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DVRs do not have built-in stor­age, so users are forced to buy a mem­o­ry card sep­a­rate­ly. When choos­ing, you need to take into account not only the amount of mem­o­ry, but also oth­er equal­ly impor­tant cri­te­ria: form fac­tor, speed class and the num­ber of rewrit­ing cycles. Oth­er­wise, the auto-reg­is­trar will work with delays, and the card will quick­ly fail or not fit into the device slot at all.

Source: cnet.com

We have put togeth­er a detailed guide on how to choose the right mem­o­ry card and ranked the best cards for the DVR.

DVR SD Card Speed ​​Class

The vol­ume of a flash card for an autoreg­is­trar

SDHC and SDXC — what’s the dif­fer­ence

Mem­o­ry card and DVR com­pat­i­bil­i­ty

Mem­o­ry card dura­bil­i­ty

Oth­er spec­i­fi­ca­tions and fea­tures of mem­o­ry cards

Top Mem­o­ry Cards for DVRs

Results

DVR SD Card Speed ​​Class

All SD and microSD flash dri­ves are labeled to iden­ti­fy their speed class. Each recorder records video in a cer­tain qual­i­ty, which depends on the tech­ni­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics of the device.

The basic min­i­mum for DVRs is Class 10 (C10) or UHS 1 (U1). They pro­vide lin­ear con­tin­u­ous record­ing of video files at a speed of more than 10 Mb / s. For most recorders shoot­ing in HD or Full­HD res­o­lu­tion, this is enough.

If the device records video in high­er qual­i­ty (QHD or UHD 4K), or writes Full­HD, but at 60 FPS, a class of at least UHS 3 (U3) is required. Such a dri­ve stores data at a speed of 30 Mb / s.

The mark­ing of the speed class is stan­dard­ized and is found on flash dri­ves of dif­fer­ent brands. Source: jeffgeerling.com

On some mod­ern SD cards, there is a speed class mark­ing for video record­ing. It is denot­ed by the let­ter V and a num­ber. It indi­cates the data stor­age speed in Mb/s. If the DVR shoots in HD and Full­HD at 30 FPS, the V10 mark­ing is enough for it. High­er res­o­lu­tions require V30 or V60.

The volume of a flash card for an autoregistrar

With this indi­ca­tor, every­thing is ele­men­tary: the more capa­cious the dri­ve, the bet­ter. Dur­ing cyclic shoot­ing with con­stant over­writ­ing of old files, the increased vol­ume reduces the load on each indi­vid­ual flash mem­o­ry cell. So, to save 1 TB of data, a 16 GB flash dri­ve will over­come 64 rewrite cycles, and a 64 GB dri­ve with the same file size will go through only 16 cycles. There­fore, under the same loads, a less capa­cious card will exhaust its resource four times faster.

Each DVR has a lim­it on the max­i­mum allowed size of the dri­ve. In inex­pen­sive mod­els, it is usu­al­ly lim­it­ed to 32–64 GB, since they do not work with the exFAT file sys­tem (sup­ports more than 64 GB). Advanced DVRs sup­port flash cards up to 256 GB.

To under­stand which mem­o­ry card is best for the DVR, study the device spec­i­fi­ca­tions in the instruc­tions or on the offi­cial web­site. The main thing is not to save much by buy­ing cards of the min­i­mum vol­ume. Oth­er­wise, they will become unus­able too quick­ly due to the huge num­ber of rewrite cycles. If the DVR sup­ports up to 256 GB, please buy at least 128 GB card for it. A 64 GB dri­ve is also suit­able, but it will quick­ly exhaust its over­writ­ing resource.

SDHC and SDXC — what’s the difference

The HC and XC mark­ings in the name indi­cate the max­i­mum stor­age capac­i­ty: SDHC can hold up to 32 GB, and SDXC — from 32 GB to 2 TB. The speed of writ­ing or read­ing data does not depend on this in any way. Those who think HC is slow com­pared to XC are wrong. The speed class in SDHC and SDXC cards is marked the same, that is, you only need to take into account the record­ing res­o­lu­tion of the video recorder. In fact, you can gen­er­al­ly ignore the HC or XC para­me­ter, tak­ing into account only the vol­ume of the dri­ve instead.

