serpentxx
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:16 am

SD vs USB lifetime?

Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:22 am

Hey all,

I have been reading that SD cards are not built for constant read/write cycles that comes with running an Operating system on them, they have a lifespan of roughly 1 million read/write cycles

So I would like to know, if I were to run Raspbian off a USB Flash drive instead, would it last longer?

The ideal solution would be to run a portable hard drive off a USB port, but that would be bigger than the Pi itself and would probably drain far more power.

lazarus78
Posts: 236
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:16 pm

Re: SD vs USB lifetime?

Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:59 pm

USB uses flash memory just like SD cards, so their lifespan would be about the same. A platter HDD would indeed be better and indeed use more power, but if you get one of the small 2.5" 5400RPM drives, your power usage is minimal. (More then the pi, but not but either).

I don't think Raspbian is very heavy on the read/writes, and given the cost fd memory cards these days, its cheap to replace. I have a Pi that has been running for about 150 days straight without issue, while I had one that ran for a week and the card crapped out. Its a gamble, but a cheap one.

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JRV
Posts: 270
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:39 pm
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: SD vs USB lifetime?

Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:51 pm

lazarus78 wrote: while I had one that ran for a week and the card crapped out. Its a gamble, but a cheap one.
Cheap if you remember to back up.

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jbeale
Posts: 3516
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:51 pm
Contact: Website

Re: SD vs USB lifetime?

Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:05 pm

Some people use the R-Pi in embedded applications which are essentially permanent, which should last for some years without being touched. In this application you may prefer to have your OS on a read-only partition (or maybe the whole SD card). I think there have been some threads on setting up a configuration like this, such as http://www.raspberrypi.org/forum/viewto ... 29&t=22596

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