Raspberry Pi: Before you buy
tags: #linux #raspberry #pi #storage #cooling #tips
While it could be easy to buy a Raspberry Pi and run it. You should know some tips before buy anything.
Raspberry Pi as a server is very good. In my opinion, you should buy with it a good SD Card and an active cooling solution.
One of the key part of a Raspberry Pi
SD card are not equals ? Nope. If you don't have the right SD Card, use a Pi can be painful. With the Raspberry Pi software, I reviewed my old SD card. You can see after 3 runs that my SD card is failing at writing enough fast to be usable.
*SD Card: Sandisk Ultra 64GB (branded for 1080p photo/video save)*
Raspberry Pi Diagnostics - version 0.10 Tue Aug 16 19:17:18 2022 Test : SD Card Speed Test Run 1 prepare-file;0;0;12087;23 seq-write;0;0;11467;22 rand-4k-write;0;0;1745;436 rand-4k-read;5136;1284;0;0 Sequential write speed 11467 KB/sec (target 10000) - PASS Random write speed 436 IOPS (target 500) - FAIL Random read speed 1284 IOPS (target 1500) - FAIL Run 2 prepare-file;0;0;12586;24 seq-write;0;0;8927;17 rand-4k-write;0;0;1726;431 rand-4k-read;5122;1280;0;0 Sequential write speed 8927 KB/sec (target 10000) - FAIL Note that sequential write speed declines over time as a card is used - your card may require reformatting Random write speed 431 IOPS (target 500) - FAIL Random read speed 1280 IOPS (target 1500) - FAIL Run 3 prepare-file;0;0;13843;27 seq-write;0;0;13747;26 rand-4k-write;0;0;1773;443 rand-4k-read;5118;1279;0;0 Sequential write speed 13747 KB/sec (target 10000) - PASS Random write speed 443 IOPS (target 500) - FAIL Random read speed 1279 IOPS (target 1500) - FAIL Test FAIL
Then, I bought a more recent SD Card and all tests passed instantly.
*SD Card: Sandisk Extreme 32GB (branded for 4k photo/video save)*
Raspberry Pi Diagnostics - version 0.10 Tue Aug 16 19:28:50 2022 Test : SD Card Speed Test Run 1 prepare-file;0;0;36817;71 seq-write;0;0;36167;70 rand-4k-write;0;0;5227;1306 rand-4k-read;10729;2682;0;0 Sequential write speed 36167 KB/sec (target 10000) - PASS Random write speed 1306 IOPS (target 500) - PASS Random read speed 268And2 IOPS (target 1500) - PASS Test PASS
Finally I would try to boot on a Kingston DataTraveler 64GB but I can't get it working. The Pi booted but it was terribly slow.
After 20 minutes of booting, it is stuck during OS initialization.
USB to SATA
Missing a free SSD SATA, not tested.
The Raspberry Pi 4 can be very hot sometimes. I can only advise you to buy an "ICE Tower Raspberry Pi 4 CPU Cooler". You will never need to buy anything else or maybe a GPIO controlled fan. This active cooler make your Pi running in a range of 36°C to ~56°C during heavy load. You can use it as a passive cooler if your Raspberry Pi is a small server.
I also tested the "Geekworm Heavy-duty Aluminum Passive Cooling Metal Case", a passive cooler which was fine but I wasn't comfortable with heavy load tasks when I was not at home.
This is why I bought the ICE Tower with a GPIO controlled fan. 80% of the time the fan is not active and I don't have a permanent noise in my room. During heavy loads, the fan become active automatically with one of my program.
SD Card Flashing
- Use "Raspberry Pi Imager"
- Go to the cog icon
- Change your default user name (default: pi)
After the first boot of your hardware
# update os sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y # ensure you have rpi-eeprom installed sudo apt install rpi-eeprom # Automatically install bootloader and USB (VLI) EEPROM updates && Use the default bootloader config (not needed on every installation) sudo rpi-eeprom-update -da