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CF/SD Performance Database Archive - Continued

November 3, 2004: The SLR/c section of the database is no longer being updated, as we no longer have access to this camera.

CompactFlash Write Speed - Kodak DCS Pro SLR/c (Firmware Version 5.2.1)

The data in the table below was derived by recording 10 RAW .DCR SLR/c photos to the card, then noting the number produced by the camera's built-in write speed tester. Each test cycle was performed 3 times (if the card's capacity allowed for that) to ensure accurate results. Though this camera includes both CompactFlash and Secure Digital (SD) card slots, the camera's SD write interface, like the 14n and SLR/n, is so slow that it makes the use of an SD card impractical. Therefore, we've opted to publish only test results for CompactFlash here.

All cards were secure erased prior to testing, then formatted in the camera.  The same test scene was photographed, under the same illumination, for all tests. The identical camera settings and lens were also used for all tests.

Note: Beware of comparing your own SLR/c's throughput numbers too directly with those below. That's because you won't be able to obtain exactly the same results unless you use an identically-configured camera, shoot a similar test scene and perform other steps that ensure testing accuracy.

Card-to-card speed variation within the same brand and model, photographing scenes of varying detail and at different ISO settings - these and other factors may slightly alter write speed performance. As a result, write speed differences of 5% or less from card to card in the table below should be considered insignificant. If one card's write speed is within 5% of another's, the two cards are likely to offer effectively the same performance in the real world. Similarly, it's unlikely that most photographers would notice a difference between the fastest card and one that was up to 10% slower.

The results are arranged in the table from fastest to slowest. The top 10% are marked in blue.

