MicroSD A1 vs. A2: What’s the Difference?

The difference between A1 and A2 SD cards is in their performance. These categories set standards for minimum Input/Output Operations Per Second and write speed in megabytes per second. Of the two classes, A2 cards have better performance.

I’m Caleb, and as a photographer, I have plenty of hands-on experience working with SD cards.

In this article, I’ll break down the difference between A1 and A2 SD cards and whether these ratings impact performance for the average user. If you’re shopping for a card and are unsure which to pick between these two categories, keep reading for a complete explanation.

The Difference Between MicroSD A1 and A2

A1 and A2 are both performance classifications. As such, the differences between A1 and A2 SD cards are in the performance category.

The main spec measured by this rating system is Input/Output Operations Per Second, or IOPS. IOPS is commonly used to measure hard drive performance, but it’s also a relevant spec in SD cards if you plan on running apps from one.

A1 cards have a minimum random read speed of 1500 IOPS and a minimum random write speed of 500 IOPS. In contrast, A2 SD cards have 4000 and 2000 IOPS in these same categories, respectively.

Both card types have the same 10MB/s minimum write speed. However, if you plan on using your MicroSD card with your phone and not for something like photography, the write speed won’t hold you back too much.

What MicroSD Card Should I Get?

Before deciding on an A1 or A2 SD card, consider what you’ll need the card for. If you’re just looking for something to store a few photos on, an A1 card can do the trick just fine. 

If you’re using an SD card for more performance-heavy tasks, such as running applications, you’ll want to look for an A2-rated card.

In other words, both SD cards work for passive use, such as storing photos or other files. But if you want to run an app with high-performance demands, like a game with 3D graphics, an SD card that meets the A2 standard will perform better.

At the end of the day, the A1 and A2 classifications aren’t the only things you should consider when looking for an SD card. Other specs like read/write speed can also impact performance, so you should remember to consider the A1 or A2 rating within the larger context.


Here are some of the common questions about SD card ratings.

Is an A1 Better Than an A2 SD Card?

No. In this classification system, A2 is the better-performing rating. A2 SD cards can handle many more input/output operations per second than A1 cards.

Does it Matter Which microSD card I Get?

The answer depends on what you’re using the card for. If you plan on running applications from the SD card or doing tasks that require writing a lot of data, you’ll need a card with good performance.

Is an A2 SD Card Worth It?

An A2 SD card is worth it if you need one that can run programs smoothly. If you only need to use the SD card for passive file storage, an A1 card is likely enough.


A1 and A2 MicroSD cards differ in their performance. A2 cards can handle many more input/output operations per second, letting them run apps more smoothly. However, both types of cards work fine for regular file storage.

Is an A2 SD card a worthwhile purchase in your eyes? Let us know in the comments!

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  • Rams

    You forgot to mention which one to use for a vlogging camera or any dslr, like Sony zve10