Anshul333
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:26 pm

Which SSD to buy for raspberry pi?

Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:00 pm

I have been using a raspberry pi for more than a year now and now the SanDisk 32GB is not working properly. As a replacement I am thinking to buy a new SSD to boot the pi from but there are so many brands and so many options.
I don't need much storage 128 GB should be more than enough for me.
What are your recommendations and does an SSD really offer a performance boost over regular SD card?

Musketeer
Posts: 152
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2016 1:23 pm
Location: CZ

Re: Which SSD to buy for raspberry pi?

Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:17 pm

It is not exactly what you asked for, but I am gonna use 3.5 / 2,5 HDD. They are sold from older machines almost free. Ive seen used 120 GB 2,5 HDD from like 5-6 GBP piece.

Every SSD in USB 3.0 will trump SD like 5-30x times + IOPS etc. are magic compared to them.
Linux is like woman - both wants 180 % of your time...
You want speed Java 9.8x? Throw it out of some Window(s)!
My girlfriend is terribly unmature - she always sinks my boats in bathtub!

User avatar
rpdom
Posts: 15588
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 5:17 am
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

Re: Which SSD to buy for raspberry pi?

Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:58 pm

Musketeer wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:17 pm
Ive seen used 120 GB 2,5 HDD from like 5-6 GBP piece.
New 120GB 2.5" SSDs start at slightly more than twice that price now.

I have a very small budget, but I've switched to SSDs for everything under 500GB now. The old laptop I'm using to type this is more responsive with a 60GB SSD instead of the 120GB HDD it used to have. It's not as fast as a Pi 4 though, just more convenient at times.

Musketeer
Posts: 152
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2016 1:23 pm
Location: CZ

Re: Which SSD to buy for raspberry pi?

Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:12 pm

Be aware that cheapest SSD are +/- always QLC...

Wouldn't be better to just use 128 GB uSD from Samsung instead SSD?
Linux is like woman - both wants 180 % of your time...
You want speed Java 9.8x? Throw it out of some Window(s)!
My girlfriend is terribly unmature - she always sinks my boats in bathtub!

echmain
Posts: 252
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 8:26 pm

Re: Which SSD to buy for raspberry pi?

Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:37 pm

For my 3B+ I have an Inland 120gb ssd and an Inland usb2 enclosure. Total was $23. (Inland is the house brand from Microcenter).

I’m using it as my boot drive and works perfectly.

I’m waiting for usb booting to be enabled on the Pi4 before I move the drive over from the 3. And I’ll also need a usb 3 enclosure.

LTolledo
Posts: 2153
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:29 am
Location: Anime Heartland

Re: Which SSD to buy for raspberry pi?

Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:00 pm

These are the ones that I am using, none failed so far

1. Samsung EVO 860 250GB
2. Sandisk SSD Plus 240GB
3. Crucial BX500 120GB
4. Sunbow X3 60GB (this is a cheapo brand, have it for about 6 months now, still ok)

While I think that most SSDs will work out of the box the real problem lies on how the SSD is connected to the RPi

with the SSD as the boot drive the following SATA to USB3.0 adapters worked for me

1. Eluteng Black (the original Eluteng Black)[ ASM1051E/ASM1153 chipset]
2. Eluteng Blue ELT-STAU1-U3--V2-BK-SNL [ASM1053E/ASM1153 chipset]
3. Inateck UA1003 [ASM1051E/ASM1153 chipset]
4. Sabrent EC-SSHD [JMicron chipset]
5. Moyagoa JP-MY-U3-SATA-BK [ASM1051E/ASM1153 chipset]
6. Orico Clear 2.5" HDD SATA to USB3.0 Case/adapter [JMicron chipset]

with the SSD as DATA drive, most adapters and 2.5" HDD to USB3.0 case worked for me.
Last edited by LTolledo on Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"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:
"Help me! Am drowning! But dont you dare touch me nor come near me!"

MacsandaPi
Posts: 95
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:44 pm

Re: Which SSD to buy for raspberry pi?

Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:02 pm

I'm using Silicon Power 128GB (model A55) SSDs with my old (first generation) B+ and a Pi 2B (version 1.1). Both are set up to boot to the SSDs from their microSD cards which contain only the bootcode.bin file.

User avatar
HawaiianPi
Posts: 4871
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:53 am
Location: Aloha, Oregon USA

Re: Which SSD to buy for raspberry pi?

Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:52 pm

Anshul333 wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:00 pm
I have been using a raspberry pi for more than a year now and now the SanDisk 32GB is not working properly.
What does "not working properly" mean. Exactly what is the problem?

As a replacement I am thinking to buy a new SSD to boot the pi from but there are so many brands and so many options.
I don't need much storage 128 GB should be more than enough for me.
128GB SSD starts around the same price as 128GB A1 rated micro SD cards (although some brands are more expensive than others).

