What’s the best Surface Go microSD memory card? Watch this.

July 31, 2019 posted by

– If you have a Microsoft Surface Go you may be looking to expand the internal memory using a micro SD card. But what kind of stuff can you put on it? And what kind of card should you get? Do speeds really matter? Today, we’ll take a closer look. Stay tuned. (light jazz music) Alright, so when it
comes to micro SD cards there’s a lot going on with them and there’s a lot of theoretical debate about random speeds, sequential
speeds, which matter more? Also, what cards are better than others? And there’s lot going
on here with this stuff. For instance, some cards
have better warranties than others and higher fail rates and all that plays an important role here, although, I wouldn’t
say it matters too much on the low-end Surface Go. First, let’s talk about the kind of stuff you can actually do
with the micro SD card. I’m happy to report
it’s actually very easy. You just throw in a micro
SD card, go into settings, and then you can change this up. You can actually tell it
where the default apps and games should be installed. If you want to put them on
the SD card, you can do that, or you can keep them internally. And when it comes to
installing apps and games, just remember, that SD card will always be slower
than the internal memory, even on the 64 gigabyte Surface Go, which as we all know, has
slower internal storage. It’s still around twice as fast, though, as any micro SD card. But besides apps and games,
you can also install photos, videos, maps, and other things
to that card by default. And, if you want, you can always transfer already existing apps back and forth between a SD card and internal memory. So if you do install it to the card and you find it too slow, you can throw it to main
memory if you want to. Just keep in mind that some
apps cannot be installed to the card including ones
that came with Windows 10 and sometimes developers like
MyTube won’t allow their app to exist on an SD card due to
that performance degradation. Alright, now we know what we
can do with that micro SD card, which one should you buy? There’s a whole range
of devices out there, ones that cost 15 bucks,
ones that cost 80. Well, we actually bought
both of them from Amazon. We also bought one that was
more mid-range in the $60, and that was the Lexar and
these are all pretty good cards. But as it turns out, the
real cap here is going to be the Surface Go itself. So, no matter what card
we’re putting in there, we’re getting max read,
85 megabytes per second, and for max write, we’re
getting 55 megabytes per second. Those speeds are okay, but some of those cards can do way more than that. That Delkin, it can actually
hit 250 megabytes per second in the right device,
including the Surface Book 2 and the Dell XPS 15,
which we did try it on, and they did get those speeds. That means the Surface Go is going to be the big limiter here. Now I should point out
those are sequential read and write speed, so that’s
when you transfer a large file between the disc and the SD card. What about randoms? A lot of people get upset about randoms. We don’t mention them all the time, and randoms do play a part here. If you’re transferring a lot
of files that are smaller, say 50 or 100 files at a
time, or you’re doing apps, well, again, the limiting
factor here will be Surface Go. We never saw these random speeds for read go over seven
megabytes per second. And even on the cheaper card, it was around four and a
half megabytes per second. The real world result
wasn’t that dramatic. We took 50 photos from an external source and transferred them to the micro SD card, well, it was about 20
seconds or 22 seconds between the cards so that
two second difference doesn’t really matter all
that much in my opinion. Now, if you do 3,000
photos, I’m sure it adds up but if you’re doing that
with the Surface Go, well, you probably should have
bought a Surface Pro. Another real world example is we loaded up a 10 gigabyte
mp4 file on all these cards and we put them in the movie player. And, as it turned out,
they all load instantly and, more importantly, we didn’t
have any issues scrubbing, that is, moving that
slider back and forth. There was no caching,
there was no buffering, everything was instant
whether it was the slow card or the fast card, meaning
real world usage here doesn’t seem to have a dramatic play. Now, I suppose there are
theoretical circumstances, and you’ll tell me them in comments about where the faster card will actually outperform the slower one,
and that’s probably true, but I’m more interested
in the casual user here. If you’re just putting
a lot of music on this, you’re putting movies on these things, or you’re gonna launch
some documents and apps, well, I don’t really
see a big benefit here in spending a lot of money
for the more expensive card. Now if you can pick up, say, a Samsung one on sale, go for it. Just keep in mind, the speeds
aren’t gonna really matter too much here with Surface Go. The hardware itself is
the biggest limiter. The only thing you need
to really look out for is get a UHS-1 card that’s Class 10 and you should be pretty much good to go. Alright, so that’s a quick look at the micro SD card
experience on the Surface Go. Now there’s a lot to
unpack with this, I know, and I’m sure you’re gonna tell me in comments, things I missed, that’s okay. We wrote an article on
this at Windows Central, we can always amend it
and add your information. So leave me a comment below
and tell me what you think. You know, also head to that description and get some bio-links
for the cards we used here if you want to try them yourself. If you have one that
you want to recommend, tell me in comments as well. If you liked this video,
give me a thumbs up, and don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks for watching, take care everybody.


