SanDisk’s SD memory cards are among the best on the market. However, it’s difficult to tell at a glance which one is better or which one to choose, as they come in many varieties.
Perhaps you’ve been wondering about what the difference is between the SanDisk Extreme and the Extreme Pro. Or, maybe you want to know more before spending money on either.
In this article, we’ll take a look at SanDisk’s Extreme and Extreme Pro SD cards to find out which one is the best choice for you.
SanDisk Extreme Pro
16GB / 32GB / 64GB / 128GB / 256GB
32GB / 64GB / 128GB / 256GB / 512GB / 1TB
SDHC / SDXC
SDHC / SDXC
UHS-I / UHS-II
Video speed classes
V30 / V90
UHS speed class
Max read speeds
95MB/s, 170MB/s, 300MB/s
Max write speeds
40MB/s, 60MB/s, 70MB/s
$$ / $$$
When looking at the SanDisk Extreme Pro vs. Sandisk Extreme, we can see that they share very similar specs. They both come in SDHC and SDXC variants, and they share the same bus type, video speed class, and UHS speed class. Additionally, they both can withstand extreme conditions like high temperatures, water submersion, shocks, and x-ray exposure.
The SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-I has a maximum read speed (a.k.a. transfer speed) of up to 170MB/s compared to the 150MB/s of the SanDisk Extreme. However, the Extreme Pro also comes in a UHS-II type version which has a maximum read speed of up to 300MB/s.
The SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-I has a maximum write speed (a.k.a. shot speed) of up to 90MB/s compared to the 70MB/s of the SanDisk Extreme. The Extreme Pro UHS-II takes it a step further with a maximum shot speed of up to 260MB/s.
When comparing the price of the SanDisk Extreme vs. Pro, the latter is more expensive. This is due to the faster read and write speeds of the Extreme Pro SD cards.
If you’re an average hobbyist who doesn’t mind waiting a little longer to transfer your files and or are on a budget, then the Extreme memory card could be the one for you. It might take a little longer, but it will save you some money.
If you’re a professional, however, you’re more likely to be transferring a high volume of large files. So, investing in the more expensive Extreme Pro might be the way to go.
There are five different storage capacity options that you can choose from with the SanDisk Extreme series: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. The 16GB and 32GB cards are SDHC while the 64GB to 256GB capacity cards are SDXC.
The SanDisk Extreme memory cards are all Class 10 and U3, while only the 32GB and up cards share the V30 symbol. The higher the capacity that you choose, the higher the maximum read and write speed you’ll get:
SanDisk’s Extreme UHS-I cards can withstand operating temperatures from -13F to 185F (-25C to 85C). They are waterproof at a depth of 1m for 72 hours in salt- or freshwater. They are capable of withstanding 500Gs of shock. Lastly, they are immune to x-rays, which means they won’t get damaged when going through airport security.
SanDisk’s Extreme memory cards are less expensive than the Extreme Pro SD cards. This is mainly due to the lower transfer speeds.
However, this does not mean that the Extreme memory cards won’t do the job. In fact, both hobby photographers and professional photographers have praised the SanDisk Extreme’s durability and long lifespan.
It really depends on what you are going to use the card for and your budget. If you don’t need exceptionally large storage and don’t mind waiting slightly longer for transferring files, then the SanDisk Extreme memory card should do just fine.
When comparing the SanDisk Extreme Pro vs. Sandisk Extreme, you’ll see that the former has higher overall specs which means better performance.
The SanDisk Extreme Pro is the upgraded version of the SanDisk Extreme. This SD card was made with professionals in mind who do a lot of 4K video capturing or take long burst shots. You can choose from higher max capacity options, up to 1TB.
The SanDisk Extreme Pro Series is unique in that it comes in two different bus types: UHS-I and UHS-II.
SanDisk’s Extreme Pro UHS-I memory card has upgraded capacities compared to the Extreme series. As its name suggests, it’s made for professional photographers. However, even if you are just an average hobbyist but are okay with spending more to get the performance to go with it, this is a worthwhile investment.
There are six different storage capacity options to choose from with the SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-1 SD card: 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. The 32GB card is an SDHC-type, while 64GB to 1TB cards are SDXC.
All Extreme Pro UHS-I cards are Class 10, U3, and V30. Much like its predecessor, the higher the capacity you choose, the faster read and write speed you’ll get:
These cards boast the same level of durability as SanDisk’s other memory cards, as they’re designed to withstand harsh conditions. These cards are waterproof, temperature-proof, x-ray proof, and shock-proof.
These cards can handle extreme temperatures from -13F (-25C) and up to 185F (85C). They can handle being submerged underwater for 72 hours at a depth of 1m as well as up to 500Gs of shock. Furthermore, they are x-ray proof. So, if you travel a lot, you won’t have to worry about them getting damaged when your luggage goes through airport security.