Brand and Model
(Card Identifier)1
Key Components Source2
Card
Type3
Date Added or Updated
Write Speed -
RAW .DCR4
Hitachi Microdrive 4GB, formatted FAT32 with 32K cluster size8
Hitachi
II
2004/11/3
5.8MB/sec14
Sandisk Extreme III 1GB Sandisk I
2004/11/3
5.4MB/sec
Sandisk Extreme III 2GB
(Edge stamp: BE04091F USA)
Sandisk I 2004/11/3 5.4MB/sec
Lexar 1GB 80X Write Acceleration *second edition*10
(Edge stamp: 39121GBBB4304A4B6)
Lexar I 2004/11/3 5.3MB/sec
Lexar 2GB 80X Write Acceleration *second edition*10
(Edge stamp: 39132GBAI3904A4B6)
Lexar I 2004/11/3 5.3MB/sec
Lexar 1GB 80X Write Acceleration *first edition*10
(Edge stamp: 39011GBBI32049D66)
Lexar
I
2004/11/3
5.2MB/sec
Lexar 1GB 40X Write Acceleration
*new and improved*
9
Lexar
I
2004/11/3
5.2MB/sec
Lexar 1GB 40X Write Acceleration
(Edge stamp, first two digits: 38; WA on front label)
Lexar
I
2004/11/3
4.5MB/sec
Lexar 2GB 40X Write Acceleration
Lexar
I
2004/11/3
4.5MB/sec
Sandisk Ultra II 1GB
(Edge stamp: BB0306VZ CHINA)
Sandisk
I
2004/11/3
4.5MB/sec
Sandisk Extreme 2GB Sandisk I
2004/11/3
4.4MB/sec
Sandisk Extreme 512MB
(Edge stamp: AX0310WJA CHINA)
Sandisk I
2004/11/3
4.4MB/sec
Sandisk Ultra II 512MB
(Edge stamp: AX0308VZ CHINA)
Sandisk I
2004/11/3
4.4MB/sec
Kingston Elite Pro 1024MB
(Edge stamp: THNCF1G02CA)
Toshiba (SLC)5 I
2004/11/3
4.4MB/sec
Lexar 4GB 40X Write Acceleration, formatted FAT32 with 32K cluster size8
Lexar
II
2004/11/3
4.4MB/sec
Microtech (Pexagon) X-treme 1GB
(Edge stamp: THNCF1G02CA)
Toshiba (SLC)5 I
2004/11/3
4.4MB/sec
Sandisk Extreme 1GB
(Edge stamp: BB0307VZ CHINA)
Sandisk
I
2004/11/3
4.4MB/sec
Lexar 512MB 40X Write Acceleration
(Edge stamp, first two digits: 38; WA on front label)
Lexar
I
2004/11/3
4.3MB/sec
Microtech (Pexagon) X-treme 512MB
(Edge stamp: THNCF512MCA)
Toshiba (SLC)5
I
2004/11/3
4.3MB/sec
Sandisk Ultra II 4GB, formatted FAT32 with 32K cluster size11
(Edge stamp: BH04092X USA)
Sandisk (MLC)12 I 2004/11/3 4.3MB/sec
Hitachi Microdrive 1GB
Hitachi
II
2004/11/3
4.2MB/sec
Sandisk "new" Ultra 1GB
(Edge stamp: BB0303TV CHINA)
Sandisk
I
2004/11/3
4.2MB/sec
Sandisk Ultra II 2GB Sandisk I
2004/11/3
4.2MB/sec
Transcend 1GB 45X
(45X on front label)
Transcend
I
2004/11/3
4.2MB/sec
Ritek/Ridata 52X/PRO. 2GB
(Edge stamp: U3F06116)
unknown7
I
2004/11/3
4.2MB/sec
Sandisk "new" Ultra 512MB
(Edge stamp: AX0303TV CHINA)
Sandisk
I
2004/11/3
4.2MB/sec
Lexar 512MB 24X Write Acceleration
(Edge stamp, first two digits: 38; WA on front label)
Lexar
I
2004/11/3
4.1MB/sec
Ritek/Ridata 52X/PRO. 1GB
(Edge stamp: S4N88116)
unknown7 I
2004/11/3
4.1MB/sec
Transcend 512MB
(30X label on packaging)
Transcend
I
2004/11/3
4.1MB/sec
Delkin Devices PRO 640MB
(Label: CFPRO-640D)
For Delkin6
I
2004/11/3
4.1MB/sec
Delkin Devices PRO 512MB
(Label: CFPRO-512D)
For Delkin6
I
2004/11/3
4.1MB/sec
SimpleTech PRO X 512MB
(Internal: STI/FLASH 1T)
SST
I
2004/11/3
3.3MB/sec
SimpleTech PRO X 1GB
(Internal: STI/FLASH 1T)
SST
II
2004/11/3
3.0MB/sec
Sandisk "original" Ultra 512MB
(Edge stamp: AX0211RX CHINA)
Sandisk
I
2004/11/3
2.8MB/sec
PNY 512MB
(Edge stamp: THNCF512MMG (TOOCK))
Toshiba (MLC)5 I
2004/11/3
1.6MB/sec
Viking 512MB
(Edge stamp: THNCF512MMA)
Toshiba (MLC)5 I
2004/11/3
1.6MB/sec
Kingston Memory 512MB
(Edge stamp: THNCF512MMA)
Toshiba (MLC)5
I
2004/11/3
1.5MB/sec
Kingston Memory 1024MB
(Edge stamp: THNCF1G02MA)
Toshiba (MLC)5
I
2004/11/3
1.5MB/sec
Sandisk Standard 1GB
(Edge stamp: BB0205NK CHINA)
Sandisk I
2004/11/3
1.2MB/sec
ATP 1GB
(45X label on packaging; edge stamp: 2GC01G1MY1-2LA00)
Samsung I 2004/11/3 error13
Delkin Devices PRO 1GB
(Label: CFLS1VM1-01G)
Samsung I 2004/11/3 error13
Delkin Devices PRO 2GB
(Label: CFLS1VM1-02G)
Samsung I 2004/11/3 error13
Delkin Devices PRO 4GB, formatted FAT32 with 32K cluster size
(Label: CFLS1VM1-04G)
Samsung 2004/11/3 error13
Kingston Elite Pro 2GB
(Edge stamp: 4DC02G1MY1-2LA00)
Samsung I
2004/11/3
error13
Kingston Elite Pro 512MB
(Edge stamp: 1GC5121MY0-2EA00)
Samsung I
2004/11/3
error13
(1) To help determine whether the card you purchase is substantially similar to the one tested, the card's description includes an identifier - series number, internal name or other unique value - where possible and applicable.
