The Bottom Line
- + Price
- + Performance
- - None
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After several years of focusing on NVMe solutions, Sabrent has expanded its memory product offerings, starting with UHS-II SDXC solutions we reviewed back in April. More recently, they launched a line of CFx drives. In its 2.0 revision, CF Express lives on the PCIe 3.0 specification with controls for the NVMe protocol. This births three types of CFx solutions that include Type-A, B, and C cards, and adding to this, XQD has, for the most part, been swallowed up by these new solutions.
The quickest of these solutions is the Type-C card, which offers four lanes of PCIe connectivity and a max speed of 4GB/s. The Sabrent Rocket solutions all use Type-B, a two-lane interface with peak speeds of 2GB/s; the Rocket CFx is rated at 1.7GB/s.
Several capacities are available in this lineup. We were sent the 512GB and 1TB models, and MSRP for the 512GB solution comes in at $199, while the 1TB model touches $399.
As mentioned above, we received both available capacities from Sabrent. Packaging offers branding along the top with an image of each drive showing the capacity.
Each of the drives are secured in their own carrying case that includes a foam cutout to hold the drives firmly.
Pulling the drives out, it's worth noting these are Type-B CFx cards; this form factor is identical to XQD and, from what I gather, is interchangeable. The Sabrent solutions use a metal chassis with surrounding plastics to soften edges.
To test these new CFx solutions, Sabrent sent over their CFx card reader. It is extremely flexible, supporting both Thunderbolt and USB 3.2.
We started testing with the 512GB solution. Running it through CDM, we picked up 1646 MB/s read and 1257 MB/ write.
Looking at the 1TB model, write speeds went up to 1320 MB/s while read stayed the same at 1646 MB/s.
Popping these cards into our chart, we have a performance overview of both solutions, which are nearly identical on the read side and writes about 60 MB/s quicker on the larger 1TB solution.
Sabrent is a brand that stormed onto the storage scene with its partnership with Phison a few years back. Since then, they have pushed the market forward with their Rocket NVMe lineup and now add a full suite of memory card solutions. In previous reviews, we have tested their V90 UHS-II cards, coming away impressed with their performance and even more by the pricing.
For the CFx solutions, we once again come away satisfied with the performance, having no issues in our testing. While simple, CDM did show these drives were more than capable of providing the near 1700 MB/s read and 1200 MB/s write, the 1TB drive reaching near 1350 MB/s at peak.
While it is a niche product, catering to the likes of the A7S III, A1 or Z6, and Z7 with a firmware update, the Rocket CFx is ready to take on hours of 4K and 8K raw images or video and could even be a fantastic replacement for your now obsolete XQD solutions.
TweakTown Memory Card Test System
- System: Lenovo Thinkstation P360 Ultra
- OS: Microsoft Windows 11 Pro (buy from Amazon)
The Bottom Line
CF Express has emerged as the new gold standard for high-end camera equipment and Sabrent has delivered with a legit lineup of Type-B memory cards.