Best MicroSD for SurfacePro?

Ashton

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Looking to upgrade my tablet to a SurfacePro 3/4 sometime in the next few months, so I'm watching for deals on a large MicroSD card. I know some cards have... issues... with certain devices, so... What cards should I keep an eye out for?
 

Henri108

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Sandisk extreme Pro or Extreme microSD cards are very reliable. But it depends on how much storage you need. You just have to check the speed (above 50MB/s if you want usable storage) and if it is compatible. If you get the card, be sure to do a speedtest, there are a lot of fake ones going around.
 

mi7chy

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Make sure whatever you buy allows you to use a different format like NTFS and doesn't restrict you to exFAT only like my Sandisk Ultra 64GB.
 

Yakk

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I always test all my new SD cards with H2Testw

I use a substantial amount of SD cards and have about a 50% RMA ratio even with brand name SD cards. Especially micro SD are extremely prone to failure. I might just be unlucky, but this RMA ratio is after testing dozens of cards.
 

FnordMan

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Might be cheaper/better to buy a Venue 11 Pro and upgrade that rather than spend that much on a MicroSD card. (the backs can be removed on the Venue 11 Pros, exposing a standard SATA3 based M.2 card)
 

Ashton

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Might be cheaper/better to buy a Venue 11 Pro and upgrade that rather than spend that much on a MicroSD card. (the backs can be removed on the Venue 11 Pros, exposing a standard SATA3 based M.2 card)
Well, first this is just a "want" not a "need" --- my Lenovo is a powerhouse that rivals my desktop --- but weighs a ton and gets around 2 hours battery life *IF* i throttle it and dim the screen, etc... And likewise my Note 10.1 gives me excellent battery life in a small package... but the note doesn't work well for higher-power tasks (or even low-power JAVA coding...) and the laptop is too big and too poor battery life... Right now I'm carrying both with me most of the time (with all their cords/adapters/accessories) and it kills my back.

The Surface gives me what I *want* but I can live without it, I don't have any real *need* for it at all until probably Oct (and even then it's a minimal need) so I'm fine with waiting for prices to come down (and with the SP4 with W10 going to drop possibly as soon as next month, prices will fall) and honestly, while I want the most storage possible, I dont need it - my tablet has a total of 64gb of storage and it's not even half full, likewise my laptop has a 1tb HDD and the only reason it's half-full is because I loaded it up with steam games (most of which I rarely play so I can easily live without) If the price for this MicroSD stays high I'll just get a 128gb and if needed an external HDD.

As for the dell you mentioned. It looks very good, and I especially like the price and features... but the ram appears locked at 2gb and the processor is an Atom... I'm wanting an i5 or if the price comes down enough, an i7 so I wont have to worry about power. (If there is a place to change those, I didn't see it, but I admit I only took a quick look - search only showed their 2-in-1 with an i5 --- though I had to snicker at the "Free 32-inch TV with purchase!" offer :D )
 

FnordMan

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As for the dell you mentioned. It looks very good, and I especially like the price and features... but the ram appears locked at 2gb and the processor is an Atom... I'm wanting an i5 or if the price comes down enough, an i7 so I wont have to worry about power. (If there is a place to change those, I didn't see it, but I admit I only took a quick look - search only showed their 2-in-1 with an i5 --- though I had to snicker at the "Free 32-inch TV with purchase!" offer :D )
Hmm, wonder if Dell discontinued the i5 based 7000 series 11 Pros. I can only find a vague reference to "call for pricing" with a quick look around.
The Core M based ones are still around but i'm not sure if that would qualify as powerful enough for you.
 

Ronco

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Sandisk Extreme Plus if you're looking at 64Gb - if bigger, then well you have to compromise performance for speed.

The 32 and 64Gb EP's have great random I/O for micro SD cards (beating pretty much all comers), and great - again, for a micro SD card - sustained transfer rate that pretty much matches what's claimed (~80Mb/sec read, ~50Mb/sec write). But even this is nowhere near decent eMMC's, let alone SATA SSDs.

Now, go to many other brands, especially the more 'competitively priced' card - and then anything but completely sequential I/O can go down the crapper - down to single digits in many cases (that's worse than writing to an iPod Classic for random I/O) with popular low price SD's.

