Raspberry Pi Storage Benchmarks 2019 + Benchmarking Script

Pi Benchmark 2019 Contenders
Pi Benchmark 2019 Contenders

Storage options continue to advance at a very fast pace. We’ve seen a lot of changes in the past couple of years with viable storage options for your Pi. Solid state drives are now so cheap that it can be cheaper to outfit your Pi with a SSD than buy a MicroSD card! MicroSD cards also continue to evolve with the new “Application Class” A1 and A2 certifications.

This year I wanted to do something more than just benchmark my ever-growing pile of MicroSD cards and solid state drives. Although I have a wide variety of storage to test I don’t have everything! So this time I created a benchmark that gives you a easy to compare score and anonymously submits the storage specifications and the results to this site.

Running the benchmark is extremely easy. Run the following command on your Pi:

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

Current Benchmark Results

ScoreHost ModelUserBrandLink (Amazon Affiliate)NoteClassManuf.ModelSize (GB)DD WriteRandW IOPSRandR IOPSIO ReadIO WriteIO Rand ReadIO Rand WriteHDParm DiskProductDateHost OSArchAdapterSD Spec.SD TypeM. DateQuirks
19653B+ 1.3AnonymousSanDisk UltraView Product SanDisk Ultra
A1 Class 10 U1SanDiskSL16G1634.026351846968973596870834822.02SD2019-03-21 2:26 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 9 (stretch)armv7l5.00SDHC02/2018
89054B 1.1jchambersLITEON M.2 OEM LG SeriesView Product LiteOn M2 SATA SSD
SSD (M.2 SATA)LITEON256193125792263436785305011572434640300.28SSD2019-06-28 5:15 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7lASM2115
80854B 1.1jchambersSanDisk ExtremeView Product SanDisk x110
SSD (M.2 SATA)SanDisk128191112772242636613307711704127497299.45SSD2019-06-28 8:51 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7lASM2115
84864B 1.1dzmPNY CS900View Product PNY CS900
SSD (2.5" SATA)PNYITY3120205111202183334784269721988029892283.52SSD2019-07-01 10:39 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7lASM2115
16204B 1.1AnonymousSanDisk ExtremeView Product SanDisk Extreme
A1 Class 10 V30 U3SanDiskAFGCE6438.4105036631013329619708460440.97SD2019-07-02 12:59 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l5.00SDXC04/2017
87514B 1.1sacSamsung 850 ProView Product Samsung 850 Pro
SSD (2.5" SATA)SamsungSSD850PRO256G25618884572227036382281672356435021315.78SSD2019-07-08 5:19 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l
90444B 1.1jchambersCrucial MX200View Product Crucial MX200
SSD (2.5" SATA)CrucialASM105x250205124272316719970328161683635742316.22SSD2019-07-08 5:11 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7lASM105x
15584B 1.1AnonymousCorsair SDView Product AData
A2 Class 10 V30 U3Corsair/ADataSD6424.01239426612606408910432433941.45SD2019-07-14 9:45 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l6.00SDXC05/2019
13374B 1.1AnonymousSanDisk UltraView Product SanDisk Ultra
A1 Class 10 U1SanDiskSC64G6423.510813031937634298981385240.36SD2019-07-25 12:51 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l5.00SDXC03/2018
65484B 1.1BKingston A400 M.2View Product Kingston A400 M2
SSD (M.2 NVME)Kingston240201115152050417855154671334216513270.95SSD2019-07-25 12:03 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7lASM2115
18784B 1.1AnonymousSanDisk Extreme ProView Product SanDisk Extreme Plus
A1 Class 10 V30 U3SanDiskSP32G3240.21458356312648307211897547742.19SD2019-07-25 3:13 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l5.00SDHC02/2019
64754B 1.1pegasyCorsair Force Series//https://www.amazon.com/Corsair-CSSD-F120GB2B-Mounting-Bracket-Included/dp/B0073CRNI0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?keywords=corsair+force+ssd+CSSD-F120GB2%5C&qid=1575756434&sr=8-5&linkCode=ll1&tag=codemallet-20&linkId=784bc564418f141767d62589abad74c2&language=en_US Corsair Force
2.5" SATACorsair1201675768421325036221341974227585163.24SSD2019-07-27 10:38 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l
88614B 1.1AnonymousAData SU800View Product AData SU800
SSD (M.2 SATA)ADataSU800128198111401777734741315172328234148299.13SSD2019-07-29 7:49 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7lASMedia ASM105x
15854B 1.1AnonymousTranscendView Product
A1 Class 10 V30 U3TranscendUSDU16424.01216404317161413710648417941.08SD2019-08-03 2:19 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l5.00SDXC06/2019
