ProGrade’s New Gold CFexpress 4.0 Cards Are Ferociously Fast
With the introduction of CFexpress Type 4.0 B technology to data storage for cameras, new horizons of read and write speed are opening up.
ProGrade is definitely taking advantage of this with its card releases and the most recent of these are the brand’s Gold series cards.
These are being released in three different storage sizes that all deliver max write speeds of 3000 MB/s. They come on the heels of ProGrade’s very recently released Cobatl-class cards that could also write at a very rapid 2800MB/s.
With the Gold series cards, the brand manages to push things up just a bit higher to 3000 MB/s and if that’s not fast enough for you as a photographer, then what could be? At these speeds, even extremely high-resolution video is easy to transfer.
The new ProGrade Digital CFexpress 4.0 Type B Gold cards come in three sizes, 512MB, 1TB and 2TB. This is a major improvement over the previous Cobalt cards, which had a maximum size of “only” 1.3TB.
ProGrade claims that the Gold cards can manage burst write speeds of up to 3000 MB/s and read speeds of up to 3400 MB/s. However, there is a caveat to this.
The earlier Cobalt cards, while having lower burst speeds than the new Gold cards, could regularly sustain 2800 MB/s of write speed. The Gold cards on the other hand have a sustained write speed of 2400 MB/s despite their high burst speeds.
In other words, for consistent performance, the older cards might be better, though they offer a lower maximum of storage space. You’ll have to decide which is worth more for your needs.
ProGrade also claims another unique feature of the new Gold cards. According to the company,
“These ProGrade Digital CFexpress 4 cards are the only CFexpress cards shipping in the market that leverage PCIe Gen 4 interconnect with NVMe 1.4c host controller interface. ProGrade Digital’s 4th generation CFexpress Gold cards are fully compliant with the newly released CFexpress 4.0 specification,”
It’s worth noting that despite ProGrade’s claim of uniqueness, OWC’s CFexpress cards are also capable of the same thing, according to Petapixel.
Also, both of ProGrade’s new 4.0 Type B cards lack Video Performance Guarantee (VPG) stamps of approval from the Compact Flash Association.
However, ProGrade says that this is because the company isn’t even seeking these for now since no cameras require the format anyhow.
Currently, no camera manufacturer has released a camera onto the market with support for CFexpress 4.0, and this lack is even the case in Sony’s highly advanced newest camera, the a9 III.
If you’re wondering why CFexpress 4.0 even matters for practical uses then, it’s worth noting that cards made with the format do seem to also perform better overall during other uses.
Also, while ProGrade promises write speeds of 2400 to 3000 MB/s, the practical reality of using them might mean slower than advertised performance.
Nonetheless, even if slower than expected, CFexpress 4.0 in ProGrade and the cards of other brands is still likely to perform 3 to 4 times faster than CFexpress 2.0 can manage even at its best.
ProGrade is already shipping the 512GB and 1TB Gold cards for prices of $179.99 and $399.99 respectively. The 2TB card will start shipping in December for a hefty price of $799. They may be expensive but they’ll almost certainly be incredibly fast.