Pick higher storage density on the other hand - e.g. Sandisk's 128Gb Ultra - and you actually end up with the same problems as the above: Random I/O can be just as abysmal, which is a particular problem if you're not using it just as a scratch disk.

I don't use SD's as a viable substitute for not buying enough onboard storage for this very reason. However the Extreme Plus's do have a good home in my cameras (with the SD adapter) that I can then plug straight into my Surfaces for work in Lightroom.
 

Ashton

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Sandisk Extreme Plus if you're looking at 64Gb - if bigger, then well you have to compromise performance for speed.

The 32 and 64Gb EP's have great random I/O for micro SD cards (beating pretty much all comers), and great - again, for a micro SD card - sustained transfer rate that pretty much matches what's claimed (~80Mb/sec read, ~50Mb/sec write). But even this is nowhere near decent eMMC's, let alone SATA SSDs.

Now, go to many other brands, especially the more 'competitively priced' card - and then anything but completely sequential I/O can go down the crapper - down to single digits in many cases (that's worse than writing to an iPod Classic for random I/O) with popular low price SD's.

Pick higher storage density on the other hand - e.g. Sandisk's 128Gb Ultra - and you actually end up with the same problems as the above: Random I/O can be just as abysmal, which is a particular problem if you're not using it just as a scratch disk.

I don't use SD's as a viable substitute for not buying enough onboard storage for this very reason. However the Extreme Plus's do have a good home in my cameras (with the SD adapter) that I can then plug straight into my Surfaces for work in Lightroom.
Ouch... sounds like I need to plan to just bite the bullet and get the i7/512gb SP3/SP4 when I get... while I can live with slow access to documents, I can only imagine how bad performance would be if I tried to run actual programs from the MicroSD card... Thank you very much for the warning!

Hmm, wonder if Dell discontinued the i5 based 7000 series 11 Pros. I can only find a vague reference to "call for pricing" with a quick look around.
The Core M based ones are still around but i'm not sure if that would qualify as powerful enough for you.
Unless you or somone you personally know owns one of these with an i5, I think it was a typo on the website. I did an ebay search and even there I only found _one_ 7000-series that didn't have an atom --- it was the M-series processor you mentioned before (which was going for ~$1000: which is $200 more than an i5 Surface Pro 3 on eBay). I did, however, find a LOT of 7000-series i5 "ultrabooks" that could be folded 'inside out' to act like a tablet, my guess is that's what you were thinking of.
 

FnordMan

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Unless you or somone you personally know owns one of these with an i5, I think it was a typo on the website. I did an ebay search and even there I only found _one_ 7000-series that didn't have an atom --- it was the M-series processor you mentioned before (which was going for ~$1000: which is $200 more than an i5 Surface Pro 3 on eBay). I did, however, find a LOT of 7000-series i5 "ultrabooks" that could be folded 'inside out' to act like a tablet, my guess is that's what you were thinking of.
Quite sure they existed, when I went and bought the 7140 that I have there was a choice between the 7139 w/ a i5 and a fan or the 7140 w/ the Core M and no fan. Same form factor and the extras (dock, both keyboards) work on both.

Plus I keep running into literature about the 713x series when i'm looking about how to do something. (I have yet to be able to get the thing booted from USB.. I also haven't tried that hard though)
 

Kueller

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Let me register a vote for the Samsung PRO series of microSD cards, again PRO (grey cards), not the Evo (orange card). The PRO cards are much faster than most other microsd cards on the market, rated for 90MB/s read 50MB/s write, they actually seem to write in the 70MB/s range with a capable hardware interface.
 

mi7chy

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One of my SanDisk Ultra 64GB is getting flaky and hasn't even seen that much use. Need reliability so will stop using Made in China SanDisk and try South Korean Samsung next. Have had 100% reliability with Samsung DRAM products in workstations and servers.
 
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Ashton

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What really pisses me off now is I watched a teardown of the SP3 on yourtube last night --- and it looks like the SSD is a standard "mini-PCI Card" type, which could be upgraded at any time very easily and relatively inexpensively --- except it's sheer hell to get to the Mobo because everything is glued together... (now to be fair, this WAS a CNET teardown, so it's entirely possible they're completely wrong, but it certaintly looked it it really was just a normal MPCI card)


Quite sure they existed, when I went and bought the 7140 that I have there was a choice between the 7139 w/ a i5 and a fan or the 7140 w/ the Core M and no fan. Same form factor and the extras (dock, both keyboards) work on both.

