How to select Raspberry Pi microSD size ?

Discussion in 'Computers, Hardware, and Operating Systems' started by AA7EJ, Jul 26, 2017.

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  1. AA7EJ

    AA7EJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Asking here to avoid "buy genuine RPi stuff " sales pitches.
    Since RPi is NOT open source hardware I have no reason to trust theirs recommendations anyway.
    My objective still stands - use RPi as a controller ( for AD9850 DDS based TXs ) , not as a software development system.
    Assuming run of the mill Linux distribution be happy running on x GB , what would be reasonable SD size to tinker with?
    Right now my 16 GB SD is about 60% used.
    Of course anything less that 16GB is probably rare on the market which is pushing 128GB and up ($$ HI HI HI )

    And what are all those letters / numbers telling my anyway?

    Access speed is relatively unimportant unless one is " a gamer " ( is there such word - for real ?) , right?

    73 Shirley
  2. KJ4VTH

    KJ4VTH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Figure what size you need and then double it. You can get 64G for under $30, or 128G for $60 at Best Buy. Maybe cheaper prices other sites.
  3. AG6QR

    AG6QR Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've had good luck by simply going to the most convenient place that sells micro SD cards (Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, any place that sells phones or cameras) and getting a reasonably fast card of reasonable capacity, usually spending around $20.00 or maybe a bit less. I had used some 8G cards in years past, but these days, I won't buy anything smaller than 32G, because there's very little savings in cost as you go smaller than 32G. The extra "breathing room" is worth the minuscule extra cost, as far as I'm concerned.

    You say your 16G card is about 60% used. It sounds like that is doing fine for you. You don't need a bigger card unless you start filling that one up significantly more than 80%.

    You've got a few gigabytes to go before you fill up the card. That's an enormous amount of text, a whole boatload of software, a couple thousand hi-res photos, or a little bit of video. If you don't save videos to your card, it could take you a very long time to fill up that card. You've got more empty storage on your card than most big computers had in total not that long ago.
  4. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Don't wasre your money and time on crummy cut rate SD cards, buy a reputable brand name card.
  5. VA3VF

    VA3VF Guest

    Standard, brand name, 'low' speed class 10, 16GB minimum.
    KB9BVN and AA7EJ like this.
  6. AA7EJ

    AA7EJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I find this odd "argument" , same as buying band name cereal versus "store brand". That is normal practice for "vendor" to put the content to "store brand" bag.
    But you have a point - long time ago I bought real brand name USB flash drive only to find out it has some kind of proprietary format so instead of xGB I got x-proprietary junk GB device. Yes, it can be formated to full capacity, but I never bothered.

    Speaking of capacity - there was a consumer issue with "x inches monitors " whose view area was "x- some fraction of inches long diagonally".
    Some lawyers got rich.

    I bought 32GB well know US brand flash drive which holds 28 GB!

    Any hungry lawyers out there?

    73 Shirley
  7. VA3VF

    VA3VF Guest

    The fine print likely says 'up to'.

    That is the capacity before formatting, and the available space will depend on the cluster size selected at formatting time.
  8. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree. Many people do not realize the number of writes when used in this application.

    Also the bigger the better, So that bad sectors can be moved to known good locations on the card.

    If reliability is a factor do not cheap out. Mud pie is not near as good as raspberry.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
  9. N4OGW

    N4OGW Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's not the formatting. The "GB" units used by manufacturers of RAM and storage have different meanings. A "32 GB" drive actually has fewer bytes than "32 GB" of RAM because storage GB's use a decimal prefix while RAM GB's refer to a power of 2 which is larger.


  10. N4AAB

    N4AAB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    A terabyte hard drive formats 993 gigabytes. The terabyte is 'unformatted', which of course, is a marketing attempt to get you to think you have a bigger drive than you do.

    Same for sd cards. I have a 128 meg thumb drive, its actually less than that.

    Marketing rounds up, technicians round down.

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