95294B 1.1AnonymousKingston A400View Product
SSD (2.5" SATA)KingstonASM105x120220158803017037516287541849430791296.64SSD2019-08-04 10:14 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7lASM105x
72364B 1.1vvvCorsair Force LE SeriesView Product
SSD (2.5" SATA)CorsairForceLESSD51218389982034133522213591318825731294.44SSD2019-08-05 8:06 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l
83364B 1.1AnonymousTranscend MTS800 SeriesView Product
SSD (M.2 SATA)TranscendTS120GMTS820S120138110152200234597309062181234144276.08SSD2019-08-11 7:05 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l
82664B 1.1KevinWD Blue NVMEView Product
SSD (M.2 NVME)Western DigitalWDS500G1B0C-00S6201050018077362245634439282321895533664299.24SSD2019-08-12 7:07 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l
67174B 1.1naibooAData SU650View Product
SSD (2.5" SATA)AData1201956198491519299225101770527779257.79SSD2019-08-14 3:53 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l
70204B 1.1AnonymousSamsung 840 ProView Product
SSD (2.5" SATA)SamsungSD/MMC25618787491494431284205321607124721295.82SSD2019-08-14 4:37 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l
105554B 1.1AnonymousSanDisk Extreme PortableView Product
SSD (Portable)SanDiskExtremeSSD500219149532909039574344942337539780311.25SSD2019-08-17 8:42 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l
65894B 1.1nesteaWD Green M.2View Product
SSD (M.2 SATA)Western DigitalWDS240G2G0B-00EP24014899842113915855211091563822344293.08SSD2019-08-20 7:07 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l
80444B 1.1jacekrufCorsair Force 3 SeriesView Product
SSD (2.5" SATA)CorsairForce3SSD12014979232307331886274842157833465227.69SSD2019-08-20 12:04 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l
105514B 1.1NaroarSamsung T5 PortableView Product
SSD (Portable)SamsungPortableSSDT5500249148402909031007348112063338704312.82SSD2019-08-22 6:51 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l
15424B 1.1AnonymousLexar 667XView Product
A1 Class 10 V10 U1Lexar5cMJR3217.61370400112209445610623479841.34SD2019-08-22 10:19 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l5.00SDHC10/2018
77284B 1.1KraakBalSamsung 750 EvoView Product
SSD (2.5" SATA)Samsung2105120100116571488334073307512343333575297.07SSD2019-08-23 4:40 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7lASM2105
13574B 1.1R4W4CSamsung EvoView Product
Class 10 U3SamsungEC2QT6421.612273021981136059993364739.84SD2019-08-23 4:18 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l3.00SDXC06/2017
65454B 1.1AnonymousPlextor PX SeriesView Product
SSD (2.5" SATA)Plextor1281876461481628282226271880825301121.83SSD2019-08-24 11:57 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l
14884B 1.1AnonymousSamsung EvoView Product
Class 10 U1Samsung000006419.4531394713975345113930351642.93SD2019-08-25 8:08 AMDebian GNU/Linux 9 (stretch)aarch643.00SDXC03/2016
88634B 1.1AnonymousKingston UV400View Product
SSD (2.5" SATA)KingstonSUV400S37120G120201117592281631984307161649034305298.27SSD2019-08-26 12:23 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l
91674B 1.1AnonymousCrucial BX500View Product Crucial BX500
SSD (2.5" SATA)CrucialCT240BX500SSD12401921146921805359483109224891351606.55SSD2019-08-29 10:20 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l
66974B 1.1hastarinSanDisk ExtremeView Product SSD
SSD (2.5" SATA)SanDisk24018694292084629623198942131616684302.99SSD2019-08-30 3:06 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7lASM2115
89734B 1.1JosephCrucial MX500View Product
SSD (2.5" SATA)CrucialCT250MX500SSD1250212124272263433816317371713233135296.41SSD2019-08-30 11:16 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7lASM105x
79294B 1.1AnonymousOCZ Agility SeriesView Product asdf
SSD (2.5" SATA)OCZAGILITY364188120642249527212245961654527180211.88SSD2019-08-30 9:41 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l
65754B 1.1AnonymousInland ProfessionalView Product Inland 120GB with JMicron Adapter
SSD (2.5" SATA)InlandSATA SSD1201946547374827205241331498826712193.31SSD2019-08-30 11:53 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l
16504B 1.1AnonymousSanDisk Extreme ProView Product sd
A1 Class 10 V30 U3SanDiskSP64G6438.813783584984526949701466440.66SD2019-08-31 7:14 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l5.00SDXC09/2017
74834B 1.1AnonymousLexar USB Flash DriveView Product SSDKingstonA400
