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"High endurance" MicroSD cards -- Worth the cost?

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I picked up a cheap 128GB microSD card for about 14 bucks on Amazon and the prices keep plummeting every day. If this is for your dashcam, then I suggest going for whatever is cheap, and just replacing it if you manage to use it long enough to kill the thing. Flash isn't good for archival storage, and while magnetic storage is often better, if you care about your data, it should never stay on one device for a long period of time.

Yeah for only being used in a dash cam i wouldn't be so concerned with cheap cards.

Dash cams tend to just write linearly over the card and then loop around when it comes to the end. This is as gentle as possible on flash because all the write activity is nicely spread out. Also for video if you loose a few kilobytes in the middle of a video file the file still plays fine. You do tend to get some visual garbage where the missing data is but it typically won't result in completely blank frames and will recover completely when the next keyframe comes around.

Tho if you get corruption in the video file header then you can end up with an unplayable video file but a bit of hex editor work can likely just copy the header from another working file and get it to play again. Its the corruption in the filesystem tybles that is the most problematic since it can destroy the entire partition, but FAT32 does keep a duplicate so it can recover from some corruption.

And if the card dies completely the dashcam will likely start throwing error messages the next time it tries to record. Tho i have seen cases where old near dead SD cards would lock up and stop responding to the host. In a android phone this can cause the whole phone to lock up because it responds enough for it to think the card is still there, but takes literally forever when asked for data.


--- Quote from: Halcyon on August 20, 2019, 06:30:32 am ---I probably should elaborate, I intend on using these cards in my car's "dashcam". It won't be recording all the time, only when driven. Some 2-3 hours per day.

--- End quote ---
Ah, then forget everything I wrote...
I thought it was one of those cases, when some clueless schmuck designed an SD card into a high reliability embedded system, and you need to clean up, and improve the 1000 hrs MTBF.


--- Quote from: blueskull on August 20, 2019, 07:12:00 am ---The L in xLC is actually deceptive. MLC is not two level cell, it's actually two bit cell, or 4 level cell. Similarly, TLC is 3 bit cell, or 8 level cell. QLC is, well, 4 bits, or 16 levels.

--- End quote ---
It's pure marketing deception. Apparently "5 level" flash is coming, which actually stores 32 voltage levels per cell:

I'm still not at all convinced that this is a good idea, and it's almost certainly planned obolescence ---  with "QLC" you get a 4x increase in capacity for 1/16th the endurance, and 5bpc will be 5x the capacity but have 1/32nd the endurance of SLC. Put another way: would you rather have a 1TB SSD that lasts 32 years, or a 5TB SSD that costs 1/5th as much, but lasts only 1 year?

I ended up going middle of the line. I bought some 32GB Transcend cards. They were cheap and I've used them before for long periods in a hot car with them surviving just fine. During summer in Australia, the interior of a car can reach above 80 degrees Celsius in some cases.


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