I have set up a VM (web development server) on a USB drive, but consider moving it to a SD card. VM has currently around 25 GB; so with a 64 GB card I would probably be safe.

The price is pretty irrelevant, as long as I can justify it to the management.


I don´t want the VM to be stored on the host´s hardware.

And the USB hard drive has two drawbacks:

  1. It is an extra object in my bag and on the table (which might be in a cafe, train, waiting room); an SD card would be much more handy.
  2. When the host (a Surface Book) goes into standby, it cuts the power to the USB HD; when it wakes up, the VM won´t respond to anything but switching off or reboot.


The card will not only be for putting a few files on it and updating them every now and then, but for actually working on it. The Surface Book supports UHS-I, as far as I could find out.


  1. Should I chose a certain type of storage? (performance)
  2. Should I prefer a certain manufacturer? (reliability, durability)


  • half size SD - I found Transcend´s JetDrive Lite, designed for MacBook Air/Pro.
  • never found a working microSD to SD adapter; guess the contacts are wearing off fast when you plug/unplug the microSD? But I really like the looks of Bosvision´s microSD Adapter)
  • usb stick (SanDisk Ultra Fit or something similar): probably 3rd choice, because the Surface has only two USB ports
  • Just a heads up, you might have the same issue with the USB stick as you currently do with the USB HDD, and maybe even the SD card.
    – Cfinley
    Jun 15, 2016 at 14:17
  • If I must live with drawback #2, I will. But I want it more compact, and an SD card or USB stick will definitely solve issue #1.
    – Titus
    Jun 15, 2016 at 15:40
  • update: The VM solution on external storage has no sense - at least with HyperV: every time the Surface goes to Standby, it cuts power to the SD and USB ports. Not too bad, would not HyperV kill the VM on almost every occasion.
    – Titus
    Dec 16, 2017 at 12:12

2 Answers 2


The Surface Book actually supports UHS-II from what I have seen. I think the Lexar Professional 2000x Series UHS-II/U3 of SD cards should fit your needs.

For a bit more, you can also get a 128gb from Lexar in the same series. If price is a bit too extravagant for your management, the SanDisk Extreme Pro (UHS-II) is available for a slightly cheaper in a 64gb site, although it is slower.

Per a customer review on that amazon page for the Lexar card:

  • Lexar Professional 2000x 300MB/s UHS-II 32GB: 296.5 read / 272.6 write
  • SanDisk Extreme Pro 280MB/s UHS-II 32GB: 274.5 read / 226.9 write
  • Toshiba Exceria Pro 260MB/s UHS-II 32GB: 260.5 read / 235.6 write
  • 1. All the cards you mentioned are fullsize and will protrude from the Laptop. 2. I will install a server on that card; i.e. random read/write is much more important than sequential access. Currently browing comparative tests and so far the SanDisk Extreme Pro microSD seems to be the best I can find. (0.4 ms average access) Will browse a bit more to see if I can find something better.
    – Titus
    Jun 16, 2016 at 7:55
  • but yes: Lexar SDXC Professional 2000x would probably the best full size solution in 64GB; access is about four times faster than on the SanDisk Extreme Pro. And both are around 100 Euros. Extreme Pro micro has about double the read access time of the Lexar, but is three times faster in write access - and costs only 40.
    – Titus
    Jun 16, 2016 at 8:15

An OS will be running on the card; so I need short access times, and it seems that microSDs are better than any standard SD in that respect.

I will give the SanDisk Extreme PRO microSD 64GB a chance (read access min/max/avg: 0.24ms/1.33ms/0.61ms; write access 1.18ms/80.02ms/1.69ms) and put it into a Bosvision adapter (https://www.amazon.com//dp/B01AT7ECA2 https://www.amazon.co.uk//dp/B01D5UEX9K / https://www.amazon.de/dp/B01D5UEX9K)

  • This should be a good solution terms of keeping everything compact and avoiding the card extending from you SD slot, but keep in mind that the Bosvision adapter does not support UHS-II. So read/write speeds will be slower than advertised on any UHS-II micro SD that you use with it.
    – islane
    Jun 16, 2016 at 17:21
  • both items arrived today. The combination is slightly slower than my USB3 HDD (2 TB WD Elements) in seq read/write (99%), in random read it´s about 20 times faster, in random write 3 times. My speed results match those I´ve read: the adapter is not limiting the performance of the card. Hyper-V doesn´t work with exFat, so I had to reformat to NTFS, which made it a tad slower: performance is ~99% compared to exFat. Absolute numbers (MB/s): 99.3/97.9 seq read, 83.65/87.65 seq write, 8.75/8.27 random read, 3.2/3.0 random write. (CrystalDiskMark) Looking forward to work on it now. :)
    – Titus
    Jun 18, 2016 at 20:45

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