USB FlashLexarUSBFlashDrive12018091201828520838241452066427203278.91SSD2019-08-31 10:06 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l
71164B 1.1NelebhLexar NS100View Product Lexar NS100 120GB SSD
SSD (2.5" SATA)Lexar120110114542178734664241292069025581288.24SSD2019-09-02 2:54 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l
84074B 1.1AnonymousCrucial MX300View Product Curr
SSD (2.5" SATA)Crucial525156116572249535456318601517034645253.04SSD2019-09-03 10:29 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7lASM1051
14363B+ 1.3sdrasp13minecraftSonyView Product Car SanDisk
Class 10 U1SonyUSD001623.312902773975550998464474335.65SD2019-09-04 11:59 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l3.00SDHC09/2018
16644B 1.1AnonymousSanDisk ExtremeView Product western digital 256GB ssd
A1 Class 10 V30 U3SanDiskSE64G6437.4142636321009529609455488740.83SD2019-09-04 7:21 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7lASMedia AS21155.00SDXC04/2018
75044B 1.1AnonymousSamsung 860 QVOView Product
SSD (M.2 SATA)SamsungSSD860QVO2TB2000193114031528332534231301590925840296.10SSD2019-09-05 8:12 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l
67224B 1.1KungenAvPekingWD GreenView Product SSD WD Green 120GB on Plex gear USB30 SATA
SSD (2.5" SATA)Western DigitalWDS120G2G0A-00JH30120183104572186114595185021376720470264.69SSD2019-09-05 9:47 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l
13304B 1.1JMSanDisk UltraView Product A SDcard SanDisk Ultra 64GB
A1 Class 10SanDiskSB64G6421.010542929948636489245391741.62SD2019-09-05 11:36 AMUbuntu 18.04.3 LTSaarch645.00SDXC10/2018
65624B 1.1twba177Intel 320 SeriesView Product 80GBIntel
SSD (2.5" SATA)IntelSSDSA2M080G2GN8076.7122072252534039239841582424496227.16SSD2019-09-06 10:02 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l
86084B 1.1AnonymousSanDisk SSD PlusView Product sandisk
SSD (2.5" SATA)SanDiskSDSSDA240G240203116152069533741309681508732903297.76SSD2019-09-06 12:48 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l
82044B 1.1AnonymousCrucial M500View Product Crucial M500
SSD (2.5" SATA)CrucialStorageDevice120131116152956119891286091523134245298.78SSD2019-09-06 7:46 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7lASM105x
74254B 1.1quickfireukSanDisk Ultra 3D NANDView Product
SSD (2.5" SATA)SanDiskSDSSDH3250G25013184762219334938280621560830948290.12SSD2019-09-08 4:37 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l
14084B 1.1AnonymousToshibaView Product sd
A1 Class 10 U1ToshibaSA16G1617.8136429991074844238758476240.85SD2019-09-08 7:10 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l6.00SD02/2019
78724B 1.1AnonymousCrucial M4 SeriesView Product
SSD (2.5" SATA)CrucialM4-CT256M4SSD2256194111542274534847243281383927156305.82SSD2019-09-08 8:14 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7lASM1051
14634B 1.1JACCINFORMATICACorsair SDView Product SD card 64GB AData A1 Class 10 V30 U3
A1 Class 10 V30 U3Corsair/ADataSD6423.4105040341186944829755408242.71SD2019-09-09 8:01 AMUbuntu 18.04.3 LTSaarch645.00SDXC02/2019
13824B 1.1sdcard01SanDisk ExtremeView Product sd card operating system
A2 Class 10 V30 U3SanDiskSN64G6437.410622924864324957375374340.46SD2019-09-10 2:25 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l6.00SDXC05/2019
13864B 1.1AnonymousSamsung Evo+View Product Sandisk Ultra 16GB
Class 10 U1SamsungEB1QT3225.812113241977626639758365040.37SD2019-09-10 10:00 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l3.00SDHC07/2018
15714B 1.1leosTestSamsung Evo+View Product sandisk ultra
Class 10 U3SamsungED4QT12830.01350324811275420411030402933.43SD2019-09-12 11:10 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l3.00SDXC12/2017
74474B 1.1AnonymousWD BlueView Product WD Blue SSD
SSD (2.5" SATA)Western Digital25017388031519237504223382176927185298.08SSD2019-09-14 3:32 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l
92384B 1.1jangaSamsung 860 EvoView Product SSD vs SD card made by Samsung
SSD (2.5" SATA)SamsungASM105x250196121152251536918309651938836646331.49SSD2019-09-15 12:19 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7lASM105x
74214B 1.1AnonymousDogfish SSDView Product mSATA SSD over USB3
SSD (2.5" SATA)Dogfish25689.8113122215433924300361462732676297.90SSD2019-09-16 1:54 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7lASM2115
66734B 1.1AertSanDisk Ultra 3.0 USBView Product Sandisk SSD 120GB
