2Gb SD cards: what have been your experiences?

I was given as a gift this past year a Palm TX. I like it, and I want to use it more fully. I have the Mobil Travel Guide program which gives you map-quest type directions live and on the go, but each quarter of the US is almost 500Mg. To put it all on one card would require me to get a 2GB SD card. I figure that I can drop some mp3s on my old 1GB card, after formatting it.

I’ve noticed that there are many different SD cards available and that some are cheaper than others. Palm has their own brand and I know there is ‘San Disk’, both of which I know will work. On line, I have found other and cheaper brands, like ‘Super Talent’ and ‘A-Data’. Even ‘San Disk’ has two different 2GB models: the ‘Standard SD’ and the ‘Ultra II SD’. Assuming that any SD card that fits my palm will work, what really are the differences between these products? Is the speed difference noticeable, or is this another way to gouge the consumer, like buying ‘under-coating’ for a car…?

Speed increases from premium speed cards are not that noticeable (or worth paying for) unless you havea high speed interface like a digital video camera or high end digital still camera IO. I strongly doubt the Palm has any kind of enhanced high speed SD card IO as there’s no Palm application where this would be useful.

Go for the cheapest compatible card. Sandisk SD cards often have rebates at Circuit City that bing them to competitive price levels with the no-name cards.

I bought thisTranscend 2GB SD card from Newegg.com for $39 a couple weeks ago. What a deal! Very fast and (so far) reliable. I use it in my PDA and can jam the whole Wikipedia on there!

Wikipedia is downloadable and fits on 2GB data space?

I have been using a 2GB SanDisk card in my Treo for the past five months and have been fairly pleased. The only issue I ran into, and you may also run into, is the access time when playing MP3s: I can load 400 MP3s on it, and listen to them as I run mile after mile with no major issues, but once in awhile (every ten or twenty minutes) it does hiccup, kind of like a CD skipping for a couple of seconds.

It doesn’t make sense that the card would have any issues at all with speed since you can load a dozen MP3s on it in a few seconds over USB2 – why then does it cause my MP3 player to skip?

NormSoft, the maker of PocketTunes (my MP3 player) says that slow cards are to blame, and they single out SanDisk by name (at least they did two years ago).

My suspicion has always been that this slowness has to do with some arcane memory management practices of the Palm OS.

Actually it’s only about 1.1GB without images. My life will never be the same again, now that I hold that amount of knowledge in my pocket, accessable at any time.

I’ve owned a bunch of cards over the past few years. I have thus far tried Sandisk standards, Sandisk Ultra II (currently in my Axim), Kingston standards, OCZ, and Lexar.

My experiences so far have been that Sandisk standards, Lexar and Kingstons to be reliable and great as ordinary utility cards. For devices that do not employ high speed transfer interfaces (older digicams, most low-midrange PDAs, etc.) these are ideal as being relatively inexpensive and easily obtained.

For devices that can handle higher speed cards I found OCZ to be the fastest overall (and being that they make high end RAM sticks I tend to trust them) while the Sandisk Ultra IIs, while very good, seemed a little slower. (I have no experience with the Ultra IIIs so I can’t comment)

The cheaper ones I tend to avoid. Lower priced foriegn stuff may potentially suffer from a higher defect rate than name brand stuff, and additionally may have fewer write cycles (and thus a shorter overall lifespan) due to poorer quality components. This may not be the case, but it is worth noting once again the old adage “You get what you pay for” still holds true more often than not.