Although both are great SD cards, these two SanDisk products are very different beasts, indeed. They both have excellent performance and are both used by many professionals. But, when the push comes to shove, only one of these excels as an expert photographer/videographer choice.
This guide will teach you all about the differences between the SanDisk Ultra and SanDisk Extreme, as well as help you choose the perfect SD card for you.
Let’s start off with the factors that are either similar or identical in both units.
The fact that you get a 10-year limited warranty with the SanDisk Ultra may seem like a big downside when compared to the Extreme model. However, the Lifetime Limited Warranty you get with the latter model doesn’t mean a whole lot, as the technology advances will likely have you buying a new SD card sometime in the next 10 years.
Both SanDisk Ultra and SanDisk Extreme feature similar capacity choices of 8-256GB and 16-256GB, respectively. This is very important because the capacity tends to be one of key features when choosing an SD card.
Although not identical, the price tags on these cards are fairly similar. The prices of the SD Ultra and SD Extreme are around $20 and $30, respectively, but you wouldn’t really opt out of a favorite in order to pay some $10 less. You’re buying something that will probably last you a long while.
Before going deeper into comparisons, here are some quick facts for each one.
The cost/performance balance here is outstanding. As mentioned, this model goes for $20 apiece for the 128GB versions, which is quite a low price for all the storage that you get. It boasts a read speed of 80MB/s, which is great. The read speed retains a Class 10 rating, which means that this card can sustain 10MB/s continuous recording, at the very least.
For those who think that the 80MB/s of read speed is too low, good news! When benchmarked, this model peaked at 99.5MB/s, which is significantly higher than the quoted speed. Under-promising and over-delivering is always a nice thing to see in tech brands.
Truth to be told, the SanDisk Extreme cards are pretty much upgraded versions of the Ultra models. The Extreme boasts a transfer speed of up to 90MB/s. It is important to note that the SanDisk Extreme is definitely a card with better performance traits, at least on paper. Its read speed is higher and you get a lifetime warranty. It is shockproof, waterproof, and temperature-proof. But more importantly, its lifetime warranty comes with data recovery software.
The SanDisk Extreme may seem like a blatantly obvious choice here. However, if you aren’t familiar with the differences and aren’t really sure what you need, choosing one can easily become a problem.
If you’re looking for a budget card, the SanDisk Ultra is an excellent choice, as long as you don’t need it for recording videos in 4K resolution. If this is what you’re aiming at, you really don’t need the SanDisk Extreme. However, if you are a professional videographer, photographer, or even a semi-famous YouTuber who wants to upload top- quality videos, the SD Extreme beats its Ultra sibling any day of the week.
If you’re still not sure which model you should go with, it’s best to look at the features, as these will tell you what each model offers in more detail.
This card is two times faster than the typical SDHC card, meaning that transferring files and taking pictures are done quicker. The SD Ultra has exceptional video recording performance for 1080p full HD video (Class 10 rating). It is waterproof, X-ray proof, temperature-proof, and magnet-proof. Essentially, this model is fantastic for compact-to-midrange camcorders and digital cameras.
Far more advanced and professional, the SD Extreme features 70MB/s shot speeds and 150MB/s transfer speeds. If you need an SD card for sequential burst photography and 4K UHD video shoots, the Extreme is definitely the better choice. Additionally, it allows the user to film uninterrupted video material with Video Speed Class 30 (V30) and UHS Speed Class 3 (U3).
No Simple Answers
As it’s always the case with tech equipment, there is never a simple answer to the “which one’s the best?” question. It’s like buying a car; it all depends on your personal needs – whether you’re looking for speed, comfort, or both.
The SanDisk Extreme is definitely more advanced than its Ultra predecessor. However, if you don’t really need a monster SD card, you are probably better off with the Ultra version.
Which SanDisk card do you think is better? Sometimes the performances on paper don’t reflect the actual quality of delivery. Do you own one? Do you own both? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below.