Mac computers (like MacBook Air) provide you with an SD (Secure Digital) or SDXC (Secure Digital Extended Capacity) slot that gives you the ability to read or write data to any SD media inserted into the slot. Secure Digital refers to the list of devices that comply with the SD standards for non-volatile memory cards.
How to Choose the Best SD Card for Your Mac
Size Limitations for Cards
According to the SD card specification, the dimensions of a standard SD card are 32 mm by 24 mm by 2.1 mm. You should choose cards that have a thickness not greater than 2.1 mm. If you use cards that do not conform to these specifications, you may end up damaging the SD card slot. Thinner cards like MultiMediaCards (MMC) can also be inserted into the SD card slot.
SD Card Formats for the SD Card Slot
The SD card slot in Mac computers will allow cards that comply with the SD 1.x, 2.x, and 3.x standards. All the variants of SD card formats (i.e. Standard SD (Secure Digital), SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity), and SDXC (Secure Digital Extended Capacity) can be used with the SD card slot. Also, MMC cards can also be inserted into the SD card slot. You can also take the advantage of passive adaptors to use cards with higher density, such as MiniSDHC and MicroSDHC (including MiniSD, MicroSD)
Transfer Speed When Reading and Writing to an SD Card
Earlier Macs used to have a USB bus for communicating with the SD card slot. These Macs could reach a speed of up to 480 Mbit/s. The Macs available now are employed with a PCIe bus to communicate with the SD card slot to do the same task. They are much faster than the earlier Macs. To know the transfer speed of your computer when reading and writing to an SD card, follow the below given steps:
- Navigate to the Apple Menu and select ‘About this Mac’.
- Select More Info.
- Go to the hardware section and select USB. This is for the old Macs that feature USB bus to communicate with the SD card slot).
- Choose Internal Memory Card Reader and search for the speed entry.
- Go to the Hardware section and choose Card Reader (for Macs that employ the PCIe bus to communicate with the SD card slot).
- Here, search for the Link Speed entry. You will see your system speed in GT/s.
Storage Capacity of the SD Card
When it comes to storage, you have many choices. You need to determine the amount of storage you need depending on the type of media you want to hold on the card. To do this, it is incumbent on you to look for the average size of each bit of media you need to carry. When you are finished with this, you can have an insight into what you need. You can use these three primary types of cards:
- SD: Generally, this is not a preferred as it can offer a capacity up to 2 GB only.
- SDHC: All Mac users often use this. It comes with a maximum capacity of 32 GB.
- SDXC: This is an advanced variant of SD cards that provides the highest storage capacity of 2 TB.
By considering the above-mentioned factors, you can take an educated decision each time you need to choose an SD memory card for your Mac computer.
Bio: Vishal is a Mac user and likes to share information on useful accessories for Mac. He is also a part of digital photography recovery Mac software team at leading IT firm.
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