Micron’s 1.5TB microSD cards cost more than diamonds

Jan 30, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Jan 30, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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If you’re an international art thief dealing in jewels instead of cash, you might want to consider switching to a different currency. Pricing has finally become available for Micron’s 1.5TB i400 microSD cards, announced last June. Micron doesn’t appear to have actually made a price announcement yet, although listings have popped up at online wholesalers around the world.

The prices are enough to make your eyes water. The wholesale cost for a single card is $420 at Newark. Retail price bumps up to $556.05 on Mouser. And for that kind of money, you’re not even getting a super fast (for UHS-I) V30 card, either. These are Class 10, so you’re only guaranteed 10MB/sec sustained transfer speeds. Also, you’re going to be on about a two-month waiting list (at least).

The Micron i400 microSD cards are designed primarily for industrial application, where reliability is more important than speed. And while yes, they do carry the U3 logo, they don’t carry the V30 logo. Hypothetically, both symbols mean the same thing; that the card can sustain a write speed rate of at least 30MB/sec. In my experience, though, unless they actually have that V30 logo, the U3 logo doesn’t always prove out. So, I wouldn’t be going and getting one of these for use in your drone or 360° camera just yet!

Tech Radar worked out that to get the absolute best deal on these, at wholesale prices, you’d need to buy 12,000 of them to see the price drop to $381. That means a total cost of around $4.5 million for 18 Petabytes of total storage that weighs less than 4kg (for the cards themselves). They did some digging and discovered that it costs a hair more by weight than a 0.125-carat diamond – $1.1 million per kg.

The prices for these cards are extremely high. Even the 1TB SanDisk Extreme Pro V30 microSD card (review here), which boasted 170MB/sec read speeds using their special reader, was only around $500 (retail) on initial launch. Right now, the regular price on those has dipped way down to $200, with them currently on sale on Amazon for $146. Silicon Power’s 1TB Superior microSD card (review here), which outperformed the SanDisk Extreme Pro in our tests, was only $169.99 at launch and is now available to buy for only $80.

So, today, several years on, that $556 price seems just a tad extreme for such a slow card.

[via TechRadar]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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