if your 3ds console is still on the lower version, when you log on e-shop, the console will tell you to update your 3ds console. if you don't do the update, you can not log on e shop, you can not play online with other players. if you do the update, your 3ds console will be updated to the latest 3ds version, so some guys feel confused whether they should do the update because they worry the r4i gold 3ds card won't work on the new version after they do the update, this post will send you some advice.
before you buy the r4i gold 3ds card, check the description of the item, make sure the card they send out is already preflashed and can work on the latest 3ds firmeware. so when you receive the r4i gold 3ds card, the card will work on your console no matter what version do you have.
before you receive the card, you can just stay your 3ds console on the lower version, when you receive the card, you can just test it on the current 3ds console and then update your 3ds console later.
The only thing is to remember buying a pre flashed r4i gold 3ds card for your 3ds console.