Beorn_Bear
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Ideal SD Card Size for Raspberry PI 4

Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:30 am

What would be the ideal SD Card Size for Raspberry Pi 4?! I imagine that 8 GB is too small. Is 16 GB enough?! 32 GB? 64 GB?! Would a larger SanDisk Ultra A1 provide faster start up and better swap file access?!

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bertlea
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Re: Ideal SD Card Size for Raspberry PI 4

Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:50 am

If cost is not a factor, then larger is better. It may not make the start-up faster, but it will have longer life and potential spare spaces for user files and able to increase swap space to a much larger size (in case needed in future). Generally I use 16G for Raspbian Lite and 32G for Raspbian desktop and there is still plenty of spaces. Taking cost into account, I think 32G is a balanced option currently.

takyon
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Re: Ideal SD Card Size for Raspberry PI 4

Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:20 am

At Micro Center for example, the store brand 16 GB is $3, 32 GB is $3.50, and 64 GB is $7. So 16 GB is out of the question, and I chose 32 GB which is probably more than enough. The card doesn't have stellar IOPS or speeds, but the system works just fine.

With the money you save from using a cheap card, you could invest in an SSD + SATA/USB3 adapter later, and boot from that. Assuming you are willing to have an external SSD plugged in all the time. That should give much better performance than even a premium card, at a better price and higher capacities.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Ideal SD Card Size for Raspberry PI 4

Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:25 am

For most Pis, most of the time I use 8GB. Because the Pi4B boards have a faster SD interface I'm using A1 class cards in them and those start at 16GB. Any time I would want to go over 16GB to 32GB, I switch to an SSD.

goodburner
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Re: Ideal SD Card Size for Raspberry PI 4

Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:59 am

Depends on what you are using it for, hone If you are just using it to do some processing in the background then you know it doesn't need stly. If you want to use it as a desktop "replacement" then a SSD will greatly improve your experience.

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DougieLawson
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Re: Ideal SD Card Size for Raspberry PI 4

Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:00 am

Minimum needs to be 16GB now.
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Imperf3kt
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Re: Ideal SD Card Size for Raspberry PI 4

Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:06 am

DougieLawson wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:00 am
Minimum needs to be 16GB now.
Last I checked, the Operating system was around 5GB once installed.

I do agree that having more space will mean the card will last longer (more wear levelling space before the card goes EOL), but to suggest you need 16GB is a bit silly.

Although, I am finding it harder and harder to find MicroSD cards in sizes less than 16GB (I did see a new 2GB card in a store a few weeks ago, first one I've seen in a decade)

In my opinion, the ideal card size is 32-64GB, depending on specs and budget at the time of purchase

256GB A1 cards have dropped in price significantly in the last few months. I could buy one now for less than I paid for a discounted A1 rated 64GB card last year.
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Gavinmc42
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Re: Ideal SD Card Size for Raspberry PI 4

Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:11 am

After a month and a half with Pi4/Buster my 64GB A1 was more than half filled.
I now have a new 128GB A1, plus lots of 16GB, some 32GB and assorted USB sticks upto 64GB.
SSD's go from 120 to 240GB.

As a desktop replacement start with 32 or 64GB plus backup/network drives.
Shop around.
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Raspberries are not Apples or Oranges

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DougieLawson
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Re: Ideal SD Card Size for Raspberry PI 4

Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:17 am

Imperf3kt wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:06 am
DougieLawson wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:00 am
Minimum needs to be 16GB now.
Last I checked, the Operating system was around 5GB once installed.

I do agree that having more space will mean the card will last longer (more wear levelling space before the card goes EOL), but to suggest you need 16GB is a bit silly.
You may think it's silly, but we get so many threads on here where NOOBS users (5GB + 1.3GB lost) run out of space that recommending 16GB makes perfect sense.

The price of 16GB is so low it's a pointless economy to buy 8GB.

64GB is so cheap (probably because of all those 1080P GoPros and dashcams) that it almost becomes the recommendation (apart from defaulting to the wrong format which is a pain for NOOBS users).
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epoch1970
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Re: Ideal SD Card Size for Raspberry PI 4

Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:06 am

DougieLawson wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:17 am
The price of 16GB is so low it's a pointless economy to buy 8GB.
If any... check out the prices of 4GB SDs, more expensive than 8GB by now.

Always compute the price per GB. That will tell you where the sweet spot is, and how much of a premium you’d pay for less common larger (or smaller...) capacities.
"S'il n'y a pas de solution, c'est qu'il n'y a pas de problème." Les Shadoks, J. Rouxel

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rpdom
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Re: Ideal SD Card Size for Raspberry PI 4

Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:51 am

epoch1970 wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:06 am
Always compute the price per GB. That will tell you where the sweet spot is, and how much of a premium you’d pay for less common larger (or smaller...) capacities.
Also you have to take in to account that other important factor: How much money can I afford to spend and still be able to feed the kids spiders?

bjtheone
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Re: Ideal SD Card Size for Raspberry PI 4

Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:29 pm

Assuming an average kid and average sized spider, I would think that one kid would feed many spiders for a very long time (assuming you have the freezer space) and thus not really be relevant to deciding on which size SD card to buy. Now if it is the other way, unless spiders are really really cheap or indigenous and easy to catch, I can see it being expensive. But I digress.

