Format vs delete? Which is better?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
stativ Junior Member • Posts: 26
Re: Format vs delete? Which is better?

I think It does not matter that much.

Formatting might be a bit nicer to the card, because creating new filesystem means only creating empty filesystem structure. Removing files means marking all files as deleted which is many small writes. Given how SSDs work changing those few bits to mark a file as deleted means rewriting much larger part of the memory. With FAT it's likely that several files will have the metadata stored in the same sector, so changing those marks for multiple files would mean overwriting the sector over and over again.

However I'm convinced modern card controllers and cameras will be smart enough to group any changes to FAT, so the memory is not overwritten as much. Also don't forget that the memory card controller will almost certainly spread the writes to different memory cells to spread the wear.

I have one strong case against formatting, and that is when you use stored settings in M1, M2, ... slots as those are stored on the card. If you format the card, you will lose those settings. For that reason I always use delete rather than format.

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