What’s the Difference Between SanDisk Ultra vs Extreme?

Why Compare The Sandisk Extreme vs Ultra?

Sandisk is one of the most well-known brands in this area whenever you are looking for new memory or SD cards. For instance, if you look up the best SD cards for the Nikon D3300, you’ll see that Sandisk is mentioned.

However, Sandisk offers a variety of memory cards, so just because they are made by the same company doesn’t imply they are identical. Similar to how not every Nikon camera is the same, not every Sandisk memory card is the same.

However, when it comes to similarities and differences, cameras are simpler to distinguish. A memory card is more challenging! The most crucial information regarding the Ultra, Extreme, and what each of them includes can be found on this page.

What is SanDisk Ultra?

Memory cards (SD cards) of the SanDisk Ultra SD Card range are primarily intended for amateur and beginning photographers who use smartphones or entry-level cameras.

This is due to the Ultra line’s inability to process the resolution provided by professional cameras quickly enough. But because of its intended audience, it is very accessible and broadly compatible.

Additionally, there are several forms. SanDisk Ultra microSD, Ultra SD Card, and Ultra micro SD cards with SD adapters are all readily available.

  • Ultra microSD UHS-I cards come in 64GB, 128GB, and 512GB capacities.
  • The Chromebook Ultra microSD card comes in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB capacities.
  • The Ultra SDHC/SDXC comes in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB capacities after that.
  • The capacities of the Ultra SDHC UHS-I and SDXC UHS-I cards range from 16GB to 512GB.

Regardless of the SD card you select, a memory card reader is required if you want to upload photographs and video files to your computer.

What is SanDisk Extreme?

In comparison to the SanDisk Ultra range, the Extreme series is more potent. These SanDisk memory cards can support 4K video and burst mode while shooting raw thanks to their faster reading and writing capabilities.

Although the Extreme is an improvement over the SanDisk Ultra, it is still only the next step down from the Extreme PRO, which is the top of the line for SanDisk memory cards.

So be careful not to mistake the SanDisk Extreme for the SanDisk Extreme PRO when you purchase one. Even if it wouldn’t be a problem and you’d actually be obtaining a product with better performance, you’d pay more money and it would probably be unnecessary for your needs.

When it comes to the SanDisk Extreme, it is also available in SD and microSD formats, unlike the Ultra, and it also supports CompactFlash.

Additionally, there are fewer capacities available, with a top limit of 256GB. If you require a greater capacity for high-resolution photographs and movies and/or a maximum write speed, you should look into the SanDisk Extreme Pro.

  • The storage capacities of SanDisk Extreme SD UHS-I include 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB.
  • There are three storage sizes for SanDisk Extreme microSD for mobile gaming: 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB.
  • 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB capacities are available for SanDisk Extreme CompactFlash.

Sandisk SD Card Specifications Meaning

The SD and microSD card characteristics can be very perplexing if you want to discover which SanDisk SD card is superior to another. The SD card seen above contains a variety of symbols, each of which denotes a distinct meaning. You will be able to evaluate SanDisk Extreme and Ultra cards more effectively if you comprehend these.

Complete explanations of these subjects, including the distinction between an SDXC card and an SDHC card, are provided below, along with responses to some additional queries.

Card Type: SDXC

The cards are all SDXC. With SDXC (Secure Digital eXtended Capacity) memory cards having a capacity range of 32 GB to 2 TB, this only pertains to the internal data architecture of the camera. Lower capacity cards from the same model will be SDHC (less than 32 GB).

You shouldn’t be concerned about the discrepancy between SDHC and SDCX’s theoretical maximum capacities. Using the card’s real capacity rather than its kind is clearly much superior.

Bus Type: I

This is a reference to the highest possible theoretical read and write speeds for a specific memory card, in this case UHS-I. (Ultra High Speed). The new UHS-II cards aren’t cheap, but they also aren’t outrageously pricey. However, they are only usable with cameras that can handle the extra pins in these memory cards, so if you don’t have one of those, you can’t use them.

