SanDisk Ultra Plus Vs Extreme: Know your memory cards

SanDisk is a leading manufacturer of an assortment of digital flash memory products. Some of the items they release into the market include; USB flash drives, memory cards, readers, and solid-state drives. SanDisk Ultra Plus and Extreme are among the models released by this company. They are in the same family but bear different features that we explain here.

The SanDisk Ultra Plus and Extreme have both similarities and differences which are vital in helping you understand them better. These memory devices are from the same manufacturer and therefore share a host of features including aspects such as branding, technology, and the craft used to put them together.

SanDisk which is a subsidiary of WD, sets the Ultra Plus apart from the Extreme model using certain features to make each of the unique and ideal for specific purposes.

SanDisk Ultra Plus Vs. Extreme

The definite differences and similarities between these two models are highlighted in the elements discussed below. Read on to understand these memory cards better so that you can choose one that serves your needs.


When buying a micro memory card, it is crucial to know that speed is one of the vital elements to check out. The rate exhibited by a model should be appropriate for the type of hardware that you intend for its use. The listed transfer speed is among the first that you ought to assess.

SanDisk Ultra Plus is slower than the Extreme model with a speed of up to 100mb/s. The SanDisk Extreme is faster by about 60mb/s since its listed transfer speed is of up to 160mb/s from 64GB. The 32GB Extreme model has the same listed transfer speed as the Ultra Plus model.

The UHS Bus speed is the next one that is essential to consider since it informs you on how data is transferred from the card’s pin to the connector of the host device. Unlike the listed transfer, the UHS Bus speed may not be explicitly listed in the features. It is indicated on the face of the card using roman numerals.

The Ultra Plus and Extreme SanDisk models both have a UHS Bus speed of (I). The theoretical maximum transfer speed for both cards is therefore 104mbps.

The video speed class is another aspect that you cannot overlook. It is indicated using a V icon on the face of the memory card, and it is for video-specific recording. The 64GB SanDisk Ultra Plus product lacks this marking; hence, it may not be an excellent pick for video recording.

The 128GB version is a V10 meaning it can record videos at 10MBps. The SanDisk Extreme cards, on the other hand, have a V30 marking on all the sizes starting from 32GB to 1TB. They can be used to record a high definition video comfortably.

The UHS rating for the SanDisk Ultra Plus model is one while that of the Extreme variation is three. The number inside the U-shaped logo can identify this type of speed. If it is one, then that equates to 10MBps while 3 is 30MBps. The Ultra Plus models are rated A1 in in-app performance and faster loading while the Extreme ones are rated A2.


Both memory card models are measured in gigabytes. The SanDisk Ultra Plus models are available to a maximum of 128GB while the Extreme goes to a high of one terabyte. The capacity of a card is dependent on the file system that is used for data storage. SD, SDHC, and SDXC are among marking that you must be conversant with as they guide on the capacity.

SD cards store up to 2GB, SDHC has a maximum capacity of 32GB while SDXC versions go as high as 2TB. Both models discussed herein are SDXC versions with high storage capabilities. The type of work that you engage in, coupled with the speed, should guide you on the right card for you to acquire.



The technology used to design a memory card dictates its functionality. The SanDisk Extreme has been made with Ultra DMA technology that allows this device to achieve double read and write speeds when compared to the SanDisk Ultra Plus.

Typically, ultra cards are made with a maximum speed of 30MBps for all versions except the 2GB models that have a maximum speed of 15MBps. Tech is among factors that you must have in the back of your mind when buying memory cards, and as it stands, the SanDisk Extreme version has better technology than the Ultra Plus models.


SanDisk offers a lifetime warranty for most of its products and these two models discussed herein have this in common. Whether you buy the SanDisk Extreme or Ultra Plus, the guarantee you receive is the same.

It is essential however that you read through the print containing the terms and conditions for each model before you settle on one. The return policy and shipment regulations are among the other elements that you must consider before placing an order.

