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Fastest/Best Micro SD for RPI3B+

  • Hi

    Recently bought RPI3B+ with 200GB Sandisk Ultra card. Saw there was a recent price drop in Samsung MicroSD cards and did some more research, the Samsung Evo Plus seems to perform better overall. I can still return the Sandisk and get 128GB Samsung Evo Plus.

    What do you recommend and what are your experiences? Will I notice the performance difference or are there other considerations?

    Would like to play N64 and PS1 games.


    ps I prefer MicroSD to USB pen drive.

  • Global Moderator


    What you need to research is which cards currently have the fastest and most reliable non-sequential read/write speeds. SD cards were originally designed primarily for digital cameras, which write data sequentially. However, computer devices like the Raspberry Pi write data non-sequentially. This being the case brings the value of an SD card's class rating into question, as it is based entirely on sequential read/write testing, making it a poor indicator as to how well a card will perform for computer use.

  • @mediamogul Hi, thanks for the info. Thus is where my research led me.

    This is specific for the RPI3B+ but I have to admit my technical knowledge on this is limited. Is the 4K performance relevant for retropie?

  • @Alginonuk I use a Kingston 4GB class 4 card more than 2 years now.
    The ROMs are on my external USB device. So inmho there is no need for max speed storages (and remeber the class just hold the minimum writing speed)

    Why? It's easier to maintain 4GB backups than a 200GB backup ;)

  • I currently only use Samsung Evo Select cards from Amazon and have not been disappointed. After many Sandisk failures in my Pis, the Samsung Evos have been flawlessly durable and fast. Supposedly these are just re-branded versions of the Evo Plus/Pro Plus specifically for Amazon.

  • I've mentioned this a few times before but my card of choice for both speed and capacity is the Sandisk Extreme series 128 GB.

  • From my long experience with flash storage (USB drives, cards for cameras, mobile phones, etc), the most reliable maker seems to be SanDisk, by far. I've never had one die on me. Therefore, I'm stuck to this brand for good.

  • I have been using a 64 GB Samsung Evo + for a few years now. No issues.
    I broke things so I had to reinstall RetroPie a few times, lots or writing, extended writing periods. I transferred about 50GB of data to it in one go multiple times without an issue. This is because of CD games, if I remove those, I only use about 12GB for everything.

  • A half related question :

    While SD cards are awesome for size/weight/etc., how much of a speed advantage would using an external hdd be? I can't imagine an ssd adding any value over a simple 2.0/3.0 mechanical drive being that the transfer rate is bottlenecked by the shared usb 2.0 bus which apparently is divided up by the all ports and the sd card reader. Is a top of the line sd card just as good as an external hard drive or are there any advantages?

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