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.

  • Related: Which SD cards are compatible with the Raspberry Pi?
    – finnw
    Jun 12, 2012 at 21:26
  • 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, 2013 at 18:53
  • RPI can go beyond 512GB and up to 1TB. Jul 20, 2022 at 18:49

5 Answers 5


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


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.

  • 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, 2013 at 18:54
  • 3
    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, 2014 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.


I'm using a SanDisk 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 SanDisk (Samsung had a hight corrupt % chances), If you need some speed, try to overclock your microSD card driver.

More info here


it's better to use 64GB SdCard as showing in this page for the best raspberry pi sd card but the last update was about raspberry pi 3 and im sure pi 4 can do much better

  • 1
    The question is: "What's the maximum SD card size that the Raspberry Pi will accept?". So what is it?
    – Ingo
    Nov 2, 2019 at 12:46

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