Bestseller No. 1
SanDisk Ultra Plus 64GB microSDXC UHS-I Card with SD Adapter, Grey/Red, Full HD up to 100 MB/S For Android Phone, Tables and Camera (2 Pack of 64 GB Micro SD- Card)
  • Ideal for Android-based Smartphones and Tablets
  • Transfer Speeds of Up to 100MB/s**
  • Compatible with Your Devices
  • Premium Transfer Speeds of up to 100MB/s**
  • Full HD Video Capture
Bestseller No. 2
Sandisk Ultra PLUS 64GB MicroSDXC UHS-I Card with Adapter 100MB/s Class 10 U1 A1
  • Brand New in box. The product ships with all relevant accessories

Bestseller No. 1
SanDisk 256GB Extreme microSDXC UHS-I Memory Card with Adapter - Up to 160MB/s, C10, U3, V30, 4K, A2, Micro SD - SDSQXA1-256G-GN6MA
  • Up to 160MB/s read speeds to save time transferring high res images and 4K UHD videos; Requires compatible devices capable of reaching such speeds
  • Up to 90MB/s write speeds for fast shooting; Requires compatible devices capable of reaching such speeds
  • 4K UHD and Full HD Ready with UHS speed class 3 (U3) and video speed class 30 (V30)
  • Rated A2 for faster loading and in app performance
  • Built for and tested in harsh conditions: Temperature Proof, Water Proof, shock Proof and x ray Proof
SaleBestseller No. 2
SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD - Up to 1050MB/s - USB-C, USB 3.2 Gen 2 - External Solid State Drive - SDSSDE61-1T00-G25
  • Get NVMe solid state performance featuring up to 1050MB/s read and up to 1000MB/s write speeds in a portable, high-capacity drive that’s perfect for creating amazing content or capturing incredible footage. Requires compatible devices capable of reaching such speed. Based on internal testing; Performance may be lower depending on host device, interface, usage conditions and other factors. 1MB=1,000,000 bytes.
  • Up to 2 meter drop protection and IP55 water and dust resistance (3) mean this tough drive can take a beating
  • Use the handy Carabiner loop to secure it to your belt loop or backpack for extra peace of mind
  • Help keep private content private with the included password protection featuring 256‐bit AES hardware encryption (2)
  • Back up mobile content quickly and easily thanks to compatibility with a range of USB Type-C smart phones


Final Thoughts

The SanDisk Extreme model was released into the market after the Ultra Plus and other models in the same series. It is better placed regarding technology and compatibility with devices being released into the market. The models compared in this review are both excellent and reasonably priced but you need to be specific with the features above to get the desired results.

Frequently asked questions

What class is SanDisk Ultra Plus?

SanDisk Ultra Plus is a micro memory card that is available in different sizes. It is ranked A1 in-app performance and speed and records at 10MBps.

Is SanDisk Ultra good?

The design and technology used to build ultra-memory cards make them good. To get the best results, make sure you get the right fit for your hardware and the task at hand.

What is SanDisk Extreme Plus?

SanDisk Extreme Plus is a microSDXC card that offers users high speed and app performance. It can handle 4K footage making it ideal for an array of devices. It can be used on mobile and tablet devices as well as cameras and drones. Full HD motion pictures and high-resolution images can be recorded and stored on them.

U3 vs U1 SD Cards: A Detailed Comparison

U3 and U1 are among the fastest SanDisk SD cards that this manufacturer has released into the market. U3 came into the market after u1, which means that it has advanced features. Herein we take an in-depth look at these memory cards and their characteristics.

Londisk 4K 64gb U3 Class 10 Micro SD Memory Card for GoPro Hero Version, Free Adapter (U3, LONDISK-64gb)

Also, we compare u1 vs. u3 and the features that set them apart as well as the similarities that they share. You can buy u3 cards in both virtual and land-based stores as well as u1 cards. Both these MicroSD cards are UHS versions, and they are known to have higher write speeds, which makes them compatible with an array of DSLR cameras and many others in the market.

Speed class is the first feature that distinguishes these two MicroSD cards. U1 has a speed class of one while that of the U3 is three. This feature dictates the quality, resolution, and format of the video or imagery being recorded. Their names are also derived from this element.

If you want to capture videos that are consistent and steady, then you ought to go for the card with a higher class. You are likely to get an error message if you use a card with a lower level because it cannot accommodate the quality of the video being streamed. The class one variation has a minimum write speed of 10mbps same as the class 10 models while the u3 card has a rate of 30mbps.

Differences and similarities between U1 and U3

Many other features of u1 and u3 are similar and an array of them that are worlds apart. Below are some of the features of these cards that we explore in this comparison of the u1 vs. u3.


This feature is measured by gigabytes, and it varies from one memory card to the next. When you compare other cards vs. u3, you will find that they all have varied capacities depending on the choice that the manufacturer made regarding the same. U1 SanDisk models are available from as low as 16 GB to as high as 512 GB.

U3 HAS provisions that range from 16 GB to 1TB availing more options for individuals who are after long term storage or those who have a need the capacity to handle the footage for a given project. Picking the largest capacity available is not an assurance that you will get the best quality of recorded work.

