Pimaxin
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Why buy 32GB or less MicroSD card when 64GB is a few dollars more?

Sat Oct 19, 2019 4:17 pm

I see a lot of tutorials that suggest a 32GB card but I notice 64GB is only $5 more. And 128GB is only $10 more on Amazon. Why would you want a 32GB when the higher volume cards don't cost much more? Even if you only need less than 32GB on your Pi and you one day don't need to use that card for that Raspberry PI anymore, at least you now have a bigger spare card for backup storage on your other devices like your camera?

Heater
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Re: Why buy 32GB or less MicroSD card when 64GB is a few dollars more?

Sat Oct 19, 2019 4:31 pm

To save 5 dollars of course. Or 10 dollars.

May not be much but if you are needing to buy 10 or 100 what would you say to saving between 50 and 1000 dollars?

Because two smaller cards allows for 1 to be in use and 1 for back up. What if you would like more than 1 backup?

Because I will grab whatever they have in the local store at the time.

Why should a tutorial advise spending more money than is required to get the job done.

Etc, etc, ...
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

drgeoff
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Re: Why buy 32GB or less MicroSD card when 64GB is a few dollars more?

Sat Oct 19, 2019 4:37 pm

There are still many devices in use that will not work with cards larger than 32 Gbyte so saying that a 64 Gbyte or larger card that were no longer wanted for a RPI could be repurposed is not the whole story.

ejolson
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Re: Why buy 32GB or less MicroSD card when 64GB is a few dollars more?

Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:03 pm

drgeoff wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 4:37 pm
There are still many devices in use that will not work with cards larger than 32 Gbyte so saying that a 64 Gbyte or larger card that were no longer wanted for a RPI could be repurposed is not the whole story.
My understanding is that all models of Pi will read and write 32GB cards. I've certainly not had any trouble with the older Pi B+ models and 32GB cards.

Often how well a card handles random reads and writes is more important than the difference between 16GB and 32GB. For example, if the erase block size of a 32GB card happens to be twice the size of the 16GB model, then under certain Pi usage patterns the larger card could appear twice as slow.

However, to answer your question directly, if it's a good 32GB card then the larger size works fine and is preferable.

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rpdom
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Re: Why buy 32GB or less MicroSD card when 64GB is a few dollars more?

Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:06 pm

$5 or $10 is a lot when you don't have a spare $5 or $10.

drgeoff
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Re: Why buy 32GB or less MicroSD card when 64GB is a few dollars more?

Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:09 pm

ejolson wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:03 pm
drgeoff wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 4:37 pm
There are still many devices in use that will not work with cards larger than 32 Gbyte so saying that a 64 Gbyte or larger card that were no longer wanted for a RPI could be repurposed is not the whole story.
My understanding is that all models of Pi will read and write 32GB cards. I've certainly not had any trouble with the older Pi B+ models and 32GB cards.
@ejolson
Your understanding of all models of RPi is correct. Your understanding of what I wrote is not.

Pimaxin suggested that a larger than 32 Gbyte card could for example be subsequently used in a digital camera. There are many cameras (and other devices such as mobile/cellular phones, tablets, satnavs etc) which do not support cards larger than 32 Gbyte.

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DougieLawson
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Re: Why buy 32GB or less MicroSD card when 64GB is a few dollars more?

Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:22 pm

Pimaxin wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 4:17 pm
I see a lot of tutorials that suggest a 32GB card but I notice 64GB is only $5 more. And 128GB is only $10 more on Amazon. Why would you want a 32GB when the higher volume cards don't cost much more?
Because beyond 32GB NOOBS is a pain. You have to format a 32GB partition to use with NOOBS on a 64GB or 128GB SDCard (and that's beyond the skill of novice users).

If you use plain Raspbian 2019-09-26 written to the SDCard with Etcher then the difference is irrelevant assuming you have infinite funds. (Because you WILL need more than one SDCard.)

One major risk with 128GB SDCards is that's where the Chinese card fakers are selling their badly hacked reject cards (even on Amazon). I wouldn't buy one unless I can get it from a bricks and mortar shop and can take it back if it's a fake.
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Burngate
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Re: Why buy 32GB or less MicroSD card when 64GB is a few dollars more?

Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:27 pm

Pimaxin wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 4:17 pm
I see a lot of tutorials ...
How old are they?

In the world of electronics (as in Brexit) a week is a long time.

Andyroo

Re: Why buy 32GB or less MicroSD card when 64GB is a few dollars more?

Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:47 pm

I do not have any need for larger cards and I find 16Gb a good balance between cost and size - it has plenty of space for O/S and wear but costs less than other cards.

The Pi boards with more data needs get a HDD/SSD as needed.

jahboater
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Re: Why buy 32GB or less MicroSD card when 64GB is a few dollars more?

Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:07 pm

Andyroo wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:47 pm
I do not have any need for larger cards and I find 16Gb a good balance between cost and size - it has plenty of space for O/S and wear but costs less than other cards.
Looking at Amazon for the well regarded Sandisk A1 class cards, 32GB is cheaper than 16GB.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/SanDisk-microS ... r=8-1&th=1
I cannot see why anyone would buy a 16GB card nowadays.

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B.Goode
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Re: Why buy 32GB or less MicroSD card when 64GB is a few dollars more?

Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:30 pm

jahboater wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:07 pm
Andyroo wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:47 pm
I do not have any need for larger cards and I find 16Gb a good balance between cost and size - it has plenty of space for O/S and wear but costs less than other cards.
Looking at Amazon for the well regarded Sandisk A1 class cards, 32GB is cheaper than 16GB.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/SanDisk-microS ... r=8-1&th=1
I cannot see why anyone would buy a 16GB card nowadays.

If "bytes per buck" is the only consideration - and this thread has explored valid reasons why it should not be - then it should be clear that the 'sweet spot' for value in purchasing is a moving target heading steadily upwards.

So any tutorial that recommends a particular capacity of card without backing up that opinion with a sound technical justification should be treated with scepticism.

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Re: Why buy 32GB or less MicroSD card when 64GB is a few dollars more?

Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:05 pm

Pimaxin wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 4:17 pm
.......Why would you want a 32GB when the higher volume cards don't cost much more? .....
because I already have 32GB or less on stock (knocked off the RPi3Bs after USB boot enabled).... and dont want to spend another buck on a "cheaper" 64GB?

...and as mentioned by DougieLawson..... the proliferation of those "fake cards" are something to be really concerned about...

also am not a fan of "...spend more.... to save more...." :mrgreen:
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hippy
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Re: Why buy 32GB or less MicroSD card when 64GB is a few dollars more?

Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:27 pm

Pimaxin wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 4:17 pm
I see a lot of tutorials that suggest a 32GB card but I notice 64GB is only $5 more. And 128GB is only $10 more on Amazon.
I would suspect it's not so much a "buy this" insistence, but more a suggestion that "the bigger the better", from a time when 64GB and larger were not so cheap, when the differential cost was much greater. Or it's simply "the minimum" which is needed to work well.

There are issues that larger than 32GB requires a different FAT than 32GB and less and that might be playing a part.

It's hard to give any better answer without seeing the particular tutorials and the context of what they suggest.

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Re: Why buy 32GB or less MicroSD card when 64GB is a few dollars more?

Sun Oct 20, 2019 1:17 am

I have everything from 2g-128g but use mostly 32g now for Pi. 32g have best byte/buck but actually set up to look like only 4g. Big card to get super read/write speeds but minimum partition size for huge time saving Installing and backing up. About 8x-10x faster than my previous setups.

Estimate this alone saved over 70 hours total time wasted staring at progress bars during my boost /boot project. Thanks to the gurus in that thread not only tricked into learning valuable tools like fdisk, piclone, dd, etc but now have a system that is far faster and more efficient. Along with new OS and Pi4 performance feels even snappier than my main PC.

Too bad the software ain't quite up to snuff in terms of reliability and ergonomics yet.

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Gavinmc42
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Re: Why buy 32GB or less MicroSD card when 64GB is a few dollars more?

Sun Oct 20, 2019 1:33 am

With the Pi4 so much stuff now just works that 32 and 64GB cards are filling up fast.
I also get USB3 sticks if I spot some with decent prices.
While I cannot use them on Pi4 yet, they still work on 3's.
uSD's are easier to loose so I don't mind the longer USB boot times.

I am just grateful that flash prices came down around the time Pi4 came out.
32GB is probably the best buys at the moment, but I get 64 and 128 for my main Desktop replacement Pi's.
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rpdom
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Re: Why buy 32GB or less MicroSD card when 64GB is a few dollars more?

Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:30 am

hippy wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:27 pm
There are issues that larger than 32GB requires a different FAT than 32GB and less and that might be playing a part.
It's more that 64GB and above cards default to exFAT on some systems.

For the Pi the cards need the same FAT (FAT32), which can be achieved with the correct formatting software.

Totally irrelevant if you just install from an image instead of using NOOBS.

Cards I have used with my Pi vary from 8MB (no, that's not a typo) to 64GB so far, plus SSDs from 60GB to 240GB and HDDs up to 2TB.

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Re: Why buy 32GB or less MicroSD card when 64GB is a few dollars more?

Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:51 am

DougieLawson wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:22 pm
… NOOBS is a pain…
I agree (despite SD Card size) and don't see why the Foundation continues to recommend it - it is harder to setup and less flexible.

