How to choose the right memory card for your DVR

7 best memory cards for DVRs

Our today’s ranking is dedicated to the best memory cards for DVRs. Often a memory card for a DVR is bought in the easiest way – “by the money” or “by the remembered brand”. Which, alas, can be a mistake that sooner or later “will come out on the side. And, although the memory cards and close in principle to the computer solid-state drives, but the ability of the card controller to process failures “on the fly”, and the resources of the processor of the recorder itself can not compare with those that have the owner of a computer. If on a PC you simply do not notice how, as the rewrite resource is exhausted, some of the cells “die” and are replaced by backup ones, then for the recorder the “failure” of just one memory cell during the recording virtually guarantees a freeze and loss of data. And by the law of meanness it happens exactly when the recording is not “just to be”, but may be really needed.

And, since DVRs are always overwriting the full capacity of the memory card in circles during operation, when choosing the “right” microSD-card the resource of recording will be just as important as the speed characteristics. But, alas, unlike computer SSDs, this parameter is not specified directly (maximum for specialized “cards for video recording” indicate the duration of continuous video stream processing) – so we had to make a decent job today in search of really reliable memory cards. At the same time parameters like random reading speed (defined as Application Speed Class), which are important for smartphone owners, are not important for us in this case – except for recorders with two cameras that inevitably split access to the card between two files.

Rating of the best memory cards for DVRs

Category Location Name Rating
Best budget memory cards for DVRs 1 Kingston Canvas Select Plus 9.8 / 10
2 SanDisk Ultra microSDHC Class 10 UHS-I 9.6 / 10
Best “High Endurance” memory cards for DVRs 1 Kingston High Endurance microSD 9.8 / 10
2 SanDisk High Endurance microSDHC Class 10 9.6 / 10
3 Samsung microSDXC PRO Endurance UHS-I U1 9.0 / 10
Best memory cards for 4K DVRs 1 SanDisk Extreme microSDXC Class 10 UHS Class 3 V30 A2 9.7 / 10
2 Transcend microSDXC 300S Class 10 U3 A1 V30 9.4 / 10
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Best budget memory cards for DVRs

Kingston Canvas Select Plus

To make the comparison more adequate we, of course, take memory cards of the same capacity in each category, and for the “budget cards” we decided to limit ourselves to 32 GB: after all, all video recorders support this capacity with a warranty. At the same time it allows to store a decent amount of video, and from the point of view of resource it is not bad. Of course it is the author’s personal opinion. But he is quite satisfied with it.

Kingston’s Canvas Select Plus series of memory cards is well optimized for video recording tasks, which the manufacturer does not forget to point out in the advertising. Cards with the smallest capacity in the series (that is exactly “our” 32 GB and 64 GB) have declared “video speed” class (more about it in the conclusion of the article) V10, which means that they are guaranteed to receive data flow up to 10 megabytes per second (or 80 megabits per second – this is more convenient to operate with, because video bitrate is usually specified exactly this way). The claimed “benchmark” recording speed of 85 megabits per second is quite consistent with this. Declared operating temperature range is quite sufficient for video recorder use: from -25 to 85 °C. The upper temperature range is even more important for many video recorders: in continuous operation they are rather warm for their “gut”. And if we add direct sunlight in summer… Shock resistance and waterproofness are a bonus – there is a reason why these cards are loved by owners of action cameras.

Since we are facing a “consumer” rather than “professional” memory card according to Kingston’s terminology, the manufacturer is stingy with technical data, not indicating data on the recording life as well. Nevertheless, according to the reviews of many owners, and the fact that the manufacturer provides a lifetime warranty on Canvas Select Plus cards, we can confidently assert that the original Kingston card will serve you in the recorder for a long time. The key word “original”: alas, counterfeit enough (and this, we note, applies to all models of cards – “yellow neighbor” is able to fake anything).

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How to choose an SD-card for your DVR

On the properly selected memory card depends on the work of the DVR. In this article we will consider the most important criteria, which are recommended to focus on when choosing a storage device.

Types of memory cards

To date, the name micro SD is more of a standard that sets the shape and look than the name of the technology. There are several types of flash drives:

XC drives may well start to support up to 2TB. The technology allows for this, but no manufacturer has yet learned how to make drives with that amount of memory.

Accordingly, the more memory the drive has, the better for the owner of the DVR. But in order to choose a flash drive for your DVR, the memory capacity alone is not enough.

Streaming video

The speed at which the card saves data is important to the DVR. The data transfer rate – bitrate – is usually measured in megabits/second, but for convenience the speed is measured in megabytes/second. Megabyte is equal to 8 megabits.

Modern DVRs record in a variety of resolutions. Each format requires a minimum speed at which the video will be recorded.

This data is required at a frame rate of 30 fps. If 60k/s is specified in the recorder settings, the bitrate data should be doubled.

High class indicates that the DVR records high quality video without freezing or frame loss. The class is indicated by the letter C on the flash drive, and the number is indicated inside it.

For modern DVRs that record in Full HD, classes 4 and 6 are appropriate. But if you set the frame rate above 30, then the drive with the class below 10 will not work – there are regular frame skips and in general the device is unstable. For this reason, manufacturers recommend buying memory cards of class 10 or higher.

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UHS interface

The next generation of memory cards was equipped with a new and highly functional interface UHS (Ultra High Speed). On the memory card itself this index is indicated by the letter U. Since many devices do not yet support the new interface, the division into classes was not removed.

In turn, UHS is divided into two generations: UHS-I and UHS-II. The first generation has a capacity of up to 104 MB / s. UHS-II drives record at up to 312MB/sec. Many factors can affect speed, so these values are more theoretical.

You can also find information about the development of the UHS-III interface. But modern memory cards do not yet support it.

The UHS interface is subdivided into classes 1 and 3 and is represented by a number inside the letter U. The number indicates the flash drive’s bandwidth: 1 – from 10 MB/s, 3 – from 3 MB/s. In this case the minimum bandwidth is specified because the maximum threshold depends on many factors.

Data volumes

On average 3 minutes of Full HD video material at 30 fps takes about 350 MB. For this reason, it does not make sense to buy flash drives with a capacity of 8 or 16 GB for a modern DVR. Videos will fill the memory rather quickly. The optimal choice – up to 32 or 64 GB.

Many devices are able to work with cards up to 128 GB or even up to 256 GB.

And in conclusion

The recording speed of the memory card directly affects the performance of the DVR as a whole. In order to choose a drive for your laptop or tablet, for example, you only need to know the maximum capacity of the flash drive.

In our CARKAM online store you can find memory cards of different capacities.

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