How to choose a card reader

The main criterion for choosing a card reader is that it should support everything memory card standards required by the user.

How to choose a card reader: features you need note

how to choose a card reader

When choosing a card reader, you should be guided by the following criteria:

  1. Type (external or internal);

  2. Supported memory card standards;

  3. Speed ​​of data exchange with a computer;

  4. Compatible with the operating system.

External or internal?

External or internal card reader

The internal (or integrable) card reader is designed to installation in the body of the computer system unit. He is connecting directly to the motherboard, most often via the USB bus, and differs in the greatest ergonomics and speed of work within standard. However, it needs to be mounted, and it requires both at least one free slot on the front panel.

It’s self-evident that such a card reader cannot be used with a laptop. If you need a device for a mobile computer or I just don’t want to mess with disassembling the system unit, it’s suitable external. It also connects via USB.

Supported memory card standards

memory card standards

The most important parameter of the card reader is the list of supported im memory card standards. So, it is necessary that he can work with all drives used by the owner.

The most common dependency is the “number of supported standards – price “the most direct. The more expensive the card reader, the more types “cards” he can “read.” However, not always worth it. overpay for unused standards.

In addition, many standards are presented in several iterations. Such is, for example, microSD. Despite the same form factor, memory cards of this type may have different standard – microSDSC, microSDHC, microSDXC – and it is necessary that the card reader supported them all.

Card reader speed

Accurately determine the speed at which the card reader will read or writing data to a USB flash drive is very difficult. After all, it depends from three parameters:

  1. Generation of USB connection;

  2. Card reader controller speed (if any);

  3. The speed of the flash drive itself.

And often the total speed is “cut off” to the lowest of list.

However, the standard speed of the card reader is about 480 Mbps. This complies with the USB 2.0 protocol. The owners computers with USB 3.0 can purchase a card reader that supports this generation, and then the maximum read / write speed will be match that of a flash drive.

OS compatible

It is also necessary that the card reader is compatible with the operating system. system. And if such devices are connected to Windows via plug-and-play, often without even requiring the installation of drivers, then with In conjunction with macOS, problems may arise. Make sure that manufacturer provides alternative operating system software systems if the card reader is supposed to be used on those.


Selecting a card reader is easy. Just know which cards memory planning to use. Flash Drive Compatibility – the main criterion for choosing. And everything else determines rather the convenience of use.


In the following articles, our experts tell which the operating system is better for a computer and laptop, and secrets choosing a reliable flash drive – an overview of the best manufacturers.

Attention! This material is subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a buying guide.

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