Home Consumer Lexar Professional CFexpress Type A Card Review (160GB)

Lexar Professional CFexpress Type A Card Review (160GB)

by Conner Crull
StorageReview-Lexar-CFexpress-A-1

The Lexar Professional CFexpress Type A Gold Series memory card is the next addition to Lexar’s portfolio of professional memory cards. This card is a CFexpress memory card (Type A form factor) that supports up to 900MB/s read and 800MB/s write as well as 8K video recording and can store continuous shooting for any compatible devices.

The Lexar Professional CFexpress Type A Gold Series memory card is the next addition to Lexar’s portfolio of professional memory cards. This card is a CFexpress memory card (Type A form factor) that supports up to 900MB/s read and 800MB/s write as well as 8K video recording and can store continuous shooting for any compatible devices.

This CFepxress Type A card is also accompanied by a CFexpress Type A/SD card reader from Lexar that is designed to handle the speeds of this new Type A card as well as support any other SD card.
Lexar Professional CFexpress Type A

Lexar Professional CFexpress Type A Card and Reader

The Lexar Professional CFexpress Type A memory card is built to fall in line with Lexar’s portfolio of CFexpress memory cards that are designed for professional creators in the world. The CFexpress Type A card features a PCI Express interface that is able to push out speeds of 900MB/s read and 800MB/s write.

With this card, users can expect a performance that can get close to some SATA SSDs, at just a fraction of the size. The card was made to capture high-quality images and 8K video and also has a Rated Video Performance Guarantee 400 (VPG 400) allowing for a minimum sustained write speed of 700MB/s so there won’t be any frames dropped.

There are two different capacities the card comes in, 80GB and 160GB. These capacities are low, relatively speaking, however, the performance/footprint combo is hard to argue against.

Lexar also sent us the Professional CFexpress Type A/SD USB 3.2 Gen 2 card reader. This card reader is made for those that intend to use the Type A card that we are also taking a look at at it can seamlessly fit into your workflow. The reader is connected to a device with the included USB Type-C cable that is able to support full-speed transfers from the card.

What is really nice about this Lexar Professional card is that Lexar promises a limited-lifetime warranty as they are sure enough that this card will be able to withstand many of the conditions it will be put under. As for pricing, the 80GB and 160GB models are going for $199.99 and $399.99 on Amazon. For the Lexar Professional Type A card reader, it is currently going for $79.99 on Amazon and it comes with a 2-year limited warranty.

Lexar Professional CFexpress Type A Card Specifications

Series Professional CFexpress Type A
Max Capacity 80GB / 160GB
Performance Sustained Read Sustained Write
Up to 900MB/s Up to 800MB/s
Minimum Sustained Write Speed
700MB/s
Video Class VPG 400
Interface PCI Express
Form Factor Type A
Operating Temperature -10° C ~ 70° C (14°F ~ 158°F)
Storage Temperature -25° C ~ 85° C (-13°F ~ 185°F)
Warranty Limited lifetime warranty

Lexar Professional CFexpress Type-A/SD Reader Specifications

Product CFexpressTM Type A / SDTM USB 3.2 Gen 2 Reader
Model RW530
Interface USB 3.2 Gen 2
Connector USB Type-C
Transfer Speed Up to 900MB/ s1 CFexpressTM Type A memory card transfer speed

Up to 312MB/s1 (UHS-II) SDTM memory card transfer speed

System Supported Mac® OS 10.8+

Windows® 11/10/8/7/Vista/XP

USB 2.0+ port

Operating Temperature 0°C to 40°C (32°F to 104°F)
Storage Temperature -25°C to 85°C (-13°F to 185°F)
Dimension 59.98 x 98.0 x 19.08 mm / 2.40” x 3.90” x 0.75”
Weight 77 g / 0.17 lbs
Accessory Built-in USB Type-C cable
Warranty 2-Year Limited

Design and Build

The Lexar Professional Type A card size falls right in line with Lexar’s CFexpress Type B Gold Series card, making it compact and easy to use, while still maintaining the ability to pack a punch in terms of the performance that the card is able to handle. This card is able to deliver better speeds than some SATA SSD drives and is a quarter the size, positioning it as a solid choice for those that need quick performance but not a ton of space. The Lexar Professional card reader also comes in at a compact size of 59.98 x 98.0 x 19.08 mm / 2.40” x 3.90” x 0.75”, making it quite easy to take with you on the go.

The Lexar Professional 160GB Type A does have a PCI Express interface, which is one of the ways that it is able to reach such high speeds while it is recording video. Lexar also reported that when the card is connected to a computer via the Lexar Professional CFexpress Type A / SD USB 3.2 Gen 2 Reader with the Type-C to Type-C connection, they were able to push out the max speeds. As for the card reader, it features a USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface along with a USB Type-C connection allowing for quick transfer speeds that can support the high speed of the CFexpress Type A card.

The Lexar Professional 160GB Type A shows off the standard gold sticker that many of their cards have to show off the Lexar Professional name, the max speed that Lexar tested the card at, the capacity, and that it is a CFexpress Type A memory card. This is all good information to have without the card seeming too cluttered as professionals may have multiple cards so easily reading which card is in your hand will be nice for professionals.

