Generally, SanDisk Ultra Plus SD cards are fit for everyday use, while Extreme Plus SD cards are best for heavier tasks like shooting 4K video. The Extreme models have higher performance but are more expensive because of it.
I’m Caleb, and I have plenty of hands-on experience using SanDisk SD cards myself as a photographer. In this article, I’ll talk about the SanDisk Ultra and Extreme lines, their differences, and who each is suited for.
If you’re comparing SD cards from either line and aren’t sure which one to get, keep reading to get a full overview.
SanDisk Ultra Plus vs. Extreme Plus: The Differences
In terms of performance, SanDisk’s Extreme Plus cards are the better option. They’re designed for enthusiasts and professionals, mainly in the photography and video fields, while the Ultra Plus cards are targeted at a more general audience.
That isn’t to say the Ultra Plus cards aren’t worthwhile. Not everyone has the same needs as a professional photographer or videographer. If you only need an SD card for simple tasks, you’ll likely do fine with an Ultra Plus model.
One of the biggest draws of the Extreme Plus cards is their faster read/write speed, which is ideal for high-resolution burst photography or 4K video recording. The average user doesn’t need this capability, but higher-end users may find it essential.
In addition to a faster maximum write speed, the Extreme Plus line also has a quicker minimum speed. Extreme Plus SD cards are rated as U3, meaning they have a 30MB/s minimum write speed, while Ultra Plus cards are U1, indicating 10MB/s.
Generally, if you’re only shooting 1080p footage or doing single-shot photography, the Ultra Plus SD card will probably do the job for you. On the other hand, if you’re shooting 4K video or doing burst photography, the Extreme Plus is a better option.
Since they’re intended to work with larger file sizes, the Extreme Plus line offers more storage options. Ultra Plus SD cards are only available in sizes up to 256GB, but the Extreme Plus line has options up to 1TB.
Both lines of cards are relatively expensive compared to budget SD cards, but the Extreme Plus has the edge over its Ultra Plus counterpart in this area. For reference, the 1TB Extreme Plus SD card can cost over $300.
You’ll have to pay for the extra performance, so if you don’t actually require the specs of the Extreme Plus line, it’s a good idea to get a different SD card.
Here are some frequently asked questions about SanDisk’s Ultra Plus and Extreme Plus SD cards.
What is the Difference Between SanDisk Extreme and Extreme Plus?
The Extreme Plus line offers slightly improved performance from the Extreme line, though both lines are better performing than the Ultra or Ultra Plus SD cards.
Is a SanDisk Extreme Plus Worth It?
It largely depends on what you’re doing. You’ll find these cards useful if you’re shooting high-resolution or RAW format photos in bursts or recording 4K footage. Otherwise, you may want to look at the Ultra or Ultra Plus line instead.
Does It Matter Which Brand of SD Card You Get?
The brand of SD card you get can have an impact on performance or durability. Before getting an SD card from a certain brand, you should do your research and make sure their products hold up quality-wise.
Are More Expensive SD Cards Better?
Higher-performance SD cards are usually more expensive. However, not every person needs a high-performance SD card, so before paying extra for one, you should check which kind of card you actually need for your work.
SanDisk Extreme Plus SD cards perform better than Ultra Plus cards and cost more because of it. But for the average buyer, an Ultra Plus SD card can usually handle the job well enough.
Which SD card type will you use? Let us know in the comments!