Best SD Card for Raspberry Pi 3 2018: Pi 2 & 3B+

Best SD Card for Raspberry Pi 3

Raspberry Pi Models now have better WiFi bandwidth (802.11ac in Pi 3 B+) and an on-board LAN. Therefore, your Pi’s micro-SD I/O will be the most significant performance bottleneck.

Therefore, a fast Pi micro-SD card – with high 4K random read and 4K random write – will be a critical Pi performance upgrade, particularly for storing your Pi’s OS and the program memory. 

However, the life of your Pi’s Micro-SD (either Micro-SDHC or the SDHC) is limited and some cheap cards have poor wear levelling.

Thus, between the excitement of running a Review of Pi model 3 B+, I undertook benchmark runs (with Raspberry Pi model 3 B+) for various MicroSD cards.

Note: Raspberry Pi 3 Model B & Model B+ are only compatible with Micro SD cards. However, you must format Micro SD larger than 32GB to FAT32

Our Benchmark Run Winner is….(1) Samsung Evo+ (Available on Amazon) and (2) SanDisk Extreme (Available on Amazon).

Samsung Evo+ tops the list based on higher 4K random read (8.58 MB/sec) and 4K random write (3.12 MB/sec) which are highly significant performance factors for the ever popular Raspberry Pi.

Second and Third places (based on 4K random read and write) goes to SanDisk Extreme MicroSD card & Samsung Pro+ respectively but will cost you more than the Samsung Evo+.

Therefore, below is the list of the best Micro-SD cards available for Raspberry Pi Model 2, 3B & 3B+: 

Would Micro-SD Card Reader Overclocking Improve SD Performance?

Definitely, overclocking your  micro-SD reader for Raspberry Pi can improve the micro-SD’s performance through a small percentage.

4K read (MB/s)4K Write (MB/s)
Samsung Evo+8.583.12
Samsung (Overclocked) Evo+9.803.24

From the benchmark test run, most the card achieved a significant performance improvement, with overclocked Card Reader for the Raspberry Pi.

Best SD Card for Raspberry Pi 3 2018: Pi 2 & 3B+

1. Samsung Evo+ 32 GB for Raspberry Pi

Second on the list for the Best SD Card for Raspberry Pi 3 is the Samsung Evo+ 32gb. Samsung Evo+ 32gb is a mid-range card that will give you an excellent compromise between price and performance.

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The Samsung Evo+ 32gb, with 16MB/s dd write speeds. Also, it has both Samsung EVO+ Plus 128GB and Evo+ 64gb options available on amazon.

The Korean produced SD card comes with 9 connector pins. The SD card can endure a 24 hours dipping into sea water. Further, it can endure a high of 85° Celsius and a low of -25 Celsius.

Interestingly, the SD card is highly resistant to weather and extreme environmental conditions such as Magnetic fields, X-Radiation, and Water.

Also, you’ll achieve excellent performance and speed in music, mobile gaming and HD video recording.

dd Write Speeds 

Using an IOMeter I noted that the 32 GB Samsung Evo+ achieved 13.0MB/s –16MB/s dd write speed and 43.6MB/s read speed.

It is faster in handling small block sizes and files compared to DS cards like Samsung Pro. This advantage will be excellent in the operation of Raspberry Pi3.

Also, Samsung Evo+ 32gb achieves additional points on writing 4k blocks as it is much faster compared to other SD cards.

Samsung EVO Plus has an amazing exterior design, with the orange and white colour theme.  With the EVO Plus, you’ll achieve tops data transfer speeds reaching 80MB/s.

Pros
  • Great price
  • Top performance – Write and read speeds
  • It’ll function well with your Pi 3 and Raspberry Pi 2 models.
  • IPX7 rated (water) – Water Proof
  • Reliable SD card
  • Working temperature is -13°F – 185°F
Cons
  • Large block writing (random) could be slow

2. 32 GB SanDisk Extreme-PRO for Raspberry Pi 3

My first recommendation is the SanDisk Extreme Pro 64gb UHS-I, as approved by the microSD cards Benchmarks, for your Raspberry Pi3.

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With the SanDisk Extreme-PRO, you will get reliability and excellent performance in your Raspberry Pi3.

You can quickly recover your data using the RescuePRO Deluxe software after any accidental deletion happens.

The SD card allows about 17.40MB/s write speed that will enhance your video shooting and play speed.

Therefore, the card will improve continuous and fast burst-mode taking or photographs.

