SD cards will soon come with an app performance rating

Buyers of SD cards will soon be able to more accurately assess whether their purchase will be able to run applications as smoothly as if they were installed on integrated memory.

With many portable devices designed to have their storage bolstered by external cards, it’s easy to forget that the cards themselves can have a very real effect on app usage.

The SD Association has now unveiled its new Secure Digital 5.1 spec. The first to be revealed is the A1 category – these are the cards which perform the fastest and will allow apps to run at their full potential. This effectively means that devices are able to access the card’s memory at quick speeds, eradicating potential hold ups introduced by slower cards.

Anandtech reports that to be classed as A1, a card must feature sustained sequential performance of 10 MB a second as well as 1500 random read IOPS (input/output operations per second) and 500 random write IOPS.

This is actually similar to high-end Speed Class 10 cards that are already on the market, although the IOPS requirements are a new thing and important for cards that aren’t just used for file storage but also for the sort of rapid memory access required when running installed apps.

The changes will better allow buyers to decide when they do and don’t need to spend. For instance, those using SD cards for photography or video recording will have different requirements for those who use them to supplement their smartphone’s or console’s storage capacity, for instance.

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