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CF/SD Performance Database Archive - Continued

Nikon D2X Write Speed (Firmware Version A: 1.01 B: 1.01)
This page is no longer being updated

The data in the table below was derived by timing how long it took the Nikon D2X to write out  20 JPEG Fine and 17 uncompressed RAW .NEF photos to the card. Timing commenced when the camera's card status light illuminated, and stopped when the light went out. Each test cycle was performed 3 times (if the card's capacity allowed for that) to ensure accurate results.

All cards were secure erased prior to testing, then formatted in the camera. The same test scene was photographed, under the same illumination, for all tests. The identical camera settings and lens were also used for all tests.

Note: All testing was done with the camera set to capture 12.21MP files. When recording NEF files, the camera was set to RAW uncompressed. When record JPEG files, the camera was set to optimal quality. We also tried different combinations of High Speed Crop (6.87MP) mode, compressed RAW and size priority JPEGs, to see if the camera's write speed changed appreciably. In all cases, we found that overall write speed dropped somewhat from what you see in the table below, but that the cards' relative performance remained about the same.

The results are arranged in the table from fastest to slowest (based on JPEG write speed). The top 10% (based on JPEG write speed) are marked in blue.

Brand and Model
(Card Identifier)1
Key Components Source2
Date Added or Updated
Write Speed -
JPEG Fine4
Write Speed -
Lexar Pro Series 2GB 133X Write Acceleration
(Edge stamp: 39652GBAB5205CDC3)
Lexar I 2006/2/9 8.322MB/sec 9.117MB/sec
SanDisk Extreme III 2GB SanDisk I 2006/2/9 8.292MB/sec 9.117MB/sec
SanDisk Extreme III 1GB SanDisk I 2005/6/8 8.200MB/sec 9.002MB/sec
Hoodman PPO 4GB 150X-133X SMI I 2006/2/9 7.968MB/sec 9.071MB/sec
SanDisk Extreme III 4GB6,8 SanDisk I 2006/2/9 7.662MB/sec 8.815MB/sec
Transcend 2GB 120X
(Edge stamp: 130037 0125 6600 22 2BCP 0604)
Transcend I 2006/2/9 7.658MB/sec 8.278MB/sec
Transcend 4GB 120X6
(Edge stamp: 129542 0338 6600 22 4BCP 0603)
Transcend I 2006/2/9 6.853MB/sec 7.928MB/sec
SanDisk Ultra II 2GB SanDisk (MLC)9 I 2005/3/28 6.598MB/sec 6.908MB/sec
SanDisk Extreme 2GB SanDisk I 2005/3/28 6.574MB/sec 6.824MB/sec
Lexar Pro Series 4GB 80X Write Acceleration *third edition*6,7
(Edge stamp: 39134GBCI27052D97)
Lexar I 2006/2/9 6.537MB/sec 6.981MB/sec
SanDisk Extreme 1GB
Lexar Pro Series 2GB 80X Write Acceleration *third edition*7
(Edge stamp: 39132GBCI29052D97)
Lexar I 2006/2/9 6.532MB/sec 7.009MB/sec
Lexar Pro Series 1GB 80X Write Acceleration *third edition*7
(Edge stamp: 39121GBDI29052D97)
Lexar I 2006/2/9 6.527MB/sec 6.956MB/sec
SanDisk Ultra II 4GB6,8 SanDisk (MLC)9 I 2005/3/28 6.368MB/sec 6.801MB/sec
Transcend 1GB 80X
(Edge stamp: 118345 0916 5690 VC 1BCP 0526)
Transcend I 2006/2/9 6.059MB/sec 6.558MB/sec
Ritek/Ridata 80X/PRO. II 2GB
(Edge stamp: U41005293222)
KTC I 2005/3/28 6.005MB/sec 6.375MB/sec
Kingston Ultimate 4GB 100X
(6CBB-4096-0001K 2114923)
M-Systems (500 series) I 2006/2/9 5.981MB/sec 6.678MB/sec
Lexar High-Speed 1GB 40X Write Acceleration
(Edge stamp: 37841GBAB4604F9A8)
Delkin Devices PRO 1GB
(Label: CFLS1VM1-01G)
Samsung I 2005/3/28 5.948MB/sec 6.259MB/sec
(45X label on packaging; edge stamp: 2GC01G1MY1-2LA00)
Samsung I 2005/3/28 5.948MB/sec 6.257MB/sec
Pretec 80X 2GB
(Rear label: CFN02G 0516610)
unknown I 2006/2/9 5.891MB/sec 6.487MB/sec
Delkin Devices PRO 4GB6,13
(Label: CFX04GP8Q1)
Delkin Devices PRO 2GB
(Label: CFLS1VM1-02G)
Samsung I 2005/3/28 5.791MB/sec 6.229MB/sec
Kingston Elite Pro 2GB
(Edge stamp: 4DC02G1MY1-2LA00)
Samsung I 2005/3/28 5.781MB/sec 6.229MB/sec
Lexar Pro Series 1GB 80X Write Acceleration *first edition*7
(Edge stamp: 39011GBBI32049D66)
Kingston Elite Pro 1024MB
(Edge stamp: THNCF1G02CA)
Toshiba (SLC)5 I 2005/3/28 5.584MB/sec 5.915MB/sec
Corsair 1GB 80X
(Edge stamp: 4C13J0748 8QC01G1MY1-2LA00)
Hyperstone I 2006/2/9 5.574MB/sec 5.899MB/sec
Microtech (Pexagon) X-treme 1GB
(Edge stamp: THNCF1G02CA)
Toshiba (SLC)5 I 2005/3/28 5.560MB/sec 5.886MB/sec
Transcend 1GB 45X
(45X on front label)
Ritek/Ridata 52X/PRO. 2GB
(Edge stamp: U3F06116)
Ritek/Ridata 52X/PRO. 1GB
(Edge stamp: S4N88116)
unknown I 2005/3/28 4.975MB/sec 5.241MB/sec
TwinMOS 2GB 140X
(FCF2GBUPS-S W548M5WM2380)
unknown I 2006/2/9 4.692MB/sec 5.060MB/sec
PNY Optima 80X 1GB
(Rear label: TNHCF1G/RITEK)
KTC I 2006/2/9 4.576MB/sec 5.196MB/sec
SanDisk "standard" 2GB10 SanDisk I 2006/2/9 4.072MB/sec 6.867MB/sec
SanDisk Ultra II 8GB6 SanDisk (MLC)9 I 2006/2/9 4.062MB/sec 5.353MB/sec
Hitachi Microdrive 6GB6
(Model: HMS360606D5CF00)
Hitachi Microdrive 4GB6,14
(Model: HMS360404D5CF00)
Hitachi Microdrive 1GB
(Model: DSCM-11000)
GS Magicstor 2.2GB
(Model: GS1022C 65)
