- Brief definition of exFAT
- In which cases is exFAT used?
- What are the advantages of exFAT?
- What are the disadvantages of exFAT?
- In summary: the differences between exFAT, FAT32 and NTFS
Brief definition of exFAT
ExFAT is the abbreviation of the English term "Extended File Allocation Table (in French "extended file distribution table). exFAT allows a maximum cluster size of 32 MiB (mebibytes). A maximum of a folder can contain 2,796,202 files. As a result, private users will never reach that multi-million-file limit, which also offers considerable headroom for users of business applications in research, industry and media. ExFAT's predecessor, FAT32, allowed a maximum of 65,534 files. This improvement is therefore particularly useful, even essential, for applications involving large amounts of data.
Since version 10.6.5, the exFAT standard is also fully supported by Apple, thus increasing the compatibility between Mac and PC devices and simplify data transfer. For a very long time, compatibility with Linux operating systems was not optimal. The problem was alleviated, however, thanks to drivers from companies like Samsung. On the Ubuntu Linux distribution, exFAT has been included in the official package sources since version 12.04.
From a slightly less technical point of view, we can therefore consider exFAT as a hybrid form between NTFS and FAT32 . Like NTFS, this is a modern file system, but has compatibility comparable to FAT32.
What is exFAT used for?
Today, exFAT is used by many manufacturers as well as a relatively large number of users as well.on USB sticks than on SSDs. Although there is no technical limit to the size of the files, as we have seen above, practice quickly showed that exFAT worked more efficiently when the total volume of the storage medium was not too much. important.
Below are several recommendations for optimal use of the exFAT format: Large hard drives used only on Windows computers should always be formatted as NTFS. The same applies to data which must be quickly accessible, e.g. in real time for an application. exFAT does not support compression, NTFS should be used when file compression is required. In all other cases, exFAT, or FAT32, should be preferred , especially with low volumes of data.
exFAT particularly shows its strengths when it comes to '' ensure fast data exchange between devicesApple and PCs, an important interaction these days. Today, it is not uncommon for this exchange to no longer be carried out directly from computer to computer but via the cloud. In such a case, mobile data carriers with exFAT file system are no longer needed.
Mac does not support NTFS, the interaction between Mac devices and PCs is a problem that it's nothing new. The downside of FAT32 is that it cannot record a data volume greater than 4 GB. ExFAT is the ideal solution since it allows large files (e.g. movies) to be recorded on a medium. common data. Multiple devices with different operating systems can then access this media. According to users and experts, exFAT is very flexible .
This file system is therefore used everywhere where NTFS is not a practical solution , especially due toe the data structure. For embedded systems, all FAT formats, especially exFAT, are a suitable solution because this file system has a simplified structure. Also, exFAT is often used in firmware due to the reduced memory and power requirements. If we compare it directly with its predecessor FAT32, exFAT is better from a technical point of view since the maximum size of files and partitions is larger.
What are the advantages of exFAT?
exFAT is particularly useful in the context of an interaction between different operating systems. Running on Mac as well as Windows and Linux and being supported by all storage media, from hard drive to USB key via SD card, the exFAT format is uideal solution when it comes to saving large files on different platforms. In view of its many advantages over FAT32, it is considered the FAT format .
The NTFS file system is often not supported by multimedia equipment such as cameras, car radios, media players or televisions. Therefore, audio or video files cannot be displayed or played. It often happens that the folder is not recognized at all and an empty USB stick, SD card or hard drive is displayed while all data has been successfully copied and was displayed and read without difficulty on the device. 'computer. In principle, the exFAT standard is more easily supported than NTFS and allows content to be viewed and played on almost any popular media device, new or old.
What are the disadvantages of exFAT?
When exFAT is to be used on a computer with obsolete operating system Windows XP , an update must be installed. Otherwise, the format will not be supported. Windows Vista can only process exFAT through the installation of Service Pack 1 or Service Pack 2.
Regardless of the operating system and platform, exFAT can sometimes cause problems under intensive use: the hard drive or storage medium is not always recognized immediately and it is sometimes necessary to restart it several times to transfer data without error. As exFAT does not proceed to a redundant record of master data , storage media with an exFAT file system should always be disconnected and removed with care.Otherwise, it can lead to data loss and in some cases the only solution to this will be to resort to an expensive data rescue.
Due to the lack of compression, exFAT is not suitable for all situations. Therefore, if you work exclusively with Windows and if you don't need a cross-platform data exchange, NTFS remains the best solution, especially since this system, although less recent, also stands out in terms of speed.
In summary: the differences between exFAT, FAT32 and NTFS
The exFAT filesystem is a technical and modern improvement on classic FAT filesystems. exFAT is therefore more efficient than FAT32. The main difference lies in an extension of the size of files and partitions as well as ina significantly better compatibility . The situation differs somewhat from NTFS file systems, as NTFS is Microsoft's standard file system.
As a file system optimized for flash storage media, ExFAT does not compete direct with NTFS. It should be seen more as a useful add-on for quickly and reliably transferring files between different platforms of an operating system or storage medium. and as far as possible, error free. NTFS is still faster, however.
Surprisingly, the exFAT file system is not as well known to users as FAT32 and NTFS despite its technical advantages. However, it is regularly used by manufacturers when formatting and is therefore widely used. This low awareness is most certainly linked to the fact that Microsoft has not published the specifications.ns detailed exFAT as of 2019.
exFAT has in many ways outperformed its predecessor, FAT32. However, compared to NTFS, it still has various drawbacks. These two file systems will continue to be used in parallel for some time.