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USB Flash Drives & Digital Flash Memory


1GB 2GB 4GB 8GB 16GB 32GB
Approximate number of images per card capacity
2 megapixel 1137 2274 4548 9096 18192 36384
3 megapixel 853 1706 3412 6824 13648 27296
4 megapixel 512 1024 2048 4096 8192 16384
5 megapixel 409 818 1636 3272 6544 13088
6 megapixel 320 640 1280 2560 5120 10240
7 megapixel 304 608 1216 2432 4864 9728
8 megapixel 292 584 1168 2336 4672 9344
10 megapixel 256 512 1024 2048 4096 8192
12 megapixel 220 440 880 1760 3520 7040
Approximate number of video minutes
MPEG4(H264) 130 260 520 1040 2080 4160
Approximate number of songs (4 minutes song)
MP3(128kbps) 240 480 960 1920 3840 7680
Approximate number of Emails
no attached files 21766 43532 87064 174128 348256 696512

Common information -content from Wikipedia (

Card family Standards organizations Varieties Entry date Picture Major features
CompactFlash SanDisk I 1994 Compactflash-512mb.png Thinner (3.3 mm), flash based only, sizes available up to 512MB
II Thicker (5.0 mm), older flash based, but usually Microdrives, sizes available up to 128 GB
SmartMedia Toshiba 3.3/5 V 1995 Smartmedia card.jpg Very thin (45.0 37.0 0.76 mm thick), no wear levelling controller, sizes available up to 128 MB
MultiMediaCard Siemens AG, SanDisk MMC 1997 MMC.png Thin and small (24 mm 32 mm 1.4 mm), sizes available up to 4 GB
RS-MMC/MMC Mobile 2003/2005 RS-MMC.png Compact size (24 mm 18 mm 1.4 mm), sizes available up to 2 GB
MMCplus 2005 MMCplus.jpg Compact size (24 mm 32 mm 1.4 mm), faster, optional DRM, sizes available up to 2  GB
MMCmicro 2005 Mmc-micro.PNG Sub compact size (14 mm 12 mm 1.1 mm), optional DRM, 16MB - 1GB
Secure Digital Panasonic, SanDisk, Toshiba, Kodak SD 1999 Secure Digital Kingston 512MB.png Small (32 mm 24 mm 2.1 mm), DRM, sizes available up to 2 GB
miniSD 2003 MiniSD Card 256MB.png Compact size (21.5 mm x 20 mm x 1.4 mm), DRM, available up to 2 GB
microSD 2005 MicroSD card.jpg Sub compact size (11 mm x 15 mm x 1 mm), DRM, available up to 4 GB[2]
SDHC 2006 SDHC memory card 8GB.png Physically the same as SD, but offers higher capacity and transfer speed, available up to 64 GB
miniSDHC 2007 SecureDigitalCard Mini.svg Physically the same as miniSD, but offers higher capacity and transfer speed, available up to 32 GB
microSDHC 2007 MicroSDHC-Card.gif Physically the same as microSD, but offers higher capacity and transfer speed, available up to 32 GB[3]
Memory Stick Sony/SanDisk Standard 1998 Memory Stick 64MB.png Thin and narrow (50 mm x 21.5 mm x 2.8 mm), optional DRM, available up to 128 MB
PRO 2003 Memory stick.jpg
(not to scale)
Thin and narrow (50 mm x 21.5 mm x 2.8 mm), faster, optional DRM, Memory up to 4 GB
Duo 2003 MemoryStickDuo32MB.jpg Compact size (31 mm x 20 mm x 1.6 mm), optional DRM, Memory up to 128 MB
PRO Duo 2002-06 MS-PRO-DUO.JPG Compact size (31 mm x 20 mm x 1.6 mm), optional DRM, available up to 32 GB
PRO-HG Duo 2007-08 Compact size (31 mm x 20 mm x 1.6 mm), faster , optional DRM, available up to 32 GB
Micro (M2) 2006-02 Memory Stick Micro.JPG Sub compact size (15 mm x 12.5 mm x 1.2 mm), optional DRM, available up to 16 GB
xD Olympus, Fujifilm Standard 2002-07 XD card 16M Fujifilm front.png Thin and small (20 mm 25 mm 1.78 mm), electrically identical to SmartMedia, no wear levelling controller, available up to 512 MB[4]
Type M 2005 XD card typeM 1G Fujifilm.png Thin and small (20 mm 25 mm 1.78 mm) but slower read/write, no wear levelling controller, available up to 2 GB[4]
Type H 2005 XD card typeH 512M Olympus.png Thin and small (20 mm 25 mm 1.78 mm) and faster than previous two versions, no wear levelling controller, available up to 2 GB[4]
USB flash drive Various USB 1.1/2.0/3.0 2001 Geil David 1GB AB.jpg
(not to scale)
Universally compatible across all computer platforms, but larger size suits them better to file transfer/storage instead of use in portable devices, available up to 256 GB

