I am going to purchase a Pi 3 B+ (probably from Element 14).

I have been reading about SD card "Wear Leveling". Do all the reputable (Samsung EVO, etc) use some form of wear leveling? I read somewhere that the max capacity the Pi 3 B+ can use is 64 GB, but I read about people using 128 GB cards. From what I read, the larger card (with wear leveling) will last longer.

Should I look for an SD card with wear levelling, and what capacity should I look for? Are there any other factors to consider when choosing an SD card?

  • Shopping advice is off-topic.
    – joan
    Aug 5, 2018 at 5:10

2 Answers 2


The Raspberry Pi has no upper limit on SD card size. I strongly suggest 8 GB or more, you are likely to run out of space otherwise.

All consumer SD cards on the market do wear leveling. The algorithms are top-secret and have a weakness: They do not cope well with random R/W access at all.

The SD card association introduced "Application Performance Classes" in November 2016 to address this. Those specially designated cards are likely to have better performance than regular class 10 or UHS-I cards under (Raspbian) Linux, too.

  • Which "Application Performance Class" should one use?; i.e. how do you know which SD card to use - are they marked or designated in some way?
    – Seamus
    Aug 5, 2018 at 17:19
  • AFAIK only AP1 and AP2 have been defined till date. AP2 has more IOPS, so it should be better ...
    – flakeshake
    Aug 6, 2018 at 9:22

This post notes:

One of the highest-impact upgrades you can perform to increase Raspberry Pi performance is to buy the fastest possible microSD card—especially for applications where you need to do a lot of random reads and writes.

It goes on to benchmark different brands and models of cards.

  • I decided on the Santek Extreme 64GB. I purchased it along with my Pi 3 b+ CanaKit from Amazon (sold and shipped by Amazon). I may add a USB SSD later. Aug 5, 2018 at 12:39

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