2020’s Fastest Raspberry Pi 4 Storage SD / SSD Benchmarks

We’ve now received over 20,000 benchmarks at https://storage.jamesachambers.com/! These are submitted by regular people from all over the world.

In celebration of that milestone as well as the launch of the 8GB Raspberry Pi 4* take a closer look at which device you should choose for your Raspberry Pi 4 as determined by science and measurement!

Best Performing Devices

Solid State Drive (SSD)

The Samsung 970 Evo Plus* is currently the king. It’s not cheap, but a lot of people have it with a total of 49 benchmarks so far!

Secure Digital (SD / MicroSD) Card

The SanDisk Extreme A2* is barely edging out the SanDisk Extreme A1 variant* for the top spot. The difference is tiny though, so you should pick whichever one is cheaper at the moment.

Storage Adapter Performance Note

The type of USB adapter you use (if you aren’t using a SD card) can have a big effect on performance. I cover which adapters are good and which should be avoided more comprehensively in my Raspberry Pi 4 USB Booting Post.

The most popular one at time of writing is the StarTech USB 3.1 to 2.5″ SATA adapter*.

Top 20 Fastest Storage Devices

# Brand Link Average (All) Average (Pi 4) Fastest Score Slowest Score Total Benchmarks
1 Samsung 970 Evo Plus*
View Product*
9563 9563 10840 2805 49
2 Patriot P200 Series*

View Product*
9372 9372 10170 8830 6
3 Crucial P1 M.2 Series*

View Product*
8602 8602 9369 6737 6
4 Western Digital Blue SN550 NVME*

View Product*
8396 8396 9799 7079 10
5 Western Digital Black SN750 Series*

View Product*
8381 8381 8650 8229 4
6 Samsung 860 Pro*

View Product*
8325 8325 9523 4895 15
7 Samsung T5 Portable*

View Product*
8299 8339 11505 2721 272
8 Samsung 850 Evo mSATA*

View Product*
8284 8284 9617 5325 20
9 Samsung T7 Portable SSD*

View Product*
8104 8104 8494 7834 3
10 Micron 1100 M.2 Series*

View Product*
8063 8063 9012 6605 4
11 Transcend MTS600 Series*

View Product*
8022 8022 9274 6967 4
12 SanDisk Extreme 500 Portable*

View Product*
8016 8438 10619 2693 25
13 Kingston A2000 Series*

View Product*
8014 8014 9503 5207 10
14 AData SU635*

View Product*
7953 7953 8678 7529 5
15 SKhynix SC311*

View Product*
7940 7940 8427 6355 8
16 Crucial MX300 M.2 Series*

View Product*
7739 7739 8829 6133 8
17 SanDisk Extreme Portable*

View Product*
7720 8000 11337 2449 106
18 KingSpec Z3 Portable Series*

View Product*
7714 8035 10458 1591 88
19 Team GX1 Series*

View Product*
7686 7686 8792 4660 8
20 Samsung T3 Portable*

View Product*
7632 7632 9431 2509 22

Top 10 Fastest Secure Digital SD / MicroSD Cards

Rank Brand Link Average (All) Average (Pi 4) Fastest Score Slowest Score Total Benchmarks
1 SanDisk Extreme A2 (SEXXX C10 V30 U3)*
View Product*
1595 1659 1747 1167 12
2 SanDisk Extreme A1 (SEXXX A1 C10 V30 U3)*

View Product*
1588 1669 1808 858 141
3 Transcend (USD A1 C10 V30 U3)*

View Product*
1569 1569 1667 1363 6
4 SanDisk Extreme Pro (SPXXX A1 C10 V30 U3)*

View Product*
1568 1606 2289 651 136
5 Lexar 633x*

View Product*
1554 1554 1810 1028 14
6 Kingston Canvas React (SDCHE A1 C10 V10 U1)*

View Product*
1554 1554 1632 1465 6
7 SanDisk Extreme Pro (SPXXX C10 V30 U3)*

View Product*
1520 1607 1709 1260 4
8 Toshiba SD (SA32G A1 C10 U1)*

View Product*
1456 1525 1616 1178 5
9 Transcend (USD A1 C10 V10 U3)*

View Product*
1436 1436 1528 1135 7
10 AData Premier Pro*

View Product*
1412 1412 1558 1316 13

Benchmarking Your Own Device

I highly recommend benchmarking your own storage device. To run the benchmark paste/type:

sudo curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/TheRemote/PiBenchmarks/master/Storage.sh | sudo bash

The benchmark only takes a few minutes and will give you a lot of information about whether your Pi is performing well or not. Storage is definitely the biggest performance variation between otherwise identical Pi setups.

Compare your score with others at the full benchmark browsing site https://storage.jamesachambers.com/. Leave a comment letting us know how you did or if you need any help!

10 thoughts on “2020’s Fastest Raspberry Pi 4 Storage SD / SSD Benchmarks”

  1. hello everyone,
    im having some issues! after looking through this guide I recently bought a western digital blue sn550 nvme 250gb, and theo tdbt m.2 nvme enclosure, got my pi 4 to boot using this set up, and ran this test. my score was 2526, which is FAR below even the lowest recorded score. ive been trying to troubleshoot why this might be and i cant seem to find a solution. all of the videos ive watched with people booting from a ssd give them hparm speeds of 100-600 mb/s, while mine is hovering around 30. any ideas?