USB FlashSanDiskUltraUSB3.0120170106842514713983187421404019691319.52SSD2019-09-17 8:42 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7lASM105x
72054B 1.1AnonymousAData SU630View Product newssd
SSD (2.5" SATA)ADataSU63024019588001493533055206621630225422295.15SSD2019-09-17 12:39 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l
89384B 1.1CPSamsung 970 EvoView Product
SSD (M.2 NVME)SamsungSSD970EVO32617991652197436351263933068334556303.46SSD2019-09-17 2:44 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l
14314B 1.1AnonymousKingston DigitalView Product 32GB SD Sandisk
A1 Class 10 V30 U3KingstonSD32G3227.712812441979644917734476841.90SD2019-09-18 2:02 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l5.00SDHC07/2018
86734B 1.1AnonymousIntenso PortableSSD SeriesView Product intenso portable ssd
SSD (Portable)IntensoPortableSSD25617912231219453621530069161333431365.68SSD2019-09-18 11:36 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l
73684B 1.1AnonymousSamsung 840 EvoView Product Samsung 840 EVO
SSD (mSATA)Samsung250163550121539877271361823532780117.18SSD2019-09-18 12:42 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l
17224B 1.1AnonymousSanDisk ExtremeView Product SanDisk Extreme 32GB A1 V30 class3
A1 Class 10 V30 U3SanDiskSE32G3237.7149637241072531429927509441.55SD2019-09-20 4:05 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l5.00SDHC03/2019
14404B 1.1PNYSamsung Evo SelectView Product PNY
Class 10 U3SamsungGD4QT12827.6834316710063385410000414741.49SD2019-09-21 5:38 PMUbuntu 18.04.3 LTSaarch643.00SDXC11/2018
81804B 1.1TakeeKingston UV500 mSATAView Product Kingston SSD
SSD (mSATA)KingstonSUV500MS120G12022395092683434788210832264324085314.54SSD2019-09-22 1:47 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7lGeekworm X855
17164B 1.1AnonymousSonyView Product SD card
A1 Class 10 V30 U3SonyUSD006439.6145438001302249539423463541.68SD2019-09-22 2:22 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l6.00SDXC03/2025
14194B 1.1AnonymousTranscendView Product m2 SSD
A1 Class 10 V10 U3TranscendUSDU13217.41131411211859379610372396441.46SD2019-09-23 9:11 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l5.00SDHC05/2019
97164B 1.1Luc HSamsung 860 Evo mSATAView Product Samsung 860 EVO Geekworm mSATA SSD Expansion Board X855
SSD (mSATA)SamsungSSD860EVOmSAT250210122312249538038319522590237073304.17SSD2019-09-23 9:12 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7lGeekworm X855
14434B 1.1AnonymousSamsung ProView Product Samsung Pro 64GB
Class 10 U3SamsungFC8HT6437.2775365710244330810753275433.95SD2019-09-24 3:23 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l3.00SDXC01/2018
16724B 1.1AnonymousSanDisk ExtremeView Product SanDisk
A1 Class 10 V30 U3SanDiskAFGCD3237.4143736481018530539523490540.89SD2019-09-24 6:23 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l5.00SDHC03/2017
13264B 1.1hipattrickSanDisk Extreme PlusView Product SanDisk Extreme Plus 128GB from Costco
A2 Class 10 V30 U3SanDiskSR12812836.710012857848321687128351840.86SD2019-09-25 8:57 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l6.00SDXC07/2019
82564B 1.1Magnus RPNY Elite PortableView Product PNY ELITE External SSD 240GB Model PSD1CS1050240FFS
SSD (Portable)PNYPNYELITEPSSD240194116201509835290282691717631817275.60SSD2019-09-27 12:11 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l
91964B 1.1spark343Samsung 850 EvoView Product SSD
SSD (2.5" SATA)SamsungASM105x250165117212523439137307431952638457308.15SSD2019-09-27 5:22 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7lASM105x
13234B 1.1EsperanzaSanDisk Extreme ProView Product SanDisk SD Card
Class 10 U3SanDiskSP64G6439.48373157901429717557291935.23SD2019-09-27 7:12 AMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l4.00SDXC02/2017
13384B 1.1AnonymousSamsung Pro EnduranceView Product Samsung PRO Endurance 32GB
Class 10 U1SamsungJB1RT3237.85883461953233839709244640.06SD2019-10-05 10:23 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7l3.00SDHC11/2018
78264B 1.1AnonymousSamsung PM871 mSATAView Product
SSD (mSATA)SamsungSSDPM871mSATA12813783382226035064282881744733680295.05SSD2019-10-14 10:32 PMRaspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)armv7lGeekworm X855
13944B 1.1babinodSamsung EvoView Product Samsung 256GB 100MBs U3 Micro SDXC EVO
Class 10 U3SamsungEE8QT25626.810093148982038889718375341.55SD2019-10-28 1:07 AMUbuntu 18.04.3 LTSaarch643.00SDXC11/2018
Showing featured results only. View full results