Renowned cinematographers recommend that you buy SD cards with small volumes for better quality work. Also, remember the purpose of the storage card, and this will make it easier for you to choose one between the u1 or u3 variations.

Listed transfer speed

A card that identifies and writes data quickly is among those that most people need for everyday use. U1 models have lower listed transfer speeds when compared vs. U3 models.

U1 models have a rate of 100mb/s, while U3 models are faster with a transfer speed of 175mb/s. If you want high write and copy speed, then the u3 model is your ideal pick for the task at hand.

UHS Bus Speed

This feature is indicated by roman numbers on the cards’ faces. They range from one to three. It refers to how the data collected is transferred between the cards pin and the host device connector. UHS I which both the U1 and U3 models have uses a single row of pins on the back of the card to transfer approximately one hundred and four megabytes per second.

UHS I is common among many cards since it is compatible with an assortment of cameras. This is one of the elements that these SD cards share; hence making a choice based on this feature will not be hard.

Before buying those with two or three indicated on the face with roman numerals, confirm that it will work with the existing hardware. Also, during an upgrade, ensure that the camera you acquire has a provision to accommodate different UHS formats.

Video speed class

This is another crucial feature that we cannot overlook in our comparison of these SanDisk memory cards. It is specific for video recording and is indicated using a V icon on the face of the card.

The U1 cards do not have this feature explicitly listed on the top of the card, making it hard to know this component. On the other hand, the U3 cards have the v icon with the number 30 alongside it.

This, therefore, means that HD video can be recorded at 30mbps without dropping any frames. This feature is only available on SDXC cards. Buying the U3 variation avails more options regarding recording video to the user when compared with the 10 u1 model.

UHS speed class

Although closely related to the UHS bus speed, these features play different functions. The ultra-high-speed rating is also on the face of the card.

It is a number inside a u-shaped logo that tells you how fast the card’s write speed is. The U1 sd card has one as the number inside the u-shape while U3 cards have three, meaning that they have a faster speed than the former.


Best memory cards for Nikon D3300

How to format SD cards


Many factors ought to guide you in choosing the right sd card for the project at hand. The features above are critical, and so are other elements such as pricing, availability, compatibility with your hardware, and physical size, among many other things. Ensure that you buy a memory card that will cater to your needs for an extended period.

What is UHS U3?

UHS is the minimum sustained writing performance for recording video, and that for the u3 sd card is three.

Is UHS 1 the same as Class 10?

Yes, UHS 1 is an equivalent of class 10 since they have the same minimum data transfer speed of 10mbps. The technical specifications are also identical.

Is U3 better than U1?

Yes, U3 is better than U1 since it has some features which the other model does not have. It can, therefore, perform more functions making it the better choice.

UHS 1 vs Class 10: Understanding these SD Card Terms

Memory cards have evolved quite a bit in the short time since their development and when you go to buy a memory card today, you may find yourself overwhelmed with all the different markings and codes written on them. In this post, we’ll talk about two common SD card markings: UHS 1 vs Class 10.

UHS 1 Vs Class 10

Interestingly enough, comparing UHS 1 to Class 10 is like comparing apples to oranges, since both UHS and the Class denote different properties of the memory card.

UHS is the abbreviation for Ultra High Speed and stands for the kind of connection between the SD card and the device, whether it’s a camera, card reader, phone, or any other device.

UHS 1 is an evolution from UHS. UHS 1 is capable of transferring data at up to 104 MB/s. The earlier UHS was capable of just 1/4th of that.

However, here’s where things get muddy. Just because the bus can transfer data at 104 MB/s does not mean that the card can actually read or write data at that speed! The read and write speed is usually up to 10 times slower.

The speed used for writing data is denoted by the Class.

So essentially, a card that is rated to be Class 10 and UHS 1 can transfer, read, and write data at around 10 MB/s.

More about SD card markings

Now that we’ve covered the difference between UHS 1 and Class 10, let’s talk about the different kinds of markings you’d find on SD cards.

As you saw above, many cards are denoted as UHS 1 or UHS 2. UHS 1 maxes out at 100 MB/s, and UHS 2 is closer to 312 MB/s transfer speeds due to a higher quality bus system.

However, the transfer speed is limited by the read and write speed, which is where Class comes in.

  • Class 2: 2 MB/s
  • Class 4: 4 MB/s
  • Class 8: 8 MB/s
  • Class 10: 10 MB/s

Here’s where things get messy. It’s not completely clear whether UHS-1 and UHS Class 10 are the same thing, or they’re different.

If your card has the UHS-1 symbol, which is the letter I in bold capital letters, it indicates that this is UHS-1 and has the bus speed of up to 104 MB/s. Remember, this is the bus speed, not the write speed or read speed.

