Computers & Electronics

Dash Cam Memory Card Help

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 4th, 2019 9:41 pm
[OP]
Member
Jun 27, 2009
409 posts
47 upvotes

Dash Cam Memory Card Help

Looking for some help on choosing a memory card for my new dash cam

I see everyone recommending high endurance cards but have no clue on size, brand or pricing

I have also seen reports about counterfeit cards flooding the market...how do you test for this?

Camera is the new Viofo 129 Pro Duo 4K Camera

Thank You
14 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 21, 2018
4344 posts
4390 upvotes
Vancouver
Regular memory cards use TLC flash memory, which is cheapest for the density. The problem is that TLC memory cells generally start to fail after only about 1000 write cycles. The memory controller on the card ensures that memory mapping rotates writes evenly over the entire card so that one spot (like the index file) doesn't get written too much and cause premature failure. Since most applications don't require writing to the card a whole lot, that's sufficient for a reasonable life span. Unfortunately dashcams write continuously to the memory card at a fairly high rate, everwriting the entire card repeatedly. That can use up your 1000 write cycles fairly quickly - you can calculate the rate by looking up the video mbps recording rate of your particular dashcam, and calculating how often the memory card will be overwritten. It usually comes out to a couple of years of daily use. Unfortunately when the memory card starts to fail, you might not notice immediately since you are not checking it every day, meaning that your video recording could be missing just at the moment you need it.

"High-endurance" memory cards generally use MLC flash memory instead, which is less dense and more expensive per Gbyte, but typically lasts about 3500 write cycles.

But keep in mind that a larger memory card will be overwritten less often, not to mention retaining a longer history in your dashcam, and being more useful if you swap it to another application.

So what you need to do is compare the relative cost vs. size of a regular memory card vs. a high-endurance card. For the same price, a regular memory card with 4x the memory would be preferable to a high-endurance card and probably last longer, while 3x would be about even.

It's true that top brand-name memory cards are frequently counterfeited, and even some of the leading retailers in Canada have been found to be selling fakes from time to time. The counterfeiters would be stupid not to realize that they could double the price by producing fake "High Endurance" cards, so I'm sure that happens. Unfortunately while you can test for the true capacity of a memory card, there's no way to test for high endurance. All you can do is be suspicious of prices that are too low, especially from less reliable retailers, especially when it's a frequently-counterfeited brand name (it's more likely that Samsung or Sandisk will be counterfeited than lesser known brands).
[OP]
Member
Jun 27, 2009
409 posts
47 upvotes
Scote64 wrote: Regular memory cards use TLC flash memory, which is cheapest for the density. The problem is that TLC memory cells generally start to fail after only about 1000 write cycles. The memory controller on the card ensures that memory mapping rotates writes evenly over the entire card so that one spot (like the index file) doesn't get written too much and cause premature failure. Since most applications don't require writing to the card a whole lot, that's sufficient for a reasonable life span. Unfortunately dashcams write continuously to the memory card at a fairly high rate, everwriting the entire card repeatedly. That can use up your 1000 write cycles fairly quickly - you can calculate the rate by looking up the video mbps recording rate of your particular dashcam, and calculating how often the memory card will be overwritten. It usually comes out to a couple of years of daily use. Unfortunately when the memory card starts to fail, you might not notice immediately since you are not checking it every day, meaning that your video recording could be missing just at the moment you need it.

"High-endurance" memory cards generally use MLC flash memory instead, which is less dense and more expensive per Gbyte, but typically lasts about 3500 write cycles.

But keep in mind that a larger memory card will be overwritten less often, not to mention retaining a longer history in your dashcam, and being more useful if you swap it to another application.

So what you need to do is compare the relative cost vs. size of a regular memory card vs. a high-endurance card. For the same price, a regular memory card with 4x the memory would be preferable to a high-endurance card and probably last longer, while 3x would be about even.

It's true that top brand-name memory cards are frequently counterfeited, and even some of the leading retailers in Canada have been found to be selling fakes from time to time. The counterfeiters would be stupid not to realize that they could double the price by producing fake "High Endurance" cards, so I'm sure that happens. Unfortunately while you can test for the true capacity of a memory card, there's no way to test for high endurance. All you can do is be suspicious of prices that are too low, especially from less reliable retailers, especially when it's a frequently-counterfeited brand name (it's more likely that Samsung or Sandisk will be counterfeited than lesser known brands).
Appreciate the info.

Having said all that, is there one you'd suggest? for a dual cam setup, is 64gb too small?
Deal Addict
Jan 21, 2018
4344 posts
4390 upvotes
Vancouver
64 gb is fine. But as for recommendations, keep in mind what I said above. An inexpensive Adata 64 Gbyte card is $13.99 at Canada Computers. Adata is a reliable secondary brand, not commonly counterfeited. On Amazon.ca and Bestbuy.ca you can find lots of high-endurance 64 Gbyte microSD cards for sale around $30, but red flag: they are all from third-party sellers and they are all frequently-counterfeited brand names. At a quick scan of 64 Gbyte high endurance microSD cards on Amazon.ca, you would find that one directly sold and shipped by Amazon.ca, from Transcend (similarly a reliable second-tier brand name), is $63. I'm not saying that all the cheap one are counterfeit - just that it's a high risk environment and there's no way to tell.
Deal Guru
Aug 26, 2002
13758 posts
5370 upvotes
Toronto, ON
I just noticed something with my dash cam and i'm hoping someone can confirm whether it's the memory card or the dash cam itself. I upgraded to a Viofo A119 V3 two weeks ago and I put in a Lexar 128GB micro sd card. Two weeks went by and it was working fine but yesterday I noticed during my drive that the red "REC" button was flashing constantly. Once I had a chance to stop the car, I observed what was happening and it looked like the camera starts recording but then freezes momentarily and then the REC button flashes red. After the drive, I took the memory card and unloaded the videos onto my PC. It looks like the card had almost filled up. I downloaded all the videos off the card and it looked like 2 weeks of video were fine, but for the last day or so, the videos were all very short (10-15 seconds in length). I've tried reformatting that card but it still gave me the red flashing REC.

