NTFS or exFAT for removable media (SD/SDXC or USB)

UPDATE: my exFAT formatted 128GB SD card has been working wonderfully, I am happy with my choice of file system formats 🙂

exFAT has been mentioned previously on this blog, but for the first time I truly needed to decide: exFAT or NTFS for my new 128GB SD card

In the end, I chose exFAT for both speed and compatibility. My primary OSes are Windows and Android, both of which support read/write of exFAT. Android not so much with NTFS (at least out of the box w/o root or 3rd party apps). Plus there were not going to be any critical files stored on this drive and capacity is not humongous (128GB SD card) compared to hard drives or full fledged SSDs.

On the other hand if this had been an external 2.5″ USB hard drive with capacity exceeding 1TB then I would have gone with NTFS for perhaps a bit more reliability and resiliency.

Related SD card, exFAT resources and NTFS resources

PNY SDXC Class 10 High Speed Flash Memory Card (P-SDX128U2-GES3)

PNY SDXC Class 10 High Speed Flash Memory Card (P-SDX128U2-GES3)https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0093XSOAS/ref=as_li_ss_til?tag=pixensity-20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as4&creativeASIN=B0093XSOAS&adid=0J27VAWNHV2GH1WFHM59&Hi-Speed 45 MB/s transfer rates, Class 10 performance. Functions with SDXC host devices. Ideal for Hi-end DSLR cameras and HD camcorders. Capture and store more photos and video…
Why should I use exFAT over NTFS on removable media? – Super Userhttp://superuser.com/questions/257646/why-should-i-use-exfat-over-ntfs-on-removable-mediaexFAT basically takes the FAT file system to the next level, adding a large amount of long awaited features that the FAT32 system was sorely lacking. One of the key features for…
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ExFAT vs NTFS? - AnandTech Forums

ExFAT vs NTFS? – AnandTech Forumshttp://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?p=34786148One advantage is both PC and newer Macs can both read AND write to ExFAT drives. OSX can read NTFS partitions, but not write to them without additional drivers or software.
Paragon exFAT, NTFS & HFS+ - Android Apps on Google Play

Paragon exFAT, NTFS & HFS+ – Android Apps on Google Playhttps://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.paragon.mounter&hl=enThe only solution available on the market that mounts NTFS/HFS+ formatted USB drives or SD cards automatically!Forget about incompatibility issues! Get unlimited access to the…
Journaling file system – Wikipedia, the free encyclopediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journaling_file_systemA journaling file system is a file system that keeps track of the changes that will be made in a journal (usually a circular log in a dedicated area of the file system) before committing them to the main file system. In the event of a system crash or power failure, such file systems are quicker to bring back online and less likely to become corrupted…


  • Robert Shullich

    Exfat has been optimized to be flash memory friendly by reducing memory writes and alignment to memory blocks. You can’t get a cluster of 32mib under NTFS which still has a 64kb max cluster size.

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