Navigating the Results

As the list of submissions continues to grow there can be a lot of data to sift through. I’ve provided a filter on the table to help narrow some of that down.

To only see Micro SD cards click the “Product” drop down from the options above the table and choose “SD”. This will filter out everything but Micro SD cards. To see solid state choose “SSD”. You can also search by manufacturer, brand, etc.

I have also offered the option to export the entire results table to Excel and other formats. If you perform any advanced analysis that you think would be useful to share be sure to leave a comment with what you found and I will credit you and post it for everyone!

Scoring

The benchmark heavily favors 4k random reads / writes. This is because for application and operating system performance this is by far the most important metric. Traditional benchmarking methods like dd write, hdparm read tests, etc. are very poor indicators of everyday performance. What matters is not how fast your storage can push through giant files but how fast it can respond to random input that asks it to read / write anywhere on the disk.

To understand why we need to think of what your Raspberry Pi is usually doing. Most applications and services are not constantly writing giant sequential files which is what traditional synthetic benchmarks measure. Your Raspberry Pi is usually updating log files, reading data from different parts of the disk for various applications and services, responding to user input, etc. To your disk drive this behavior is considered “random” since it has no idea what it will be asked to read / write next.

Storage devices doing large sequential I/O like transferring files utilize extensive caching and other techniques to speed up these kinds of operations. Unfortunately these techniques do not work when the operating system and storage device doesn’t know what users / applications / services might request next. The storage device has no way to know or prepare for what your application will want next so it has to read it raw from the disk and can’t rely on cache.

This is why in our benchmarking we want to look very hard at 4k random read / writes. This is what will determine how “snappy” the Pi feels as you perform various tasks. Fast 4k random IO devices feel and perform much better than a device with huge throughput but poor random I/O performance.

