ProGrade Digital 650GB Cobalt 1700 CFexpress B Card & Dual Slot CFexpress/SD Card Reader Review

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 ProGrade Digital CFexpress Type B card testing today, our goal is to test in a system that has been optimized with our SSD Optimization Guide. To see the best performance possible, the CPU C states have been disabled, C1E support has been disabled, and Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (EIST) has been disabled.

SYSTEM COMPONENTS

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. As well, the title is linked back to the individual build article where performance testing can be validated.

TSSDR ASROCK Z370 TAICHI TEST BENCH (link)

PC CHASSIS: Corsair Graphite 760T Arctic White Window Chassis
MOTHERBOARD: ASRock Z370 Taichi
CPU: Intel Coffee Lake Core i7-8770K
CPU COOLER: Corsair Hydro Series H110i GTX V.2
POWER SUPPLY: Corsair RM850x 80Plus
GRAPHICS: MSI Radeon RX570
MEMORY: Corsair Vengeance RGB 32GB DDR4 3600Mhz C18
STORAGE: Intel Optane 900P 480GB SSD
KEYBOARD: Corsair Strafe RGB Silent Gaming
MOUSE: Corsair M65 Pro Gaming
OS Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit

PROGRADE CFEXPRESS CARD READERS

If you are a media professional, understanding the difference between USB 3.2 (10Gbps), USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (20Gbps) and Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) is crucial.  The norm for today’s card readers is USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps) which provides performance up to a theoretical 1250MB/s, but reality will show 1050MB/s max. We might see this in the ProGrade Dual Slot CFexpress SD Card Reader shown atop the Thunderbolt 3 CFexpress/XQD Card Reader below.  A great feature about ProGrade Digital card readers is that they have a magnetic base and click right into place, whether it be on a laptop lid or another reader. Checking Amazon, the ProGrade Digital CFexpress/SD USB 3.2 Gen 2 Card Reader is listing at $79.99.

USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 is brand spanking new and, if you find anyone using it for card readers, it will get you as high as 2GB/s.  Thunderbolt 3, on the other hand maxes out at 2.8GB/s, and because of the 40Gbps speed, a single cable can also operate other devices such as keyboard, mouse, monitor, or what have you.  That’s why we can typically daisy-chain up to six devices with Thunderbolt 3.

The ProGrade Digital Single Slot CFexpress/XQD Card Reader is backward compatible to XQD and instructions are provided in the packaging.  It comes with the reader, documentation and a Thunderbolt 3 cable.  Something we never expected, is that this device has a magnetic bottom which easily sticks the reader to your laptop.

The ProGrade Thunderbolt 3 CFexpress/XQD Card Reader is priced at $129.99 and can be purchased from ProGrade directly or Amazon.

BENCHMARK SOFTWARE

The software in use for today’s analysis is typical of many of our reviews and consists of Crystal Disk Info, ATTO Disk Benchmark, Crystal Disk Mark, Anvil’s Storage Utilities, AJA, and TxBench. Our selection of software allows each to build on the last and to provide validation to results already obtained.

In addition, we will be closing the report off with our temperature, sustained performance and true data transfer testing.

CRYSTAL DISK INFO VER. 8.3.1

Crystal Disk Info is a great tool for displaying the characteristics and health of storage devices. It displays everything from temperatures, the number of hours the device has been powered, and even to the extent of informing you of the firmware of the device.

This Crystal Disk Info score validates that we are running in PCIe 3.0 x2, and much more importantly, shows the typical temperature reached during write operations.

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