Storage

Category page of all posts on the web site that are tagged as related to storage including benchmarking, various storage devices, walkthroughs and more!

PCIe 1x NVMe on Raspberry Pi?! Compute Module 4 Guide

CableCC Vertical Adapter in Compute Module 4 IO Board

I recently covered all the pieces you need for a complete setup to work with the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4. Today I want to cover the whole reason I wanted to investigate the Compute Module 4: The PCI express capabilities!

In this guide I’ll cover a couple of 1x PCIe to NVMe adapters I picked up to try doing this with as well as full configuration and setup instructions. Let us begin!

Full Compute Module 4 (Raspberry Pi) Setup / Imaging Guide

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 mounted in IO Board

The Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 is primarily meant for embedded projects and didn’t catch my interest at first. That was until people started absolutely smashing previous records on my Pi storage benchmarking site pibenchmarks.com.

Upon further investigation it turns out that people are breaking these records using the Compute Module 4 since it allows running a NVMe drive through PCI express instead of having to use a USB adapter (the current bottleneck in other Pis).

Wanting to investigate these new capabilities for myself I got a hold of some gear and wanted to write a setup and configuration guide on everything you need for a full CM4 (Compute Module 4) setup and how to get it imaged and configured. Let’s get started!

Fixing Storage Adapters for Raspberry Pi via Firmware Updates

StarTech USB312SAT3CB

I’ve covered how to get the right type of storage adapter for your Raspberry Pi for years on this site and cataloged storage adapters that both work and don’t work with the Raspberry Pi. Over the years we’ve learned that many of these adapters can be “fixed” with a firmware update to work with the Raspberry Pi.

In this article I’ll put together an evolving list of firmware adapters that can be fixed with these updates from my own experience as well as comments people have left over the years!

Using Multiple M.2 NGFF 2280 SATA Drives Simultaneously

IOCREST NGFF 2230/2242/2260/2280/22110 SATA PCIe Enclosure

I’ve been running pibenchmarks.com for several years now so I’ve held on to any spare storage devices I can get my hands on for benchmarking/testing/cataloging purposes. This led to a big surplus of drives and no easy way to utilize them. That was before getting some new tools to be able to utilize lots of drives at once.

Last time I covered a monster 16 bay hot swappable 2.5″ SATA cage (as well as a more reasonable 8 bay option) in this “extreme storage” series of articles and in this article we’re going to cover M.2 SATA NGFF / M.2 NVMe drives. It’s also possible to do RAID!

Monster 16 Bay Hot-Swappable 2.5″ SATA Cage – ICY DOCK

ICY DOCK 16 Bay SAS/SATA Backplane Cage

I have a *lot* of 2.5″ SATA drives around the house that have collected from over the years from various devices. Often these drives have useful data on them or aren’t big enough to justify using on their own. The absolutely monstrous ICY DOCK 16 bay 2.5″ SAS/SATA backplane cage solves all of these problems and lets you hot swap (change out the drives while the OS is running) drives live in your OS!

In this guide I’ll cover how what I needed to actually set up something like this and my advice for people who are interested in these same type of hot swappable / RAID capabilities. I’ll also share the “sweet spot” recommendation to get the most bays for the least money if you’re on a tight budget. Let’s get started!

Where to get the 64 bit Raspberry Pi OS image for Pi 4 / 400

Pi 64bit OS - Forum Post

Last year a official 64 bit version of Raspberry Pi OS was released. There have been 3 versions of the image released with the latest one just having came out April 9th 2021.

It can be a little tricky to find and I’ve been asked in the comments here before on the site where to find it so I figured it was time to write a quick guide!

Raspberry Pi 400 Overclocking / NVMe SSD Setup Guide

Raspberry Pi 400 Setup w/ NVMe SSD

The Raspberry Pi 400 is the first offering from the Raspberry Pi lineup that is meant to approach desktop level performance. The official raspberrypi.org site lists the Pi 400 kit as the “Raspberry Pi 400 Personal Computer Kit“. It comes in the very interesting form factor of a keyboard with all the ports right in the back!

Although the performance on stock clock speeds and with a SD card was really great, especially for a Raspberry Pi, I would not call it desktop class performance. Fortunately we *can* make it desktop class performance with a few tweaks! This guide will show how to overclock the Pi 400 as well as set it up with a NVMe SSD to get the maximum possible performance we can out of it!

Raspberry Pi: Reclaim ~1% CPU Usage when SSD/USB Booting

SSD Ubuntu 'Top' - Fixed

Native support for USB mass storage device booting has made it’s way to all of the Raspberry Pi 4’s firmware release channels! With that exciting development an old issue from the Pi 3 and earlier USB booting days has manifested itself once again in the form of a constant 1-2% CPU draw even with nothing running.

This guide will show you an easy config.txt parameter to eliminate this problem and optimize your mass storage boot setups!

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

Raspberry Pi Storage Benchmark 2020

We’ve now received over 20,000 benchmarks at https://pibenchmarks.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!

Raspberry Pi 4 Ubuntu Server / Desktop 18.04.4 Image (unofficial)

Fine, I'll do it myself

This is a unofficial distribution of Ubuntu Server 18.04.3 for Raspberry Pi 4. It is provided with the purpose of letting us all play with the new Pi 4’s new increased RAM and other capabilities until Ubuntu’s repositories are updated with support for the newest Pi.

Once official support is released through the Ubuntu repositories this project will effectively cease to exist (until, dare I dream, the Pi 5?). The image supports KVM, has support for the Pi 4’s new 3D display driver, and can also be upgraded to a full desktop installation!

Raspberry Pi 4 USB Boot Config Guide for SSD / Flash Drives

Raspberry Pi 4 with Samsung 950 Pro NVME SSD

The Raspberry Pi 4 is finally here and has a lot of exciting changes. One very major downside is that it doesn’t support true USB booting yet out of the box (like the 3 series did).
The Raspberry Pi foundation states that it is being worked on and will be added back with a future update. No timeline has been given yet for that to happen but they state it’s one of their top priorities.

Most of my projects heavily depend on having good performing storage so sitting and waiting was not an acceptable solution. In this guide I’ll show you a workaround to use USB devices as your rootfs device and use a Micro SD card as bootloader only which gives us full SSD performance after boot!

Raspberry Pi Storage Benchmarks + Benchmarking Script

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