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.
The tests are run using 4GB files sizes with the Video Frame Size at 3840×2160 10-bit. The test is run several times and the fastest results are chosen.
|Card Name||Speed Class||Read USB 3.2||Write USB 3.2|
|Sony Tough 80GB||CFx-A||839.6 MB/s||610.7 MB/s|
|ProGrade 160GB||CFx-A||829.4 MB/s||655.1 MB/s|
From the results, there isn’t a single fastest CFexpress Type A card. Each of these cards is either faster at reading or writing speed and those results could come down to the type of reader used for the test.
Write Speed Results
The ProGrade 160GB card is slightly faster than the Sony 80GB card with write speeds. I would be curious to see if larger cards are faster since that is sometimes the way CFexpress Type-B cards are made.
Also, I did use the ProGrade memory card reader which possibly has been better tuned for Prograde cards.
Read Speed Results
When looking at Read Speeds, the Sony CFx card was slightly faster even in the Prograde reader.
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.
|**This website contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you click them to make a purchase.|