So is this an indication of a bad micro sd card? Or is this a problem with the dash cam itself?
Deal Addict
Jan 21, 2018
4344 posts
4390 upvotes
Vancouver
rvs007 wrote: I just noticed something with my dash cam and i'm hoping someone can confirm whether it's the memory card or the dash cam itself. I upgraded to a Viofo A119 V3 two weeks ago and I put in a Lexar 128GB micro sd card. Two weeks went by and it was working fine but yesterday I noticed during my drive that the red "REC" button was flashing constantly. Once I had a chance to stop the car, I observed what was happening and it looked like the camera starts recording but then freezes momentarily and then the REC button flashes red. After the drive, I took the memory card and unloaded the videos onto my PC. It looks like the card had almost filled up. I downloaded all the videos off the card and it looked like 2 weeks of video were fine, but for the last day or so, the videos were all very short (10-15 seconds in length). I've tried reformatting that card but it still gave me the red flashing REC.

So is this an indication of a bad micro sd card? Or is this a problem with the dash cam itself?
Are you sure the dashcam is set to automatically record over the oldest content? Maybe it's just out of memory on the card and hasn't been set to erase the oldest content.

If you want to test the card, write something to it from your PC and try to read it back.
Member
Dec 21, 2011
292 posts
127 upvotes
ETOBICOKE
onslaught192 wrote: Looking for some help on choosing a memory card for my new dash cam

I see everyone recommending high endurance cards but have no clue on size, brand or pricing

I have also seen reports about counterfeit cards flooding the market...how do you test for this?

Camera is the new Viofo 129 Pro Duo 4K Camera

Thank You
I just bought the same camera and purchased the Samsung pro endurance 128 card.
I purchased it from Newegg and the total price was around $50.
This card came recommended by Black Box my car.
[OP]
Member
Jun 27, 2009
409 posts
47 upvotes
Thumperdude wrote: I just bought the same camera and purchased the Samsung pro endurance 128 card.
I purchased it from Newegg and the total price was around $50.
This card came recommended by Black Box my car.
the only one i see on newegg says its shipping from the US so you have to pay shipping and duties/brokerage......is that the same one?
Deal Guru
Aug 26, 2002
13758 posts
5370 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Scote64 wrote: Are you sure the dashcam is set to automatically record over the oldest content? Maybe it's just out of memory on the card and hasn't been set to erase the oldest content.

If you want to test the card, write something to it from your PC and try to read it back.
It's set for loop recording by default (I don't even think there's an option to turn off loop recording). Also, after I cleared the memory card, the dashcam still exhibited the same flashing red REC button issue.
Deal Addict
Jan 21, 2018
4344 posts
4390 upvotes
Vancouver
Maybe the card is a counterfeit with a fake memory capacity. It reports 128 Gbytes, but it's actually less, and when the camera hits the real memory limit, it reports an error. Have you tried copying 128 Gbytes of data to the card?
Deal Guru
Aug 26, 2002
13758 posts
5370 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Scote64 wrote: Maybe the card is a counterfeit with a fake memory capacity. It reports 128 Gbytes, but it's actually less, and when the camera hits the real memory limit, it reports an error. Have you tried copying 128 Gbytes of data to the card?
I'll try that tonight. The card was purchased from Staples so I don't think it would be counterfeit. If it ends up being the card, I guess I can just get a replacement under warranty. Is there any program that can thoroughly test a micro sd card?
Deal Addict
Jan 21, 2018
4344 posts
4390 upvotes
Vancouver
rvs007 wrote: I'll try that tonight. The card was purchased from Staples so I don't think it would be counterfeit. If it ends up being the card, I guess I can just get a replacement under warranty. Is there any program that can thoroughly test a micro sd card?
If you erased the card completely, then put it back, and the camera still can't record when it worked before, it's more like a hardware failure of the card or of the camera than for the card to be a counterfeit short of memory capacity. But there are lots of tools to test this: https://www.raymond.cc/blog/test-and-de ... h-h2testw/

Maybe you should try a different microSD card just to test if there's a hardware failure of the camera.
Deal Guru
Aug 26, 2002
13758 posts
5370 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Scote64 wrote: If you erased the card completely, then put it back, and the camera still can't record when it worked before, it's more like a hardware failure of the card or of the camera than for the card to be a counterfeit short of memory capacity. But there are lots of tools to test this: https://www.raymond.cc/blog/test-and-de ... h-h2testw/

Maybe you should try a different microSD card just to test if there's a hardware failure of the camera.
Thanks for the link, I will look into it some more tonight. I do have another microSD card in the camera now (I bought a few for the dashcam and Wyzecams around the house). So we'll see if the problem persists with this other card. If so, then it's more likely the dashcam itself.
Member
Dec 21, 2011
292 posts
127 upvotes
ETOBICOKE
onslaught192 wrote: the only one i see on newegg says its shipping from the US so you have to pay shipping and duties/brokerage......is that the same one?
Yes, you are correct. I see what you're looking at. Its the same price however it seems to the shipping is NOW $15.99. It was $5. when I ordered it.
The price has gone up.

https://www.newegg.ca/samsung-128gb-mic ... 6820147697
Sr. Member
Feb 5, 2007
656 posts
270 upvotes
Mississauga
just get the samsung pro endurance . pick a size, 32 or 64gb is fine

Top