Video Class: V30

The continuous writing the card is rated for are shown by the V number on the card.

The more continuous writes it can do, the higher the number. It makes sense, doesn’t it?

Currently, the popular V-classes available on the market are:


When discussing video recording, these figures are crucial. You should choose the highest video class you can afford if you plan to shoot a lot of high resolution or video at a high frame rate.

Speed Class: 10

This number is within a C. It is typically designated as a class 10, which is a dated and widely used method of rating speed. The memory cards we suggest here are all of class 10. The UHS or video classes are your best bet for more precise information.

Durability, Operating Temperature & Storage Temperature

Due to the physical similarities of all flash memory cards, every memory card you purchase will be physically the same or very similar.

The only possible distinction between memory cards with and without metal cases is that certain of the former may be more resistant to physical harm. walking on it!”). I haven’t seen this feature on any of the SanDisk cards, and I don’t think it’s that helpful.


You can save this many photos and videos (or files of this size) on the SD card. Always purchase the biggest capacity you can. Remember that if one of your cards fails catastrophically, your images are more likely to be lost if you have fewer, larger capacity cards.

Sequential Write Speed

When purchasing memory cards, the Sequentially Write Speed is the most crucial factor to consider.

The Sandisk Extreme SD card has a maximum sequential write speed of 89.1 MB/s. Maximum sequential write speed for the Sandisk Extreme PRO is 98 MB/s. These speeds come from from testing in the real world. 90% of these performance numbers are normally specified by manufacturers when the card is inserted into their cameras.

Every digital camera has internal memory buffers. The picture is originally saved in this buffer once you hit the shutter button, and then it is later delivered to the memory card.

This internal memory is utilised to store a burst of swiftly snapped photographs and has much faster read and write rates than anything else available. Your camera’s internal buffer explains why it may take pictures at 3, 10, or 20 frames per second.

Photos begin to be transmitted to your memory card after they have been stored in the internal buffer. Once on the SD card, they are later removed from the buffer.

Pay close attention to sequential write speed if you shoot a lot of sports, nature, or street photography. If you don’t shoot a lot of bracketed exposures, this is less important for landscape photographers. But if you are, you might want to think about using a different camera.

As a result, the memory card’s write speed affects how many images you can take in a burst before the card fills up and you have to stop.

The rate at which writing may be continued for extended stretches of time is referred to as the sequential write speed. This number comes from research and development lab testing, and although it is unclear from my study how long the sequential write speed is tested for, it is most likely a few minutes.

Look over the next section once more to learn what these write speeds actually represent in real-world situations.

Sequential Read Speed

With regard to memory cards, write speed is more crucial than read speed. Simply expressed, this is the speed at which data can be transferred from one device, such as your computer, to another.

A few years ago, your memory card and USB connection were the only things stopping you from swiftly downloading photos from your camera to your computer. These days, write speeds are more important than USB connections.

Keep in mind that the highest read speeds indicated are typically roughly twice as fast as the performance you’ll experience.

Only if your memory card has a capacity of 64GB or more will read speed matter if you’re transferring a lot of images to your computer. Otherwise, there won’t be any obvious distinctions between memory cards with various capacities.

Sequential read speed is not a major concern unless you work as a professional sports photographer or photojournalist, where time is of the essence.

What’s The Difference Between SanDisk Ultra vs Extreme?

You don’t have to feel constrained while selecting your next memory card between SanDisk Ultra and Extreme. To make the decision easier, let’s compare these two memory cards side by side across the most crucial card specifications.

Read/Write Speeds

How quickly your memory card can receive data from your device and transfer data to it depends on its reading and writing rates.

For instance, if your reading speed is slow, there will be a delay when playing back images or movies. Between the time you take a picture and when it is stored to your card at a reduced writing speed, there can be a waiting period.