SanDisk’s Extreme Pro SD cards are more expensive than their Extreme counterparts. This comes as no surprise considering the higher max capacity options you can choose from, as well as higher speed and overall performance.
The Extreme Pro UHS-II cards come in only three different capacities: 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB. The 32GB card is an SDHC-type, while the 64GB and 128GB cards are SDXC.
For these UHS-II types, all three cards are Class 10, U3, and V90. They also share the same maximum read speeds of up to 300MB/s, while the write speeds clock out at a whopping 260MB/s. This is double the transfer speed and nearly triple the write speed compared to the Extreme Pro UHS-I version.
Just like the other SanDisk memory cards, the Extreme Pro UHS-II cards can withstand extreme temperatures of -13F to 185F (-25C to 85C). If they get wet, you need not worry, as they are waterproof for up to 72 hours (3 days) at 1m. They can withstand 500Gs of shock, which is roughly equivalent to the weight of a steel wrench. On top of that, you can take them worry-free through airport security as they are x-ray proof.
The Extreme Pro UHS-II memory card types are more expensive than the Extreme and Extreme Pro UHS-I types. This is due to the even higher performance and read/write speeds of the UHS-II type memory cards. However, you sacrifice space as the max capacity of these cards only goes up to 128GB.
Class 10, the overall speed class, refers to the minimum write speed of SD cards. When it has reached its capacity write speed, it’ll momentarily drop to a minimum of 10MB/s.
This may seem drastic, but it’s actually the highest speed class available on the market. It’s suitable for full HD video recording and taking full HD sequential burst shots.
Video speed class refers to the minimum sustained write speed of the SD card. The SanDisk Extreme and the Extreme Pro UHS-I both sport a V30 speed class. The 30 in V30 stands for 30MB/s and can be used for up to 4K resolution video capturing.
The SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-II, on the other hand, features a V90 speed class. This means that it is able to perform at a minimum sustained write speed of 90MB/s. SD cards with a V90 spec class can be used for Super Hi-Vision System (SHV) 8K video capturing.
All SD cards in the Extreme and the Extreme Pro series sport a U3 UHS speed class. This refers to the minimum write speed where the 3 stands for 30MB/s. This UHS speed class is not to be confused with the bus type, UHS-I / UHS-II.
SanDisk Ultra is the precursor to the Extreme and the Extreme Pro SD cards. The Ultra SD card was made primarily for phones, tablets, and point-and-shoot cameras.
While it shares the speed class, Class 10, it has a lower UHS speed class (U1) and video speed class (V10). The maximum read and write speeds are 120MB/s and 30MB/s respectively.
If you’re a professional photographer, you will most likely require an SD card that can handle fast write speeds. Faster read speeds are also critical if you want to spend less time waiting for your files to transfer. Having a larger storage capacity may also be essential as RAW files take up considerably more space.
However, if you are simply looking for an SD card that can hold more vacation photos and don’t mind the slower transfer-to-computer speeds, a high-performance SD card may not be necessary.
When your SD card is inserted into a computer, don’t just physically pull it out of its port when you’re done. Make sure to safely eject it from your computer and carefully remove it.
Overloading your SD card constantly can affect its lifespan. It’s a good idea to empty it before it reaches its max capacity.
As with any tech, using it non-stop will significantly decrease its lifespan. Having a separate SD card to alternate with now and again will increase the lifespan of both your memory cards.
If data is being written to your SD card and your device runs out of juice during the process, this can cause technical problems. Not only that, but you could also risk losing data. Keeping your device charged goes a long way to preserving both the camera’s and the SD card’s lifespan.
It’s wise to get both your SD card and your card reader from the same company, as the reader has been designed specifically for their SD cards. This helps prevent data loss while extending its lifespan.
Reformatting your memory cards allows your device to write to the SD card more efficiently. When you reformat an SD card, it deletes any bad or corrupted files, which helps increase its lifespan.
Deleting files directly on your camera or phone will reduce its lifespan. It’s best to plug it into your computer to delete files or photos. It may take an extra step, but it goes a long way to giving your SD card a longer life.
Keeping your SD cards dust-free can also help you keep your SD card around for a long time. Simply clean it with a cloth now and then, and store it in a clean place away from dirt, dust, and fluids.
If you don’t mind spending a little more time transferring your photos to your computer, then the SanDisk Extreme SD card series would do just fine. They won’t break the bank and they’ll do the job right.
However, if you’re a professional photographer, then faster transfer times and higher shot speeds are key to getting your work done. This is where investing in the SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-I would be a no-brainer.
If you want to take it even further and invest in an SD card that will last a very long time, then we suggest going for the Extreme Pro UHS-II.