(2) Many companies sell CompactFlash media; relatively few actually design and manufacture the key internal components, including the controller and flash memory. This column lists the manufacturer of the controller.
(3) Type I CompactFlash cards are 3.3mm in thickness; Type II, 5.0mm.
(4) K/sec = Kilobytes per second (1 kilobyte = 1024 bytes); MB/sec = Megabytes per second (1 megabyte = 1024 kilobytes). The write speed number reported is the highest obtained in testing. Most cards produced an identical write speed number for each of the three test cycles in this camera, with no card varying by more than 0.2MB/second.
(5) Companies that source CompactFlash cards from Toshiba may opt for either the faster binary-type (often called single level cell, or SLC) or slower (but less expensive to manufacture) multi level cell (MLC) architecture. Kingston's standard orange-labeled line uses MLC; the Elite Pro line uses SLC.
(6) Delkin has not revealed the design and manufacturing partner for their PRO line of CompactFlash cards up to 640MB; above that capacity, the cards we tested were sourced from Samsung.
(7) These cards contain controllers from an unknown manufacturer, likely of Taiwanese origin.
(8) This camera's built-in formatter will format cards over 2GB as FAT32 with a 32K cluster size. Since this cluster size usually means more efficient camera-to-card transfers than FAT32 formatting with a 4K cluster size, we've tested these cards formatted FAT32/32K only.
(9) This card, which began to ship in mid-March 2004, contains faster memory than the original 40X card. Lexar revamped their entire 40X Pro Series lineup, from 256MB to 4GB, with the faster memory, though we've only tested the 1GB model. The packaging for the revamped 40X doesn't indicate that the card inside is different from an original 40X, though the card itself does: if the series number stamped on the card's edge ends in C977, it's a revamped 40X.
(10) Lexar began shipping their 80X line of cards in late June 2004. The card marked *first edition* in the table is a production model representative of the 80X lineup that began shipping at that time. In October 2004, Lexar began to ship a revised version of their 80X cards, which we've dubbed *second edition* here. As of this writing, the first edition and second edition cards are identical in appearance and sold in the same retail packaging. Only the last four digits of the edge stamp differentiate first edition from second edition. If the last four digits are A4B6, it's almost certainly a second edition 80X CompactFlash card. Please see this article for more information on the status of Lexar 80X second edition cards.
(11) This card includes a switch that enables it to operate as either a 2GB or 4GB card, for compatibility with older cameras that are unable to recognize cards over 2GB. All testing in this camera been done with the card's switch set to the 4GB position. See the next note for more information on this card.
(12) In October 2004, Sandisk announced that its Ultra II line of memory cards was being revamped to utilize multi level cell flash memory instead of the binary-type flash memory (often referred to as SLC) used in Ultra II since the fall of 2003. As of this writing, we're not sure how a prospective purchaser will be able to differentiate older, binary-type Ultra II CompactFlash cards from newer, MLC Ultra II CompactFlash cards, or how soon MLC Ultra II was going to be widely available from retailers. As of this writing, all Ultra II CF, including the 4GB capacity, utilizes binary-type memory. We have no plans to test the 4GB Ultra II binary-type, because it was expected to be shipping for no more than about a month before being replaced by the MLC version tested here.
(13) These cards, all of which utilize Samsung components, were not compatible with this camera.
(14) With this card only, the first testing cycle consistently generated throughput numbers of about 3.1MB/second. We were unable to determine the reason for this anomaly (it was not explained by disc spin-up time, for example), so we chose to not include this number in the results.
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