Further, the deep analysis “Comparison table for Raspberry Pi microSD card”, by Jeff Geerling approves the Samsung Evo+ 32GB on Amazon. 

Ultimate Pi3 SD card: You can also consider the Official Raspberry Pi 16gb SD Card , as it closely follows the Evo+ and the SanDisk Extreme models.

Pros
  • Highly Durable for bad conditions
  • Excellent performance
  • Top Endurance and reliability since it has wear levelling
  • Works with various SDHC UHS-I and SDHC operating gadgets
Cons
  • Relatively pricey

3. Raspberry Pi Official for Raspberry Pi 3

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Some people consider Raspberry Pi Official as the Best SD Card for Raspberry Pi 3. But, what is better that an recommended product?

Then, Raspberry Pi Official Card should be your first consideration in this class.

It has a pre-installed Noobs, which will have the official Raspbian distribution.

Further, it allows other operating systems that you can download and install from the internet.

Luckily, it’s Class 10 MicroSD Card, achieving top data transfer speeds, and will work with all the makes for Raspberry Pi.

4. SanDisk Ultra SDSQUNB for Raspberry Pi 3

This SanDisk Ultra Card has a capacity of 16 GB and is a class 10.

Further, the company upgraded the speed of its previous cards, and thus this one has a 48 MB/s read speed.

SanDisk Ultra 16 GB UHS-I Class 10

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Due to its high quality and read speeds, SanDisk Ultra is highly suitable for Raspberry Pi3, and other supercomputers.

But what is unique about the “ultra” design?

Well, small size (ultra) allows the SanDisk Ultra to consume much less power.

Also, the card is both shock, temperature and X-Radiation proof.

In addition, you’ll not experience any stuttering or dropouts when using the SanDisk Ultra Micro SDHC card.

5. 32 GB Samsung EVO Micro SD for Raspberry Pi 3

Has a UHS-I interface that is fitting and will perform excellently with camera.

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Also, the Class 10 Micro SD Card and the UHS-I, you’ll achieve high transfer speeds reaching 47MB/s.

With its attractive, orange and white colour scheme, Samsung has designed an excellent exterior look for the 32GB EVO Micro SDHC SD card.

The SD card is created for the highly mainstream section of consumers, ones that require excellent performance for their premium gadgets.

If you are worried about damaging the SD card, you should note that it 32GB EVO Micro SDHC SD card is temperature, X-Radiation, magnet, shock and water resistant.

6. Raspberry Pi 16GB (NOOBS – Preloaded)

Raspberry Pi Micro SD Card is described as the official copy of the 16GB SD Card that comes with Preloaded NOOBS that will allow you to install the various Pi OS to the Raspberry Pi board.

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The SD card has a 16GB SanDisk with an adapter.
On booting Raspberry Pi using NOOBS, you can utilize the menu to install Raspian. Further, you can employ internet to install other operating systems.

You can use the SD card slot on the converter (MicroSD to SD card).

Also, the SD card has the High-Speed and the Class 10 that allow faster data rates (transfer).

Interestingly, the SD Card will support multiple Operating Systems. The SD adapter will protect the SD Card after you eject it from your Raspberry Pi.

Pros
  • Allows plug and play operation with the installed software
  • You’ll get an AD adapter and an a MiCRO SD card having preloaded NOOBS
  • Will work with all the models of  Raspberry Boards
  • Fast write and read speeds with the Class 10 Micro SD
Cons
  • None

7. Samsung  EVO DS – SDHC Class 10

The EVO Class 10 SDHC SD card allow very fast transfer of photos and videos.

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Like, the 32GB EVO Micro SDHC SD card, this card is also temperature, X-Radiation, magnet, shock and water resistant.

The SD card allow full HD video taking, storage and transfer.

Further, the SD resists magnetic force produced by your speakers to about 13 times when compares to normal SD cards.

 

 

8.  32GB LoveRPi Raspbian UHS-I MicroSD Card

32GB LoveRPi MicroSD Card is highly optimized for raspberry PI3: Particularly for the Pi Zero and the Pi3 B.

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Raspberry Pi will utilize the SD card like its hard drive. The card is UHS-I and thus will be fitting with Raspberry Pi3 model B.

Therefore, you should aim to acquire a class 10 Micro SD card.

Through the use of a fast flash memory and controller, the LoveRPi MicroSD card will give you excellent performance compared to other cards, even the 32GB cards.

However, remember to get a Disk Management utility (diskmgmt.msc) while viewing your card (SD) for windows, failure to which it’ll only display 56MB caused by Linux Distribution partition.

