FreeTail EVOKE 256GB 800x CompactFlash Card

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Product: FreeTail EVOKE 256GB 800x CcompactFlash Card
Provided By: FreeTail
Price: $179 at time of publication

 

Introduction:

Today we are taking a look at the Freetail EVOKE 256GB Compact Flash card. While Compact Flash has lost some of its luster over the past couple of years, many professional photographers rely on these cards for their living. The fact is that CF is still one of the most stable flash platforms around – and that isn’t likely to change anytime soon.

 

First Look:

The Freetail EVOKE comes in a few different sizes as well as a couple of different flavors (speeds). There are ultra-fast 1066x cards available as well as these super speedy 800x cards as well. What does that mean – 800x? This card has a rated read speed of up to 160MB/sec and a write speed of up to 85MB/sec. This card is limited by the UDMA7 specification, meaning while the flash may be a bit faster than what we’ll see, the controller is quite likely the limiting factor.

FreeTail EVOKE 800x

 

I received this card at CES 2017 and promptly forgot about it for over a month. The fact is that they have finally released now and we can go ahead and share our thoughts, experiences and the performance of this card. We’ll keep things pretty simple and run a couple of synthetic benchmarks to get some raw data, and then do some other write tests to see how it performs on the clock.

 

Specifications & Features:

  • High-Speed Performance - UDMA 7 for optimal interface speed (read up to 160 MB/s; write up to 85 MB/s).
  • Made for High-End DSLRs - Built to support powerful processors and the latest DSLR technology.
  • Developed for the Pro, Perfected for Everyone - Ideal for rapid, continuous shots and capturing action photography.
  • Premium Video - Records in 1080p full HD, 3D, and even 4K Ultra HD resolution (DSLR, camcorder, and 3D camera compatible).
  • Assembled in the USA - Backed by a 100% Customer Satisfaction Guarantee. We stand behind the quality of our products.

 

Testing:

For testing this card, we used both a SATA CF Card reader as well as a USB 3.0 Card reader. For the performance testing we’ll be using the USB 3.0 card reader as it tested faster. Upon closer research the CF card reader was UDMA6. Your mileage will vary based on how you interface this with your devices - and there is a chance that the interface won’t be able to keep up with this card.

Crystal Disk Mark

 

The performance out of Crystal Disk Mark is pretty much what we’d expect. While it doesn’t reach its maximum theoretical speed of 160Mb/s read and up to 85MB/s write, it does very well topping out a sequential read speed of just over 151MB/s with a sequential write of just over 82MB/s.

We moved on quickly to AIDA64 Engineer and ran the “Read Suite” and have posted the results for your reference. We see that this test shows the linear read hovers between 144MB/s and 146MB

AIDA Read Suite

 

With this card being designed and marketed for professional photographers, we ran a real-world test where we write files to the card of various sizes. We ran the test with 75MB files, 1GB files and even large 10GB files. A Nikon D800 RAW uncompressed file size is between 72MB – 80MB, and if you are writing still files, we felt that test was appropriate. Also, if you are using this for shooting high quality 4K content, you need to be able to write large video files continuously. Hence the testing for 1GB and 10GB files. The results are below.

75MB File Write

75MB File Write

75MB Write

1GB File Write

10GB File Write

10GB File Write

 

Small 75MB files were written to the card at 78.16MB/s. Medium 1GB files were written to the card at a solid 79MB/s. Large 10GB files managed to do slightly better at 79.89MB/s. That is darn close to the “Up To” speeds the card claims and is more than enough for pretty much every device that requires CF cards. The beautiful thing is that these write speed tests are actual data written to the card. This is exactly what you’ll see when you use one of the FreeTail EVOKE cards yourself.

 

Final Thoughts:

The 800x FreeTail EVOKE 256GB card is a card for serious photographers that want to clear the buffers on their cameras as fast as possible. Even with a massive RAW file from Nikon’s D800 36.3MP image, you will be able to write over one image per second uncompressed, or two lossless compressed NEF files per second. That’s incredible as that unit generates a ton of data in a hurry.

On paper this card looks like it could be a winner and in the real world it proves that it is. While a camera card that is a quarter of a Terabyte isn’t cheap, the 800x EVOKE we have on our bench is a fair bit cheaper than their other 1066x card, and it still offers incredible performance.

 

If you don’t need a full 256GB card, but you still want awesome performance, the EVOKE is currently available in a 64GB card for $49.50 as well as a 128GB version for $75.00.

Please feel free to post your thoughts, comments and questions regarding this review right here.