Lead Image © Lucy Baldwin, 123RF.com

Lead Image © Lucy Baldwin, 123RF.com

Finding the fastest SD cards for the Raspberry Pi

Speed Racer

Article from ADMIN 76/2023
Testing single-board computer storage.

A few issues back, I examined the infamous label soup that is printed on modern SD cards, exploring the meaning of those arcane runes and the standards they represent [1]. The most common variants of performance speed found in stores today is summed up in Table 1 [2] in order of increasing speed, ranging from the now dated C10 (speed class 10) to the newest A2 (application performance 2). SD cards are advertised on maximum throughput – meaning sequential I/O. This choice is perfectly sensible given their primary application area is to store pictures and video. For computing, however, random I/O is a much more interesting metric.

Table 1

Common SD Card Storage Speeds

Label Rating Speed
C2 Speed class 2 At least 2MBps of read/write speed
C10 Speed class 10 At least 10MBps of read/write speed
UHS 1 Ultrahigh speed class 1 At least 10MBps (same as C10)
UHS 3 Ultrahigh
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