shrewdgamer
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Will adding an external SSD speed up Raspberry Pi?

Fri May 24, 2019 1:18 pm

Will adding an external SSD speed up Raspberry Pi?

I mean if the Raspbian is on it.
I have:
Raspberry Pi 3B+ with official power supply
Sandisk Class 10 SD card with Raspbian Stretch full

Ernst
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Re: Will adding an external SSD speed up Raspberry Pi?

Fri May 24, 2019 1:47 pm

shrewdgamer wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 1:18 pm
Will adding an external SSD speed up Raspberry Pi?

I mean if the Raspbian is on it.
No. The stationary speed will still be near to zero.
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shrewdgamer
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Re: Will adding an external SSD speed up Raspberry Pi?

Fri May 24, 2019 2:40 pm

Ernst wrote: No. The stationary speed will still be near to zero.
Are you joking?

Will installing Raspbian to an external SSD make it work faster?
I have:
Raspberry Pi 3B+ with official power supply
Sandisk Class 10 SD card with Raspbian Stretch full

Ernst
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Re: Will adding an external SSD speed up Raspberry Pi?

Fri May 24, 2019 2:50 pm

shrewdgamer wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 2:40 pm
Ernst wrote: No. The stationary speed will still be near to zero.
Are you joking?

Will installing Raspbian to an external SSD make it work faster?
No, the processor will still work at the same frequency.

Btw. I am not joking, try to formulate your question to get a useful answer.
The road to insanity is paved with static ip addresses

Andyroo

Re: Will adding an external SSD speed up Raspberry Pi?

Fri May 24, 2019 3:02 pm

Yes no maybe possibly

Yes - disk access will be quicker
No - memory / io will be the same boot time will be longer
Maybe - programs that are disk or swap space bound may run faster
Possibly - network access may be slower if you bottleneck the usb hub used for the network chip and ports

Need a decent use case - sorry...

Ernst
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Re: Will adding an external SSD speed up Raspberry Pi?

Fri May 24, 2019 3:06 pm

Andyroo wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 3:02 pm
Yes no maybe possibly
In other words: a definitive maybe
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Andyroo

Re: Will adding an external SSD speed up Raspberry Pi?

Fri May 24, 2019 3:12 pm

Ernst wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 3:06 pm
Andyroo wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 3:02 pm
Yes no maybe possibly
In other words: a definitive maybe
Don’t put words into my mouth unless they are in icing on a cake :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I would go as far as a possibly I think well maybe urmmm

You win :D

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DougieLawson
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Re: Will adding an external SSD speed up Raspberry Pi?

Fri May 24, 2019 5:40 pm

As ever, it depends.

We don't have enough info to tell you on what it depends.

My Raspberries with high speed spinning things run way better; as it's possible to use a spinning thing for swapping.

Haven't got as far as replacing spinning things with solid state thing.
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LTolledo
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Re: Will adding an external SSD speed up Raspberry Pi?

Fri May 24, 2019 9:45 pm

have not tried adding an SSD drive to a microSD boot setup, as I have migrated from microSD boot to USB boot (thumbdrive/HDD/SSD) on my RP2B v1.2, RPi3B, and RPi3B+ units.

As boot drive SSD boots a bit slower
however, system responds better after that (if this is the same as "speed up" in your mind)
even with this type of desktop.....
myRPi3B+Desktop.jpg
myRPi3B+Desktop.jpg (104.01 KiB) Viewed 2099 times
creating a big swap file on the USB boot drive (HDD/SSD) made this possible

my take.... still a definite maybe!


however...I definitely can use the RPi within 2 minutes after boot-up... unlike a cold booted i7 7th gen equipped Win10 pc
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shrewdgamer
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Re: Will adding an external SSD speed up Raspberry Pi?

Sun May 26, 2019 8:00 am

LTolledo wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 9:45 pm
have not tried adding an SSD drive to a microSD boot setup, as I have migrated from microSD boot to USB boot (thumbdrive/HDD/SSD) on my RP2B v1.2, RPi3B, and RPi3B+ units.

