 10 8GB

Rating: 4.6

TRANSCEND MICROSDHC 300S CLASS 10 8GB.jpeg

This selection, and at the same time the entire review of the best memory cards for video recorders according to Expertology magazine, is completed by a Transcend brand model comparable to the previous card in terms of formal characteristics.

The similarity between these cards is manifested in the minimum volume – 8GB, belonging to the speed class 10 and the manufacturer’s warranty for a period of 12 months. This is where the similarities almost end and the differences begin. The read speed here is slightly higher, the write speed is almost the same, but depending on the specific DVR, it may be slightly higher than the nominal value.

In terms of reliability and durability, this model boasts more positive feedback than SmartBuy, but it is also almost twice as expensive.

The review above already featured a Transcend 300S series card. However, one should not be deceived, since belonging to the series is of little obligation here. This model does not come close to the same characteristics. Actually, it should not have them, since it is designed for a completely different class of devices.

Moreover, the warranty for this model is 1 year, the declared service life is 730 days. For users, on average, it works like this – 2-3 years.

Advantages

  • quite reliable and trouble-free;

  • the speed of reading and writing corresponds to the declared class, and in some places even higher;

  • the actual service life more or less corresponds to the declared one.

Flaws

  • no fundamental flaws were found.