I'm looking for an adjective to refer to the space available on SD cards or USB sticks (the amount of Gigabytes available, to be clear). Specifically, a shorter version of this:

You need an SD card with a lot of space.

That's still kind of ambiguous. I'm not sure what adjective would be correct here:

You need a large/big/high capacity SD card.

When I use large or big, it sounds as if I'm referring to the physical dimensions of the medium. High capacity is my best guess at the moment, but it still sounds wrong. Is there an accepted adjective for this meaning? If not, what is the best short phrase that I can use instead?

  • 1
    In my shop we'd say you need a big-ass card, but that's an expression you can't use in a lot of contexts. Feb 21, 2017 at 15:07
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    Given Moore's Law, if you want your text to still be meaningful in a year or two you should probably be more precise - You need at least an X Gb SD card. But even that will look "quaint" in a few years (just as You need at least a 500Mb SD card does today). I feel really old now this question has reminded me that I once paid over a hundred pounds extra to buy a PC with a 30Mb hard drive rather than the 20Mb jobbie that was standard at the time. Feb 21, 2017 at 15:19
  • @FumbleFingers Solid advice. I wasn't sure how to phrase that either, but your example sounds convincing
    – MoritzLost
    Feb 21, 2017 at 15:35
  • There is another term: capacious. You can google it. It's used in slightly more formal, less geek-written, bumph about memory. A capacious USB flash drive, for instance. [Don't blame the messenger.] Personally, I would not use big or large in a formal context. (meaning: anything that is not IMing my friends or chat sites, etc.]
    – Lambie
    Feb 21, 2017 at 17:23
  • @Lambie While "capacious" is both correct and splendiferous as a word, it would likely come across as ostentatious in a technical guide. I have to agree with FumbleFingers that the best avenue is to be precise with the actual amount needed, especially given a technical context. If a precise amount is not known (in the case of a variable quantity based on context), surely the reason for the large size can be given to inform the reader as to the need (e.g. 2x the size of original content stored in the DBMS to allow for metadata). Oct 28, 2020 at 1:46

2 Answers 2


Large is fine. No one would mistake it for a reference to the physical dimensions of the card. Here's a well-known magazine referring to "the world's largest SD card", so you can see that it's in use.

Big is OK too, but sounds slightly less formal than large.

High capacity is a good formal term that no one could object to, especially since it appears in the name of Secure Digital High Capacity cards.


The formal adjective for capacity is capacious:

"We periodically tell you about the most capacious hard drives , as well as capacious SSD-drives, but now would like to share with you news of a new record in the category as our usual USB-flash drives. He managed to establish with the launch of Kingston’s DataTraveler Ultimate GT model drive with an impressive volume in 1 or 2 terabytes."

CNET is another authority in the field and they use it.

SanDisk Extreme 900 Portable SSD An extremely fast, versatile drive

Rugged, fast and capacious, the SanDisk Extreme 900 Portable SSD is an excellent portable drive.

I was unsuccessful in trying to post the links. You can google many examples.

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