ATP 16GB ProMax II 650x CF Card

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Product: ATP 16GB ProMax II 650x CompactFlash Card
Provided By: ATP Electronics
Price:
~$149 Est.

 

Introduction:

CompactFlash cards are not very popular anymore as Secure Digital cards are much cheaper, smaller and more popular in smaller cameras.  That being said, high-end Digital SLR cameras as well as full Professional SLR cameras use CompactFlash as it seems to be more reliable and is certainly faster when it comes to continuous write speeds.  Today we are looking at a speedy 16GB card from ATP Electronics that claims up to 97.5MB/s write speeds thanks to its 650X rating.  This card claims to be able to out-perform the SanDisk Extreme Pro card with its "mere" 600X write speed.  It will be interesting to see if this "cheap" card from ATP has what it takes to keep up to the big dog from SanDisk.

 18 Card Tray
18 Card Tray - Only 1 Card

 

About ATP Electronics:

Established in 1991, ATP has over 19 years of experience in the design, manufacturing, and support of high performance, highest quality DRAM modules and NAND flash storage products. ATP focuses in mission critical applications such as industrial/automation, telecom, medical, and enterprise computing where high levels of technical support/expertise, consistency of performance, and manufacturing quality are required. A certified Eco/Green partner of tier one OEMs, all ATP products are fully RoHS and China RoHS compliant.

A true manufacturer of both flash and DRAM products, ATP offers in-house design, testing, and product tuning at both the system and component levels. In addition, ATP supply chain support includes controlled/fixed BOMs and long term product life cycles.

ATP System-In-Package (SIP) flash product manufacturing process is the backbone to our superior build quality and durability. The industry leading SIP process involves advanced wire bonding, stacking, and encapsulation stages which make ATP products more consistently durable and reliable with waterproof, extreme temperature durability.

 

 

First Look:

As I mentioned in a previous review, my interest in a fast Compact Flash card has been centered on me picking up a Nikon D300s DSLR.  This camera uses both SD and CF media and allows the user to specify which picture format gets stored on each card.  Normally I take pictures and save them as RAW (NEF) as well as JPG.  I love the convenience of the Eye-Fi SD card for uploading my pictures to Flickr and to my computer and it is nice to have all the RAW files stored on a separate card.  The problem is that each RAW image is well over 9MB and the camera takes up to 8 images per second with the battery grip.  It doesn't take long to fill the buffer and start slowing down the camera.

Top View
Top View
Pin Side
Pin Side
Back Side
Back Side

 

The ATP ProMax II lineup of cards come in 1GB to 8GB but in order to get the 650X version, you'll have to grab the 16GB version.  The 1GB to 8GB version are 300X card rated at up to 45MB/sec.  The 16GB version theoretically more than doubles that performance.

 

Features & Specs:

The following information has been pulled from the ATP product page and posted here for your convenience.

The ProMax II CF 650X CompactFlash® (CF) memory card provides ultimate high-speed performance and reliability for professional photographers, with industry-leading 650x (97.5MB/s) write speed. The card provides support for high-resolution UDMA-enabled DSLR cameras, lets you store large photos and capture high-definition video without any choppiness or dropping of frames.

The ProMax II CF 650X can also dramatically increases card-to-computer transfer rates when paired with a UDMA-enabled reader. The ProMax II 650X CF card is available in 16GB capacity.


By utilizing best in industry components together with ATP tuned configurations, ProMaxII cards are specifically made for those users looking for the fastest write transfer speeds available. ProMax II CF cards take advantage of the UDMA interface reaching a read speed of up to 300X or 45MB/sec (models under 16GB). All ProMaxII cards also allow for write transfer speeds at up to 30MB/sec, maximizing the potential for DSLR cameras and HD camcorders.

ProMax II CompactFlash cards are also all built with ATP SIP technology, allowing for water, ESD, and dustproof durability. These durability features, combined with the highest performance, make them the perfect choice for professional photographers who demand the highest quality from their memory.

 

 

ATP Part Numbers AF1GCFP2, AF2GCFP2, AF4GCFP2, AF8GCFP2, AF16GCFP2
Capacities 1GB to 8GB, 16GB for 650X model
Transfer Speed

Up to 45MB/sec Read Speed (UDMA mode)
Up to 30MB/sec Write Speed (UDMA mode)

Up to 97.5MB/sec Read Speed (650X/16GB model)

Connector Pin 50 Pins
Durability Water Resistant: Yes
Dust Proof: Yes
ESD Proof: Yes
Extreme Temp: Yes
Electrical characteristics Supply voltage CF: 3.0V-3.2V or 4.5V-5.5V 
Environmental
Characteristics

Operating Temp: 0C to 70C
Storage Temp: 0C to 70C
Humidity: 8 - 95 % non-condensing
Vibration: 15Gs peak-to-peak Max
Shock: 2000G
Altitude: 80,000 ft Max.