As boot drive SSD boots a bit slower
however, system responds better after that (if this is the same as "speed up" in your mind)
even with this type of desktop.....myRPi3B+Desktop.jpg

creating a big swap file on the USB boot drive (HDD/SSD) made this possible

my take.... still a definite maybe!


however...I definitely can use the RPi within 2 minutes after boot-up... unlike a cold booted i7 7th gen equipped Win10 pc
Thanks for your reply. Is it responsive or sluggish?
I have:
Raspberry Pi 3B+ with official power supply
Sandisk Class 10 SD card with Raspbian Stretch full

LTolledo
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Re: Will adding an external SSD speed up Raspberry Pi?

Sun May 26, 2019 8:04 am

my desktop image above? yes its still quite responsive despite the "clutter"....
"Don't come to me with 'issues' for I don't know how to deal with those
Come to me with 'problems' and I'll help you find solutions"

Some people be like:
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Ernst
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Re: Will adding an external SSD speed up Raspberry Pi?

Sun May 26, 2019 8:05 am

shrewdgamer wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 8:00 am

Thanks for your reply. Is it responsive or sluggish?
Neither. It does not make a real difference.
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k-pi
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Re: Will adding an external SSD speed up Raspberry Pi?

Sun May 26, 2019 9:49 am

Having experimented with all booting options, except netboot, the quickest to boot up is a micro SDHC card, mainly because the RPi always checks for it first.

However, once booted I prefer a SSD, HDD, micro SDHC, pendrive, in that order for their responsiveness.

(I use RPi3B/3B+/3A+)

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bensimmo
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Re: Will adding an external SSD speed up Raspberry Pi?

Sun May 26, 2019 12:12 pm

LTolledo wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 9:45 pm
have not tried adding an SSD drive to a microSD boot setup, as I have migrated from microSD boot to USB boot (thumbdrive/HDD/SSD) on my RP2B v1.2, RPi3B, and RPi3B+ units.

As boot drive SSD boots a bit slower
however, system responds better after that (if this is the same as "speed up" in your mind)
even with this type of desktop.....myRPi3B+Desktop.jpg

creating a big swap file on the USB boot drive (HDD/SSD) made this possible

my take.... still a definite maybe!


however...I definitely can use the RPi within 2 minutes after boot-up... unlike a cold booted i7 7th gen equipped Win10 pc
Wow, something is wrong with your Windows10 setup (or bios). My 4th gen i5, on same age SSD, longest delay is having to select myself and login with a pin code.


To the OP, it depends what uSD card you are using now, that is if you are meaning with respect to programs opening and it booting up.

The actual Pi will still chug through things at the same speed.

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Re: Will adding an external SSD speed up Raspberry Pi?

Sun May 26, 2019 2:12 pm

bensimmo wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 12:12 pm

Wow, something is wrong with your Windows10 setup (or bios). My 4th gen i5, on same age SSD, longest delay is having to select myself and login with a pin code.
Have any of you timed yourself from cold boot Win10 (not from coming from normal "shutdown" but from shutdown /f /s ) to actually typing the letter "A" on the first cell of newly opened Excel 2013 sheet? For me it takes a least 8 minutes.....from pressing the power button to typing "A".

I can have that in less than 2 minutes in my SSD boot RPi3B+ and LibreOffice Calc....

and on the same RPi3B+ I've just been watching a lot of HD videos on youtube (in a 6-tab Chromium) for the last 6 hours.... plays videos smooth.... and still responsive.....

(was "battle testing" my just upgraded RPi3B+ from PiFi DAC - DIY amp combo to Suptronics X400 v3.0)
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rpdom
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Re: Will adding an external SSD speed up Raspberry Pi?

Sun May 26, 2019 4:34 pm

The only Windows machines I have any real experience with (I'm not counting my wife's Win10 laptop, as I don't use that) are the Windows 7 PCs in the library. They take 5-10 minutes to boot to the login page, and another 3-7 minutes from login to being able to fire up Chrome or IE. Shutting down takes another 3-5 minutes - when you can get them to shut down - some don't have a shutdown option, just "log off" which reboots eventually. If you hit the power button at just the right time you can catch it before it starts booting back up.

I like my Pis and my laptops with Debian+RP Desktop - 30 seconds boot to usable desktop and 3 seconds to shutdown on the slower one :-)
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bensimmo
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Re: Will adding an external SSD speed up Raspberry Pi?

