It bears repeating that when it comes to SD Cards there are three things to look at physical size, format, and speed. And of course this applies when it comes to buying a microSD card for the Raspberry Pi 2 or 3. So lets take a look at each before we give you our top picks of the best memory cards for Rasperry Pi.
Raspberry Pi micro SD card requirements
There are different SD card sizes with a Standard SD card being the largest. The original Raspberry Pi used this size but moved on the to MicroSD card size with the B+ 512 version.
A Raspberry Pi 2 and 3 uses a MicroSD Card format. Micro SD cards are commonly used in cell phones and other small electronics that need a very small storage device.
The Micro SD card should be a class 10 micro SD Card
How fast a SD card can move data is rated by a class number from 2-10. With 2 being the slowest and 10 being the highest.
A SD Card with a class rating of 2 is good for taking pictures and storing them since there is no need to transfer large amounts of data quickly. For this reason class 2 SD cards are often used in digital camera.
Class 10 SD cards are used in video equipment since they can transfer data quickly with no buffering.
A Raspberry Pi basically uses a MicroSD card as a hard drive and to store any information. For this reason having a class 10 MicroSD card in your Raspberry Pi is very much recommended.
There’s also a separate, even faster category called UHS Class 1 (for Ultra High Speed), often both are used. If a UHS classification is used than get UHS class 1.
Since the SD card holds all the information to run a Raspberry Pi from the operating system to applications very small SD cards are simply not reasonable even if they work with a RasPi.
Most installs use a 8GB capacity microSD card but things can move quickly with software, so getting a larger SD card is recommended. The largest sized micro SD card a Raspberry Pi can use is listed as 32 GB although some forums have people talking about using a 64 GB SD card with no problems.
If you are just starting out stick with a 8-32 GB sized microSD card.
One last note is that many people in the RasPi community recommend getting a SD card that utilises Wear Leveling.
Wear leveling is when the same spot on an SD card is not written over when there is free space to write to. This extends the life of an SD card since multiple spots are written to and from instead of the same open spot over and over again.
Extend your devices with a card from the EVO-Plus series. The EVO Plus provides fast read and write speeds. Complete reliability combined with a powerful performance allow you to secure and manage your most important moments without worries on a card of the EVO-Plus series. Record your 4K UHD videos without any delay and transfer them easily. Your experiences are unique and unforgettable with the EVO Plus. The EVO Plus resists salt water, extreme temperatures, x-ray scanners at airports and magnetic fields.
Take advantage of ultra-fast read speeds of up to 80MB/s to save time moving photos and videos from the card to your computer. With Class 10 video ratings you will be ready to capture high quality Full HD video (1080p). The included adapter enables this card to be used as a full-size SD card for compatibility with your camera, camcorder, laptop, tablet and other devices that support the industry standard. SanDisk Ultra microSDHC and microSDXC UHS-I cards are waterproof, temperature-proof, X-Ray-proof, shockproof, and come with a ten year manufacturer warranty.
Due to ultra-fast read speeds and large capacity, the EXCERIA microSD card series is designed for 4K and Full HD video recording and rapid image capture. Incredibly small, the series is ideal for owners of smartphones, Raspberry Pi builders, tablets and sports and action cam photographers who are serious about their videos and photography. Since the cards were specifically designed for outdoor video recording and photography, Toshiba made sure they will perform under extreme conditions. That’s why they are shockproof and waterproof.
Kingston’s Canvas React microSD card is designed to be as fast as you are, capturing 4K video or taking stunning burst-mode photos when the action doesn’t stop. Whether you’re using the latest DSLR, mirrorless camera or your Raspberry Pi, you can be confident that your memories will be safe. It’s available in multiple capacities up to 128GB, to provide plenty of space to capture an entire shoot. Kingston Canvas React cards are tested to be durable, so you can take them anywhere with confidence that your photos, videos and other data will be protected, even in harsh or unstable conditions.
Kingstons Industrial Temperature microSD UHS-I has an operating temperature rating of -40°C to 85°C, making it suitable for harsh environments. Its high operating temperature rating means it stands up to extreme heat in the desert and in test and measurement situations where standard microSD cards may fail, while its low operating temperature rating allows for use in below freezing weather, where equipment may be left outside for extended periods of time. Its high insertion rating is ideal for applications in which the card will be frequently accessed and removed from host devices, and its MLC NAND allows for large amounts of data to be written to the card.
Check out our full range of microSD cards here