Lexar has also mentioned how each card has undergone some testing to push the conditions of the card when in volatile environments. Each card is temperature-proof, operating in temperatures between -10° C to 70° C (14°F to 158°F), shock resistant, and vibration resistant. Each of these is great as it ensures that the card is able to handle some conditions that are thrown at it and users don’t have to worry about data loss or corruption.

The Lexar Type A and SD card reader also have quite the durability factor that allows users to not worry about it being jostled around in a tech bag when taken on the go. The card reader features a lightweight metal design that is resistant to wear and tear and also has a minimalist stylish design so that it doesn’t stand out too much in a workspace.

StorageReview-Lexar-CFexpress-A-4

Performance

Looking at the testing part of this review, we put the Lexar Professional CFexpress Type A card in the Professional Type A/SD card reader and connected it to the Lenovo Thinkstation P520. The connection that we used was the included USB Type-C to Type-C cable. We then ran the standard tests that we usually do for devices such as these, the Blackmagic Design Disk Speed Test and an IOMeter benchmark in a single thread and a four thread.

First up with the Lexar Professional CFexpress Type A card is the Blackmagic Design Disk Speed Test. In this benchmark, we saw the card reach 798.9MB/s read and 672.3MB/s write, close to the 900MB/s read and 800MB/s write max speed reported by Lexar. What we also saw was that the card was able to hit nearly every checkmark in the “Will It Work?” section meaning that users can expect the card to handle just about any video file thrown at it.

lexar_expressflash_a

Moving onto the first IOMeter benchmark, we tested the Lexar Professional CFexpress Type A card in a single thread workload as we normally do. From this benchmark, starting in the 2MB tests, we saw 605MB/s write and 742MB/s read in the sequential section, and in the random section, 593MB/s write and 698MB/s read. Lastly, in the 4K random test, we saw 12,414 IOPS write and 4,195 IOPS read.

IOMeter (1-Thread)
Test
2MB sequential write 604.89MB/s
2MB sequential read 741.84MB/s
2MB random write 593.28MB/s
2MB random read 698.35MB/s
4K random write 12,414.43 IOPS
4K random read 4,195.29 IOPS

Moving onto the 4-thread benchmark, which is able to put a tougher strain on the device to try to push out more performance, starting in the 2MB tests with sequential, we saw 716MB/s write and 599MB/s read, and in the random test, 578MB/s write and 541MB/s read. Lastly, in the 4K test, we saw 50,195 IOPS write and 14,734 IOPS read. Now, these speeds are lower than the single thread and what has happened is that sometimes these smaller devices get over-saturated and can see a worse performance, however, it really isn’t a cause for concern as it is still close to the reported speeds.

IOMeter (4-Thread)
Test
2MB sequential write 715.98MB/s
2MB sequential read 598.77MB/s
2MB random write 578.20MB/s
2MB random read 541.43MB/s
4K random write 50,195.44 IOPS
4K random read 14,734.76 IOPS

Conclusion

The Lexar Professional CFexpress Type A Card Gold Series is a 160GB memory card that features a PCI express interface that is able to sustain up to 900MB/s read and 800MB/s write speeds and features VPG 400. The card is made for content professionals who are looking to capture high-quality images and cinema-grade 4K or 8K video. This memory card is also designed for those who might be subject to harsher environments as Lexar has made this card shock and vibration resistant and can also operate in low or high temperatures.

Pairing with this memory card is the Lexar Professional CFexpress Type A/SD USB 3.2 Gen 2 card reader, a high-performance reader from Lexar that is designed for content professionals that need the support for CFexpress Type A cards and SD cards. With its USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type C interface and durable but stylish design, this card reader can fit into any workspace or environment without the worry of bottleneck or it breaking.

As for our testing, it is important to note that we tested this card through the card reader and had it connected to the Lenovo ThinkStation P520. The Blackmagic Design Disk Speed Test showed us that the CFexpress Type A card was able to get 798.9MB/s read and 672.3MB/s write, fairly close to the 900MB/s read and 800MB/s write max speed reported by Lexar.

StorageReview-Lexar-CFexpress-A-3

Our 1-thread 2MB sequential test, saw the Lexar Professional CFexpress get 742MB/s read and 605MB/s write. In our 2MB random tests, the Lexar reached 698MB/s read and 593MB/s write. Lastly, in the 4K test, the card was able to reach 4,195 IOPS read and 12,414 IOPS write.

Looking at the last benchmark, the 4-thread, 2MB sequential test, the Lexar Professional CFexpress Type A got 716MB/s read and 599MB/s write. In our 2MB random tests, the Lexar reached 541MB/s read and 578MB/s write. Lastly, in the 4K test, the card was able to reach 14,734 IOPS read and 50,195 IOPS write.

Overall, both the Lexar CFexpress Type A memory card and Lexar CFexpress Type A/SD Card reader tested well and came to close to what Lexar was reporting that these devices were able to push out. Both these devices are another addition to the professional field of memory cards and can work well for some and might not be well for others as it all depends on your needs and wants.

Lexar Professional CFexpress Type A Card Gold Series

Lexar Professional CFexpress Type A/SD Card Reader

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