SD card size/speed and USB Flash Drive?

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Kelemvor Offline
Posts: 73
Joined: Aug 2010
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Post: #1
I have an RPi on back order but want to get the other stuff I need while I wait.

I know the minimum specs are a class 4, 2 gig SD card. I'm assuming a class 6 or even a class 10 would give for better performance. Is that right?
Does a larger card (8 gigs, 16 gigs, etc) make any difference at all or is it just wasted space?

I will be only using this for RaspBMC and streaming media over my network.

Also, I've seen some people post about using an SD card in conjunction with a USB Flash drive. Can anyone tell me how this works and what the flash drive is for? Not sure if part of RaspBMC gets installed on the flash drive or if the flash drive is just for storing the video files or what.

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SFX Group Offline
Posts: 86
Joined: Oct 2012
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Location: Cmbridge, ON, Canada
Post: #2
Good questions, i was going to use a super fast SD card only (32Gb) and format to FAT32, it appears most are using openELEC, however question here is which version of XBMC do i use once i have openELEC installed, or is there a complete "one off hit" i can load on to a SD card with XBMC already on it?

If so is there a backup tool i can use for XBMC when i move to a newer version then just restore my settings back to XBMC?

Many Thanks

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xbs08 Offline
Posting Freak
Posts: 1,787
Joined: May 2008
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Location: Portugal
Post: #3
Larger cards are usualy faster, so a large class 10 is better even if you dont use the extra space.
I'm using a class 10 Samsung card and it's pretty responsive and fast in OpenELEC.
You can also use the CPU governor feature i.e. dynamic OC which overclocks the RPi when needed.

You can install OpenELEC, Raspbmc, Xbian, etc on a pen drive but you still need a SD card for booting the Pi.
OC + OV can corrupt the SD card, that doesn't seem to happen when using a pen drive (or HDD).
I didn't saw any speed increase when using a pen drive vs. Class 10 SD card.

OpenELEC, Raspbmc, Xbian are minimal OS + XBMC.
You can update OpenELEC by placing the new files in a share folder (.update) and reboot the Pi.
Raspbmc has a addon for updating and switching between builds.
You're settings, library, addons, etc are kept between updates.
You can also make a backup of 'your' xbmc (setting, library, addons, etc) and restore it.

Usefull links:

  • Intel NUC Kit DN2820FYKH
  • Crucial DDR3L SO-DIMM 4GB
  • SanDisk ReadyCache 32GB SSD
  • Microsoft MCE model 1039 RC6 remote
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charlie0440 Offline
Posts: 423
Joined: Dec 2011
Reputation: 8
Post: #4
Someone on IRC told me that anything over a class 4 (might have been class 6) is wasted on a pi and you will not see the benefits due to the SD controller. They also said the USB controller was much faster so it was better to save your money and buy a small SD card for the OS and whack in a large thumb drive for movies.

I can't remember who the source was or whether this is 100% true. Seems the quote above about class 10 = faster, is not neccessarily true, read here

Edit: Some more links if anyone is interested:

Guide to building an all in one Ubuntu Server - TV(vdr),File,Music,Web

Server Fractal Designs Define XL, Asus P5QL/EPU, Dual Core E5200, 4gb, L4M-Twin S2 v6.2, Supermicro AOC-USAS-L8I, 1*SSD & 13*HDD drives (24TB total) - Ubuntu Server
XBMC 1 ASRock Z77E-ITX, G850, 8GB RAM, SSD, BD - Ubuntu / OpenElec frodo
XBMC 2 Revo 3700 - OpenElec frodo
XBMC 3 Raspb Pi
(This post was last modified: 2012-10-29 18:39 by charlie0440.)
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