Part of the Raspberry Pi Reliability series.
There are thousands of dirt-cheap, no-name microSD cards available. Don’t use them. Even if they work at first, they’re probably going to be slower than a quality card, and they’re much more likely to wear out quickly.
SanDisk is my preferred memory card brand, but I also don’t necessarily recommend using the same microSD cards I use in digital cameras. They’ll probably work fine, but high-endurance cards are available and aren’t much more expensive.
SanDisk offers two levels of endurance-oriented microSD cards: high endurance and max endurance. I have no firsthand experience regarding whether the max-endurance cards are worth the price premium over the high-endurance cards when used in a Raspberry Pi. Realistically, either should be fine.
SanDisk and other card manufacturers also offer video-surveillance-oriented microSD cards which are available in higher capacities than the high/max endurance cards. Unless a given application really needs the extra capacity, I’d recommend sticking with the high/max endurance cards.
In the past I have deployed SanDisk 16GB Industrial microSD cards, and they’re still in use in some of my Pis. However, I don’t see them listed on the SanDisk website now, and the only listings on Amazon are from third-party sellers. Today, I’d stick to the current high/max endurance offerings.
(These recommendations are written with SanDisk in mind, but other memory manufacturers have similar high-endurance cards.)
If I think 16GB or 32GB is going to be enough for my application, I’ll pick a microSD card with 32GB or 64GB of space. If I think the application needs 64GB, or if I know the application is going to write to the card heavily, I’ll reach for a 128GB card.
You should do the same. Buying a higher capacity card:
- Allows the card to spread writes over a larger number of flash cells, increasing the card’s overall lifetime.
- Provides headroom for unexpected disk space usage by your application, software updates, etc.
- Isn’t that much more expensive than buying a smaller one.
Counterfeit memory cards are incredibly common. To help avoid this, you need to buy your microSD card from a reputable seller.
If the shipping cost is within your budget for the project, buy direct from the manufacturer.
When buying a card from Amazon, pay particular attention to be sure the card is new and is actually sold by and ships from Amazon.com, not by a third party or by
Amazon Warehouse Deals.
Otherwise, try to buy directly from another reputable online or big-box store.
f3write /Volumes/sdcard/ && f3read /Volumes/sdcard/