Flash Speed FAQ

Should I buy the highest flash speed rating possible?

Flash memory cards are rated as multiples of 150KB/s (kilobytes per second) - so a 12x card has a data transfer (read/write) rate of 12 x 150KB/s = 1800 KB/s or 1.8MB/s. Card are generally available now as 40X, 60X, 80X, 133X, 150X and even higher in some cases.

A 60X card has a transfer rate of 9 MB/s etc...

If you consider the speed of the card itself and not the capabilities of the camera, phone or other reader then the higher the speed rating, the faster your memory card can store images.

Take 50 images of 2MBytes each = 100Mbytes of data, here is the estimated time it will take to transfer these images at the rated flash speed

  • 10X will transfer at 1.2MB/s so it will take 83 seconds to transfer 100Mbytes of data
  • 40x will take 16 seconds
  • 80x will rake 8 seconds

However the flash card is only one of the parts responsible for transferring images. Your device must support this transfer rate. Putting high speed Z rated tires on your car will not really make it go any faster.

Usually only professionals who use expensive, specialized products can benefit from these high speed cards. Most people won't notice a difference because the actual performance of a flash card is limited more by your device than the flash card itself. Few people actually benefit from high-speed cards.

A camera has its own speed rating and when these products work together they'll work at the slowest common speed. If you use a 20X flash card in a camera designed to work at 10X speed, you'll be transferring data at the slower 10X speed.

Most camera manuals don't tell you what speed of flash card you should buy, usually recommending a type and maybe a manufacturer (who has often paid to be included in their recommended list). If your camera has resolution under five mega pixels, the speed rating of the flash card won't matter much. In fact many cameras will not work well with ultra high speed cards of 133X and 150X speeds because of the special formatting used to achieve these high speeds. The improvement you are likely to see in a higher rated card will be minimal and undetectable.

Should I buy high speed or not?

Professional photographers using professional-grade cameras should use high-speed flash (40X - 150X). If your camera has a pixel rate more than five mega pixels, you will benefit from a flash card with a higher speed rating. If your camera has a resolution less than five mega pixels, simply use cards rated less than 40X, this way you can ensure compatibility and not spend money unnecessarily on higher rated cards.

Flash Memory Cards and X-Speed Ratings

With image files quickly growing in size, the time it takes to store or write those files to a Flash card is becoming an important buying criterion for prosumers and professionals. Today, many Flash cards are sold with an "X" speed rating that is similar to how CD-ROM drives are sold. This rating system gives users a performance indicator of how fast the card can transfer images.

When comparing the X-speed ratings of Flash cards from different manufacturers, users need to beware that manufacturers define this rating differently and in some cases do not define it at all. Some definitions refer to the X-speed as "read" speed or "write" speed. Others use it to mean both and call it "data transfer" speed (referring to read and write speed). Kingston uses the "write" speed (found at as the basis for its X-speed rating.