The current scoring method is:

(DDWriteSpeed * 1024 + fio4kRandReadIOPS * 4 + fio4kRandWriteIOPS * 10 + io4kRead + io4kWrite + IO4kRandRead * 4 + IO4kRandWrite * 10) / 100

Methodology

The benchmark runs a few different tests in order to get a good overall idea of storage performance. It runs 4k read / write and random read / write in two separate benchmarks to verify the results and reduce variance. Here are the tests used in the benchmark:

FIO – An industry standard used for true storage benchmarking vs. just measuring throughput (like DD Write and HDParm — not considered true benchmarks). The benchmark tests 4k block size sequential read/write and random read/write. Gives a result in IOPS which stands for Input/Output Operations Per Second

IOZone – A very popular benchmarking program. We also test 4k block size sequential read / write and 4k random read / writes here to verify our results are close to the FIO results

DD Write – Basic throughput test of writing 0’s as fast as possible

HD Parm – Tests disk read throughput in direct mode (avoids caching)

Recommendations – 2019

The top recommendation this year for Pi storage will depend on your form factor. Let’s break it down:

My project is stationary (servers, media centers, etc.)

The best choice is a 2.5″ Solid State drive connected via USB. This is the highest performance choice and is very cheap.

If you have a Pi 3B+ or older the benchmarks show that any solid state drive is so fast that it maxes out the Raspberry Pi’s USB 2.0 bus. I’ll talk about this more in the SSD analysis section below but basically it’s best to get the cheapest option while still picking a reliable brand.

If you have a Pi 4 then the performance of the solid state that you get is a performance factor. Differences between drive quality can affect performance but the performance of *any* quality solid state drive is going to crush SD cards and USB flash drives.

The best way to find good fast drives is to go to the full Pi Storage Benchmark results and soft by drive and see which ones score higher and by how much. When you look at prices you can determine if you want to pay extra for the highest classes of performance and where your sweet spot is.

The new Pi 4 has a much faster USB 3.0 bus on it that allows solid state’s potential to be unleashed leading to huge performance gains.

Here is my current recommendation:

Raspberry Pi Storage Benchmarks 2019 + Benchmarking Script

Kingston A400 SSD 120GB SATA 3 2.5” Solid State Drive

Raspberry Pi Storage Benchmarks 2019 + Benchmarking Script

StarTech 2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0 Adapter

My project moves around but can fit a USB drive

Many USB drives are a poor choice for Pi storage media because they have very poor 4k random read / write performance. Micro SD cards are faster than a run of the mill / genreic flash drive.

That being said, with the new Raspberry Pi 4 the USB 3.0 bus is having really high end flash drives outperforming Micro SD cards. On the 3B+ and older boards without the new bus USB flash drives are usually not a good choice (even the good ones).

One drive that shows great performance even on a 3B+ is a special USB drive by SanDisk that is actually a solid state drive on a stick. It has the same size / dimensions of a regular flash drive but uses solid state storage internally giving it great 4k random read / write performance. I own it and it benchmarked at 2330 putting it more than double any MicroSD card and only a couple hundred points below Samsung Pro 2.5″ SSDs.

Raspberry Pi Storage Benchmarks 2019 + Benchmarking Script

SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB USB Solid State Flash Drive

My project is small form factor and can’t use USB adapters or storage

There’s lots of cool projects out there that using any type of USB attached storage is not an option. For these projects Micro SD is still king. The good news is that Micro SD has had some recent developments such as the A1 / A2 application class cards. A2 is not supported by Raspberry Pi yet (or almost anything else really) so A1 is the important mark to hit.

I’ll cover Micro SD in depth in the Micro SD analysis section but here are the current recommendations:

Raspberry Pi Storage Benchmarks 2019 + Benchmarking Script

SanDisk Extreme 32 GB A1 U3 V30 Micro SD Card

The SanDisk Extreme A1 Application Class version continues to dominate other Micro SD cards on the benchmarking charts.

SSD Analysis

SSD benchmarking so far has shown that there is not much of a difference between an older cheap SSD like a outdated mSATA Hynix drive and top of the line drives like the Samsung 850 Pro. The difference from the oldest cheap drives and top of the line was only about 100 points.

