The PERGEAR CFexpress Type-B 512GB Memory Card is a new low cost alternative to more expensive cards.
CFexpress cards are still relatively new and higher capacity versions can be expensive.
CFX-B series CFexpress enables 8K RAW continuous shooting and video recording for future premium DSLR, Mirrorless and video cameras. With the design of PCIe Gen3 interface, the fastest cards can provide speeds of up to 1730 MB/s read and 1550 MB/s write, which is over 3 times faster than the best CFast 2.0 and XQD cards.
The PERGEAR card has a claimed 1600MB/s read speed, and a 1200MB/s write speed.
So how do these speeds compare to some other 512GB cards on the market?
|READ SPEED||WRITE SPEED|
|SanDisk 512GB Extreme PRO||1700MB/s||1400MB/s|
|Sony 512GB CFexpress Type B TOUGH||1700MB/s||1480MB/s|
|ProGrade Digital 512GB||1700MB/s||1500MB/s|
|Wise Advanced 512GB CFX-B Series||1700MB/s||1550MB/s|
|Angelbird 512GB AV Pro||1700MB/s||1500MB/s|
|Delkin Devices 512GB||1730MB/s||1540MB/s|
|Lexar 512GB Professional||1730MB/s||1000MB/s|
|Transcend 512GB CFexpress 820||1700MB/s||1000MB/s|
|Hoodman 512GB Steel||1700MB/s||1400MB/s|
CFexpress cards can be found in capacities up to 2TB. 512GB capacity cards tend to be the most popular.
So when I mounted the 512GB CFexpress card it shows the actual capacity as being 512.04GB. Given the RED Mini Mag controversy, it is good to know that you are getting what is being advertised.
With some memory cards and media, companies reserve more space for buffer cleaning purposes which offer more stable writing performance.
I also got someone to check the capacity of the SanDisk 512GB CFexpress card. That card also only has 476GB of capacity (3GB are used for structure).
According to PERGEAR the 512GB card is compatible with the following cameras:
- Nikon Z6
- Nikon Z6II
- Nikon Z7
- Nikon Z7II
- Nikon D6
- Canon C500 Mark II
- Canon C300 Mark III
- Canon 1DX Mark III
- Canon EOS R5
- Panasonic S1
- Panasonic S1R
- Panasonic S1H
I have absolutely no idea why they list the card as being compatible with the Panasonic S1H. That camera doesn’t use CFexpress cards.
Record 8K RAW from the Canon R5
CFexpress uses a dual-lane PCIe 3.0 interface that enables it to meet the high read and write speeds that are quoted by card manufacturers.
Cameras with dual-lane PCIe 3.0 interfaces, can certainly take advantage of the high write speeds CFexpress offers. From what I understand, the Canon C500 Mark II and R5 both use a dual-lane PCIe 3.0 interface.
In theory, the speeds offered by the PERGEAR CFexpress Type-B 512GB Memory Card certainly makes it capable of recording 8K RAW material from the Canon R5 without breaking a sweat.
Above you can see the card requirement speeds listed by Canon for recording 8K on the R5.
In cameras such as the Nikon Z6 and Z7 that only feature a single lane PCIe 2.0 interface, the camera can only read and write to CFexpress cards at throttled down speeds that are similar to what you would already get with an XQD card. As these cameras don’t even use the full write speed capabilities of XQD cards, CFexpress won’t offer any increased in-camera performance.
Not Backwards Compatible with XQD
According to Pergear, this memory card does not support cameras with XQD card slots, and it won’t work with XQD card readers. That seems like a strange statement given it does work with the Nikon Z6 and Z7 that both have XQD card slots. I think what they are referring to is that the cards won’t work with certain cameras that have XQD card slots where the manufacturer hasn’t given that camera the ability to work with both XQD and CFexpress Type B.
Fast Media Offload
What you clearly need to remember, and this goes for any type of media, is that transfer speeds will vary depending on both the read and write speeds of your card, your card reader, and what type of hard drive you are transferring to.
If you are using a CFexpress card and transferring to an HDD drive, you won’t be getting fast transfer speeds. If you are transferring to a very fast SSD then you will see lightning fast offload speeds.
Real World speed tests
I did a few tests to see what the sustained read/write speeds of the PERGEAR CFexpress card was and also how fast I could offload material through a USB-C card reader to an ultra-fast SSD. I also did the same tests with an XQD card.
For the sustained read/write speeds I was using a Wise CFexpress USB-C card reader that has a maximum read speed of 1000 MB/s
Above you can see the results for the PERGEAR card with the stress set to 5GB.
Above you can see the results for the PERGEAR card with the stress set to 1GB.
As a comparison, above you can see the read/write speeds using Blackmagic Disk Speed Test for the Wise 512GB CFexpress card.
It was interesting to see that the results I obtained during this test were not as high as I was expecting. In saying that, it is still fast enough to be able to record 8K RAW from the Canon R5.
I tested the card out with the Canon R5 and set the camera to record 8K RAW.
The card worked without any issues and I was able to record 8K RAW without any issues.
In fact, the card kept recording for 26 minutes and 6 seconds and it only stopped because the card became full.
A heat warning came on after 24 minutes, but the camera continued to record until it ran out of memory.
I also tried some real-world tests with the Nikon Z6 where I started recording and then turned the power off. The files were saved and I didn’t lose any footage. With the Z6 if you pull the card out while you are recording it doesn’t save any of the last clip.
Price & availability
The PERGEAR 512GB CFexpress Type B card retails for $329 USD.
How does the price compare to the competition?
As you can see, the PERGEAR 512GB card is the cheapest 512GB option available. Now, you may be thinking that maybe the card won’t be as reliable as other options because it is a lot cheaper, however, PERGEAR offers a 5-year warranty where they will replace your card if it fails.
The card has a listed working temperature of 0° C ~ 70° C and a
storage temperature of -25° C ~ 85° C. I am a bit concerned that the lowest operating temperature is only listed as 0° C which could make it unsuitable for use in some countries in winter. However, the inside of most cameras gets fairly warm quite quickly once they are turned on.
If you own a Canon C500 Mark II, C300 Mark III, or R5, the PERGEAR CFexpress cards are certainly an affordable option. However, you need to be aware that they are not the fastest cards out there and the actual read/write speeds I was able to obtain were considerably lower than cards such as the Wise 512Gb CFexpress.
Despite the lower speeds, the card worked flawlessly on the Canon R5 and it can record 8K RAW and 4K HQ without any issues at all. This makes it by far the most affordable 512GB CFexpress Type B card to be able to do so.
If you own a Nikon Z6/Z7, the increased capacity and far greater offload speeds (depending on your hard drive) offered by a CFexpress Type B card mean it makes more sense than buying an XQD card. While you won’t get or see any increase in performance when using CFexpress in a Z6/Z7, the offload speeds make it a far wiser decision than using an XQD card.
If you are using CFexpress Type B cards with a Canon C500 Mark II or an R5 to record high-resolution RAW files, you are going to need quite a few of these cards to get you through a day!
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Matthew Allard ACS