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DPete27
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A1 microSD Necessary for Raspberry Pi ?

Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:13 pm

I'm looking to buy my first Raspberry Pi, the Raspberry Pi 3 B+, and am wondering if it's worth buying the latest and greatest A1 rated microSD card for it? Notably, these cards offer better random IO performance than non-A1 rated cards, but I'm not sure how much better.
https://www.hardwarezone.com.sg/tech-news-all-about-sandisks-microsd-cards-new-a1-speed-class

From what I've read, it seems that the Pi maxes out at 40 MB/s reads/writes (correct?), but the improved random IO would assumedly be better for housing the OS....if the Pi can take advantage of that?

I currently have this 32GB card that I'm not currently using. Would the linked A1 card be a worthwhile purchase?

Since I'm new to all this, I don't really have a specific plan for what I'd use it for. Some of the more demanding things might be HTPC-type tasks: youtube/netflix, movie playback. Will try out the magic mirror project since I have a co-worker who's interested in one, but that would be a temporary project on my machine just to get a proof of concept that he can see.
Main: i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-M, MSI RX480 8G, 500GB Crucial BX100, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 16GB 1600MHz G.Skill @1.25V, EVGA 550-G2, Silverstone PS07B
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Re: A1 microSD Necessary for Raspberry Pi ?

Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:48 pm

https://www.cameramemoryspeed.com/revie ... -sd-cards/

The Pi (like most things running a desktop OS) benefits most from having decent 4K QD1 IOPS. I've used SD cards (Toshiba and Sandisk) that have amazing sequential performance but perform terribly as hard drives for running software when added to tablets/PCs etc.

The A-rating is unique to Sandisk, but you don't have to be locked to Sandisk just because of their rating system. For any Class-10 card, A1 just means 1500 read IOPS and 500 write IOPS. Samsung EVO's and Lexar UHS-II also qualify, and that's just from the list I linked above.

Run IOmeter or Crystaldiskmark on your SDcard and see how it performs. In case it's not obvious to you already (you seem pretty technical) just multiply the 4K transfer rate by 256 to get the IOPS scores. I don't think the Pi is fast enough to benefit from an SSD like a decade-old laptop would, but at the same time it's fast enough that an awful SD card could definitely bottleneck it; Just because you're likely to placing low demands on the Pi doesn't mean that it's OS doesn't still need IOPS performance for a swapfile and various application caches.
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DPete27
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Re: A1 microSD Necessary for Raspberry Pi ?

Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:19 pm

Nice! That table is perfect!

Also, I didn't realize the "A1/A2" rating was Sandisk's own concoction.

I'll BM my existing card GSkill card and post back.

Sounds like 32GB is the max you can use for Raspbian without a workaround. Is that enough space? (not knowing what I'm going to put on it). What size does everyone recommend?
Main: i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-M, MSI RX480 8G, 500GB Crucial BX100, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 16GB 1600MHz G.Skill @1.25V, EVGA 550-G2, Silverstone PS07B
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Re: A1 microSD Necessary for Raspberry Pi ?

Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:09 pm

I haven't played with a PI in at least three years. It's still Debian, right?

The limitation back in those days was FAT32.

Typically that means you can have any size card you want, but your minimum cluster sizes might start to get silly with larger cards. IIRC the recommended size was 8GB!

TBH, I'd wait for an up to date answer because I've moved on and my knowledge is now stale.
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Re: A1 microSD Necessary for Raspberry Pi ?

Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:58 pm

My Pi's /boot partition is vfat, but / is ext4. I suspect that in general you'll be limited more by the Pi's I/O bandwidth than you will the card itself as long as you get a good-quality one.
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Re: A1 microSD Necessary for Raspberry Pi ?

Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:01 pm

Check this out: https://www.jeffgeerling.com/blog/2018/ ... rison-2018

tl;dr version: Samsung Pro+, SanDisk Ultra, Samsung Evo+
 
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Re: A1 microSD Necessary for Raspberry Pi ?

Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:34 pm

There's also the option, with the Pi 3 B/B+, of ditching the microSD card entirely and booting directly from USB storage. For my 3B+, that means a WD mechanical hard drive connected via USB. Never even bothered to check speeds, but it works fine for a general purpose Raspbian desktop.
 
DPete27
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Re: A1 microSD Necessary for Raspberry Pi ?

Sun Jul 22, 2018 10:15 pm

In case anyone is curious:
G.Skill FF-TSDG32GN-C10 (current card on hand)
Seq Read = 92.96MB/s
Seq Write = 21.97MB/s
Rand Read 4KBQD1 = 5.25MB/s
Rand Write 4KBQD1 = 1.25MB/s

I went with the SanDisk Extreme 100MB/s V30 A1 (linked above) for $16 which should give me 99MB/s, 72MB/s, 9.6MB/s, 4.3MB/s respectively.
The G.Skill wasn't half bad, but $16 didn't seem too expensive to ensure I can extract the best performance out of whatever I end up doing with my Pi (kindof interested to see how far I can push the limits) by doing my best to reduce storage IO bottlenecks as best I can while still keeping the system portable. I figured I could either load up the G.Skill with a bunch of music and put it in my phone, or I could keep it for the aforementioned Magic Mirror project for my co-worker.

Everything should arrive tomorrow. Looking forward to this new frontier. This will be my first in-depth experience with Linux.
Main: i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-M, MSI RX480 8G, 500GB Crucial BX100, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 16GB 1600MHz G.Skill @1.25V, EVGA 550-G2, Silverstone PS07B
HTPC: A8-5600K, MSI FM2-A75IA-E53, 4TB Seagate SSHD, 8GB 1866MHz G.Skill, Crosley D-25 Case Mod

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