Reliability Number of insertions: 10,000 minimum
Data retention: 10 years
Endurance: >100,000 cycles (read/write and erase)
Physical characteristics Length:36.4mm
Width: 42.8mm
Thickness: 3.3mm
Weight: 9 g typical
Warranty 5 Year Limited

 

Test Setup:

 

For this review we used the speedy Addonics ADSACF-N SATA CompactFlash card reader.  This device supports UDMA enabled CompactFlash cards and is about the fastest CompactFlash card reader we could get our hands on.  Some Firewire 800 card readers are available as well and they should certainly push the limits of this card.  As previously mentioned, we also used a Nikon D300s DSLR camera that shoots in continuous mode at 7FPS with the built-in battery and up to 8FPS with the additional MB-D10 battery pack.  For this review we used the MB-D10 battery grip in order to push the limits of this card.

In Camera

For comparison in both HDTach as well as the actual camera tests, we compared the ATP ProMax II 16GB with the SanDisk Extreme Pro 600x card and an affordable Lexar 8GB 80x card.

 

Performance Testing:

Although I don't have the results of all three cards in HDTach, you can check over here for the results from the previous cards.  Also we added Crystal DiskMark this time around as well.

Crystal DiskMark
Crystal DiskMark
HDTach
HDTach

 

The SanDisk card managed to burst a bit faster at 67MB/sec, but was able to sustain a read speed of 34.6MB/sec.  ATP trails in the burst with a top-end of 55.1MB/sec, but manages to keep reading faster at 52.3MB/sec.  It certainly is no slouch as you can see in Crystal DiskMark as well.  Even though the random 4K and 512K performance isn't great when writing to the card, keep in mind that RAW image sizes are around 9MB.  You'll see great performance on this card.

With those numbers in mind, we popped these cards into the D300s and started clicking.  We shot images in bright daylight at 1/200 shutter speed at ISO100, with no noise reduction.  The Tokina 11-16mm lens was set at f2.8 and we ran through a couple of tests.  The first test was to see how fast the camera could fill the buffer and once it was full, we'd take two more frames to get our first result.  In RAW mode, the images at 4288x2848 and were averaging about 9.28MB in size.  The ATP card shot 19 images in exactly 3 seconds.  The buffer filled at about 17 images and we snapped a couple more for a realistic result.  The SanDisk card performed one image faster.  The Lexar card started out pretty good, but when the buffer filled, it slowed down to a crawl as it couldn't write data very fast.  We took 19 images in 5 seconds with this card.

Once we did the initial speed test, we timed out how long it took to take 30 images.  Once again we started out with the ATP ProMax II, and took 30 images in just over 5 seconds.  The SanDisk Extreme Pro managed 30 images in 5 seconds flat.  That works out to six images per second - including the time it takes to write to the card once the buffer is full.  The Lexar card took 19 seconds to snap the same 30 image set.  The first 17 were very fast, but the next images were painfully slow.

  • Lexar - 19 images in 5 seconds = 9.28MB/image * 19 Images / 5 sec. = 35.26MB/sec write
  • Lexar - 30 images in 19 seconds = 9.28MB/image * 30 Images / 19 sec. = 14.65MB/sec write
  • SanDisk - 20 images in 3 seconds = 9.28MB/image * 20 Images / 3 sec. = 61.9MB/sec write
  • SanDisk - 30 images in 5 seconds = 9.28MB/image * 30 Images / 5 sec. = 55.68MB/sec write
  • ATP - 19 images in 3 seconds = 9.28MB/image * 19 Images / 3 sec. = 58.5MB/sec write
  • ATP - 30 images in 5.5 seconds = 9.28MB/image * 30 Images / 5.5 sec. = 50.62MB/sec write

 

The above information doesn't really indicate actual write speed as the camera buffer is holding 17 images and writing as fast as possible.  The reality is that you can continue to shoot 5 images per second while the ATP card is clearing the buffer and keeping you shooting.  That is a pretty nice result from an affordable card.

 

 

Conclusion:

Since we reviewed the SanDisk Extreme Pro 16GB card that debuted at $335USD, it has dropped greatly in price to an almost-respectable $179USD.  That puts the ATP card in a bit of tight spot as it will need to be priced significantly lower in order to grab people's attention and their wallet.  It's tough to find online and the only price we could find was overseas and translated to $147USD.  At that price, it is a bit cheaper than the SanDisk card but I feel that many professional photographers would rather trust the name of SanDisk over ATP.  That being said, the ATP ProMax II card is wicked fast.  In fact on PC benchmarks, it edges out the SanDisk card by a few MB/sec.  In-Camera performance shows it to be very fast, but slightly slower than the SanDisk Extreme Pro card.  Still it's not slouch when you can take 30 RAW images in a little over 5 seconds.

Pros:

  • Very Fast Card
  • Durable CompactFlash Design
  • 5 Year Warranty

 

Cons:

  • Not as fast as stated

 

  BCCRating

 Silver

I'd like to thank ATP Electronics for loading out this ProMax II 16GB CompactFlash card for us to look at.  If you have any questions or comments, please post them in the forum at the "Comments" link below.