If you are in the market for the ultimate in compact flash memory, today we have a treat for you. Aimed at the digital professional, Transcend's latest line-up of Compact Flash cards aims to please with its 1000X speed rating.
In house today, we have the latest in Compact Flash technology, out of the stables at Transcend. The Ultimate Compact Flash carries a rather impressive speed rating of 1000x, which means read speeds up to 150MB/s. Even further, the Transcend Ultimate Compact Flash cards carry a video performance guarantee, enabling quality video recording without dropping frames. The Ultimate line-up of Compact Flash cards is available in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB capacities. For our review today, Transcend sent over the 16GB capacity card model.
Above we have the scope of delivery, which includes the warranty card, Transcend product guide and 16GB Compact Flash inside its usual protective casing.
Looking over the card, we find the UDMA7 and 1000x speed ratings listed above the capacity, set at 16GB. In the lower left corner, the video performance guarantee logo.
The back of the card allows for labelling the card for storage.
The interface used on the Transcend Ultimate is a Type I 50 Pin.
To test Compact Flash cards we utilize the same benchmarks we use for Flash Drives. These include CrystalDiskMark, ATTO and DiskBench. The card reader utilized in these test is the SanDisk ImageMate AIO.
Our first look over the card shows its storage capacity of 14.9GB formatted in the FAT32 file system.
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Running the Transcend through ATTO netted us 151MB/s read, followed by 125MB/s write.
Results with CDM were similar to what we found with ATTO. Sequential read and write coming in at 150MB/s and 123MB/s, respectively. Random read and write followed at 65MB/s read and 20MB/s write.
In our chart above, we have for comparison several cards from competing manufacturers. Above you will notice the Transcend in the 16GB capacity slightly faster than the Lexar Professional in the 128GB capacity; this could be due to the use of Toggle Mode NAND compared to the Micron MLC in the Lexar. Another thing to note is the difference in write speed between 667x and 1000x, about 20MB/s.
The Transcend Ultimate Compact Flash is as visibly appealing as a memory card can get, with its rainbow and gold tones. The flashy exterior of the card should be plenty to catch your eye in a retail situation.
Performance of the Transcend Ultimate was on par with what I expected in terms of read performance, where we did hit marketing specs of 150MB/s. On the write portion of testing, I was a bit surprised by the performance, where marketing guaranteed 70MB/s, we were able to surpass that by quite a margin - 120MB/s. We can also add here that with capacity increases, we can expect write speeds to increase, so it is quite possible that Transcend has figured out the formula for the quickest 1000x rated Compact Flash card.
At the time of writing, I was able to find the 16GB capacity for $63.99. If you would like slightly more you will be looking at $222.99 for the 64GB and $406.99 for the 128GB capacity. Transcend offers a lifetime warranty with each capacity.