The SDXC mark­ing indi­cates that the card’s capac­i­ty exceeds 32 GB. Source: lumoid.com

Memory card and DVR compatibility

When buy­ing a dri­ve, you need to make sure it is com­pat­i­ble with the reg­is­trar. There are no uni­ver­sal cards. Some mod­els have a microSD slot, while oth­ers use a full-size SD card slot.

There is noth­ing com­pli­cat­ed here. Com­pat­i­bil­i­ty can be deter­mined visu­al­ly by look­ing at the slot, or by read­ing the tech­ni­cal doc­u­men­ta­tion. MicroSD cards are often sold with a full size SD adapter. Pay atten­tion to this point so that you do not have to buy it sep­a­rate­ly if the device does not sup­port microSD. Their max­i­mum vol­ume does not depend on the for­mat and reach­es 2 TB.

Memory card durability

An impor­tant ques­tion is which mem­o­ry card to choose for the DVR so that it does not fail pre­ma­ture­ly due to the con­stant over­writ­ing of cells. Their type is rarely indi­cat­ed in the tech­ni­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics of dri­ves, and their resource depends on it. But there are sev­er­al com­pa­nies that indi­cate this para­me­ter.

Tran­scend uses MLC type flash mem­o­ry for H500S and High Endurance series microSD cards. Dri­ves on the MLC can be dis­tin­guished by their gold­en col­or.

On sale you can find cards of increased reli­a­bil­i­ty, in which 10V is indi­cat­ed at the end of the mark­ing: TS32GUSDHC10V or TS64GUSDXC10V.

The Tran­scend cat­a­log has sil­ver flash dri­ves, which are also dis­tin­guished by increased reli­a­bil­i­ty. They are labeled High Endurance and con­tain the sym­bols 350V in the mod­el name: for exam­ple, TS128GUSD350V. They are not suit­able for CCTV cam­eras that record 24/7, but for a car recorder their resource is quite enough.

Tran­scend’s High Endurance series is rec­og­niz­able by its dis­tinc­tive sil­ver col­or and mark­ings. Source: ixbt.com

San­Disk labels its rugged DVR and oth­er record­ing cards with the words Extreme, Extreme PRO, and High Endurance. For exam­ple, if your car recorder saves video in Full­HD, a San­Disk Extreme microS­DXC Class 10 UHS Class 3 V30 A1 90MB/s 64GB dri­ve will do.

For West­ern Dig­i­tal, flash cards with a high num­ber of write cycles are col­ored magen­ta, sim­i­lar to hard dri­ves for video sur­veil­lance. The line is called WD Pur­ple.

In the Kingston range, durable cards can be iden­ti­fied by mod­el code. For DVRs, the High Endurance (let­ter E), Can­vas Go (G) and Indus­tri­al Tem­per­a­ture (IT) series are intend­ed. The names of these mem­o­ry cards look like this: SDCG2/128GB, SDCE/64GB.

Sam­sung refers to its SD and microSD dri­ves for loop­ing video record­ing as PRO Endurance. One suit­able mod­el is Sam­sung microS­DXC PRO Endurance UHS‑I U1 100MB/s 64GB.

Other specifications and features of memory cards

Out­ward­ly iden­ti­cal SD dri­ves can have fun­da­men­tal­ly dif­fer­ent char­ac­ter­is­tics and fea­tures. The main role is played by the para­me­ters that we have already con­sid­ered, but there are a num­ber of addi­tion­al options. They increase the cost of cards and are not required by all users:

  • Water­proof. Ordi­nary mem­o­ry cards, like any elec­tron­ics, are not friend­ly with mois­ture and water. Some devel­op­ers use Water Proof tech­nol­o­gy in the pro­duc­tion of dri­ves. It increas­es mois­ture resis­tance. This func­tion is not required for the car recorder. It is use­ful for action cam­eras for under­wa­ter shoot­ing.
  • Impact resis­tance. This option is also not need­ed by motorists. Such cards are used by motor­cy­clists who attach an action cam­era to their hel­mets. Drop­ping or even strong shak­ing may result in loss of record­ed data. To pre­vent this from hap­pen­ing, you need to choose a shock-resis­tant dri­ve.
  • Tem­per­a­ture surge pro­tec­tion. This fea­ture is called Tem­per­a­ture Proof. The DVR installed under the wind­shield is sub­ject to intense heat from sun­light. Over­heat­ing will dam­age a reg­u­lar dri­ve, so dri­vers who live in the south­ern regions can play it safe and buy a Tem­per­a­ture Proof card.
  • Radi­a­tion pro­tec­tion. This option is also not need­ed for con­ven­tion­al DVRs. It is use­ful if the dri­ve is installed in a cam­era that needs to be car­ried through an X‑ray frame at the air­port.

The more options, the more expen­sive the dri­ve. There­fore, before buy­ing a card, think about which ones you need.

Top Memory Cards for DVRs

Now let’s find out which card to choose for the DVR, depend­ing on the price. From the cheap­est dri­ves for less than 1000 rubles, you should not expect a record speed or a large resource in the form of 50,000 hours of rewrit­ing. But if you don’t dri­ve much, and your DVR works on aver­age 1–2 hours a day, even a cheap card will last more than one year.

SmartBuy microSDHC Class 10

The Tai­wanese com­pa­ny has been oper­at­ing since 1998, and has been releas­ing flash cards since 2011. The card has a capac­i­ty of only 32 GB and is sold with­out an MMC adapter (adapter to full-size SD). The man­u­fac­tur­er claims the ser­vice life of the Smart­Buy microS­D­HC Class 10 dri­ve is 10 years, but in real­i­ty the card resource lasts an aver­age of 5–6.

Smart­Buy microS­D­HC Class 10 is a non­de­script black flash dri­ve with white mark­ings. Source: overclockers.ru

At a price of about 1100 rubles, it has a lot of advan­tages.

Pros:

  • a brand with a long his­to­ry;
  • low cost;
  • hon­est speed cor­re­spond­ing to the mark­ing;
  • 1 year war­ran­ty.

Minus­es:

  • the ser­vice life is twice as short as stat­ed.

Silicon Power microSDXC Elite Class 10 UHS‑I U1

The com­pa­ny has been oper­at­ing since 2003 and spe­cial­izes in hard dri­ves, mem­o­ry cards and oth­er stor­age devices, includ­ing microSD. The man­u­fac­tur­ing facil­i­ties are based in Tai­wan, but this does not pre­vent the brand from pro­duc­ing high qual­i­ty prod­ucts and giv­ing a one-year war­ran­ty.

Sil­i­con Pow­er microS­DXC Elite Class 10 UHS‑I U1 is suit­able for many elec­tron­ic devices: cam­eras, smart­phones, DVRs. It has a capac­i­ty of 64 GB and is sold with an adapter for SD. The price of the dri­ve is about 900 rubles.

Pros:

  • real write and read speed cor­re­spond­ing to the declared indi­ca­tors;
  • suit­able for cyclic video dub­bing;
  • adapter includ­ed;
  • 1 year war­ran­ty.

Minus­es:

  • brit­tle body mate­r­i­al.

Transcend microSDXC 350V

A 128 GB mem­o­ry card has a record­ing resource of up to 170 TB in Full­HD for­mat. These media oper­ate over a wide tem­per­a­ture range from ‑25°C to +85°C. They are water­proof and vibra­tion resis­tant. Also, they are not afraid of x‑ray radi­a­tion and they are not affect­ed by sta­t­ic elec­tric­i­ty. The price starts from 2300 rubles.

Tran­scend microS­DXC 350V comes with a full SD adapter. Source: droidnews.ru

Pros:

  • 2 year man­u­fac­tur­er’s war­ran­ty;
  • resource up to 170 TB;
  • wide oper­at­ing tem­per­a­ture range;
  • mois­ture and vibra­tion pro­tec­tion.

