Consumer

SanDisk PRO-CINEMA CFexpress Type B Memory Card Review (320GB)

SanDisk has introduced a new member of the PRO-Cinema CFexpress line. The PRO-CINEMA CFexpress Type B Memory Card is designed for professionals seeking cinema-quality footage with sustained write speed performance to deliver cinematic footage. The new card has a durable enclosure to protect the disk and the all-important video footage.

SanDisk has introduced a new member of the PRO-Cinema CFexpress line. The PRO-CINEMA CFexpress Type B Memory Card is designed for professionals seeking cinema-quality footage with sustained write speed performance to deliver cinematic footage. The new card has a durable enclosure to protect the disk and the all-important video footage.

We reviewed the previous Type B memory card, the SanDisk Professional PRO-CINEMA CFexpress VPG400 Type B, released by SanDisk just over a year ago, and concluded that the card did pretty well. We didn’t see any problems with the card itself, but we noticed it failed to match the performance of Lexar’s professional DIAMOND CFexpress. We are interested in seeing if this has changed this year since both companies have released updated memory cards for their respective lines.

SanDisk PRO-CINEMA CFexpress Type B Specifications

The PRO-CINEMA line features SanDisk’s highest-quality CFexpress cards on the market. The card is built for high-level professionals looking for the best 8K video-capturing technology.

The card has a claimed minimum write speed of 1500MB/s and a maximum write of 1600MB/s. The read speed is listed as 1700MB/s.

The SanDisk PRO-CINEMA CFexpress is available in 320 GB and 640 GB. The 320GB version is currently going for $399.99  and the 640GB is going for $660 on Amazon (affiliate link). The card reader can be purchased for an additional $74. The memory card comes with a lifetime limited warranty.

See the full list of specifications below:

Category Details
Capacity 320GB, 640GB
Form Factor CFexpress Type B
Connector CFexpress Type B
Compatibility Cameras with CFexpress Type B slots
Sequential Read Performance Up to 1700MB/s
Sequential Write Performance Up to 1500MB/s
Interface CFexpress
In The Box SanDisk PRO-CINEMA CFexpress™ USB Type B Card
Warranty Lifetime Limited Warranty
Dimensions (L x W x H) 0.09″ x 1.43″ x 1.68″
Weight 8.5gms

SanDisk PRO-CINEMA CFexpress Type B Performance

We plugged a Lexar USB 2×2 reader into our Lenovo ThinkStation P520 Workstation as the test platform for our tests. We were sent the 320GB memory card for our review. SanDisk quotes a sustained performance of 1400MB/s write and a maximum of 1500MB/s.

For our iometer testing, we will compare the SanDisk PRO-CINEMA to two relevant CFexpress type B memory cards on the market. The Lexar Professional DIAMOND CFexpress is a rival to SanDisk in the CFexpress memory card industry. The SanDisk Professional PRO-CINEMA is the previous generation of the current PRO-CINEMA CFexpress memory card.

As always, we are starting our testing with the Blackmagic DiskSpeed Test. Our tests revealed the memory card had a write speed of 1378.9MB/s in Blackmagic, although higher in our subsequent testing with higher load levels. The read result measured 1458.8MB/s during our testing.

Next is the IOMeter testing, where we put the SanDisk PRO-CINEMA CFexpress through single-thread and four-thread workloads. The SanDisk PRO-CINEMA CFexpress performed significantly better than its previous counterpart. Read results are better, but the immense difference can be seen in writes.

Performance against the Lexar Professional DIAMOND CFexpress is much more competitive than the previous models. The numbers are pretty close, with the Lexar pulling ahead in 2MB sequential reads but falling behind in IOPS counts.

IOMeter (1-Thread)
Test SanDisk PRO-CINEMA CFexpress 320GB (current) Lexar Professional DIAMOND CFexpress 256GB SanDisk Professional PRO-CINEMA CFexpress 256GB (previous)
2MB sequential write 1158.2MB/s 1,256MB/s 871.4MB/s
2MB sequential read 1262.7MB/s 1385.4MB/s 1,091.8MB/s
2MB random write 1106.3MB/s 1,130MB/s 341.0MB/s
2MB random read 1223.7MB/s 1,204.1MB/s 972.3MB/s
4K random write 17234 IOPS 14,897 IOPS 2,985 IOPS
4K random read 4908 IOPS 4,328 IOPS 10,785 IOPS

The 4-thread performance for the SanDisk PRO-CINEMA CFexpress was better than expected. Writes are above the claimed value of 1500MB/s and reads hover near stated levels. The numbers between SanDisk and Lexar are close, but SanDisk wins in four of the six categories.

IOMeter (4-Thread)
Test SanDisk PRO-CINEMA CFexpress 320GB (current) Lexar Professional DIAMOND CFexpress 256GB SanDisk Professional PRO-CINEMA CFexpress 256GB (previous)
2MB sequential write 1541.3MB/s 1599.9MB/s 1,276.5MB/s
2MB sequential read 1702.7MB/s 1767.5MB/s 1,320.9MB/s
2MB random write 1544.8MB/s 759.4MB/s 392.4MB/s
2MB random read 1644.6MB/s 1552.4MB/s 1,306MB/s
4K random write 68,608 IOPS 54,167 IOPS 8,705 IOPS
4K random read 24,370 IOPS 14,913 IOPS 40,332 IOPS

Our Final Thoughts

The SanDisk PRO-CINEMA CFexpress performed well, considering it had somewhat equal performance to the Lexar Professional DIAMOND CFexpress 256GB, a good overall improvement. The SanDisk PRO-CINEMA also boasts significant improvements in write performance compared to its predecessor, more good news for SanDisk, who’s working to repair their brand image with creative pros.

Ultimately cards in this class need to perform well enough to enable the super high-res imagery to write to the flash media. The SanDisk PRO-CINEMA CFexpress gets the job done on this front, while also delivering a little more capacity than both the prior model and the Lexar competitor.

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Ethan Beeler

Ethan Beeler is a Business Economics student at Miami University who possesses an unwavering love for technology. With a particular interest in the inner workings of cloud computing and the applications we utilize on a daily basis, Ethan is driven by a deep curiosity to understand the IT infrastructure that powers our digital world. He combines his passion for technology with a strong analytical mindset and a desire to explore the intersection of technology and business. Eager to stay ahead of the curve, Ethan actively engages with the latest tech advancements and seeks opportunities to apply his knowledge in real-world settings.

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