unknown II 2005/3/28 excluded from testing11 excluded from testing11
Seagate ST1 5GB
(Model: ST650211CF)
Seagate II 2005/3/28 excluded from testing12 excluded from testing12
(1) To help determine whether the card you purchase is substantially similar to the one tested, the card's description includes an identifier - series number, internal name or other unique value - where possible and applicable. Please see How Can I Be Sure the Card I Buy is the Same One Tested in this Report? for more information.
(2) Many companies sell CompactFlash media; relatively few actually design and manufacture the key internal components, including the controller and flash memory. This column lists the source of the key component or components inside the card, to help you determine if cards with different labels on the front are in fact similar or identical under the hood. For example: as of this writing, all the cards of a given capacity in this database that use Toshiba SLC components are effectively the same product. In most instances, the company marketing the card is purchasing assembled Toshiba CompactFlash cards, then placing their own label on them (this practice is common in the memory industry as a whole). Therefore, determining which company's Toshiba SLC product to buy should be done based on your examination of things like warranty, tech support and the reputation of the company selling the card.
(3) Type I CompactFlash cards are 3.3mm in thickness; Type II, 5.0mm.
(4) K/sec = Kilobytes per second (1 kilobyte = 1024 bytes); MB/sec = Megabytes per second (1 megabyte = 1024 kilobytes).
(5) Companies that source CompactFlash cards from Toshiba may opt for either the faster binary-type (often called single level cell, or SLC) or slower (but less expensive to manufacture) multi level cell (MLC) architecture.
(6) This camera's built-in formatter will reformat cards over 2GB as FAT32 with a 32K cluster size.
(7) Lexar began shipping their 80X line of cards in June 2004. The card marked first edition is representative of the 80X lineup that began shipping at that time. In October 2004, Lexar began to ship a revised version of their 80X cards with improved performance; we've dubbed this 80X variant second edition. If the last four characters of the edge stamp on the card are A4B6 or 9171, it's a second edition 80X CompactFlash card. To solve an incompatibility with 80X second edition cards and certain Canon cameras, Lexar updated the controller in its 80X line in June 2005. Those revised-controller 80X cards we've dubbed third edition and, as of this writing, the last four characters of the edge stamp of this 80X version are 2D97. In our testing, 80X second edition and 80X third edition cards offer nearly identical read and write speeds; we've only included results for third edition models here (in addition to one first edition CF card).
(8) This card includes a switch that enables it to operate as either a 2GB or 4GB card, for compatibility with older cameras that are unable to recognize cards over 2GB. Throughput has been tested with the card's switch set to the 4GB position. See the next note for more information on this card.
(9) In October 2004, SanDisk announced that its Ultra II line of memory cards was being revamped to utilize multi level cell flash memory instead of the binary-type flash memory (often referred to as SLC) used in Ultra II since the fall of 2003. As of January 2005, SanDisk was shipping only MLC Ultra II. In the past, cards utilizing MLC memory were dramatically slower than those using binary-type memory, but in our testing, Ultra II MLC performed the same or better than their binary-type Ultra II predecessors.
(10) SanDisk's blue-label line of CompactFlash has been made considerably faster over time, though the speed improvements have been introduced as rolling changes in the product without any alteration of the card's description on the retail packaging. As such, the SanDisk "standard" card tested is representative of a minimum level of performance from this line of cards, but may not represent the actual performance in some cases of a blue-label card you might buy in the future.
(11) We opted to suspend testing of the GS Magicstor 2.2GB after experiencing ongoing erratic behaviour, with two different cards, in several cameras and CompactFlash readers (and especially the readers).
(12) Midway through testing, this card was accidentally dropped from a height of no more than 2 inches onto a wooden desk. The drop was fatal.
(13) This card, after being secure erased, would not format in the D2X until it had been formatted on the computer first.
(14) This is the original version of the 4GB Microdrive; in the spring of 2005, Hitachi introduced a new version of this card that should perform similarly to the 6GB Microdrive.
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