Minus­es:

  • price from 2300 rubles.

Samsung microSDHC Evo Plus Class 10

Mem­o­ry card of a well-known Kore­an man­u­fac­tur­er. Sam­sung microS­D­HC Evo Plus Class 10 32 GB costs about 1300 rubles. This is a uni­ver­sal stor­age. It stands out for its high speed of read­ing and writ­ing data. Suit­able for DVRs, although the man­u­fac­tur­er also has mem­o­ry cards that are more resource-inten­sive and resis­tant to over­writ­ing.

Pros:

  • well-known glob­al brand;
  • unin­ter­rupt­ed work;
  • SD adapter includ­ed.

Minus­es:

  • heats up dur­ing inten­sive work;
  • uni­ver­sal, not spe­cial­ized card for DVRs.

Samsung microSDXC PRO Endurance

Mem­o­ry cards are pre­sent­ed in microS­D­HC and microS­DXC for­mats and have a capac­i­ty of 32 to 128 GB. Durable dri­ves designed specif­i­cal­ly for DVRs can with­stand up to 44,000 hours of rewrit­ing. They have good speed per­for­mance and are reli­able.

They work in the tem­per­a­ture range ‑25 °C to +85 °C. They are not afraid of X‑rays, so you can safe­ly pass the check at the air­port with them, the X‑ray machine will not dam­age the saved data. They cost from 1700 rubles for 64 GB.

Pros:

  • 2 year man­u­fac­tur­er’s war­ran­ty;
  • with­stands a wide tem­per­a­ture range;
  • cor­re­sponds to the declared speed indi­ca­tors;
  • with­stands up to 44,000 hours of video dub­bing.

Minus­es:

  • price from 1700 rubles for 64 GB.

SanDisk SDHC Extreme Pro Class 10

The mem­o­ry card com­plies with UHS‑I U3 require­ments and is suit­able for instal­la­tion in DVRs that record video in 4K for­mat. This is San­Disk’s gold­en series, fea­tur­ing ultra-high reli­a­bil­i­ty and dura­bil­i­ty. San­Disk SDHC Extreme Pro Class 10 dri­ves are resis­tant to mois­ture and vibra­tion. The max­i­mum write and read speed reach­es 95 Mb / s. The price for this mem­o­ry card starts from 2100 rubles for 32 GB.

San­Disk SDHC Extreme Pro are avail­able in a wide range of sizes — from 32 to 256 GB. Source: droidnews.ru

Pros:

  • designed specif­i­cal­ly for DVRs;
  • suit­able for 4K video record­ing;
  • pro­tect­ed from mois­ture and not afraid of vibra­tions.

Minus­es:

Results

Which mem­o­ry card to choose for the DVR, you need to decide based on its tech­ni­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics. The more vol­ume it sup­ports, the more capa­cious the dri­ve should be bought. Sav­ing on giga­bytes is inap­pro­pri­ate, as this will reduce the resource of the card. More­over, there are not the most expen­sive options, such as Sil­i­con Pow­er microS­DXC Elite Class 10 UHS‑I U1 64 GB for only 900 rubles.

Speed ​​is also easy. If the DVR records video in Full­HD for­mat, almost any mod­ern flash dri­ve is suit­able for it. Slow microS­Ds below the tenth grade are a thing of the past and are almost nev­er found on sale.

Reli­a­bil­i­ty is anoth­er impor­tant para­me­ter. It is bet­ter to over­pay a lit­tle and buy a card that is designed for cyclic rewrit­ing. Oth­er­wise, the mem­o­ry cells will quick­ly become unus­able, and the card will fail. If you need a reli­able dri­ve with a long resource, the San­Disk SDHC Extreme Pro Class 10 will do, but you will have to pay 2100 rubles for 32 GB.

Look for SD dri­ves labeled Pro, Endurance, or Extreme depend­ing on the brand. These marks indi­cate the increased reli­a­bil­i­ty of the mem­o­ry card and increased resource in con­di­tions of con­stant data over­writ­ing.

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