All Raspberry Pi models work seamlessly with micro SD cards and in recent times, their popularity has increased massively.
No matter which Raspberry Pi model you have, you need an SD card for various reasons such as storing data files and booting the operating system. But, should you pick just any SD card available? Of course not. The reason why the market is flooded with options is that there’s no one-fits-all concept here. The best one for you will depend on your requirements.
Let’s take a look at the best SD cards the market is offering for Raspberry Pi 2 and 3:
Best SD Card for Raspberry Pi 3
1) Official Raspberry Pi 16GB Preloaded SD Card
Easily affordable and completely reliable, the 16 GB preloaded SD card from SanDisk works with all Raspberry Pi models. It is an Ultra Class 10 MicroSD Card that comes with an adapter.
Here are a few more of its features:
- It comes packed with the NOOBS operating system so that you don’t go hunting for it later.
- It is qualified and recommended by the Raspberry Pi Foundation.
- Depending on circumstances, you may need to update the operating system but that does not take a lot of effort
- You can start using it instantly without worrying about setup or installation problems!
- It is quite affordable.
2) Samsung EVO 32GB Class 10 Micro SDHC Card
The outperforming Samsung EVO Micro SDHC card is a perfect choice for your Raspberry Pi model. It is a high-performance memory card which has a transfer speed of up to 48 MB/s. Though it is not mentioned on the product page, it is tested and approved to use with various Raspberry Pi models.
Check the features of the Samsung EVO MB-MP32DA/AM Micro SDHC Card for Raspberry Pi:
- The 32GB capacity makes sure that you never run out of space.
- UHS-I Grade 1 Class 10 supports the highest file transfer rates between two devices.
- It gives great speed and performance for an HD Video, High-Resolution Pictures, Gaming, Music and more.
- The card is temperature proof, waterproof, Magnetic-proof, and X-ray proof.
- It is perfectly compatible with your Raspberry Pi 2 and Pi 3 models.
- Also works great with Android devices, smartphones, tablets, PCs, etc.
- It does not come with preloaded NOOBS or Pi OS, so you need to install them on your own.
3) LoveRPi 32GB UHS-I Micro SD Card for Raspberry Pi 3
LoveRPI introduced this UHS-I Micro SD card specifically for the Raspberry Pi 3 model B. It is also compatible with the other Pi models like Pi Zero, B+, and Pi 2. Remember to use the Disk Management Utility if you are accessing the card in Windows Operating System, because it may show only 56MB in the OS due to the pre-partition of the Linux Distribution.
Features of this Micro SD Card for Raspberry Pi 3 from LoveRPi are:
- It comes with a 32GB memory capacity which is enough for almost all of your favorite apps and data.
- It is a UHS-I capable Class 10 Micro SD card which means you will get the highest speed to transfer contents.
- Preloaded official Raspberry Pi Operating System (Raspbian) makes you worry-free from installing the OS on the SD card manually.
- Plug and play functionality allows you to connect & operate through your Raspberry Pi display directly.
- Comes with a free protective case to provide the safety to the SDcard when not in use.
- Lifetime warranty assures a hassle-free purchase.
4) SanDisk Ultra Micro SDHC Card for Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+
The SanDisk has designed this Micro SDHC card with superior transfer rates in a high-quality design. The micro size makes it perfectly suitable for the tiny supercomputers, i.e., Raspberry Pi boards. Due to its ultra-small size, it consumes little power and thus saves your electricity bills & makes the battery life longer.
Features of the SanDisk Ultra Micro SDHC Card for Raspberry Pi 3 are as below:
- It is a UHS-1 Class 10 certified Micro SDHC card.
- It has a storage capacity of 32GB.
- It comes with a superb transfer speed of up to 80 MB/s.
- This Micro SDHC card is specifically designed for the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+.
- You can easily share the contents with your friends, family, colleagues while saving and archiving the data on the card.
5) CanaKit 8GB SD Card for Raspberry Pi
The high-quality SD card from CanaKit is a good choice for the users who want a small capacity memory card for their electronics projects. It comes with a preloaded NOOBS which helps to install the Pi OS on the board easily. You just need it to plug in your Pi model, and you are good to go.
Features of the CanaKit SD Card for Raspberry Pi with Preloaded NOOBS are:
- It is a preloaded NOOBS micro SD card which comes with an SD card adapter.
- It has a storage capacity of 8GB which is perfect for project documents, OS, applications, and data storage.
- Class 10 specification makes this memory card fastest compared to other Speed Class categories.
- It is compatible with all of the Raspberry Pi models.
- Strongly recommended for the first time Raspberry Pi users.
- This card comes as plug-n-play means attach it directly with your Pi and start using it.
- Check the company’s official page for the detailed warranty information.
6) Chicago Electronic Distributors Raspbian Micro SD Card for Pi 2
The Chicago Electronic Distributors have designed this fastest memory card with the Class 10 certification. You do not need to install any NOOBS software or OS on it as comes with the preloaded latest Raspbian distribution. It is a true plug-and-play micro SD card which will work immediately with your Raspberry Pi device.
Check the features of the Raspbian Class 10 Micro SD card for Raspberry Pi 2 from Chicago Electronic Distributors below:
- It comes with the latest version of the Raspbian OS.
- It has a storage capacity of 8GB which is enough for a microSD card for electronics projects.
- Speed Class 10 certification means you will get the highest data transfer rates between your Pi and other connected devices.
- It is perfectly compatible with the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B.
- Also, it works great with the Raspberry Pi Model A+ and B+.
- It is backward compatible with the Pi model A and model B (by using the adapter though).
- An included adapter protects the SD card when not in use.
How to choose the best micro SD card for Raspberry Pi?
You need to choose a right Micro SD card which offers the best value for your money with a speedy data read/write capability. Sometimes the cheaper SD cards have slower I/O operations nearly to 100x than a top class Micro SD card!
The Micro SD cards differ regarding size, brand, read/write speed, warranty, and durability. If you choose a Micro SD card from a top brand, then it will be definitely reliable for many years and gives you an optimal performance throughout. So, be wise and choose the best fit for you from the above Top Micro SD Cards for Raspberry Pi 2 and 3 models.
Raspberry Pi 3 SD Card Compatibility
The older versions of the Raspberry Pi, i.e., Model A & Model B were compatible with the standard SD cards, but the boards including the latest Raspberry Pi 3 are compatible with the micro SD cards. The minimum requirements are 4GB storage capacity and Speed Class 4. Any card having these specifications can be used with the Raspberry Pi 3 by installing the Raspberry Pi Operating System on it. But the better Speed Class with more storage capacity is preferable if you are designing not-so-basic Raspberry Pi 3 projects.
Raspberry Pi 3 Max SD Card Size
Though the 32GB of card size is enough for any of your electronics or robotics project, the tests showed that a 64GB Class 10 micro SD card also approved to be used with Pi 3. So, we can say that till the date, the max SD card size for Raspberry Pi 3 is 64GB.
While choosing a Raspberry Pi SD card, remember to look for compatibility and card size. Some cards only work with older versions while some others work only with the latest ones. There are also cards up of 64 GB size but you may not really need them for basic projects. 16 GB works well for most projects. That’s why, in our opinion, the Raspberry Pi 16 GB Preloaded SD Card from SanDisk is the right pick. We’ve used it and we simply love it!
Which SD card do you use for your Raspberry Pi? We’d love to know!