Is 64GB or 128GB SD card better?

When it comes to SD cards, one of the most common questions people have is whether they should get a 64GB card or a 128GB card. The answer depends on your specific needs and how you plan to use the SD card.

Quick Answers

Here are some quick answers to common questions about 64GB vs 128GB SD cards:

  • 128GB cards hold twice as much data as 64GB cards, so they allow you to store more photos, videos, etc.
  • 64GB cards are more affordable, while 128GB cards provide more value for money per gigabyte.
  • Both options are suitable for most common uses like phones, DSLR cameras, drones, handheld gaming consoles, etc.
  • 128GB makes more sense if you shoot 4K video or RAW photos since those files take up a lot of space.
  • Get a 64GB card if you just need casual everyday storage for things like apps, music, documents.

Storage Capacity

The main difference between 64GB and 128GB SD cards is the storage capacity. As the names imply, a 128GB card offers double the storage of a 64GB card. Specifically:

  • 64GB card = 64 billion bytes of storage
  • 128GB card = 128 billion bytes of storage

This means a 128GB SD card can hold twice as much data as a 64GB card. The exact number of photos, songs, videos, etc. depends on the file sizes, but you’ll get roughly twice as much on a 128GB vs 64GB SD card.

When the Extra Space is Useful

The extra storage capacity of a 128GB SD card comes in handy for certain use cases like:

  • Shooting lots of hi-res photos (RAW or JPEG)
  • Recording 4K or high bitrate 1080p video
  • Storing large game files if using as extra storage for Nintendo Switch or Steam Deck
  • Caching offline media for travel if you have a smartphone with SD card slot
  • Keeping tons of movies and playlists for a long road trip
  • Backing up or transferring many large files

For most casual users, a 64GB SD card has plenty of space. But power users with storage-intensive needs will benefit from having the extra breathing room of a 128GB card.

When 64GB is Sufficient

A 64GB SD card provides enough storage space for many common use cases like:

  • Point-and-shoot photos and 1080p videos
  • Apps, documents and small game files for Nintendo Switch or Steam Deck
  • Music libraries and playlists
  • Serving as extra phone storage for photos and videos
  • Storing presentations, reports, and files
  • Backing up contacts, calendars, and text messages from a phone

Unless you have specific needs that require massive amounts of storage, a 64GB SD card is typically plenty for general everyday use.

Affordability vs Value

Another key factor is cost. 64GB SD cards are more affordable than 128GB cards. However, 128GB cards offer more value per gigabyte. Here’s a comparison:

SD Card Average Price Cost Per GB
64GB $12 $0.19/GB
128GB $24 $0.19/GB

As you can see, the cost per gigabyte is roughly the same between 64GB and 128GB cards when you factor in the differences in average price. You’ll pay more upfront for a 128GB card, but you get more bang for your buck considering the expanded storage.

When to Get 64GB for Affordability

If budget is a major concern, a 64GB SD card has a lower upfront cost, making it a smart choice if:

  • You just need basic extra storage for casual use
  • You won’t require huge amounts of space
  • You can offload and back up files regularly to free up room

For minimal everyday storage needs, a cheaper 64GB card is usually plenty.

When to Get 128GB for Value

Spending more upfront on a 128GB SD card is a better value if:

  • You’ll fill up a 64GB card quickly based on your storage usage
  • You take lots of high resolution photos and video
  • You want plenty of headroom for the lifespan of your device
  • You need to store large multimedia files and games

If you require ample storage and plan to completely fill and actively utilize an SD card, a 128GB model gives you more bang for your buck.

Speed Comparison

In addition to capacity, SD card write and read speeds are an important factor. Faster cards allow you to quickly transfer files on and off the card. Here’s how 64GB and 128GB SD cards compare in speed:

  • 64GB cards: Peak speeds around 100MB/s write and 300MB/s read. Minimum Class 10 rating required.
  • 128GB cards: Peak speeds around 170MB/s write and 320MB/s read. Minimum UHS-I U3 rating required.

So 128GB SD cards tend to be a little faster thanks to technologies like UHS-I U3. However, a top-tier 64GB card can still achieve blazing speeds. Real-world performance depends on the device, but both have quick enough speeds for common use.