Next you have UHS Speed Class 1, which is a 1 inside a U, which means that the transfer speeds are up to 10 MB/s.

If this seems confusing, it is! These standards were developed by the SD Association, and to be honest, I have no idea what they were thinking before making such a mess of things.

SanDisk 128GB Ultra MicroSDXC UHS-I Memory Card with Adapter - 100MB/s, C10, U1, Full HD, A1, Micro SD Card - SDSQUAR-128G-GN6MA

This card has a marking for UHS 1 and Class 10

SanDisk 256GB Extreme microSDXC UHS-I Memory Card with Adapter - Up to 160MB/s, C10, U3, V30, 4K, A2, Micro SD - SDSQXA1-256G-GN6MA

This card has a marking for UHS 3 but no Class marking.


Is it all just a marketing gimmick?

To a certain extent, yes, UHS bus speeds and speed classes are indeed marketing gimmicks.

Instead of relying on manufacturer speed ratings, it’s better to dig up independent testing results as they’re far more accurate representations of what would happen in regular applications.

For example, Sandisk states that their UHS-1 cards can get

up to 30 MB/s read speed based on internal testing

The terms up to and internal testing pretty much skew the results as anything between 1 and 30 is up to 30.

Basically, it seems like marketing departments just have a lot of leeway to cleverly word their product descriptions and specs in a way that makes the speed of the SD cards seem very high, but you may not really see that in reality.


Putting the confusion to rest

All things said and done, it’s safe to say that it’s pretty certain that UHS-1 and Class 10 are equivalent because they can achieve the 10 MB/s speed.

Class 10 is the minimum requirement for most video cameras(action cameras and even smartphones if you’re using them for a lot of video), as anything slower will result in choppy video from the slow transfer rate.

The SD association could have done a better job of not caving into marketing speak and standardizing the terms so they would be easier to understand and interpret.

Frequently asked questions

Is UHS 1 or 3 better?

According to the SD association, UHS 1 is equivalent to Class 10 as it can sustain 10 MB/s transfer speeds. In the table they have on their site, UHS 3 has no equivalent Class rating, but they state that it can sustain up to 30 MB/s transfer speeds. Up to is the key word here.

Which is better, Class 1 or Class 10 SD card?

Higher Class ratings means the read and write speed will be higher. For applications where you require high speed data transfer, such as gaming or photography, a higher Class card will be better.

How to format SD card Using Windows, Mac, or a Camera

Before you use your SD card for the first time, it is critical that you format it once so that you don’t run into any issues with corrupted file systems or misplaced data on the card.

The last thing you want is to be outside taking a photo and realizing that your SD card is not functioning properly.

In this post, we’ll cover how to format an SD card in 4 ways:

  • Using Windows
  • Using Mac OS X
  • Using the command line in Windows
  • Using Terminal in Mac OS X
  • Using your camera (Canon in this example)

How to format your SD card: 4 ways

In case you’re reformatting your SD card, please, please, please back up your files to your computer before doing so.

Once you format the SD card, all your data is gone.

How to format an SD card on Windows 10

Formatting an SD card with Windows 10 is super easy. You just need a computer running Windows 10 and an SD card reader.

Many PCs have SD card readers built-in. In case you don’t have one, they’re very easily available and quite inexpensive, too.

You can also leave the SD card in your camera and plug your camera into the computer. Many cameras will then show up in your computer as a drive that you can format.

However, when doing this, please double check that the drive your computer is detecting is indeed the SD card and not anything else. You can do this by plugging your camera into the computer, turning it on, and navigating to the new drive on your computer.

Inside the drive, make sure that the photos or files are the same as the ones you saved on your SD card. If they are, you’re good to go.

With that out of the way, let’s look at how to format an SD card on Windows:

  1. When you insert the card into your computer, you should get an automatic pop-up asking you what to do. You can just click the little X on the top corner to close the window
  2. Head to the file explorer by pressing the Windows Key and E together. From the right sidebar, select “This PC”
  3. You should be able to see your SD card now. Hover your mouse over the SD card, right-click, and select “Format”
  4. In the dialog box that opens, you can rename your SD card if you wish. By checking the “Quick Format” button, you’ll speed up the process but it will be like a quick sweep. All your files will still be deleted, but the file system will not be as thoroughly revamped. For a more thorough format, uncheck the “Quick Format” box.
  5. Click the “Start” button to get the ball rolling – you’ll see a warning that your files will be deleted. This is your last chance to back up your files if you’ve not already done so!
  6. Once the format is done, you’ll get a notification that the format was completed successfully.
  7. You’re done! Eject your card from your computer, pop it in your camera, and go have fun!