Bus speeds or UHS-Class ratings are terms used to describe speed capabilities in the context of memory cards. How rapidly a memory card can import and export data from the device depends on the bus speed.

Bus Speed

The SanDisk Extreme and SanDisk Ultra cards are both UHS-1. This rating indicates that the entrance and outflow of data are both controlled by a single row of pins on both SD cards.

Because there is just one row of pins, you cannot view other saved media while something is downloading to the card. Imagine it as a road with only one lane. Traffic can only move in one direction at once.

UHS-1 cards only have a single row of pins and are only capable of 104mb/s of data transfer. The UHS class, on the other hand, is an additional consideration when it comes to card speed.

UHS Class

The amount of data that a card can transfer continuously depends on its speed class. The card will inevitably perform better when taking video or burst shots with a faster continuous write speed.

The SanDisk Ultra is classified as having an U1 speed, as indicated by the U inside a 1. This indicates that a transfer speed of up to 10MB/S can be supported by the card.

Contrast that to the SanDisk Extreme, which is 3 times faster at transferring data than the SanDisk Ultra and has a speed class of U3. The Extreme is a clear choice in terms of speed abilities because it can maintain transfer speeds up to 30MB/S.

On paper, 20MB/S per second might not sound like much, but when you’re actually filming, it makes a big impact. As a result, there would be less buffering while taking burst images and additional formats for 4K video recording.

Speed Class

The letter C on a card denotes the card’s speed class. Both the SanDisk Extreme and Ultra cards have a C10 speed class.

Simply said, the speed class is intended to display the card’s minimum write speed. The SanDisk Ultra and Extreme both have a minimum write speed of 10MB/S with a C10 speed rating.

For many devices, additional speed classes may be necessary in addition to the minimum write speed. Both the Sandisk Ultra and Sandisk Extreme cards will work with the majority of contemporary devices because the C10 speed class is the highest rating.

Although there are some similarities between the SanDisk Ultra and Extreme, the huge speed gains in this category are too compelling to ignore. SanDisk Extreme is the undisputed winner for this reason.

SanDisk Extreme wins.

Storage Capacity Options

It’s crucial to select a memory card with the appropriate capacity. You don’t want to run out of room just as you’re about to get the perfect video clip, especially if you’re filming!

In terms of available capacities, the SanDisk Ultra and SanDisk Extreme SD cards are comparable. While the Extreme is available in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB, the Ultra is available in 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB.

Extreme offers just one additional capacity option, so there isn’t much of a distinction between the two. Both of these cards are fairly similar to one another in that regard.

Winner: Tie

Card Type

The SDXC (Secure Digital Extreme Capacity) cards used by the SanDisk Ultra and Extreme are exFAT storage types. ExFAT basically indicates that the cards have a capacity more than 32GB and can store any size files.

With being said, the SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) format is used by the SanDisk Ultra 32GB model and the SanDisk Extreme 16GB and 32GB.

The limitation of 4GB for single file storage in FAT32 is a drawback. This implies that you couldn’t possibly put a single 4GB video file on this card.

However, it’s unlikely that you would use either of these capacity ranges regardless if you intended to record video.

Winner: Tie

Video Speed Class

If you compare the SanDisk Ultra and Extreme cards, you’ll see that the Extreme cards have “V30” written on them but the SanDisk Ultra cards don’t. The SD association originally used this V to denote sequential writing speeds when it developed the term “Video Speed Class.”

The MB per second the card can record is indicated by the number next to the V. The SanDisk Extreme card’s V30 rating indicates that it can write data sequentially at a speed of 30MB/S.

To put that into perspective, the V30 is more than adequate for recording 4K video in the 4:2:2 aspect ratio on virtually any DSLR or mirrorless camera.

There is no indication of a video class rating on SanDisk Ultra cards. There isn’t a video class rating, therefore you have to base your decision on the speed class, which in this case is C10.

