SD Card Recommendation (OSMC)

Hi all,
I’m having a lot of trouble with SD cards. namely Kingston Class10 in either 8Gb or 16Gb.
Since ive owned a raspberry pi (Pi 2B+/Zero/Pi3B) ive ran OSMC. i will either get sporadic behaviour or premature failure of the card. This is happeneing anywhere between 2-6 months. Kingston wont honour warranty if card has been used in a RPi.

Device is rarely turned off… usually only power cycle due to the sporadic behaviour of the card resulting in hangs or the sad face boot loop.

Currently have a Kingston class4 8gb card in, as its my last one ‘in stock’.

What kind of life span can i realistically expect from an SD in the Pi running OSMC and what cards have you guys/girls had good or bad experience with?

Thanks for reading


Why not just get the official one?

I’d also check if your PSU is up to scratch

shameless plug there, sam :wink:

The price is rubbing me up the wrong way though. £14 for 32Gb. i may entertain it if it was £7 (still the upper end of price bracket for spec)
What makes the OSMC branded card different to a £5 sandisk/kingston that both reportedly give life time warranty (although not strictly true in every case of kingston) and have class10/U1 ratings. btw i only run 720p max due to my tv setup so even U1 is over and above what i strictly need.

PSU is official Raspberry Pi. Came with the ‘kit’ from Pimoroni. Ive never seen the low voltage icon whilst using it.

You get what you pay for :wink:

If you’re replacing a card every 2-6 months, then you’ve probably already spent a significant amount more over this time period.

I think you may have unrealistic expectations.

The OSMC SD card has a tweaked controller which enhances for running an operating system and continuous RW I/O, rather than typical applications like a digital camera.

i guess ill have to suck it and see… even if it doesnt sit right initially.

OSMC will honour warranty even if fitted to the RPi though, right? regardless of which iteration of the RPi Platform i use?

Honestly, if you think that the price isn’t right, then don’t buy it. Perhaps wait for some others to suggest some cards. Have you considered booting from USB? This will increase the lifespan of any card significantly, because only a few files needed for booting will be written.

The card is made for OSMC to run on embedded devices such as a Raspberry Pi, so yes.
You would have to return it to us if it failed.

I dont know enough about the ins and outs of card controllers to comment.

I’m a firm advocate of buy cheap buy twice… having said that if i was using chinas cheapest i would expect these issues. Names like Kingston, not so much.

ill put it on the list of ideas. see if anyone comes to suggest others or confirm that kingstons are flakey with this particular setup.

i will also try USB Setup at the first sign of the current card failing

To each their own.

Kingston can be hit and miss in my findings.
Evos are good – but go read-only after some time. I think newer ones might be better.
Sandisks are good – but not the fastest.

Part of the need for an OSMC SD card was the fact that we do not cross-compile and we build on device. So as you can imagine, we used to chew through a lot of cards…

Where are you buying these cards from? Avoid sites like eBay, and if you must buy on Amazon, go through Amazon directly. A quick search shows that Amazon still have problems with counterfeit cards [1].

To make matters worse, it looks like they mix their own cards with third party sellers’ cards based on the barcode [2]. This means that despite buying off Amazon, you could get a fake which a third party seller shipped to Amazon to be sold under the Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) programme.

[1] Beware: Amazon Still Sells Counterfeit Memory Cards | PetaPixel

yeah ive had a few counterfiet from ebay… not had issue yet, with amazon. the fake packaging can be good but the cards usually give it away, wonky print, no S/N, etc etc.

all my cards are amazon bought (aside from the ebay fakes that were promtly reported, refunded and binned lol)

Fakes have been found on Amazon as well. Although Kingston is definitely a step up from a no-name random ebay card I wouldn’t put them in the ballpark a high quality SD card. Personally I always buy Sandisk and I have never had one crap out on me after many years of use in any of my RPi’s.

How you use your machine would also factor in as well. If you doing something that requires a lot of writes then you are going to wear out any SD card regardless. If this is the case then you could move the OS to a USB drive in which case the SD only gets used for booting and should never wear out.

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3 major uses are BBC iPlayer, Netflix and Amazon VOD plug ins.
Occasionally Plex is used for stuff on my network. No media files are ‘stored’ on the RPi.

I’ve used both SanDisk and the OSMC card. In 5 years, I’ve had 1 SanDisk fail (a full sized card used in a Pi 1B+). And that was a physical failure, somehow the card actually cracked along the contact side. I’ve had 1 other SanDisk failure (used in a Pi 2B). I happened to have a spare OSMC card at the time the SanDisk failed, so after getting running on the OSMC card I never did test the SanDisk to see if it was corruption or if the card actually failed. I have not had a failure of an OSMC card (I have 2 of them, both still in use in Pi2s.)

So my personal experience is that I’d use either a SanDisk or OSMC card without worries. My choice would be decided on how quick I needed the card. If I was in a hurry, I’d just grab a SanDisk at my local store. If I had time, I’d get an OSMC card.

I got one of these a while back:

Also not very cheap, but the performance seems quite good.

In a RPi or for some other use? I have been mainly using the Ultra’s but the last one I picked up was one of these extremes and I can’t say that I noticed one bit of difference as far as Kodi was concerned. I don’t know that the RPi can really utilize the speed difference.

I use Sandisk cards. Occasionally they will fail - I don’t have any stats, but I think the last one I replaced had been going for about 3 years.

Either I got a bad batch of OSMC cards or something else was amiss, as both times I tried them the cards failed within a month.

Even the Pi 4 is going to max out at 30MB/s write, so you won’t hit the limits of most cards.

Users should be more interested in durability, although they are not mutually exclusive.

I’m not trying to sound snobbish, but what’s a few quid when it comes to data integrity. You must keep in mind that most people will use this kind of card in a digital camera or a smartphone (likely for storage of files such as photos). Users should take backups, but odds are they won’t. A few extra quid to reduce the incidence of data loss and improve outcomes in the event that they do is a no brainer in my eyes…

Did you ever contact us about this? I would like to get this resolved for you as this should not happen. Please let me know your order number.

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In a Raspberry Pi, yes. The random/small read & write speeds are very good compared to most cards; the large/sequential speeds aren’t the fastest but they’re still not bad.

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I agree with you, actually, but cost seems to be a factor for @Rich_Draper so I thought I’d better mention it…

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Thanks Sam. Will contact you directly about it.

Cost isnt really a factor apologies for wording.
I was wondering what the difference was between OSMC and other 32Gb cards with similar spec that warranted the higher price.

i run with kingston because i trust them for a lot of my SD cards and USB drives. the only times ive had to replace was one failiure a long time ago on a 64Gb micro DT stick and that was replaced without question (before the days of resonably priced 128Gb sticks).
the lesser capacity cards ive had no end of trouble with running OSMC on the Pi. i attempted warranty claim twice, both times stating they were used in a Pi and was told they were not covered for use with that device :frowning: at £3-4 quid a card it didnt matter to just buy a few and keep them for the next time it failed. as i run out of inclination to keep rebuilding my OSMC im looking for something more stable. (even if i can now fully setup from a total loss in less than 3 hours)

OSMC card is something i will be purchasing in the not too distant future given the advice offered in this thread