The Test

To benchmark on our selected CompactFlash media, we picked up a Sabrent SBT-CRW4242-in-1 flash media reader that has an external USB 2.0 interface. Take a look at the test bed below.

Our test bed:

AMD Athlon 64 3500+ (2.2Ghz)
Giga-byte GA-K8NXP-SLI
Western Digital WD1600JS
NVIDIA 6600GT SLI Edition (single 128MB card )
1GB (512MBx2) Corsair XMS4400

Sabrent SBT-CRW42 42-in-1 reader (Integrated Circuit Solutions, Inc. based hardware)

Our motherboard is an nForce4 based board, which features support for the SATA II standard, up to 3.0 Gb/sec SATA transfer rates, NCQ and TCQ , and the USB 2.0 standard for up to 480Mb/sec transfer rates.

We used the following NVIDIA platform drivers in conjunction with our test bed:

nForce4 Chipset Driver 6.82
NVIDIA graphics driver 81.95
Windows XP SP2 w/out further updates

 AnandTech Flash Media Tests
Real World File System Task Tests timed tests of copying files to and from flash media
HDTach 3 RW Synthetic test to measure average read and write rates of flash media
SiSoft Sandra Removable Storage/Flash Media Benchmark

*Each card is formatted for the FAT32 file system using the default cluster size, since the majority of devices only support this file system.

Index Real World File System Tasks


View All Comments

  • macraig - Sunday, December 25, 2005 - link

    Your research for the CF Roundup was incomplete: Pretec, a manufacturer with a history of producing higher-capacity CF media before anyone else, has been producing a 12GB CompactFlash card for some time now; it's also 80X media to boot. It will set you back as much as a complete gaming desktop system, of course; right now the MSRP is still $5000, but I think I saw it for $1700 somewhere. Pretec's two or three press releases about it were widely reported. A search in Google for "12gb cf" will educate you. Pretec also produces a 4GB SD card, greater capacity than anyone else AFAIK. I was surprised Pretec wasn't even included in the review.

    Mark Craig

  • mindless1 - Sunday, December 25, 2005 - link

    The price-point for 12GB CF seems a bit unrealistic still for most uses.

    4GB SD are available from other brands now and at more normal price levels, between $250-300 to start. Key with these is the ability of the device using them to support the capacity and filesystem.
  • tygrus - Saturday, December 24, 2005 - link

    Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year. Reply
  • artifex - Saturday, December 24, 2005 - link

    Also, why not use an IDE to CF straight adapter?
    You don't know for sure that that device you're connecting in the middle can actually write at the max speed the card is capable of. A few years ago, Lexar was packing their own adapters in with their cards, saying people had to use them to get top speed. And that was back when top speed was 4, 8, 16x.
  • Glitchny - Friday, December 23, 2005 - link

    i know they cost like 2x as much as the ultra 2s however i ould have liked to see them included in the tests to see just how fast they are Reply
  • Pauli - Friday, December 23, 2005 - link

    Maybe I'm missing something, but isn't this "Endurance Factor" pretty useless. It sounds to me like they're saying that, because a card is faster it will be written to more often and thus, not last as long. For digicam users this is not relevant; we will be writing to it the same number of times regardless of its speed -- I don't take more photos just because the CF speed is faster! Reply
  • AtaStrumf - Friday, December 23, 2005 - link

    I agree! Sure looks a bit too simple of a test to have any real value.

    If you're thinking of branching out, may I suggest Flash MP3 (+FM Tuner) Players, the cheap kind, not iPod Shuffle kind. I spent the entire last night going through tens of cheap ass "reviews", just to find out ... not much. Maybe I was just looking in all the wrong places, but not being a big portable music fan (buying a xmas gift), I just didn't know where to look and google wasn't terribly useful either and neither were forums.

    I ended up buying a derivative of this here thingy:">

    I posted my review of it here:">

    [in slovene, but there are some nice pictures to look at, really]

    In short, it's fine at playing MP3s (though to be honest, I didn't have anything to compare it to), but sloooooooooooooowwwwww at transferring files. That same old Full Vs. High speed USB 2.0 trick.
  • Ecmaster76 - Friday, December 23, 2005 - link

    I know typically most people with use USB card readers, but perhaps it might be worth testing with a IDE<->CF adapter to see if anything comes out differently.

    BTW Said adapters + 8GB CF rock if you want to make a truly silent, no moving parts computer...
  • highlandsun - Friday, December 23, 2005 - link

    Agreed. Actually I'd like to see a test using a notebook and a CF to PCMCIA adapter, since that was my primary interface. I hate USB adapters... Reply
  • BikeDude - Sunday, December 25, 2005 - link

    Delkin has a CF to CardBus adapter that on my laptop delivers 10MB/s (reading Sandisk Extreme III cards). A PCMCIA adapter would only deliver a tenth of that speed... (granted, it costs significantly less, but its usefulness is limited on 1GB+ cards)


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