This indicates that the SanDisk Ultra cards can only record Full HD 1080p video at 10mb/s.

10mb/s simply won’t do if you want to record anything with a greater resolution or bit rate. The SanDisk Extreme card tops the list once more.

Winner: SanDisk Extreme


Despite all other factors, only the price can influence your choice when purchasing a memory card. There is a small pricing difference because the SanDisk Ultra vs Extreme are two separate versions. especially considering the Extreme’s numerous, obvious advantages.

Starting with the SanDisk Ultra, the cheapest 32GB SD card costs $9.99 at the time this essay is being written. The 256GB option is the most expensive, costing $32.30.

The SanDisk Extreme Card costs a little bit more overall. You’re looking at $18.99 for the Extreme’s 32GB variant. It costs $48.90 to upgrade to the 256GB version.

The various benefits that the SanDisk Extreme Card offers justify the price difference between these two cards. However, the SanDisk Ultra is slightly more enticing only on the basis of pricing.

Which Should You Buy – Is SanDisk Ultra Better Than Extreme SD Cards

The SanDisk Ultra SD card is a good choice if you only take pictures. However, the SanDisk Extreme SD card should be your pick if you desire faster speed performance when shooting in burst mode or filming 4K video.

If it were up to me, I would select the SanDisk Extreme because it is the superior of the two versions. Get the most capable memory card you can afford since they will last you for many years and through several cameras.

Using SanDisk Extreme cards offers a significant improvement over SanDisk Ultras due to their higher writing speeds and shorter buffer times. The Extreme card allows you opportunity to expand as 4K footage becomes more prevalent, especially in compact cameras.

The SanDisk Ultra is a good choice, though, if you merely need an SD card for a device other than a camera or know you’ll only be taking pictures. You can save almost all other necessary data even though it doesn’t support 4K video recording.

The SanDisk Ultra is more affordable, especially if you’re looking for a card for your phone, tablet, or mobile gaming device.

What you aim to shoot is what matters most in the end. Choose the SanDisk Extreme cards if you are a photographer and want to enhance your work without constraints.

But the SanDisk Ultra cards are a less expensive option if you’re more of a casual shooter or only require an SD card for basic file storage.

Final Thoughts on Comparing The Sandisk Ultra vs Extreme

As you can see, the Extreme is faster when write speeds are compared, but it doesn’t necessarily imply it will be better for you. Everything relies on the sort of camera you use and the style of photography you conduct.

An entry-level camera is unlikely to record 4K video and may not have the quickest frame rates in burst mode, so you may not require an Extreme card’s added performance.

It’s crucial to take into account your unique requirements when choosing between SanDisk Ultra and Extreme rather than only focusing on the technical specifications and cold data.

I sincerely hope this post has improved your knowledge about the finest SD card for your needs.


What’s The Fastest SanDisk SD Card?

The SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC UHS-II SD card, which boasts a blistering 300mb/s transfer speed, is the fastest SanDisk SD card that is currently on the market.

Is SanDisk Ultra good for 4K?

The quick response is no. The writing speeds are the cause. The Sandisk Ultra can write sequentially at a rate of about 50 MB/s. Additionally, its video speed class is too low (V10). The suggested minimum speed class is V30. This wouldn’t be a suitable solution for 4k video with a high bit rate, even though it would be fine for some 4k activity cams.

A Sony A7iii, for instance, can shoot 4k at 100MB/s. The SanDisk UItra’s would become obsolete as bit rates and quality continue to rise, and this card would only provide half the necessary speed (in terms of high-end video). As the minimum card for 4K recording, we advise Sandisk Extreme Pro’s (UHS-I) for about 30% more.

Is SanDisk Ultra Good?

SanDisk Ultra is an effective card for recording HD video and still images. Although its reading and writing rates aren’t the fastest, it provides enough for point-and-shoot cameras or entry-level DSLRs.

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