Plus I keep running into literature about the 713x series when i'm looking about how to do something. (I have yet to be able to get the thing booted from USB.. I also haven't tried that hard though)
I'll do a little more digging, though I question how good a "secondhand" one coudl be at this point if I even find it. I am very curious now though... :eek:

Let me register a vote for the Samsung PRO series of microSD cards, again PRO (grey cards), not the Evo (orange card). The PRO cards are much faster than most other microsd cards on the market, rated for 90MB/s read 50MB/s write, they actually seem to write in the 70MB/s range with a capable hardware interface.
I've read some good reviews on those, however most were the 64gb or smaller cards. have you tried one of the 128gb ones?

One of my SanDisk Ultra 64GB is getting flaky and hasn't even seen that much use. Need reliability so will stop using Made in China SanDisk and try South Korean Samsung next. Have had 100% reliability with Samsung DRAM products in workstations and servers.
I've only owned 1 Samsung MicroSD and it was like 8gb so it was swapped out fast, however I've been very happy with all my other samsung products, for what that's worth. Let me know how it goes, please :)
 

FnordMan

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What really pisses me off now is I watched a teardown of the SP3 on yourtube last night --- and it looks like the SSD is a standard "mini-PCI Card" type, which could be upgraded at any time very easily and relatively inexpensively --- except it's sheer hell to get to the Mobo because everything is glued together... (now to be fair, this WAS a CNET teardown, so it's entirely possible they're completely wrong, but it certaintly looked it it really was just a normal MPCI card)

I'll do a little more digging, though I question how good a "secondhand" one coudl be at this point if I even find it. I am very curious now though... :eek:
Yeah.. the teardown and non-upgradability is what steered me away from the surface tablets when I was looking at buying one. That and the stupid high res on the screen...

far as the 7139 goes, I did a bit more digging and it looks like one of the lair i5's see here, that is.. an i3 dual core in disguise. (found it on the dell site here via google...)

Trying to think of another tablet that would fit your requirements and coming up blank at the moment, every one that comes to mind is either an Atom or Core M.

edit: as far as the MicroSD card goes, i've got one of these in my tablet at the moment. My sentiments echo the poster above. Works fine for linear copies but the moment you try and run a game off it or anything else with random i/o performance drops through the floor. Just using it for bulk storage at the moment. If you do get a surface and need something with performance, i'd recommend getting a small usb 3.0 SSD instead.
 
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Ashton

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Yeah, if not for the difficulty in replacing it, I'm almost tempted to buy a surface with a broken screen, remove it, upgrade the SSD myself, then replace the screen... but I already tried to replace the screen on an iPod and know it's almsot impossible to get it to seat proeprly if there arent screws DESIGNED to make sure it sits where it should...

Its downright funny to me that there are SO many "convertable ultrabooks" with the specs I want, but really the SP3 is the ONLY pure tablet with them... I would be tempted by one of the ultrabooks, but I already had one of those in the past (an XP-Tablet-Edition powered Thinkpad that had the 'flip the screen over' opetion... and it weighed a freaking TON, useless for tablet function unless you were planning to sit it on a table (which defeated the purpose...)

I keep going back-and-forth on the 512gb surface pro for this reason --- I'd really like not having to worry about storage, but since I also have my beast of a laptop I dont really need the power of the i7 processor (and the near-double-cost) I really wish MS would offer all the tablets with the 512gb SSD... and of course the fact that the i7 also ahs better graphics....

Yeah... problem is one reason I want a tablet is so I can stuff it in my backpack quickly and easily, all the extra connectors are a no-sale for me... though I suppose I could install programs on there that I would only use when I'm going to be seated at a table for a long time... (though again, if I was doing that, I'd likely plan ahead and take my laptop)

At this point I'm probably going to get the 256gb i5 (though I'll watch a bit longer to try to snag an i7 when the SP4 drops, provided it's not a MASSIVE updrade (like an NVidea card or something) I'm sure right after the SP4 is released there will be huge discounts on the SP3... just hard to wait that long :p lol
 
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