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

#BrandLinkAverage (All)Average (Pi 4)Fastest ScoreSlowest ScoreTotal Benchmarks
1Samsung 970 Evo Plus
Samsung 970 Evo Plus
View Product
9563956310840280549
2Patriot P200 Series
Patriot P200 Series

 

View Product
937293721017088306
3Crucial P1 M.2 Series
Crucial P1 M.2 Series

 

View Product
86028602936967376
4Western Digital Blue SN550 NVME
Western Digital Blue SN550 NVME

 

View Product
839683969799707910
5Western Digital Black SN750 Series
Western Digital Black SN750 Series

 

View Product
83818381865082294
6Samsung 860 Pro
Samsung 860 Pro

 

View Product
832583259523489515
7Samsung T5 Portable
Samsung T5 Portable

 

View Product
82998339115052721272
8Samsung 850 Evo mSATA
Samsung 850 Evo mSATA

 

View Product
828482849617532520
9Samsung T7 Portable SSD
Samsung T7 Portable SSD

 

View Product
81048104849478343
10Micron 1100 M.2 Series
Micron 1100 M.2 Series

 

View Product
80638063901266054
11Transcend MTS600 Series
Transcend MTS600 Series

 

View Product
80228022927469674
12SanDisk Extreme 500 Portable
SanDisk Extreme 500 Portable

 

View Product
8016843810619269325
13Kingston A2000 Series
Kingston A2000 Series

 

View Product
801480149503520710
14AData SU635
AData SU635

 

View Product
79537953867875295
15SKhynix SC311
SKhynix SC311

 

View Product
79407940842763558
16Crucial MX300 M.2 Series
Crucial MX300 M.2 Series

 

View Product
77397739882961338
17SanDisk Extreme Portable
SanDisk Extreme Portable

 

View Product
77208000113372449106
18KingSpec Z3 Portable Series
KingSpec Z3 Portable Series

 

View Product
7714803510458159188
19Team GX1 Series
Team GX1 Series

 

View Product
76867686879246608
20Samsung T3 Portable
Samsung T3 Portable

 

View Product
763276329431250922

Top 10 Fastest Secure Digital SD / MicroSD Cards

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!

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

  1. Avatar for Jim "JR"

    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”

  2. Avatar for Patrick

    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!

  3. Avatar for DerFritz

    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. Avatar for Jim "JR"

      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

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