SanDisk 16GB Extreme Pro CompactFlash

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SanDisk 16GB Extreme Pro CompactFlash
Performance Testing the Extreme Pro

Product: SanDisk 16GB Extreme Pro CompactFlash Card
Provided By: SanDisk
Price: Find Lowest Price Online



16GB CardCompactFlash cards are not very popular anymore as Secure Digital cards are typically much cheaper.  That being said, pro-sumer 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 taking a look at a very expensive 16GB card from SanDisk that is from their flagship line - the Extreme Pro.  These cards claim to have a write speed of up to 90MB/sec - making them some of the fastest flash cards to ever hit the general public.  How much will this set you back?  SanDisk lists the MSRP at a mere $335.99USD currently.  Before you choke and run away, let's take a look and see if this price tag is justified in any way, shape or form.


About SanDisk:

Founded in 1988 by Dr. Eli Harari, an internationally recognized authority on non-volatile memory technology, SanDisk has grown to become the world's largest supplier of innovative flash memory data storage products.

Serving both consumers (with more than 240,000 retail storefronts worldwide) and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), SanDisk designs, develops, manufactures and markets flash storage products for a wide variety of electronic systems and digital devices. SanDisk also licenses its technology to a number of other industry-leading companies.

With flash memory's capability for storing large amounts of data in a compact, removable or embedded format, SanDisk's products have helped drive the exponential growth in sales of digital cameras, multi-function mobile phones, USB flash drives, digital audio/video players, and other digital consumer devices.

SanDisk currently has more than 1,100 U.S. patents, more than 600 foreign patents, and more than 1440 patent applications pending in the U.S. SanDisk is the only company, worldwide, that has the rights to both manufacture and sell every major flash card format, including CompactFlash®, SD™, miniSD™, microSD™, MultiMediaCard™, Reduced Size MultiMediaCard (RS-MMC™), Memory Stick PRO™ and related Memory Stick® products, xD-Picture Card™ and USB flash drives.

SanDisk became a publicly traded company (NASDAQ:SNDK) in November 1995, and in 2008 revenues were 3.3 billion. With more than 3,400 employees worldwide, SanDisk is headquartered in Milpitas, California.




First Look:

My interest in a fast CompactFlash card was recently piqued when I picked up a Nikon D300s DSLR.  This card uses both SD and CF media and you can specify which picture format gets stored on each card.  Normally I take pictures and save them lossless 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 over 9MB and the camera takes up to 8FPS with a battery grip.  It doesn't take long to fill the buffer and start slowing the camera down.

CF Pin Holes
CF Pin Holes
In Camera
In Camera


The Extreme Pro series of CompactFlash cards come in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities and can cost you almost $900 for the 64GB version.  These cards are not for the weak of heart, but they do offer a nice bunch of features.


Features & Specs:

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

Now there's a memory card fast enough to keep up with your advanced DSLR: The SanDisk Extreme® Pro™ CompactFlash® card. With lightning-fast (up to 90 MB/s* read/write) speed, you'll be able to capture more continuous burst shooting-and get the most out of your professional digital SLR camera. And with up to 64GB** of storage, you'll be ready for more RAW+JPEG and high-def video.

SanDisk engineered its Power Core™ Controller to take whatever your camera's buffer can dish out. By distributing image data across the card more rapidly and efficiently, this card delivers professional performance.

  • READ & WRITE PERFORMANCE: Up to 90MB/s (600x)* for serious performance gains.
  • CAPACITIES: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB** give you more room to capture RAW+JPEG, sequential bursts and high-definition video
  • UDMA: UDMA 6 enabled (works in all UDMA modes)
  • POWER CORE CONTROLLERTM & ENHANCED SUPER-PARALLEL PROCESSINGTM "ESP": Was invented by SanDisk to increase the card's performance level.
  • TEMPERATURE: Tested to perform from -25°C to 85°C (-13°F to 185°F)
  • SPECIFICATION: Meets CFA Specification Type I Card
  • DURABILITY: Shock protection and RTV silicone coating added inside for protection against moisture and humidity
  • WARRANTY: Backed by rigorous stress-testing procedures and our limited lifetime warranty.
    * Up to 90MB/s read/write. Based on SanDisk internal testing: performance may be vary depending upon host device. **1 megabyte (MB) = 1 million bytes. X = 150 KB/sec. and 1 gigabyte (GB) = 1 billion bytes
    † 30 years warranty in Germany and regions not recognizing Limited Lifetime warranty
    Not all cameras can support 64GB capacity CompactFlash cards. Please check with your camera manufacturer for 64GB compatibility.


On the next page we'll take a look at this cards performance in our camera and on our computer.