50 Replies to “What’s the best Surface Go microSD memory card? Watch this.”

  1. Corey Watford says:

    Is it the one with the most Gigabytes? Did I win?

  2. Velin Caroline Hua says:

    Wish the Tablet can be put 1 Terabyte Micro SD 😀😀😀

  3. Joe Gillian says:

    Finally 🙂

  4. EspHack says:

    oh I bet an ARM version wouldn't limit sdcards

  5. MaddSweetGT500 says:

    I have a 200g MicroSD card that I use as a dump for all my EMU,Movies, and other shit … I have zero issues with it. I am using a SP4 though, but still the SD card works great.

  6. free thinker says:

    Ty for focusing on its intended audience( surface go ) ms never really had to optimize their os for emmc . I suspect we ll get patch ! ( ya ms will likely help intel and all in surface go coding mistake , they did recently for my aging 2011 desktop pc ! If you see something misbehaving or being subpar feedback ms they ll look into it( yes it work lol

  7. Azeem Quadri says:


  8. free thinker says:

    Ususally ms doesn’t limit capacity, you put what you want , the 512 B.B. limit is likely soft, since price go up fast lol

  9. Felicio Moreira says:

    Here in Brazil, a Surface Go (without keyboard) in "side markets" costs R$4000 almost $1000. 😰

  10. Nicholas Naudé says:

    Where are the guns💪🏼?

  11. Joyce Almazora says:

    You've gained a new subscriber! Hoping for more videos recommending accessories for Surface Go. But please please not way too expensive.

  12. Dennis Dowd says:


  13. free thinker says:

    Ok I naught a 64 gb!question ! Did you look into the policy setting ? Something default it to quick release, but it mention default is the other one , funny thing is , I was sure there was a policy setting in the emmc , but when I put the sdcard in and selected the default for sad card ? The option was no longer avail for emmc?i formatted with surface go to exist (since it’s a 64 go (past the 32 go limit for alternative !)
    Am I dreaming or surface go is meant to be used with sdcard? I ll know more at home , (since it has to do its initial stuff indexing etc but it feel snappier? Could you look into it !maybe it’s in my head ! Maybe there was never an emmc policy option before I put sdcard(still on window 10s !knowing ms ?its likely an auto detect system ! Oups forgot to tell you guys anyway , the more I fiddle with it ?the more I think people underestimate ms surface go lol ! All this with kb610347 update !dont have the non pushed one yet can’t find it !security now spoke about it this week !anyway could you revisit your sdcard and confirm if ms switch from emmc to sdcard when you enable write cache on sdcard !if this is what happen ? The surface go should be snappier since write cache doesn’t happen on emmc

  14. TigerTT says:

    Just make sure that the card says A1! A1 means that its made for loading apps very fast and just as fast as internal memory,well in phones and tablets anyways but not as fast as an SSD inside a laptop but very close. A1 Sandisk micro SD cards are the best available right now.

  15. DarkPa1adin says:

    I think UHS-I and class 10 are different speeds

  16. flyinghigh2000 says:

    Surface go vs Surface Pro 4 m3 please. There's nothing about it out there.

  17. Tahsin Faiyaz says:

    Time to try those with Pro

  18. Jesus McBeth says:

    The implementation of how u inserthe card looks unsafe

  19. Aaron Sherbourne The Msagent Lover says:

    Windows XP 2.0
    Or Windows 11?

  20. Chemy Torres says:

    I wonder why is that slow that microsd port.