    1. Hey Tyler,

      Sorry for the slow reply, I missed this one in the shuffle. Have you tried enabling quirks mode on your drive? I cover this a little bit more in depth in my New Raspberry Pi 4 Bootloader USB Booting Guide. Sometimes unpredictable things can happen and it can help.

      2500 sounds suspiciously close to the USB 2.0 limit. It may be worth checking to make sure it’s plugged into one of the blue ports. I recently updated the benchmark to tell you what mode your USB connection is running in if it’s able to be seen depending on your adapter.

      I’m not familiar with this enclosure. Do you happen to have a link to your benchmark id #? I would definitely be willing to take a closer look here and see if we can figure out what is bottlenecking you!

  2. James — seems we can no longer download the results to a CSV or .xlsx document? Did you make that change intentionally, or will the functionality be added back at some point? I would like to sort through results on my own.

    1. Hey Austin,

      Wow! Did you actually use the benchmark back then or is there a reference to that somewhere still around?

      So it wasn’t an intentional change. What happened is I have been migrating away from a PHP forms submission software called “FormTools” to purely my own code. That project seems to have been abandoned. The author has a note up and the site is still up but it hasn’t been updated for years. It’s still partially used right now until I can finish the rest of my own custom stuff. The benchmarking bash script still uploads the results to a FormTools form.

      The site used to basically be a giant table that had limited sorting and was impossible to navigate very effectively. The “export” function was built into FormTools already. I’ve replaced the FormTools frontend entirely though at this point so there’s no way to get to the button for non-admins. At the time it was literally easier to read the data in Excel (most things are really when presented/sorted, but I mean you basically had to to even read it). I had actually forgotten about it until you mentioned it!

      There’s no reason I took it away or anything like that so I will definitely put it on the ToDo list to add an export button here at some point. I’m right in the middle of major changes on the site trying to get it more usable (it’s better, still horrible, but improving and you can kind of browse it now, yay!). If you check it today and check it tomorrow it may look completely different or have new pages than before so I may get an opportunity to implement this before too long!

  3. Greetings!

    Two questions:

    1. I have been running your benchmark and have submitted numerous reports on various SD and USB devices I have here, all as (using “European” quotes for clarity), and yet, interestingly enough, none – not a single one – has shown up on your list. I did a new test of a Seagate Expansion SSD (500G) on my Pi-4 test rig and submitted it on 2020-10-14, and it has not yet shown up. Nor bustin’ chops, but I am curious. Maybe other significant data is also being swallowed up in some black hole somewhere?

    2. When running tests on my devices, I have noticed that several tests on the same device, on the same port (USB/micro SD), on the same system, using an identical image, show what might be significant variation.

    For example:
    Today I purchased the Seagate Expansion SSD device – an external USB-3 device that contains a SSD instead of a standard mechanical hard drive.

    I ran a total of ten passes of your test on it and recorded all the results. (I turned off my WiFi at the end of the test to avoid spamming your site with tests.)

    The “score” for this device, run exactly the same way over and over again in succession, ranged from a low of 6477 to a high of 7394 – a difference of almost exactly 12.5%.

    I have noticed a similar effect when testing other devices though I have not run such a test as this because the other devices were too slow.

    I would hope to believe that the device itself doesn’t have a 12 to 13% variation in speed based on the phases of the moon or whatever. I also shudder to think that my Pi-4 is so inconsistent.

    Do you have any idea why there should be such a variation? Note that the variation seems to be random in nature instead of steadily increasing or decreasing.

    Thanks!

    Jim “JR”

  4. This is great! FYI, the reason that that particular micro-SD card at the top is so popular is because it is sold in a 2-pack from Costco in the US for only $45, making it out to $22.50 per card! So they are popular because they are cheap!

  5. Hi James,
    thanks for providing such very deep information.
    Over the time I have done several tests with Raspi 4 (4GB) and Samsung 860 EVO 250 GB (e.g. #5367 on 2019-12-18 and #32570 on 2020-09-28).
    I have done firmware and bootloader updates as soon as they where in stable state. I believe my updates have made the system more stable and efficient due to less heat dissipation.
    On the other hand during time the score went worse.
    I have done software updates of your software too in order to stay comparable.
    What do you think about? What may be the root cause of this slow down?
    Regards, H.

    1. Assuming you’re using an SD card, mounted within the Pi’s SD slot, have you tried a TRIM of the device?

      Viz.: fstrim -v /

      Part of the problem may be that you are continually reading and writing from the device and solid-state devices like SSD’s or SD cards do not necessarily handle TRIM very well, especially if you are running something repeatedly.

      You can find more information here:
      https://www.jeffgeerling.com/blog/2020/enabling-trim-on-external-ssd-on-raspberry-pi

      1. Sorry I’m late to the party, but I second what Jim said. When I’ve seen this on my own devices it has been because the SD card needed a trim. Once I did that and rebooted typically performance would be 90-95% restored if not 100%!

      2. Hi Jim,
        thanks for the hint.
        This is not a SD card. The Samsung 860 EVO is a mSATA device on a Lycom Adapter (in a USB3-version with controller from Renesas/NEC). Anyway, the provided link worked.
        However, after trimming the device is not faster.

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