New SD Express Memory Card Costs $300, Is Slower Than ‘Old’ SD Cards

Ritz Gear currently offers a new SD Express memory cards for $300. It promises speeds of up to 820MB/s read speed and 500MB/s writing speed. It will not deliver on these promises in real-world situations, and the box clearly states so.

This card has been on my mind for over two years. However, more than 1,200 customers have reviewed it on Amazon and awarded it a total rating of 4.5 stars. This card is filled with people who don’t know what they bought or didn’t check to ensure they got what they paid.

They would have realized they didn’t.

Why SD Express is not worth the money

The SD Association and all those who signed up to the specification would love for consumers to believe it is the future format and that it can compete with CFexpress. SD Express’ main selling point is its compatibility with existing devices that have an SD card slot.

Technically, this is true. However, technically is the truth.

Although this card is able to fit in an SD slot on a computer or card reader, the card will not work at the UHS-I specifications. It will not transfer as fast as the advertised speeds. This specification, as Wes Brewer, ProGrade Digital’s CEO, explained in 2019, is seriously flawed.

They came up with a design that was form-factor compatible with the SD card. However, it only supports one lane PCIe. Brewer states that it is a little restricted for the full potential of PCIe in the industry. They just bolted one lane of PCIe onto an SD card form factor.”

This is the most important aspect of this. Ritz Gear can market the card to existing SD card holders by misleadingly claiming that it is “backwards compatible”.

Brewer clarifies that it is not backward compatible with UHS-I according to the SD standard.

This means that the Ritz Gear $300 “next-generation” memory card won’t work in any device with an SD card slot. This card costs five times more than the equivalent performance, and is not available to anyone who has purchased it.

I have already discussed the problems with the SD Express specification in great detail. I encourage you to continue reading that coverage to get a full understanding of why SD Express cards don’t really make sense.

This card is for those who don’t know better

It is highly unlikely that Ritz Gear does not know that this card cannot do the things it claims. Although the product description boasts incredible performance numbers such as “up 3x faster than even UHS-II SD card speeds”, it doesn’t explain how that can be achieved and how no one will ever see anything close to them.

This is to be clear: anyone could see these speed numbers if they had an SD Express card reader and connected it to a compatible computer. Users don’t need speed in this situation. This card is not fast enough to work in a camera. No camera on the market supports SD Express specification.

Even more confusing is the fact that Ritz on the box admits that the card can’t deliver the promises it makes. Even if someone was able tap into this card’s maximum potential (which, I repeat, is not possible with all cameras currently on the market), the actual performance rating of the SD Express card is appalling.

Each SD card comes with a list of numbers and letters that the average consumer may not understand. However, they can reveal a lot about the card. The Ritz Gear SD Express card has been rated an SDXC EX I V30, U3, and A1. Let’s take a look at it.

  • SDXC This is and it stands for “Secure Digital eXtended Capacity”. It can hold up to 2 TB of card data, but only a maximum speed limit of 104 MB/s.
  • EX I This is the first-generation (I), SD Express(EX) card.
  • V30 This where the fun begins. This card can only support a maximum speed of 30 MB/s according to the V30 specification. That isn’t very fast. Ritz Gear claims that the card can sustain very high peak speeds but it can only support 30MB/s. This is not enough to run low bitrate 4K video. Ritz claims the card is faster on UHS-II and UHS-II cards.
  • U3 This is essentially a repetition from the V30 note and quantifies the same sustained rate, but it is not specific to video.
  • A1 is This denotes the card’s minimum random write and read speeds, as well as its maximum sustained sequential write speed. This was added to help devices such as tablets and phones that record data at random intervals rather than sequentially, like a camera. It is meaningless as SD Express is not supported by any tablet or phone.

Because it is the most absurd part of the whole situation, and really shines a light on just how fraudulent this card is, I will be focusing on the V30 specification. UHS-II SD Cards, which are easily found for less than Ritz Gear is asking, can be purchased with a V90 specification, which guarantees a minimum sustained writing speed of at least 90 Mb/s. It can also support multiple 4K and 8K framerates. UHS-II cards can transfer data at a maximum speed of 312 Mb/s. This is less than what Ritz gear claims its card can do.

Peak speeds, such as Ritz Gear’s label indicates, are not the same thing as sustained speeds. These speeds actually matter when it is time to record information.

Ritz Gear, despite the misleading nature of SD Express admits on its packaging that its claims about real-world useability are false. This memory card’s packaging and marketing are designed to deceive, lie and profit from people who don’t know better. It appears to be working.

Don’t Buy SD Express Cards

Many people still believe that SD Express will offer a beautiful future in which the speed and potential of CFexpress can be unleashed for older equipment. Because the components are not compatible, this is a possible future that will never come to pass.

It is not worth the effort. SD Express will always be slower than CFexpress because the core on which it is built has been flawed, Brewer explained.

ProGrade Digital offers a less expensive card that will work faster in modern cameras and computers, and it is falsely claimed to offer the same speeds as Ritz Gear’s memory card. Get one of these cards if you want the Ritz Gear speed promise, which very few people actually achieve.

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