Sandisk today has announced a new addition to its Ultra II and Extreme CompactFlash lineups: the 2GB Ultra II and 2GB Extreme CompactFlash, which join the existing capacities of 256MB, 512MB and 1GB, will be available at the end of February 2004 at an MSRP of US$800 and US$850, respectively.
Sandisk's Ultra II and Extreme series of CompactFlash cards, introduced in the late summer of 2003, immediately shot to the top of most of the benchmarks in the CompactFlash Performance Database on this site. In our testing so far, the 2GB Ultra II and Extreme models offer about the same impressive read and write speed, only with double the capacity of the 1GB card that was previously the flagship of Sandisk's performance CompactFlash card lineup.
Sandisk rates the write speed at 9MB/second and read speed at 10MB/second for the 2GB models. As with their predecessors, both the Ultra II and Extreme cards, which share the same controller and flash memory components, cheerfully blow past their read speed specification.
In fact, both have set a new record for card-to-computer transfer rates here, as each is able to to serve up digital SLR photos at 11MB/sec or more.
The table below shows the read speed prowess of the Sandisk Ultra II and Extreme CompactFlash cards. The data was derived by timing how long it took to transfer about 225MB of Nikon D1X photos to a Dual 2.0GHz Power Mac G5. The reader was a new Lexar FireWire CompactFlash model.
|CompactFlash card model and capacity
Apple Power Mac G5/2.0GHz Dual w/2GB RAM, OS X 10.3.2 (kilobytes per second)
|Sandisk Extreme 2GB
|Sandisk Ultra II 2GB
|Sandisk Extreme 512MB
|Sandisk Ultra II 512MB
|Sandisk Extreme 1GB
|Sandisk Ultra II 1GB
|Transcend 1GB 45X
|Lexar Media 1GB 40X WA
Another example: during an assignment last week, we were able to transfer an entire card's worth of Canon EOS-1Ds RAW+JPEG photos from the 2GB Extreme in under 3 minutes.
We haven't yet run the new cards through all the cameras in the CompactFlash Performance Database, but of the four Canon and Nikon digital SLR's we've tested, the 2GB Ultra II and Extreme offer essentially equivalent performance to their speedy 1GB siblings. We expect that when we test the remaining cameras later this month they'll stack up similarly.
The same is true of the 512MB Ultra II and Extreme, which aren't new to the market but are new to the CompactFlash Performance Database. Today, we've updated the Canon EOS-1D, Canon EOS-1Ds, Nikon D2H and Nikon D100 sections to include write speed data for the the 2GB Ultra II/Extreme and 512MB Ultra II/Extreme.
See Sandisk announces speedier Ultra II and Extreme CompactFlash for more information on Ultra II and Extreme, including a description of the differences between the two lines of Sandisk CompactFlash cards.