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Imperf3kt
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Re: Why buy 32GB or less MicroSD card when 64GB is a few dollars more?

Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:39 pm

It all depends what you're using the card for, overall.
If you've got a lot of storage needs, one large card makes more sense than multiple smaller cards.

Let's imagine I want 128GB of storage.
The 'local' officeworks store sells SanDisk A1 32GB cards for $13 and I'd need four to get 128GB - a total price of $52
Or I can buy a single SanDisk A1 128GB card for $39

On a purely "per gigabyte" measure, the 128GB card is not 'a few dollars more', but in fact "multiple dollars less"
...
The larger card will take longer to reach its maximum read/write/erase cycles as well, so the value further increases.
55:55:44:44:4C
52:4C:52:42:41

jahboater
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Re: Why buy 32GB or less MicroSD card when 64GB is a few dollars more?

Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:07 pm

Imperf3kt wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:39 pm
On a purely "per gigabyte" measure, the 128GB card is not 'a few dollars more', but in fact "multiple dollars less"
...
The larger card will take longer to reach its maximum read/write/erase cycles as well, so the value further increases.
In addition, the usage may be simpler with all the data on a single disk.

The larger card will likely be faster.

If the card fails then more data is lost (if not suitably backed up).

Brad Q
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Re: Why buy 32GB or less MicroSD card when 64GB is a few dollars more?

Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:06 am

IF you are talking about the Pi4 you are MUCH better off going with a smaller card(cheaper) and running the system off of a USB device. The card reader chip is limited to 48MBps(?) while the USB chip is limited to 350MBps. Basically you put a file on the SD card that points to the USB device. RonR has a script to automate the process (usb-boot.zip). I switched to a 150MBps flash drive and it made a night and day difference in speed and response.

solderdot
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Re: Why buy 32GB or less MicroSD card when 64GB is a few dollars more?

Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:14 am

Think about backup and restore.
When trying to get something up and running I first do a backup, and often I have to fall-back to that because something does not work.
It takes way longer to backup and restore on a big SD card than on a smaller one, and having to wait that half hour on a big card is unnerving, whereas on a small card you can continue after a couple of minutes.
And, on top of that, if you go for a e.g. weekly backup strategy, the storage demand is way higher.

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rpdom
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Re: Why buy 32GB or less MicroSD card when 64GB is a few dollars more?

Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:52 am

solderdot wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:14 am
Think about backup and restore.
When trying to get something up and running I first do a backup, and often I have to fall-back to that because something does not work.
It takes way longer to backup and restore on a big SD card than on a smaller one
Unless you are doing things the wrong way, the time for the backup and restore will depend on how much data is on the card, not how big the card is.

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Re: Why buy 32GB or less MicroSD card when 64GB is a few dollars more?

Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:31 pm

rpdom wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:30 am
Cards I have used with my Pi vary from 8MB (no, that's not a typo) to 64GB so far, plus SSDs from 60GB to 240GB and HDDs up to 2TB.
Back in the days of Pis using full sized SD cards, I ran a full Raspbian install on 4GB cards. It was rather annoying when Raspbian would no longer fit. I have also done a Raspbian Lite install on a 2GB card. I have used (once) a 64GB card for a Pi. Special situation. SSDs...generally around 60GB, though given current prices, my next batch (I need 3) will probably be in the 120GB range. The only HDD I use for a Pi is 314GB. That one has had an in situ upgrade to Buster and the Pi will be upgraded from Pi3B+ to Pi4B2 when USB booting is released.

At this point, it's mostly that I don't see A1 cards below 16GB, so 16GB it is. I just ordered 10 or them. (And that points to the "but I can get a single 128GB card for less than the cost of 4 32GB cards' that was mentioned. Yes...but you can't run 4 Pis simultaneously on that 128GB card.)

emma1997
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Re: Why buy 32GB or less MicroSD card when 64GB is a few dollars more?

Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:51 pm

dup, sorry.
Last edited by emma1997 on Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

emma1997
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Re: Why buy 32GB or less MicroSD card when 64GB is a few dollars more?

Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:53 pm

rpdom wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:52 am
Unless you are doing things the wrong way, the time for the backup and restore will depend on how much data is on the card, not how big the card is.
So far does not seem to be the case for the other SD stuff I do. Maybe "doing things the wrong way" but I'm competing against others who are more up to speed on these things yet still lag behind. True of Piclone but In my experience not so with Win32DiskImager and most other SD utilities. Big card usually takes big time.

As mentioned my trick with small partition on big card is at least an order of magnitude less wasted time compared to recommended methods. Probably saved over a hundred hours by now experimenting with ways to simplify /boot partition increase. Noticeably runs more responsive too (beyond placebo) compared to same partition filling smaller cards which are known to be slower.

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