... and does an SSD really offer a performance boost over regular SD card?
Short answer:
Yes.

Medium answer:
Booting will be slower, but OS performance will be better, so once the system is up and running it should feel faster with SSD.

Long answer:
Since you've had your Pi "for more than a year now" it's safe to assume it's not a Pi4 (assuming Pi 3B or 3B+).

On the older model Pi computers you won't see the huge gains in performance you'd have on a PC with native SATA or USB-3, due to the Pi's USB 2.0 interface. However, an SSD will have much higher IOPS (Input Output operations Per Second), which is very important for operating system performance (in this case, much more so than raw throughput speed). So an SSD should outperform an SD card, and it's not just numbers, it's performance that you will actually see and feel (again, not a huge difference, but you will notice it).

What are your recommendations
Depends on your budget (and where you live).

The Crucial BX500 120GB SSD should be competitively priced and a good performer. I've been using a Silicon Power A55 128GB on my Pi 3B for awhile and I've been happy with its performance. Although at the time of this post the Crucial is less expensive on Amazon USA (if I was buying now, I'd get the Crucial).

If you don't mind spending a bit more, the Samsung 860 EVO and Crucial MX500 series drives are considered by many to be the best consumer SATA SSD models, but they don't have 120GB size, so you'll have to spring for a 250GB drive.

And now the disclaimer:
Assuming you have a Pi 3B+ model (or 3B with the USB boot OTP bit programmed), the real trick is finding a USB adapter that's compatible with the Raspberry Pi boot-loader. The Pi3 boot-loader is small and simple out of necessity (there was very little room on the SoC for code) and because of that, it's not compatible with all USB mass storage devices. You can't just plug in any old USB drive and expect it to boot (the boot loader on the 3B+ has been improved, but it's still not 100%).

So with that in mind, and depending on where you live and what's available to you, here is what I have tested and recommend.

This TNP USB3-SATA3 adapter cable seems to be the generic version of the of old Eluteng black adapter, and that was pretty much the gold standard for USB booting a Pi3 from a SATA SSD or HDD (click adapter picture to see my SSD booted Pi 3B setup).
Image
Note: if the picture on Amazon looks different from this one, it's not the same adapter (these things tend to change over time).

I have tested that TNP adapter with 4 different brands and models of SSD (Silicon Power A55, Crucial MX500, Kingston UV500 and MiDigitalSSD SB2), as well as with WD hard drives (and I tested the old Eluteng black adapter with lots of other drives).

The newer Eluteng adapter with blue SATA connector was not 100% reliable for me, so I don't recommend it.

The Sabrent EC-SSHD USB3-SATA3 adapter cable has also worked well for me with SSD (haven't tested it with HDD), but I prefer the shorter cable of the TNP adapter. If you want a longer cable, the Sabrent is a good option.

If you get an adapter+drive combo that doesn't cold boot and reboot reliably, you can do the bootcode.bin only micro SD card method to fix that (in most cases) and that also works on other models which can't boot directly from USB (even the Pi Zero).

If you are planning to get a Pi 4B, note that USB booting has not been enabled yet, and it will require a new firmware for that. The USB boot enabled firmware is going to be worked on after they get network booting (so, likely at least a few months away). Also, the Pi 4B does not use the bootcode.bin file, so that won't work either. You can put /boot on SD card then load and run the OS from USB (SSD). That's what I'm doing now, and it's faster than the older Pi models on the Pi4 USB 3.0 ports.
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?

User avatar
rpdom
Posts: 15588
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 5:17 am
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

Re: Which SSD to buy for raspberry pi?

Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:33 am

Just too add that I have an unbranded USB 2.0 to SATA adaptor that is booting fine with a 120GB Palit SATA3 SSD on a PI 3B+. The chipset identifies as "Super Top M6116 SATA Bridge". It's one of those adaptors that has two USB connectors for extra power, but I only use the main one.

Musketeer
Posts: 152
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2016 1:23 pm
Location: CZ

Re: Which SSD to buy for raspberry pi?

Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:12 am

Doodes, in our official Rp-shop there is no USB 3 - SSD conversion :( just external drives.

https://rpishop.cz/138-externi-disky
Linux is like woman - both wants 180 % of your time...
You want speed Java 9.8x? Throw it out of some Window(s)!
My girlfriend is terribly unmature - she always sinks my boats in bathtub!

FPSychotic
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:21 pm

Re: Which SSD to buy for raspberry pi?

Sat Jul 20, 2019 3:00 pm

I bough a USB3.0 mSSD HAT and a mSATA128gb DISK, 20 pounds each, and it will keep the shape in stack,something very important for me.

