UHS Speed Class is divided into two ratings, the UHS-I and UHS-III which is commonly known as U1 and U3.  Today, we are going to compare SD Card U1 vs U3 and see the performance difference between these memory card types.

Let’s get started!

U1 vs U3 – Physical Appearance


The main difference that you can notice by looking at both U1 and U3 cards is on the card’s contacts. U3 memory cards have an extra row of contact points below the main connection points of the card.

On the other hand, U1 memory cards only have one row of contact points.  The extra row of pins on the U3 SD card allows for faster transfer speeds which we will discuss in detail below.

U1 vs U3 – Speed and Performance


Now, the most important thing between these two types of cards is their speed performance. U1 cards were first introduced in 2010 which packs a maximum bus speed of 104 MB per second.

On the other hand, U3 SD cards were first introduced in CES 2017 and feature a max bus speed of 624 MB per second which is six times faster compared to the U1 SD card.

U1 cards are mostly used for regular day to day tasks and can record videos of up to 1080p resolution which is decent for most mid-range cameras.  On the other hand, U3 SD cards are built for professionals who use DSLR cameras and action cameras that can shoot 4k videos.

Now that we have identified the key differences between the two card types, let us take a look at some of the best U1 and U3 memory cards in the market.

 

Best U3 SD Card in 2020


Lexar Professional 2000x U3 SD Card

SALE
Lexar Professional 2000x 64GB SDXC...
1,673 Reviews
Lexar Professional 2000x 64GB SDXC...
  • High-speed performance—leverages UHS-II technology (U3) for a read transfer speed...
  • Captures high-quality images and extended lengths of stunning 1080p full-HD, 3D, and...
  • Includes SD UHS-II reader for high-speed file transfer from card to computer,...

One of the best U3 memory cards that you can get in the market right now is the Lexar Professional 2000x. It features a 300 MB per second transfer speed which is best for large file transfers. In terms of write speed, the Lexar Professional 2000x holds its own with a maximum write speed of 260 MB per second. This is enough for smooth and seamless 4k video recording on most high-end cameras.

Polaroid Extreme Performance U3 Memory Card

64GB High Speed SD Card U3, UHS-1...
179 Reviews
64GB High Speed SD Card U3, UHS-1...
  • Up to 95MB/s Read Speed and 90MB/s Write Speed with Class 10 and UHS-I/U3...
  • Ideal for 4K Content, Burst mode shooting and High Resolution Pictures.
  • Record and Transfer videos, photos, music and files at lightning fast speeds.

If you are looking for a mid-range option that offers decent performance for a reasonable price, then you should consider the Polaroid Extreme Performance SD Card. It is priced at $52 on Amazon for the 64 GB storage. For that price, you will get a good transfer speed which can reach up to 95 MB per second which is enough for transferring 2-4 GB of files at once. In terms of write speed, the Polaroid Extreme Performance card packs a 90 MB per second write speed which is enough for decent 4k video recording.

Transcend High-Speed U3 SD Card

SALE
Transcend 64 GB High Speed 10 UHS-3...
2,386 Reviews
Transcend 64 GB High Speed 10 UHS-3...
  • Ideal for Full 1080p HDD, Ultra 2160p HD, 3D and 4K video recording.Operating...
  • Up to 95/60 MB/s ; Minimum constant 30 Mb/s write speed guaranteed for real-time...
  • Supports Ultra High Speed Class 3 specification (U3)

For a budget U3 SD card, the Transcend High-Speed memory card offer entry-level performance for a cheap price. For transfer speeds, the card can reach up to 90 MB per second read speed which is almost on par with the Polaroid Extreme SD Card. Now, for the write speed, the Transcend High-Speed card has a max write speed of 60 MB per second which is still capable of recording 4k videos for most high-end cameras.

 

Best U1 Memory Card in 2020


Transcend SDXC U1 Flash Memory Card

SALE
Transcend 64GB SDXC Class 10 UHS-1...
4,425 Reviews
Transcend 64GB SDXC Class 10 UHS-1...
  • Supports Ultra High Speed Class 1 specification
  • Class 10 compliant. Mechanical write-protection switch
  • Suitable for SDXC / SDHC compatible devices

The Transcend SDXC SD card is the most expensive in this list of U1 cards. It is priced at $30 on Amazon which gets you up to 90 MB per second transfer speed. Since the card is rated at U1 it is capable of up to 10 MB per second in terms of write speeds. The card can only support video recordings of up to 1080P resolution. However, the card can also shoot a 3D video which is still great for a U1 memory card.

Lexar Professional 633x U1 SD Card

SALE
Lexar Professional 633x 64GB SDXC...
8,156 Reviews
Lexar Professional 633x 64GB SDXC...
  • High-speed, Class 10 performance—leverages UHS-I (U1 or U3 depending on capacity)...
  • Capture high quality images of stunning 1080p full-HD, 3D, and 4K video
  • Enjoy shooting longer without changing cards—large capacity options up to 1TB

Focused on mid-range DSLR cameras, the Lexar Professional 633x is a budget-friendly card that can deliver excellent performance for its price. The Lexar Professional 633x has a write speed of up to 45 MB per second which is enough for decent 4k video recording. Unlike the Transcend memory card above, the 633x can still record 4k  videos even if it is only rated at U1. For transfer speeds, the card can reach up to 95 MB per second which is good for large file transfers.

SanDisk Extreme Pro U1 SD Card

SALE
SanDisk 64GB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I...
25,042 Reviews
SanDisk 64GB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I...
  • Shot speeds up to 90MB/s, transfer speeds up to 170MB/s [requires a compatible device...
  • Perfect for shooting 4K UHD video(1) and sequential burst mode photography, (1)Full...
  • Capture uninterrupted video with UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) and video Speed Class 30...

The SanDisk Extreme Pro is all about performance, the card is priced at $20 which packs a transfer speed of up to 170 MB per second which is great for a U1 rated memory card. Now, in terms of write speed, the SanDisk Extreme Pro SD card can reach up to 90 MB per second at max. The card also has support for 4k video recording and sequential burst shots.

In some regions, the SanDisk Extreme Pro is offered with a lifetime warranty and 30 years for countries that are not supported.  Tested in harsh and extreme conditions, the SanDisk Extreme Pro is waterproof, shockproof, temperature proof, X-ray proof, and magnetic proof.

 

What SD Card Type Should You Get?


Well, despite the big difference between SD card U1 vs U3 in price and performance, the selection between these two card types still comes down to your device’s compatibility. Not all gadgets that use SD card has its storage will support U3 memory cards. Now, a U3 memory card would still work on U1 only compatible devices however, it will not maximize the performance of the U3 card. So it is still advisable to check your device compatibility before buying a U3 memory card.

 

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