Sun May 26, 2019 8:19 pm

What do you think /f /s
s is the user shutdown iirc (normally used on remote screens), /f is just not to ask to close programs.

And yes, though with newer Office versions.
It's quick, excel takes longer, but then it checks for update.

Win7 takes a while as win10 improved this process and you'll probably be sat on old harddrives.
Also if it's networked it could be copying profiles etc.

By the way, I'm not saying the Pi3 is slow, it's not with my decent uSD card it is fast, again the login is the longer process in all of it.and finding the button to click to open a spreadsheet.



My Windows10 on a Win7 era AIO Intel T4500 (a laptop style CPUs) and old mechanical.eco discdrives does take quite some time, but that's older than the Pi itself.


EDIT just did a boot up, from wherever my son shut it down from
47.75 seconds

then from shutdown /f /s (which logs the user profiles out)
50.26 seconds.

That is from pressing the button on the case, going through BIOS (not set to it's fastest boot options iirc)
Windows loads up, spinning icon, checking it's update it needs to install etc
Clicking on my profile from the list, typing my pin code in, takes some time as it has the daft picture you need to get out of the way.
Clicking the Excel icon in the taskbar (not a habit as I don't use it often)
Excel Office 365 ProPlus opens I select blank sheet. (the longest part is probably me moving the mouse and clicking as it's not a habit)

But that's pretty fast in my eyes for everything it has to load, moving the mouse and typing takes time. I wasn't rushing, did it like normal. and moving between the stopwatch and back.
GOG, Steam, Epic, Skype all load in the background at some point.

cspan
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Re: Will adding an external SSD speed up Raspberry Pi?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:05 am

k-pi wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 9:49 am
Having experimented with all booting options, except netboot, the quickest to boot up is a micro SDHC card, mainly because the RPi always checks for it first.

However, once booted I prefer a SSD, HDD, micro SDHC, pendrive, in that order for their responsiveness.

(I use RPi3B/3B+/3A+)
I just learned about the website of James Chambers and his benchmarking tests for Pi storage media, and the measures he gets seem to concord with your ordering. [I have a 3B and 3B+ as well].

From his results, it appeared (characterizing in broad brushstrokes here) that SSD generally performed 2x as well as HDD or microSD, and most ordinary pendrives were, in turn, half as fast as HDD/microSD (at best... it appears I've got a particularly slow one!). However there are now some USB flash drives that are much speedier than the kind you'll find in back-to-school shopping grab-bin displays.

There are so many tradeoffs! HDD might be best for long-term storage (and if you can move swap to it, great), but compared to microSD, it's so much larger and clunkier! And doesn't necessarily perform faster, per Chambers. SSD appears to be fastest, but you've got to navigate the world of cables and connectors, plus they have the shortcomings of flash memory and is pricey in the terabyte ranges.

Still, one must keep in mind where bottlenecks occur, and that's in part use-case dependent. I have a 4 GB Class 2 microSD card that might be considered pretty worthless by most folks, but for learning the Linux command line in terminal mode, it's perfectly fine!

So that makes me wonder, at what point is going for faster storage on the 3B/3B+ giving diminishing (or no) returns? Chambers' site gives some insight into that, to the extent there are test results on those model of Pi. (many are on other Pi models, esp. the 4B).

protosam
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Re: Will adding an external SSD speed up Raspberry Pi?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:36 am

I'm curious OP, are you trying to solve for a bottleneck you've hit?
Have you spent time identifying where your bottleneck is?

Something to keep in mind is that these devices don't have anywhere near the resource availability that an average desktop has.

If you are experiencing slowness, identify your bottleneck first. From the command line,

Code: Select all

top
can be used to determine if your CPU, memory, or disk (IO) is the bottleneck.

