Below I’ve reviewed the best SD card for Raspberry Pi 3. Hint: our benchmark tests show that Samsung EVO Plus outperformed all the SanDisk, Lexar, Toshiba, Sony SD cards.
Most SD-cards have poor build-quality and lack wear leveling.
The many Raspberry Pi 3 sd card reads & writes (random) will break the card.
SD Cards: Top 7 Best SD Card for Raspberry Pi 3 in 2020
Check the write up by Jeff Geerling at the MidwesternMac. Jeff outlined that the raspberry pi 3 sd card worked seamlessly for more than a year.
1. Samsung EVO Plus Class 10 Micro SDHC – Our Top Pick
I recommend this Samsung EVO Plus as the best micro SD card for Raspberry Pi 3. It offers 8.61 4K read speed & 3.23 4K Write speed. 32GB is enough for your Raspberry Pi 3 but check for larger storage. Overclocking Raspberry Pi 3 can twerk its performance.
The relevant superior performance is the 4K random read and 4K random write – which it posted speed on 8.61 and 3.23 respectively.
We achieved comparable results on a similar test with Raspberry Pi 3 model 3B & 3B+. However, if the microSD card is larger than 32GB, you’ll need to format it from Exfat to fat32 so that it’ll be compatible with your Pi device.
I noted that Samsung Evo+ will also work excellent for other devices such as HD video recording, mobile gaming, and music. Considering the temperature of operation, the microSD will tolerate -24 Celsius and 86° Celsius of operation.
Further, the SD card is resistant to water, X-Rays, and Magnetic fields. On aesthetics, Samsung EVO+ has an excellent exterior design that you’ll love.
Related: Best OS for Raspberry Pi 3
2. SanDisk Extreme 32GB microSDHC UHS-3 Card – Runner-Up
The SanDisk Extreme is built for top speeds (4K read and 4K Write) of 8.35 and 2.28 respectively, which is great for Raspberry Pi 3. Further, it has a write speed at highly of 90MB/s.
The UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) model is just as fast as the Evo Select. I noted that the UHS cards are significantly cheap and high performing too. The SanDisk Extreme is about as fast as the Evo Select.
However, this sd card is a bit costly compared to the Samsung Pro+ or Samsung Evo+. I believe this MicroSD also offers top performance and reliability while working in the Raspberry Pi3.
SanDisk Extreme provides a write speed of 17.40MB/s and thus great for Raspberry Pi projects and shooting videos. The MicroSD has high reliability and endurance, which makes it endure harsh conditions such as long write and read period for the Raspberry Pi 3 projects.
3. Samsung Pro Plus 32GB MicroSDHC – Larger Capacity
Samsung Pro Plus maintains having write speeds of 90MB/s and read speeds of 95MB/s – but can be overclocked for better performance. In addition, the SD-card is magnet-proof, X-ray-proof and waterproof.
The microSD, being UHS-I compliant, is great for Raspberry pi 3 projects, video and still shots. It’s in the market as 32GB & 64GB capacities. Samsung Pro+ is highly reliable and has Top write speed performance.
With the light grey color, Samsung Pro+ maintains Samsung’s amazing design. Further, its storage and data transfer capacity is top-notch, which makes it a favorite for Raspberry Pi applications, tablets, and high-end DSLRs.
4. Samsung EVO Select (U3) MicroSD 64GB – 100MB/s Card
Sneak peek: My Raspberry Pi 3 project for Electronic Music
Considerations in Best SD Card for Raspberry Pi 3
The sd card wears issue is highly misunderstood by most tech guys. Notably, the tech guys provide inconsistent SD lifespan explanations mainly because most of them do not do the real test before putting up blog posts. SD cards have limited write time like we’d noted above, as you use it with your Raspberry Pi 3. But, the SD lifetime will highly vary with the “disk” activity, which denotes the count of WRITES.
Therefore, to maximize the raspberry pi 3 sd card lifespan, you should make the Raspberry Pi boot from your microSD and then the other operations and data to run from a hard drive. Get a powered USB hub for external file storage.
Next technique is using RAMDRIVE to maximize your SD lifespan. This would involve the raspberry pi reading all the log files to the RAM during startup, then write it to your RAM and during shut down (deliberate), it’ll write them back to your SD card. Luckily, you can use a Ramlog (follow this guide) to write logs only during power down.
However, if you’d love to beat all this trouble, you’ll need to go for an sd card that has “wear-leveling”. In this methodology, the writers use for blocks of the SD memory in your chip will be spread out to avoid writing on one block over and over.
Micro SD class 10
Notably, class 10 SD cards will have higher speed compared to other SD cards from class 2 to class 9. For the Raspberry Pi 3, the SD cards act as a hard drive and thus a class 10 would be great. However, you can also consider the UHS Class 1 that is even faster than the class 10 SD cards.
Notably, there are two types of SD card sizes: the larger SD card and the smaller microSD cards. The larger SD card was mainly compatible with the older Raspberry Pi – Raspberry Pi 1 (Model B).
However, the new Raspberry Pi models (from B+ 512 model) now use the smaller MicroSD card. For starters, the MicroSD card is your regular mobile phone data SD card. This card is compatible with Raspberry Pi 2 & Raspberry 3.
Therefore, shove that cheap SD card aways and get the Samsung Evo+ for your Raspberry Pi 3 for top overall speeds, and high 4K random read & 4K random write speeds.