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On my digital camera I noticed a performance decrease when I used a larger card; will this happen with the Raspberry Pi too?

What's the maximum sized SD card it can handle?

I see there is comprehensive list available from this question.

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On your digital camera: were you using the same class/speed rating of card? There are more factors than just capacity that could affect performance, and effect a slow-down. – lindes Oct 28 '13 at 18:53
up vote 23 down vote accepted

See this link for a list of compatible cards: http://elinux.org/RPi_VerifiedPeripherals#SD_cards. The higher speeds are not necessarily a guarantee of performance. The problem observed at the moment is the support for the higher speeds required by the higher class SD cards, so there have been issues reported.

This is a driver issue, and hopefully it should be fixed soon. My advice is to check the list before deciding on what to buy.

Updated link: http://elinux.org/RPi_SD_cards

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Performance shouldn't decrease with larger cards (I'd say the same of your camera, perhaps it's more an issue with too many files/directories - some devices don't handle that well).

The Raspberry Pi supports SDHC cards, which can have capacities up to 32GB.

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Speed rating of card also matters... I've compared cards of the same capacity, but different speed ratings, in my digital camera, and found that it definitely does make a difference. – lindes Oct 28 '13 at 18:54
Update as of Sept 2014: SDXC cards are supported and cards up to at least 128GB have been used by the community – dube Nov 11 '14 at 15:04

This will not really happen on the Pi unless one puts loads of stuff on there.

SD cards come in five maximum speed classes:

  • Class 1: maximum speed of minimum 1 MB/s
  • Class 2: maximum speed of minimum 2 MB/s
  • Class 4: maximum speed of minimum 4 MB/s
  • Class 8: maximum speed of minimum 8 MB/s
  • Class 10: maximum speed of minimum 10 MB/s

Above 10 MB/s there are two additional classes for sustained speed. These were introduced for cards used for video recording.

  • UHS-I U1: sustained speed of minimum 10 MB/s
  • UHS-I U3: sustained speed of minimum 30 MB/s
  • UHS-II: even higher sustained speeds ...

A Class 4 SDHC is considered as a bare minimum. A 32 GB SDHC UHS as the maximum supported out of the box by the Pi. Larger SDXC cards require prior reformatting from exFAT to FAT32.

SD cards also come in three storage types:

  • SD: 512 MB to 4 GB
  • SDHC: 4 GB to 32 GB << recommended
  • SDXC: 32 GB to 2 TB

In the end, no, the larger card will not be slower.

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I'm using a SandDisk Extreme Class 10 with UHS-U3 on my RPi3, I have the microSD driver overclocked and I hit 33.80MB/s while reading/writing.

Speed don't decrease with capacity, just ensure to use a good brand like SandDisk (Samsung had a hight corrupt % chances), If you need some speed, try to overclock your microSD card driver.

More info here

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