Is funny that I have spent more money on Pi stuff than the Pis (SD cards, SSD + enclosure, cabling, case, case with fan, power supplies). Really points out how cheap the actual board is when a nicely machined (and reasonably priced) metal case for the Pi is significantly more expensive than the SBC. It a much happier place, than back when the street price of 1 Mb of DRAM was over $1000 (in early 80's dollars).

In terms of ideal size, I would agree with 32 Gb (fast name brand are around $11) being the sweet spot price wise and certainly gives you enough room to muck about. I would suggest at least 64 Gb ($18) if you want it to be a desktop, though a SSD would be much better, and 128 Gb SSD are crazy cheap (under $30, when they are not on sale). I find that a "well equipped" desktop for what I use it for (Buster + Mate + Build env & dev tools + ebook tools + office suite + odds & sods) is closing in on 20 Gb.

It really does come down to your use case. If you are running it as a server or as part of an embedded something (vision system, audio or video streamer, etc) you will need enough for the OS and whatever storage space you need for the whatever and a stripped OS may be appropriate. This is where the smaller card size makes sense. If you are doing general purpose stuff then a bigger card or SSD will give you room to expand and in the case of the SSD offer better performance.

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rpdom
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Re: Ideal SD Card Size for Raspberry PI 4

Wed Aug 21, 2019 2:24 pm

bjtheone wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:29 pm
Assuming an average kid and average sized spider, I would think that one kid would feed many spiders for a very long time (assuming you have the freezer space) and thus not really be relevant to deciding on which size SD card to buy. Now if it is the other way, unless spiders are really really cheap or indigenous and easy to catch, I can see it being expensive. But I digress.
The spiders prefer live food, not frozen. Maybe one day someone will make the connection with kids disappearing in the neighbourhood. :lol: We mostly give them locusts, but some people prefer to feed theirs crickets or cockroaches.

The spiders have cost us from £0 to £80 and we currently have 30 of them. I made a deal with my wife that every time she bought a new spider I could buy a new Pi. That didn't work out as she has had a lot more spiders than I have Pi.

When she only had one spider I set up a Pi 1B with temperature sensor and relay board to heat the room the spider was in while we were away for a few days. Now that Pi is managing the heating for the whole house and has saved us a fortune by not having the heating running when it isn't needed :-)
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pi-tastic
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Re: Ideal SD Card Size for Raspberry PI 4

Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:05 pm

just big enough to install noobs network install, then install to a usb3 device :)
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pica200
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Re: Ideal SD Card Size for Raspberry PI 4

Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:25 pm

I paid like 11€ for a 64GB A1 from SanDisk which i could not believe when i saw it. I did not plan to buy it but when i ordered the Pi 4 i was just 10€ under free shipping so this was a perfect fit :D In the end i think this was a good choice since i have no other A1 rated card.

ejolson
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Re: Ideal SD Card Size for Raspberry PI 4

Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:04 pm

takyon wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:20 am
At Micro Center for example, the store brand 16 GB is $3, 32 GB is $3.50, and 64 GB is $7. So 16 GB is out of the question, and I chose 32 GB which is probably more than enough. The card doesn't have stellar IOPS or speeds, but the system works just fine.
I just purchased two 16GB cards with the Micro Center brand and was quite surprised how well they work. Is it possible the 16GB cards are faster than the 32GB ones?

Now that the Pi 4 has USB3 ports, it makes a lot of sense to buy only a cheep SD card to hold the boot initial configuration and then keep root on an SSD. Of course, the additional cables, weight and power requirements pose the same problems they always have.

takyon
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Re: Ideal SD Card Size for Raspberry PI 4

Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:46 pm

ejolson wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:04 pm
takyon wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:20 am
At Micro Center for example, the store brand 16 GB is $3, 32 GB is $3.50, and 64 GB is $7. So 16 GB is out of the question, and I chose 32 GB which is probably more than enough. The card doesn't have stellar IOPS or speeds, but the system works just fine.
I just purchased two 16GB cards with the Micro Center brand and was quite surprised how well they work. Is it possible the 16GB cards are faster than the 32GB ones?
The performance with 32 GB has been fine so far. I doubt I will notice a difference. But If you're going by the card specs on the MC website, they get weird:

16 GB: 48 Mbps read, 10 Mbps write
32 GB: 48 Mbps read, 10 Mbps write
64 GB: 22 Mbps read, 15 Mbps write
128 GB: 48 Mbps, 10 Mbps write
256 GB: 85 Mbps read, 60 Mbps write

Not sure if we can trust those numbers, although 256 GB would be a great buy if true (almost the same $/GB as the 32-128 GB cards).

I'm already using about 12 GB on the card (16.8 GiB free of 27.9 GiB), so 32 GB is going to help me to not fill it up.

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