Musketeer
Posts: 152
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2016 1:23 pm
Location: CZ

Re: Which SSD to buy for raspberry pi?

Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:45 pm

Actually, I have best experience with HDDs on ground directly (cant fall anywhere + coldest place at home, none died yet albeit I am using some very old (80 GB from Core 2 Duo, 80 GB IDE, ... )).
Linux is like woman - both wants 180 % of your time...
You want speed Java 9.8x? Throw it out of some Window(s)!
My girlfriend is terribly unmature - she always sinks my boats in bathtub!

User avatar
rin67630
Posts: 603
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:15 am

Re: Which SSD to buy for raspberry pi?

Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:05 pm

Isn't actually the best solution for a Raspberry to use a SSHD?
The combination between a dirty cheap HD and 8GB built-in Nand SSD should be more than enough to run Raspbian lightning fast from the NAND, shouldn't it?
A 550GB SSHD sells for 17€ including shipment.
Beside that, I sill have more confidence in magnetic storage than on multi-level NANDs for the long term.

Musketeer
Posts: 152
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2016 1:23 pm
Location: CZ

Re: Which SSD to buy for raspberry pi?

Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:16 pm

Combo drives definitely are getting cheaper. But will it work as drivers are concerned on Pi?

Definitely magnetic are more lasting even when I backup on cca 15-20 old MMC/CF/SD/MS/... Ahhhhhh old days when all flash was SLC!
Linux is like woman - both wants 180 % of your time...
You want speed Java 9.8x? Throw it out of some Window(s)!
My girlfriend is terribly unmature - she always sinks my boats in bathtub!

User avatar
HawaiianPi
Posts: 4871
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:53 am
Location: Aloha, Oregon USA

Re: Which SSD to buy for raspberry pi?

Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:54 pm

rin67630 wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:05 pm
Isn't actually the best solution for a Raspberry to use a SSHD?
Sure, if you can get it to boot. The problem with hard drives is the long spin-up time and high power requirements. While it is possible to boot and run a Pi from HDD, people have had trouble trying to do so. Also, that type of drive is only faster after the system has been up and running for awhile, and depends on a good caching algorithm in the firmware. SSD will always be faster. "SSHD" depends on data being cached (cache miss is no faster than HDD).

If your storage needs are moderate (<128GB) then an A1 performance rated micro SD card is the way to go. At 128 or 256GB an SSD will be in the same ballpark, pricewise, when compared to similar capacity A1 micro SD cards, and will offer better performance (except for boot time). If you need a boatload of storage, then HDD is still king, and one with a large RAM or flash memory cache will help with performance, but only when there are a lot of cache hits (otherwise it will be slower than SD card).

There's also the option of running the main OS from A1 micro SD or SSD and augmenting storage with HDD. Nice thing about Linux is you don't have to deal with all those messy drive letters. You could mount your HDD as /opt, for example, and install software to it (or /home/pi/Videos for media servers).

Once you understand how the filesystem in Linux works, and is (for the most part) not device specific, you can put different types of storage devices wherever you need them in the Linux filesystem tree. Lots of Linux users have things like /tmp /var, /swap and /home on separate partitions or devices.

A good example of that is the situation with the new Pi 4B which does not have USB boot enabled in the launch firmware. My 4B currently has a micro SD card as /boot and a USB 3.0 SSD as / (the root filesystem), and that allows me load run the OS from a USB 3.0 SSD.
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?

User avatar
rin67630
Posts: 603
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:15 am

Re: Which SSD to buy for raspberry pi?

Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:31 am

HawaiianPi wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:54 pm
rin67630 wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:05 pm
Isn't actually the best solution for a Raspberry to use a SSHD?
Sure, if you can get it to boot. The problem with hard drives is the long spin-up time and high power requirements. While it is possible to boot and run a Pi from HDD, people have had trouble trying to do so...
I have am powering mi Pis from 8-16V DC through a 5,2V 5A rated bucket converter directly solded to the PI and have got absolutely no problem to boot.

User avatar
rin67630
Posts: 603
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:15 am

Re: Which SSD to buy for raspberry pi?

Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:40 pm

Depending on the usage you intend, you may consider using a single level cell Industrial 8GB to hold Raspbian, eventually extended with any USB-SD cards of higher capacity, but lower reliability to hold the mass storage that is less frequently written.

User avatar
rin67630
Posts: 603
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:15 am

Re: Which SSD to buy for raspberry pi?

Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:38 am

By the way: I have got a new bench of industrial SD cards and have tested their performance:
8GB Sandisk Industrial: write=0,49MB/sec, read=3,18 MB/sec
8GB Sandisk EVO: write=0,30MB/sec, read=3,18 MB/sec
8GB NoName: : write=0,28MB/sec, read=3,21 MB/sec

jmmec
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:13 pm

Re: Which SSD to buy for raspberry pi?