This is because the Pi has a USB 2.0 bus. Even the slowest oldest SSDs are so fast that they hit the maximum possible data transfer rate over USB 2.0. Because of this it makes sense to buy the cheapest SSD drive possible that is still reliable. See my recommendations section for ideas.

Micro SD Analysis

The Micro SD market has always been a difficult place for Raspberry Pi owners. Since there traditionally was no classification that indicated random read / write performance we simply had to buy different cards and benchmark them.

The problem with that was that Micro SD manufacturing processes change. They can even change from batch to batch. The 2015 Samsung Evo cards were a good example of this. We found a card with amazing 4k random read / write performance but one day they changed their process and the new ones are not even close.

Fortunately things have recently improved for us somewhat because of, well, smartphones! Let’s talk about the application class.

Micro SD A1 / A2 Application Class

Application class cards were created because smartphones have become one of the top use cases for SD cards. Many people run applications directly off their SD card or have applications that keep their active storage on there. Tech savvy smartphone users sick of slow performing cards demanded a speed class was created to measure this type of performance.

This is great for us Pi owners because this type of use is 4k random reads / writes and is exactly the same as what we do on the Pi. Thank you smartphone owners!

It’s important to note that right now the Pi (and pretty much everything else) cannot currently make use of the new A2 standard as it requires special driver support to take advantage of the new features. I have benchmarked both the SanDisk Extreme and the SanDisk Extreme Pro A2 cards in my benchmark results and they did not perform any better than the A1 cards because of this.

Lets look at the application class performance features:

Raspberry Pi Storage Benchmarks 2019 + Benchmarking Script

The new A1 application cards are fantastic and performing very well on the benchmark. So far every application card benchmarked has hit the minimum A1 targets. If you are looking for a better performing SD card then A1 is the way to go.

Video Class (V30, etc) and U Class (U1 and U3)

These don’t matter for the Pi. Basically at all. They are measurements for maximum sequential I/O throughput. For example if you have a video camera that needs to record in 4k it will need a very high sequential I/O maximum transfer rate.

The Pi depends on 4k block size random I/O as I’ve explained in earlier sections and these classifications don’t measure that. Indeed, my 3 worst performers on the benchmark are all U1 cards and got easily stomped (nearly doubled in score) by a SanDisk Ultra Class 10.

This doesn’t mean U capable cards are bad. The Samsung Pro+ is a U1 class card and performed incredibly well on the benchmark. It just means that the Samsung Pro+ has much higher quality memory / a better controller inside it.

The conclusion is that unlike the application class these classifications will not tell you if your card is going to be good or awful for the Pi. You need to benchmark them to know!

Picking the Fastest Micro SD Card

This can be difficult as manufacturers change their manufacturing processes and start using a different type of memory or on-board storage controller (likely to a cheaper one) for these cards. This can even happen on the same product line (such as the Samsung Evo) so manufacturer date is important when looking at these.

For example, the Samsung Evo+ was terrible a few years ago but more recent batches are scoring very well. The Samsung Evo “orange” older cards tend to be faster than the newer ones.

This is a big reason why I created this benchmark. With a bigger sample size of cards we as a community can pool our card benchmarks together and figure out which manufacturers and lines of cards are getting the good memory / on-board storage controllers.

Since manufacturers change their processes all the time to keep up we will need to watch the benchmark results and see where the “good stuff” is going and when the card quality quietly changes!

If you are currently in the market for a Micro SD card check the recommendations and the results table to see which current batches are performing the highest!

How you can contribute

The best way to help contribute to this research is to run the benchmark on your own Micro SD cards.

We are especially looking for the more unusual Micro SD card brands. Right now there are several manufacturers of Micro SD cards that have as yet to be identified. This information isn’t published anywhere publicly so the only way we can get them is through benchmarks submitted by you!

It is important to fill out everything you can see for the “Brand” question that comes up when you run the benchmark. Look at your card and fill in any branding markings you see.

This helps me identify unusual card vendors and add them to the script so they can be identified to help everyone compare between the different cards.

