Even though it just launched a new Cobalt-class CFexpress 4.0 card in September, ProGrade Digital isn’t resting on its laurels and has a new Gold series in three capacities that writes data at a rip-roaring 3,000 MB/s.
The company’s new cards promise almost identical performance to the 1.3TB card it announced less than two months ago. The only difference appears to be maximum sustained performance and capacity options.
The new ProGrade Digital CFexpress 4.0 Type B cards are available in 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities while the Cobalt is available in just the 1.3TB capacity.
“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,” the company says, which does raise some questions since OWC’s CFexpress cards also do this.
The new Gold cards, like the previous Cobalt cards, promise read speeds up to 3,400 MB/s and burst write speeds as fast as 3,000 MB/s. The difference between the two card series is slight and comes down to sustained performance. The Cobalt card promises a minimum sustained write speed of 2,800 MB/s while the Gold cards promise sustained write speeds of 2,400 MB/s.
Of note, while the card doesn’t carry the Compact Flash Association’s (CFA) Video Performance Guarantee (VPG) stamp, it promises sustained write speeds of up to 2,800 MB/s.
ProGrade says that it isn’t seeking VPG certification on its Type B cards right now because no camera that uses them currently requires it.
Another explanation for the absence of VPG is that at present, the CFA only verifies up to VPG 400, which promises that a card will never dip below 400 MB/s write speed performance. That will change, but it hasn’t yet. ProGrade is promising seven times that level of performance in this new card, although the practical benefits of that won’t be realized until a camera company puts support for CFexpress 4.0 into a new body. Of note, the new Sony a9 III doesn’t support the new specification — at least not yet. That, and it uses a different CFexpress form factor.
Because the performance of a card rarely lines up exactly with what companies say they can reach, the performance of these new Gold cards is likely going to be in line with or at least close to how the CFexpress 4.0 Cobalt card tested, since the specifications are so similar. In our most recent update of PetaPixel‘s CFexpress memory card guide, the Cobalt card reached 2,149.8 MB/s average write speeds and 2,199.6 MB/s average read speeds — that is more than double the speeds that are often being reached by CFexpress 2.0 cards.
ProGrade’s new cards aren’t just fast, they have a pretty compelling price: the 512GB is available for $179.99, the 1TB option for $399.99, and the 2TB will retail for $799.99. While not cheap by any stretch, that is a lot less than CFexpress Type B cards used to cost.
The 512GB and 1TB are available now while the 2TB will be shipping in December
Image credits: ProGrade Digital