Tue Aug 06, 2019 1:16 am

rin67630 wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:38 am
By the way: I have got a new bench of industrial SD cards and have tested their performance:
8GB Sandisk Industrial: write=0,49MB/sec, read=3,18 MB/sec
8GB Sandisk EVO: write=0,30MB/sec, read=3,18 MB/sec
8GB NoName: : write=0,28MB/sec, read=3,21 MB/sec
Wow, thanks for introducing me to the Industrial product line; never knew about it.

Would you happen to know if the Industrial versions would deal better with sudden power loss scenarios where it's not possible to have UPS devices: i.e. in years past I've had many SD cards encounter corrupt filesystems and fail to boot, even though I move things to RAM disk (tmpfs) say like /var/log, /tmp, etc... Wondering if an Industrial SD card might fare equal or better than an SSD, or they're effectively the same with similar failure potential?

User avatar
HawaiianPi
Posts: 4871
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:53 am
Location: Aloha, Oregon USA

Re: Which SSD to buy for raspberry pi?

Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:56 am

amzounslide wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:49 pm
I've figured out what I can from the instructions, except I've used GParted on a separate laptop with the SD and SSD connected rather than Paragon. Can see the partition breakdowns better on the SD through that software. Copied the EXT4 partition to the SSD and changed the command in the .txt file but I get a kernel panic screen that I don't understand, something along the lines of not finding the main data partition.
Not sure what "instructions" you followed, but none of those tools are required.

With a 3B+ (or 3B/2Bv1.2 with USB boot enabled), all you need to do is write a Raspbian image to the USB drive with Etcher and it should boot.
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?

Fraoch
Posts: 145
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:53 pm
Location: Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

Re: Which SSD to buy for raspberry pi?

Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:28 pm

There are also "high endurance" SD cards, these are usually MLC and will survive more writes.
Pencoed-made Model 1B, Samsung memory
2B 1.1
3B+
4B 2GB

Fraoch
Posts: 145
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:53 pm
Location: Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

Re: Which SSD to buy for raspberry pi?

Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:59 pm

In terms of SSDs, I had an old SanDisk 2.5" 64 GB SSD and a Mediasonic Smart Drive lying around. This works well on my Pi4 following this guide.

It's a little big though, with the cable and case. The newest developments in the SSD space are M.2 SSDs and there are some nice compact USB enclosures for them. The nicest and smallest of these are just like a USB stick, and the smallest of those use short 2242 (42 mm long) M.2 SSDs. No cables, and as short as possible.

I picked the following enclosure:

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B077S6 ... UTF8&psc=1

and this 2242 M.2 SATA 3.0 SSD:

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B078H6 ... UTF8&psc=1

Yes it's cheap but it has good reviews and the combo tests well in Linux Mint.

Unfortunately this won't work in my Pi4, it causes severe instability (stalled booting, locking up the desktop, locking up the USB bus), but it works perfectly in my Pi3B+. I suspect it's the JMicron controller in the enclosure. USB 3.0 support in the Pi4 is new and I'm hoping various bugfixes will address this.
Pencoed-made Model 1B, Samsung memory
2B 1.1
3B+
4B 2GB

scaramonga
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:08 am

Re: Which SSD to buy for raspberry pi?

Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:11 am

I have a spare NVME M2 Drive (128Gb) (5 pin from notch) from an old laptop here. Best way to connect?

Thought about this:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07MV6Z9ZJ/ ... _lig_dp_it

?

jerrm
Posts: 200
Joined: Wed May 02, 2018 7:35 pm

Re: Which SSD to buy for raspberry pi?

Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:44 am

Fraoch wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:59 pm
Unfortunately this won't work in my Pi4, it causes severe instability (stalled booting, locking up the desktop, locking up the USB bus), but it works perfectly in my Pi3B+. I suspect it's the JMicron controller in the enclosure. USB 3.0 support in the Pi4 is new and I'm hoping various bugfixes will address this.
Have you set the quirks option as described in the sticky? https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/view ... 8&t=245931

pica200
Posts: 152
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:27 am

Re: Which SSD to buy for raspberry pi?

Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:47 am

rin67630 wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:05 pm
Beside that, I sill have more confidence in magnetic storage than on multi-level NANDs for the long term.
Old post but i guarantee you you won't break one of them within 5 years. The health of SSDs depends on how much data you have written. If you don't write 20 or more GiB average per day they will beat any HDD. The algorithms to distribute writes across all of the flash cells improved a lot over the years and common SSDs claim 500 and more TBW (terrabytes written)!
HDDs will will wear even if they are idle (but spinning). They will almost always die due to mechanical failure.

Return to “General discussion”