  21. Joe Gillian says:

    Thanks, it was a thorought review.
    A bit dissapointed to learn surface go is a little bit the limiting factor but performance should be ok most of the time

  22. free thinker says:

    Should I enable the write cache for sdcard, I enabled it but diidnt enable the two option in there! Ram is qucker but the power failure scare me ! Could you evaluate the performance gain( since this happen in ram

  23. antwane fort says:

    Your video on the Surface Go 4GB vs 8GB is still the best video of all times. The burn and the twist were crazy .

  24. Patrick Craenmehr says:

    Nice video. Will the results on a Surface Pro 2017 be similar or do perform faster cards better on the Pro?

  25. R Yamaha WRX says:

    Sandisk extreme 256gb if i have surfase go i will by and use this card.fastest card id from lexar 1800x i got speed up to 290mb red rite 270mb/s

  26. Matt Halpain says:

    super useful comparison of the cheap micro SD card compared to the expensive version. For the casual user on a budget I'm sold on the cheaper micro SD card for the surface go as the speeds are about the same and the video playback quality is the same as read from the micro SD card

  27. Pedro Giron says:

    Does anyone know what's the limit that you can put in the surface go? Is it max at 64? Didnt hear about how much can this handle

  28. Glacius17 says:

    Didn't realize there would be limitations like this for the microSD card. Thanks for the info!

  29. FLOXshui Lee says:

    Samsung EVO

  30. Gino Guillermo says:

    Hiya. Planning on getting the Surface Go in place of my old 2014 MacBook Air. Have heard of so-so performance (stuttering, janking and bad loading times) and battery life for everyday tasks but would u agree? Would like your opinion please. Thanks.

  31. BC says:

    What format did you set the cards up in? Was it ExFAT or NTFS? Any recommendations?

  32. Divakar Shanmugam says:

    Can we put 128gb cards ?

  33. Michael Webber says:

    The chart at the 2:15 mark is priceless. Did you check an A1 compatible card for better non-sequential write speeds? Although on the "practicality trumps theoretical" yardstick you use, I doubt that nonsequential write speeds matter if we aren't running apps from the micro SD card (I just store videos to watch and since I delete them later, there's probably lots of mostly sequential space to write to in the future).

    I DO worry about those 54.78 write speeds. I don't doubt you can hit that with 100mb files, but what about 1.4gb files? I always experience HUGE thermal throttling after an initial burst of fast writing speed. Sandisk is a particularly bad offender in this regard.

  34. free thinker says:

    uhs-1 v30 is the new faster write speed version, a1 and a2, class 10 .baught a uhs-1 v30 at best buy 9 sandisk, for 32 dollars canadien for 32 gb . I aint sure but I think everything is smoother

  35. Wayne Karrick says:

    The casual user would be in tablet mode.

  36. abdoooo991 says:

    Samsung evo plus is the best micro sd card for surface look it up

  37. ShawnJames310 says:

    Does anyone know Which type of i5 processor does the surface pro 3 come with the 2 or 4 core one? How would you know? It doesnt specify ….Also how much micro sd reader storage can the slot drive handle up to? It doesnt specify also…. There are 2tb micro sd cards on the market now. Will the surface pro 3 be able to manage a 2tb card?

  38. Jerry García says:

    What is the best SIM card for surface pro 6?

  39. BruhItzZain ヅ says:

    Thank you! now i also know what that little slot underneath the surface go is for.

  40. Peter Okyem says:

    Anyone, does the surface Go support uhs-2 micro sd card?

  41. Hadi Tala says:

    That was a good help

  42. Lafayette Smyre says:

    If you upload the entire S-Mode system onto an external card before switching to full windows, would the original version still work as an external system?

  43. Rachit Tripathi says:

    I am planning to buy 8GB model. I want to know whether i can use my 2TB WD element external HDD using type C to type A adapter? Please help

  44. Trung Hua says:

    What is the max capacity that I can get for my Surface Go SD card?

  45. Ronnie O says:

    thank you

  46. Ray decaprio says:

    U kinda look like Petyr Baelish lol

  47. Pooja Ganapathi says:

    Can I insert mobile SIM to surface go

  48. Jose ivtec says:

    What is the max gb limit for surface go ?

  49. Akshay Agarwal says:

    400gb supported ?

  50. Johnny Lui says:

    What's the max read / write on a surface pro 6?

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