CF Express Type-A memory cards are a particularly niche product restricted for the most part to those newer Sony camera lovers; Sony A7S III, A1 and A7 IV. It was that mid-choice between XQD and CFExpress Type-B but then XQD saw firmware upgrades enabling CFExpress Type B which left Type-A on its own. Our first showing of Type-A cards saw products from Lexar and ProGrade and the complaint of small capacity appeared where camera professionals needed more room on their cards to satisfy their needs. After all, Type-B cards were coming out as high as 2TB. Good news for Sony lovers this morning is that we have the worlds first Lexar GOLD CF Express Type-A 320GB Memory Card and Card Reader on our Bench for a few tests!
The Lexar GOLD series of CFExpress Type-A memory cards are available in 80, 160 and now 320GB storage capacities. The 320GB version we are testing today has listed specifications of up to 900MB/s read and 800MB/s write with the all important VPG (Video Performance Guarantee) 400 rating. VPG400 is a fairly new rating put forward by the SD Association which is the regulating body that oversees memory cards and it guarantees that this card will never fall below 400MB/s sustained write speed.
Included with the card is a Lexar USB 3.2 Gen 2 10Gbps dual card reader that reads both the CF Express Type-A along with UHS-II SD cards up to a read speed of 312MB/s. The card reader comes with a single foot long Type-A to Type-C connector where the Type-A connector can be removed converting this into a Type-C to Type-C connector, remembering of course that Type-C to Type-C is the only way to achieve the higher data transfer speeds.
Checking Amazon, we see that the Lexar Professional GOLD 320GB Type-A CF Express Type-A memory Card and Reader lists for $599.99, which has dropped from its previous $699.99 list price. Even with the cards limited lifetime warranty (2-years for reader), this is still a bit high when comparting to Type-B pricing, but as expected for such a niche product. Let’s take a look at some metrics.
TSSDR TEST BENCH AND PROTOCOL
CFExpress Card testing at TSSDR differs slightly, depending on whether we are looking at consumer or enterprise storage media. For our Lexar Professional CFExpress Type A 320GB Gold Series Memory Card testing today, our goal is to test in a system that has been optimized with our SSD Optimization Guide.
For this Test Bench, the CPU C-States, Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (EIST) and Intel Speedshift (P-States) have not been disabled. As you will see below, the system is also bumped to 5.1GHz with memory at full speed in its XMP 2 profile.
The components of this Test Bench are detailed below. All hardware is linked for purchase and product sales may be reached by a simple click on the individual item.
INTEL Z790 PCIE 5.0 COMPONENTS
|Corsair 5000D RGB White Tempered Glass Chassis
|ASUS ROG Maximus Z790 Hero Gen 5
|Intel 13th Gen Core i9-13900K
|Corsair Hydro Series H150i Capellix White
|Corsair HX1000i Platinum Modular 80Plus
|ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3080 Trinity White
|Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5-5200 64GB
|Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus Gen 4 4TB NVMe SSD
|Corsair K70 PRO RGB Optical Mechanical Gaming
|Corsair M65 RGB Elite FPS Gaming
|Samsung 34″ 1440p WQHD Ultrawide Gaming