Conclusions

  • Use a solid state drive (SSD) if possible. Instructions on how to set one up with the Pi are in this article
  • SanDisk A1 application class cards are dominating the Micro SD results so far
  • The only sensible Micro SD cards to buy right now are application class (A1) due to their outstanding 4k blocksize I/O performance vs. older cards.
  • Micro SD card performance among the same brands and even the same models varied wildly depending on the manufacturing date. Memory quality and storage controller performance vary from batch to batch. Generally the newer they are the higher they tend to score on the benchmark as card technology is always improving.
  • The Pi cannot utilize A2 so don’t pay extra for it (although sometimes the A2 versions are cheaper). A2 cards will run in A1 mode on the Pi.
  • USB flash drives are terrible choices for Pi storage
  • Old “spinny disk” 5400 RPM and 7200 RPM HDDs underperform decent Micro SD cards

With the new benchmark we should be able to learn a lot more about storage on the Pi. Micro SD cards seem to be the area we need to learn the most about. As more people run the benchmark we’ll continue to analyze and revise recommendations based on what everyone finds!

45 thoughts on “Raspberry Pi Storage Benchmarks 2019 + Benchmarking Script”

  1. Avatar for Jason

    I have an SSD attached with an adaptor, but I’m booting off the SD card (Pi4), how can I make this script test the USB/SSD drive instead of the sd card? It detects the other drive when it’s running, but it only ever benchmarks the SD card.

  2. Avatar for Jeff

    Are there any tips for getting better performance from the SSD? I have a CS900 PNY 120GB, and I get about 5400 score from it. I see a few others with the same SSD are in the 8000 range (user dzm). How??

    1. Avatar for jamesachambers

      Hey Jeff,

      Are they using a bigger storage size like the 256GB model? Manufacturers seem to routinely make the larger storage sizes faster than the smaller versions. Samsung does this with the 970 Evo 1 TB vs the 256 GB versions for example.

      The other thing that can make a difference is the adapter you are using. I’ve just recently added and started working on cataloging which adapters people are using in the test results. This may give us some more insight into which adapters have the highest performance when using it with the same drive.

      The quirks also hurt your performance score if you had to apply them. If you are using an adapter that requires quirks I would definitely recommend switching.

      Overall your score is pretty good though. The highest micro SD scores can’t even reach 2000 so you’re performing very fast overall!

      1. Avatar for Jeff

        Thanks, James…

        I do not have quirks enabled, and I am using the StarTech adapter in your listings. (I do wish that it had LED indicators, but it was available faster from Amazon!)

        The 8000+ reference I mentioned appears to be the same model (and size) as the PNY drive I am using. Obviously I don’t know the adapter that user (dzm) was using, and it was several months ago (July 1st). Nothing changed in the benchmark during that time that would affect scoring, right?

        Thanks again for your work on this – the SSD setup guide was very interesting and useful.

        1. Avatar for jamesachambers

          Hey Jeff,

          Great questions! First nothing changed has changed with the scoring ever on the benchmark and if it did it would change for all existing scores as well (they are recalculated when the server refreshes the score list).

          My best guess is that the performance can change dramatically from batch to batch. This is one of the many mysteries I’m trying to solve with the benchmark as there really isn’t any data or information out there about this stuff. I can tell you that in some places where we have a lot of data (like the SanDisk Ultra SD card) the performance ranges wildly by date manufactured. It can be fast for a couple batches and then the next batch it will drop several hundred points in speed.

          I also highly suspect the adapters are having a significant impact on performance. I’m still in the early stages of identifying adapters and I will be able to identify most adapters from older tests but it’s going to take some time and a lot of RegEx to parse through the tests and identify them all.

          One thing that really helps is when people put in the description which adapter they are using. Sometimes that one person will help me finally identify an adapter that is unidentified on 7 other existing tests.

          I would say stay tuned and check back periodically. I am working on a new site to make browsing the benchmarks much less painful as we have so many tests now that the current table is getting way too big and out of control. You’ll also be able to browse by categories such as manufacturer, model, and others which can help us answer some of these questions!

          1. Avatar for Jeff

            Well – I just re-did the performance test and submitted a new value of 7900 (spiff72 was the name) for the same drive! The difference: I am on the 64bit Ubuntu 19.10 image now. Maybe THAT was the difference?

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