CFexpress Type-A memory cards are a new format that Sony has been adopting for many of their new full-frame mirrorless cameras.
CFexpress Type-A cards are slightly smaller, although thicker, and faster than UHS-II memory.
Many of the new Sony cameras take both CFexpress Type-A and UHS-II memory cards but require the faster CFx Type-A cards for some slow-motion video features like 4k120 to record in the S & Q mode.
Fastest CFx Type-A Memory Cards
Currently, there are only a few CFexpress Type-A cards and more will be added as they are released.
These benchmarks are taken with an AJA system test with a Macbook Pro, using the Prograde CFx Type-A reader.
Software used was AJA System Test. Resolution: 5120×2700 5k Red / Test File Size: 4GB / Codec Type 16bit RGBA. Speeds are listed in Megabytes per second.
|Card Name||Speed Class||USB Write||USB Read||Check Price|
|Sony Tough 640GB||CFx-A||--||--||B&H|
|Sony Tough 320GB||CFx-A||--||--||B&H|
|Sony Tough 160GB||CFx-A||--||--||B&H|
|Sony Tough 80GB||CFx-A||641 MB/s||852 MB/s||B&H|
|Lexar 320GB||CFx-A||837 MB/s||885 MB/s||B&H|
|Lexar 160GB||CFx-A||825 MB/s||886 MB/s||B&H|
|Delkin Black 160GB||CFx-A||--||--||B&H|
|Delkin Black 80GB||CFx-A||639 MB/s||852 MB/s||B&H|
|Delkin Power 160GB||CFx-A||--||--||B&H|
|Delkin Power 80GB||CFx-A||641 MB/s||847 MB/s||B&H|
|ProGrade 160GB||CFx-A||691 MB/s||845 MB/s||B&H|
You can see these benchmarked in various Sony Cameras.
Write Speed Results
The ProGrade 160GB card is slightly faster than the Sony 80GB or Delkin cards. My guess is because I only have a Prograde reader right now and their hardware is probably all in spec with each other.
Delkin is the latest brand to release CFexpress cards and their Power card might just be the best bang for the buck.
Both Delkin and Prograde are very good brands and their cards always perform well with Sony cameras.
Read Speed Results
When looking at Reading Speeds, it looks like the Delkin cards are performing the best right now, just ever so slightly faster than the Prograde cards. Delkin cards are the newest cards added to the benchmarks and it could just come down to slightly newer flash.
Current CFexpress Type A Cards Available
There aren’t too many CFexpress Type A cards on the market. Here are the options with some information about each card.
Sony Tough CFexpress A Memory Cards
The Sony CFexpress Type A memory cards come in two sizes, 80GB and 160GB. Each size is rated at the same read and write speeds and the size we benchmarked was the 80GB size.
Sustained write speed of 400MB/s (VPG 400).
Operating temperature of -13 to 158°F / -25 to 70°C, is shockproof, and X-Ray Proof.
IPX7 water ingress protection rating.
IP5X dust ingress protection rating (IP57).
Thermal Throttling occurs very quickly, after about a minute, much quicker than the Prograde card. I did test the Prograde card first so this quicker ramp up into the thermal throttling could be from the reader being slightly warmer to start.
The speeds drop to around 317.4MB /s Write, and 285.4MB/s read and the card is fairly painful to touch due to high temperatures. Slightly hotter than the Prograde card.
Thermal Throttlings Speeds
317.4 MB/s Write
285.4 MB/s Read
I/O Profile After Thermal Throttling
ProGrade CFexpress A Memory Cards
The Prograde Cfexpress Type A card currently comes in just one size, 160GB. It’s rated at an 800MB/s read speed and 700MB/s write speed.
Operating temperatures are not specified. It is shockproof and X-Ray Proof.
Built-in Thermal Throttling.
Once thermal throttling kicks after a few minutes of continuous reading and writing, speeds drop to around 436.8 MB/s Write and 334.2 MB/s Read.
It will go gradually go down to around 300MB/s read and write speeds if you continue to push it. At this point, the card will get hot enough where it slightly stings the skin.
It seems the Prograde card has a more gradual decline in performance as it thermal throttles, whereas the Sony card dropped quickly to around 300MB/s read and write.
Thermal Throttling Speeds
436.8 MB/s Write
I/O Profile After Thermal Throttling
How Are CFexpress Type A Cards Different Than Type B?
CFexpress Type A Cards use the NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4 bus with a single lane. The main difference between type A and type B cards other than their size is that Type B cards use a dual-lane system for speeds up to 1700MB/s whereas Type A cards only have a single lane throughput for a max speed of 800MB/s.
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