Delkin updates its UDMA 7 CompactFlash cards with 120MB/s write speeds


posted Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 6:25 PM EDT

Recently we told you about a 256GB CompactFlash card from SanDisk that took the bar on capacity up to a new high -- and had a price tag to match. Today, Delkin has launched three new cards that, while they don't reach that same capacity, do set a speed record within its own line -- and at a much more affordable price point. CompactFlash cards are used in relatively few cameras these days, but there's clearly life in the format yet.

Delkin's new CF 1050x UDMA 7 Cinema memory cards are, as the name would suggest, aimed at high-definition movie capture -- and specifically at 4K capture, which places some pretty extreme demands on a camera's pipeline. At first glance, the 1050x rating would seem little faster than the 1000x rating of Delkin's existing UDMA 7 cards, but it doesn't tell the whole story. The ratings indicate only one side of the equation -- read speeds -- and for capture it's the write speeds that are important.

Here, there's a much more noticeable step forward, from 80MB/second in the earlier cards to 120MB/second in the newer cards. That still trails the 140-150MB/second of SanDisk's cards, but Delkin's cards are much more affordable. List pricing for a 32GB Delkin card is US$150, a quarter less than SanDisk's 16GB card, despite offering double the capacity. At US$700, the most expensive of Delkin's cards is a 128GB capacity, and the price per gigabyte for that card is US$5.49, compared to US$7.07 for SanDisk's 256GB card.


But is there a catch? Yes, as it turns out, because we're not talking about sustained write speeds here. Sadly, neither manufacturer published an actual sustained write speed for their cards, making comparisons difficult -- but they do label the cards with the CompactFlash Association's Video Performance Guarantee ratings. SanDisk's cards carry the newer VPG profile 2 (VPG 65) rating, promising sustained write speeds of 65MB/second or more. Delkin's, by contrast, carry the slower VPG profile 1 (VPG 20) rating, promising 20MB/second sustained write speeds.

Of course, that doesn't tell us anything about the actual speeds, only that Delkin was unable to certify its cards to the newer rating. How close it came is another question entirely, and all we can say for sure is that Delkin says its cards are capable of 4K video capture. If you're looking for a 4K-capable CF card on a budget, you may well have a new option worthy of consideration. More details on Delkin's website.