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Other than portability are they faster? What about scaling? Or other factors?

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A SD/SDHC port built into a machine (as opposed to a USB-based reader) uses a PCI or PCI Express connection, meaning much lower CPU usage to read and write, as well as a potentially higher transfer rate to and from the card.

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Unfortunately I don't believe this is terribly common. – Alex Hirzel Jul 16 '12 at 6:10
I have never seen an PCI/PCIEx connected reader. All reader I have ever seen were connected via USB. – Robert Jul 16 '12 at 7:59
@Alex: It is on laptops. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Jul 16 '12 at 12:05

For the most part, to replace a USB flash drive with a MicroSD card means carrying around a USB adapter for systems that don't have a slot built-in. This alone is enough for me to conclude that there is no significant distinction between the two in every-day usage for PC-to-PC data transfer.

MicroSD cards and USB flash drives have roughly equal capacity, price and speed but I find that MicroSDs are easier to lose in general. They are comparable in speed because most MicroSD readers use a USB bus (except those that do not per Ignacio, but I believe these are rare).

In summary, I believe the answer is "same diff'" for most people.

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to be honest the only difference is the ability to plug a SD card into your phone after utilizing your pcs ability to download (images, updates, apps) via broadband. Ok phones have Internet access but if you are pay as you go the price per Megabyte of data! vice versa in the case of your pictures etc. But coming back to speed I thought a flash drive with ntfs would be faster than a SD Cards 16FAT or sometimes 32FAT.

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This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post - you can always comment on your own posts, and once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post. – slm Jun 23 '13 at 0:57

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