SD cards have become remarkably durable over the years. Both 64GB and 128GB cards can withstand similar:

  • Temperature ranges: -13°F to 185°F (-25°C to 85°C)
  • Shock/vibration resistance
  • Waterproofing up to 72 hours in 1m depth
  • Wear leveling to maximize lifespan of NAND memory
  • No degradation for up to 10,000 overwrite cycles

Higher capacity doesn’t make an SD card more prone to damage. As long as you buy from reputable brands like SanDisk or Samsung, both 64GB and 128GB cards offer similar durability.


SD cards are universally compatible with a wide range of devices, from DSLR cameras to smartphones. You can use either a 64GB or 128GB SD card with just about any device that supports SD storage. This includes:

  • Mirrorless and DSLR cameras
  • Point-and-shoot cameras
  • Smartphones (with SD card slot)
  • Tablets like the iPad (with adapter)
  • Handheld gaming systems like Nintendo Switch
  • Laptops (with SD card reader)
  • Desktop computers (with SD card reader)
  • SD-enabled video cameras
  • Drones

Some older devices support up to 32GB cards only. But most modern devices work flawlessly with high capacity 64GB and 128GB SD cards.


SD cards can last many years with proper care. You can expect roughly a similar lifespan out of both 64GB and 128GB cards in the 5-10 year range. Key factors affecting lifespan include:

  • Total data written over card’s life
  • Frequency of data erasing/rewriting
  • Exposure to extreme heat, cold, moisture, magnets
  • Physical wear and tear

Higher capacity doesn’t necessarily equate to shorter lifespan. If treated well, most modern SD cards will outlive the devices you use them in.

Maximizing Lifespan

To maximize the lifespan of any SD card:

  • Avoid exposing to moisture, magnets, drops, and temperature extremes
  • Eject properly before removing from devices
  • Store in a protective case when not in use
  • Buy from reputable manufacturers like SanDisk and Samsung
  • Don’t overly fill up storage completely

Both 64GB and 128GB SD cards can realistically last 5 years or more under typical usage with proper care.


Losing an SD card means losing any sensitive data stored on it. So security is an important consideration. Modern SD cards often include features like:

  • Built-in write protection locks
  • Password protection and encryption
  • Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) compliance

These apply equally to 64GB and 128GB cards from reputable brands. Both offer ways to physically lock the card or encrypt contents for protection.

It’s also smart practice to:

  • Store cards securely when not in use
  • Erase cards when giving away or disposing of them
  • Have a backup of important data somewhere else

You can secure any SD card properly using protective features and safe data practices.

Brand Recommendations

Certain brands stand out when it comes to reliable, high performance SD cards. For both 64GB and 128GB SD cards, look for trusted manufacturers like:

Brand Key Benefits
SanDisk Industry leader renowned for quality and speed
Samsung Excellent performance and value
Sony Reliable cards great for capturing photos/videos
Kingston Budget-friendly cards with good transfer speeds
Lexar Solid performance at mid-range pricing

Sticking with big brand names like these will ensure you get a quality SD card with good speeds and longevity.

Our Top Picks

Based on the criteria above, here are a couple top-rated picks:

  • 64GB: SanDisk Extreme Pro 64GB SDXC – UHS-I U3 V30 A2
  • 128GB: Samsung EVO Select 128GB SDXC UHS-I U3 V30

We recommend these for their combination of high capacity, great real-world speeds, reliability, and solid value.

Bottom Line

So should you get a 64GB or 128GB SD card? Here’s a quick summary:

  • 128GB holds twice as much data, great for 4K or RAW files.
  • 64GB is more budget-friendly for everyday use.
  • Both work universally across devices like cameras, phones, gaming systems.
  • Similar speeds, durability, and lifespan from reputable brands.
  • Go 128GB if you shoot lots of video and hi-res photos.
  • Go 64GB for casual photo/video storage and everyday use.

In the end, consider your specific storage needs. Casual users are well served by a 64GB card’s lower cost and sufficient capacity. Power users should spend a little more for the extra elbow room of a 128GB SD card.

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