Fast transfer speeds

Being a class 10 and UHS-I card, the 32GB LoveRPi will give you fast data and files transfer speeds. Being a class 10 card, it will allow you to transfer data quickly, including video.

Also, the manufacturer provides life time warranty for readability and write-ability.

32GB storage capacity

The storage capacity is large enough for both the raspberry OS and leave space for other sile such as data and your critical applications.

Raspbian Preloaded

The Raspbian OS is preloaded on the card. Therefore, pick it and automatic without the need to install operating system required to run the Pi3 device.

9. Raspberry Pi Raspbian Class 10 8 GB microSD

The Raspbian microSD Card by features a safe and fast SD card.

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Notably, the SD card is also class 10 and thus will perform excellently with your data storage and transfer, including videos, and be faster that your regular SD cards.

The card has an 8GB capacity that will adequate for all your technical processes.

With a preinstalled Raspbian, you’ll luckily not require to install an operating system or NOOBS. The card also has adapters to safeguard it while idle.

Raspberry Pi microSD Card has backward compatibility and performs perfectly with Model A+ & B+ of Raspberry Pi.

10. LoveRPi 128GB Raspbian UHS-I MicroSD

Just like 32gb LoveRPi MicroSD Card, the LoveRPi 128GB Raspbian SD card is optimized for RASPBERRY PI3, particularly Pi Zero and the other Pi3 B.

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The card has a Raspbian OS and NOOBS loader but lacks RPi-Tracker software.

Equally, the LoveRPi 128GB SD card is highly efficient since it incorporates a modern and fast flash memory and excellent controllers.

 

Buyer’s Guide – Best SD Card for Raspberry Pi 3

What you MUST KNOW before Selecting your Raspberry Pi3

So, what role do the SD cards serve? 

SD cards store data files and enable Raspberry Pi3 Software booting, and other such other functions in Orange Pi computers, or various small Linux Ports. In addition, consider purchasing a  cooler  and power supply for highest efficiency. 

Raspberry Pi SD Cards Considerations

Considerations for Raspberry SD cards are speed, format, and physical size. Notably, cheap SD card lack wear leveling and thus some sections of the card gets written to over continually until they fail.

Therefore, if Raspberry Pi tries to write over the worn out area, despite other section being intact, it will fail immediately.

My key research question will be (1) will SD card capacity affect speed (2) Do original SD card perform better (3) are expensive SD cards have better performance.

Despite that all Raspberry Pi fits all Best SD Card for Raspberry Pi3, you should consider the following factors to decide the card to purchase for your raspberry pi3.

SD Class (Ranging from Class 1 to Class 10): Your card’s class will affect the transfer speed and storage of data. For example, class 5 cards will only allow 5 MB/s.

Further, you should not that the higher the class number implies that the SD card will perform better in your operation of raspberry pi3.

What is raspberry pi SD card capacity limit?

Micro SD storage capacity: Despite that you might only require only 4GB to install Raspbian Lite image, other installations are different. If you will need to install Raspbian or NOOBs, then your least SD card capacity in your Best SD Card for Raspberry Pi 3 will require to be 8GB.

Raspberry Pi 1B+, 2B, and 3B comes with microSDHC card slot and thus will only allow a maximum of 32GB size SD cards.

However, there are some SD cards that will function in the microSDXC cards slot which are larger than 32 GB.

Note that all SD cards larger than 32 GB will be formatted to exFAT filesystem, as noted by Raspberry Pi foundation, as opposed to the normal FAT32 filesystem.

Therefore, if you require to install NOOBS on SD cards larger than 32 GB, then the installation process will be harder, as outlined on the foundation page.

However, if you decide to utilize Raspbian, or another OS through writing a disk image on the SD card, you’ll not need to change the exFAT to favourable FAT32.

Writing the image of the disk will overwrite everything, including the SD card filesystem.

Consider Wear Leveling

Therefore, you will need to get SD cards that has wear leveling, in which when there is adequate free space, the write access will be distributed evenly.

The low-priced and counterfeit SD cards lack wear levelling. You will continually overwrite some regions of the SD Card, one without wear levelling, leading to increased abrasion in that area and failure of the SC Card.

Therefore, your Raspberry Pi3 will fail if it attempts to use the area that has been continually worn out, even though other SD Card areas are still intact.

Raspberry Pi, small single-board computers, were first designed to promote compute science education. However, the Best Raspberry Pi3 Kit on Amazon have now become popular among computer scientists, robotics enthusiasts, tinkerers, and kids.

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