Definition of X Speed Performance
Flash cards with a higher X-speed rating are designed to perform faster. The X-speed rating can also be translated into another common measurement of performance - MegaBytes (MB) per second of write speed. To determine the actual MB per second, you must know the value of "X" and do the math using the multiplier number and the value of X as claimed by the product. For example:

Value of X = 150 KiloBytes* per second, noted as 150 KB/sec.
50X = 50(multiplier of 150KB/sec) =7,500 KB/sec = 7.5 MB/sec

1 KB = 1,000 Bytes; 1 MB = 1 million Bytes.

Kingston's Elite Pro/Ultimate Flash Cards "X" Speed Ratings
Kingston defines X-speed as the write speed, because users generally care more about how long it takes to write data to a Flash card when using it in a digital camera or cell phone. Typically, read speeds are higher than write speeds for Flash cards, so the write speed is more meaningful when measuring performance.

The table shows Kingston Elite Pro/Ultimate X-speed rating versus the comparable MB/sec as calculated from the write speeds.

Kingston's Elite Pro/Ultimate Flash Cards
Elite Pro/Ultimate X Speed Comparable MB/sec.
45X 6.75
50X 7.5
100X 15
120X 18
133X 20

Source: Kingston Engineering Labs in benchmark testing;
Write speeds are listed in the products' data sheets found at

As an example, Kingston's 2-GB CompactFlash Elite Pro card is rated at a 50X; this translates to a write speed of 50 * (150 KB/sec.) meaning 7,500KB/sec or 7.5 MB/sec.

To support these results, Kingston tested its Flash cards on high-end testers, such as those from Testmetrix®. These testers measure the true read and write speed of the Flash cards in a way that is less dependent on the multitude of host devices.

Is a Faster "X" Rating Always Better?
When a Flash card is rated at 50X, does this mean that data will transfer at 7.5 MB/sec. in any digital camera or other host device? Not necessarily.

A digital camera, cell phone, or other host device is itself limited by the speed of its interface to the Flash card. Often, the host device has a lower read and write speed than the Flash card, so the end result is that the Flash card cannot operate at its best performance level. A good example of this is that a digital camera may only support 10X write speeds, so using a 45X or faster Elite Pro card will not improve performance. Most cameras or other host devices do not have clearly documented Flash card interface read or write speeds, so it may be difficult to know your host device's exact capabilities.

As a general rule of thumb, digital cameras with up to 5 megapixels will work just fine with standard-speed Flash cards (less than 45X). Newer professional cameras designed for continuous shooting with specifications of greater than 5 megapixels will benefit the most from Elite Pro/Ultimate cards rated at 45X or above.

If using a high-quality Flash card reader to transfer data to a computer, a Flash card with a higher X-speed rating will generally transfer its data faster, thereby reducing the time to copy data from the Flash card to the computer's hard drive.

Kingston Elite Pro/Ultimate Flash Cards for Quality and High Performance
Kingston's Flash cards deliver on the quality and high performance needed by prosumers and professionals alike. These cards also have speed headroom to support users who plan to upgrade later to newer and faster host devices.

As the world's leading independent memory products manufacturer, Kingston uses only top-quality Flash chips and manufactures Flash products in state-of-the-art factories. All cards come with a lifetime warranty, 24/7 technical support and Kingston's legendary reliability, making Kingston the ideal memory choice for Flash storage devices.

To see all our Readyboost enabled Flash drives please visit us here

Flash Cards Tips & Tricks:
Help! I can't retrieve my honeymoon photos from my memory card!

240 pin DDR2 and DDR3 184 pin DDR Gaming 184 pin Rambus 168 pin SDRAM 72 pin SIMM
204 pin DDR3 200 pin DDR and DDR2 144 pin SODIMM MicroDIMM
Sandisk SD and SDHC TF microSD cards CF Compact Flash USB Flash Drives miniSD Memory Stick XD Picture Card SmartMedia MMC ATA Flash SSD Drives ExpressCard/34
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