Personally I've never found Pi's to be good for anything graphical. If you need a snappy desktop, I doubt you'll get that. However if you just need compute power, I highly recommend using the lite distro of Raspbian and getting comfortable running completely headless. Desktop overhead is painful.

sirozha
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Re: Will adding an external SSD speed up Raspberry Pi?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 3:48 am

Raspberry Pi 4B has no bottleneck for Wi-Fi or Ethernet access when USB storage devices are attached. In fact the 4B is the first Raspberry with dedicated USB lane for external devices with up to 5 Gbps. So, as soon as the Raspbian Foundation enables USB boot for Raspberry Pi 4B, the external SSD should be the way to go, as the read rate from an external SSD would exceed the maximum read rate from an SD card by the factor of 6 or so as long as the drive supports such read speeds.

dustnbone
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Re: Will adding an external SSD speed up Raspberry Pi?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:03 am

Even if there's a bottleneck holding back sustained transfer rates, an SSD will generally be considerably faster at random IOPS than any microSD card. This is what really holds back desktop performance, especially with limited RAM. Even on my old Pi2 with it's slow USB2, an SSD as root device is way more responsive than a fast MicroSD.

You don't need to wait for the Pi4 to support USB booting to take advantage of putting your root partition on an SSD, having /boot on the MicroSD and everything else on the SSD will give almost all of the same gains, aside from a slightly longer boot as the kernel still gets read (once) from the slow card.

cspan
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Re: Will adding an external SSD speed up Raspberry Pi?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:20 pm

dustnbone wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:03 am
You don't need to wait for the Pi4 to support USB booting to take advantage of putting your root partition on an SSD, having /boot on the MicroSD and everything else on the SSD will give almost all of the same gains, aside from a slightly longer boot as the kernel still gets read (once) from the slow card.
Is there a definitive method for setting this up? I recall reading through a very long thread about it, and had the impression that various methods were tried, sometimes worked, sometimes did not. I don't recall there ever being a method agreed upon that would be one-size-fits-all, or nearly so. If there is, could you provide a link? Thanks!

Maybe the method was a little clunky? For instance, would system backups really work? You'd have things split between the boot on the card and root elsewhere, so the ability to just pop in a new card if the old one gets corrupted - maybe that won't work. And what about when you do apt-get update/upgrade? Does that functionality get a bit disrupted, because boot and root are not on the same drive? I guess I had reservations about whether those tasks would require a lot more manual tweaking or re-doing to achieve because of the divided system.

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HawaiianPi
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Re: Will adding an external SSD speed up Raspberry Pi?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:51 pm

cspan wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:20 pm
Is there a definitive method for setting this up?
The closest to a one-size-fits-all solution is forum member RonR's script, but that may not be the best solution in all cases.

The Raspberry Pi 3B and 2Bv1.2 can boot from USB directly, after the USB boot OTP bit has been set (which must be done from an SD card). The 3B+ model can boot from USB out of the box. Older models can boot from USB with just the bootcode.bin file on a FAT32 SD card. The 4B cannot currently boot from USB, but you can have /boot on an SD card and the root file system on a USB drive, or you can net-boot.

The boot-loader in models prior to the 4B is not compatible with all USB mass storage devices, and this s where much of the confusion comes from. In most cases this can be fixed by using a bootcode.bin SD card.

Hard drives, with their long spin-up times and heavy power requirements create their own difficulties that add to the confusion.


cspan wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:20 pm
For instance, would system backups really work?
System backups will work, if done correctly, and this is where most Raspberry Pi backup tutorials fall flat. Making SD card images with win32diskimager is a terrible way to backup. Look for tutorials on making Linux backups to learn more about how to do it properly.

cspan wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:20 pm
And what about when you do apt-get update/upgrade? Does that functionality get a bit disrupted, because boot and root are not on the same drive?
As long as everything is mounted properly, upgrades will work correctly.
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cspan
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Re: Will adding an external SSD speed up Raspberry Pi?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:26 pm

Ah yes, the script. Thanks for the reminder ... and link! I always thought that looked pretty complicated ... compared to setting the OTP on the 3B, which I was able to do.

Sandisk's extreme portable SSD has caught my eye at Costco. They're up to 1TB now I think for about $125 USD. Spendy ... but oh, so small and elegant looking.

I rather like the USB boot. You can recover pretty quickly I think, and your recovery media doesn't even need to be fast stuff ... one of my backups is on a Sandisk Cruzer Blade flash drive ... which, IIRC, gets some of the lowest scores reported on James Chambers' site. But it can get me back on my feet and then I can copy it to a faster card and move forward with that.

For backup, I'm using the SD Card Copier utility in Raspbian, so hopefully I'm good on that. If I need to image something fresh, I use Etcher. I suppose I could also use dd in a pinch, but haven't had to yet.

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