Format for 128GB microSD card - exFAT?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 3' started by drzeller, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. drzeller

    drzeller Member

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    I just added a 128GB microSD card to my brand-spanking-new S3 (i5/256GB).

    The card came formatted as exFAT. Is that the recommended (or required) format?

    Any reformatting or other prep to ensure optimal performance for the card in the S3?

    By the way, it will pretty much live in the S3, but occasionally come out for data transfer to another computer. Most common usage for me will be to store pictures offloaded from a camera during trips.

    Thanks!
    David
     
  2. ZorMi

    ZorMi Member

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    It depends also what you will store... I use SD for multimedia files and archives, so kept exFAT to exchange easier with others, the performance is good as declared, and I do not need much NTFS features like encryption, security policies etc.
     
  3. jollywombat

    jollywombat Member

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    The card manufacturers typically suggest keeping the exFAT format. I have never had issues with it on any of my sdxc cards, and the one card I formatted as NTFS seemed to have some speed issues so I reverted to exFAT and the issue went away, but I know others have had good luck with it. YYMV I suppose
     
  4. drzeller

    drzeller Member

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    Thanks, ZorMi and jollywombat!
     
  5. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    exFAT has been adopted by the SD Card Association as the default file system for SDXC cards larger than 32 GiB because it supports large volumes, large files, and better contiguous on-disk layout.

    Most of the vendors signing on for licenses of exFAT are either for embedded systems or device manufacturers that produce media that will be preformatted with exFAT. The entire FAT family, including exFAT are used for embedded systems because it is lightweight and are better suited for solutions that have low memory and low power requirements, and can be implemented in firmware.

    On the other hand a lot of small file operations would tend to be more inefficient because there's no Index to exFAT so each file is searched for in the directory sequentially. probably wouldn't be good for user profiles containing temp files and internet temp files.
     
  6. lcavada

    lcavada Member

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    I have found hard way that an SD card formatted with exFat on my iMac IS NOT the same as SD formatted on my windows machine. So i have gone back and formatted my USB drives using my windows PC. Formatting on Mac creates issues, and sometimes my windows machine cannot read it.
     
  7. BaritoneGuy

    BaritoneGuy New Member

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    I have my card formatted as NTFS so that I am able to use Bitlocker to encrypt it. The card is not shared with other systems although it could be mounted on other by entering the Bitlocker key/passphrase.
     
  8. jollywombat

    jollywombat Member

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    Very true. However with the speed of these flash memory cards and the low 4k and random r/w rates, would not be the best option to store those kinds of files to begin with, geared more towards sequential read/write of larger files.
     

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