3 Best SD Card for Raspberry Pi 3 B+ 2018 Reviewed

Best SD Card for Raspberry Pi 3

Samsung dominates the flash storage league, and its Samsung Evo+ Class 10 is the best SD Card for Raspberry Pi 3 (either model 3 B & 3 B+). MicroSD cards have different speeds and write/read cycles (and thus limited life). 

I run benchmarks for SanDisk and Samsung microSD cards as used in projects such as Raspberry Pi electronic music. No more SD cards bundled with Raspberry Pi 3 starter kits. Now, I use microSD with wear leveling and 4K random read & 4K random write speeds.

1. Ultimate Raspberry Pi SD card

Samsung Evo+

Best SD Card for Raspberry Pi 3

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For Raspberry Pi 3 model 3 B+, Samsung Evo+ outdoes all the other SD cards particularly on 4K random read and 4K random write – Best SD Card for Raspberry Pi 3. Similar results were obtained earlier when we conducted a similar test with Raspberry Pi 3 model 2 B & 3 B.

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.

2. Slightly faster MicroSD

SanDisk Extreme 

SanDisk Extreme 32GB microSDHC UHS-3 Card - SDSQXAF-032G-GN6MA [Newest Version]

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3. Larger Storage Capacity

Samsung Pro+

Samsung Pro Plus 32GB MicroSDHC Memory Card - 95MB/s Read, 90MB/s Write

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Considerations – Raspberry Pi 3 micro-SD

Wear leveling

Raspberry Pi SD wear 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.

Therefore we hit it running: 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 SD lifespan, you should make the Raspberry Pi to 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 start up, 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 write 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 like 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.

Physical Size

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.

Wrap up

Kindly check the write up by Jeff Geerling at the MidwesternMac. Jeff outlined that the microSD cards worked seamlessly for more than a year. Therefore, shove that cheap SD card aways and get the Samsung Evo+ for your Raspbbery Pi 3 for top overall speeds, and high 4K random read & 4K random write speeds.

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