How to format an SD card on Mac OS X

Formatting an SD card on Mac OS X is also incredibly straightforward. As with Windows, you’ll need a computer(running Mac OS X of course) and an SD card reader.

  1. Insert your card into the card reader. It will show up on your Desktop and in the Finder as a new drive.
  2. Open Disk Utility. The easiest way to do this is to click on the little magnifying glass in the top right to bring up Search, and type in “Disk Utility”. From there, open up the app. Alternatively, you can go to Finder => Applications => Utilities => Disk Utility
  3. In Disk Utility, find your SD card and select it
  4. Then click “Erase” and choose your file system. For cards 32gb or less, choose “MS-DOS(FAT32)”. For cards larger than 32gb, choose “exFAT”
  5. Continue with the confirmation message you get on the pop-up, and your system will begin formatting the card.

That’s it! You’re done, the SD card is now formatted.



How to format an SD card using the Command Line on Windows 10

If you want to feel like a programmer, you can also format your card using the command line. Warning: it’s easy to mess this up, so unless you’re absolutely sure of what you’re doing, stick to the methods above.

  1. In the Windows Search Box, type cmd and hit enter to open up the command prompt. You may need to right-click the icon and select “Run as Administrator” to get it going
  2. On the command prompt, type in “diskpart”. This will open up the disk partition app
  3. Type in “listdisk” to get a list of all the disks on your computer
  4. Note the number corresponding to your SD card in the list that was outputted
  5. Type in “select volume (volume number)”. For example, if the list displayed your SD card as number 3, you would have typed “select volume 3”
  6. Type in “format fs=exfat” to format your volume with the exFAT file system. If you wanted to format with NTFS for some reason, you would have typed in “format fs=ntfs”.

Please note that cameras may not work with NTFS-formatted cards, so you want to stick with FAT32 or exFAT only.

How to format an SD card using Terminal in Mac OS X

If you own a Mac and wish to use the command line(Terminal) to format your SD card, follow these steps. Make sure your SD card is inserted when you start:

  1. Open Spotlight Search(CMD+space) and type in “Terminal”. Open up the Terminal app.
  2. Type in “diskutil list” to get a list of all the disks on your computer
  3. The Terminal will output a list of disks. Locate your disk by the name of your SD card or by the size. You’ll need to note the /dev/… of whichever disk your SD card is.
  4. Supposing your SD card was /dev/disk2, you want to type in “sudo diskutil eraseDisk FAT32 My_SD_Card MBRFormat /dev/disk2”
  5. The sudo command gives you all rights, the diskutil command is the app you’re calling, the eraseDisk command is the specific function you’re calling from the app, the FAT32 is the format you’ve chosen(you could also choose exFAT), My_SD_Card is the name you’re giving to the format(use any name you like), MBRFormat stands for Master Boot Record, and /dev/disk2 is the volume you’re formatting

Yikes! That was unnecessarily complicated.

How to format an SD card using a Canon camera

The following steps are from my Canon mirrorless camera, but you can understand the below steps and navigate to the same option on any brand of camera. The names of the options may be a little different, but you’ll end up in the same place.

Please note that most DSLRs and mirrorless cameras will have this option, but not all point-and-shoot cameras will.

  1. Press the Menu button on your camera to head into the main menu
  2. Go into “Settings”
  3. Select “Format Card”

That was pretty easy! The best way to ensure compatibility is to use the camera itself to format the card. Most modern cameras are very advanced and have formatting functionality built in.


Why it’s important to format SD cards

Formatting SD cards brings them back to a “like new” state. Just dragging the photos from the card to the recycle bin or Trash will still leave traces of the data on your card.

By formatting your card, you’re essentially scrubbing it and redoing the file system for a cleaner slate.

Plus, if you have thousands of photos, it can be a headache to delete them all. Formatting is a one-touch solution.

Which file system should you use to format SD cards

When formatting your SD card, stick to FAT32 or exFAT.

FAT32 is typically used for SD and SDHC cards. The max file size that a FAT32 card can handle is 4 gb.

exFAT is an upgraded version of FAT32 and can handle files larger than 4 gb. exFAT is used by default for SDXC cards.

Most 4K and even 1080p Full HD videos will end up bigger than 4GB, so stick to exFAT and SDHX cards for modern cameras.


So there you have it: 5 easy ways to format an SD card. Periodically formatting your card will keep it working well and optimally.

What’s your favorite method to use?