Compared: New ProGrade CFexpress Type B Cobalt Cards Are Fastest

CFexpress Type B

ProGrade has just announced new CFexpress Type B cards that can handle higher capacities and speeds compared to other CF cards on the market.

Technology in the cameras and lenses we buy has been pushing forward at a rapid pace for many years now, but it is only recently (in the last two to three years) that storage technology has been moving forward as well. The demand for faster storage cards that can handle 4K video and the high burst modes of modern cameras has seen technologies such as UHS-II, XQD, and CFexpress cards emerge from companies like Prograde. Today, Prograde announced that their new Gold and Cobalt CFexpress Type B cards will be hitting stores soon, and that users can expect to see blazing fast speeds and higher supported storage capacities. How do they stack up against the current crop of CFexpress cards, though? After the break, we’ll take a look.

The types of cards we can use are, of course, determined by the specifications of our cameras. Still, if you own a camera that can utilize CFexpress Type B cards, the comparison chart below may be of interest. Like many other things in life, not all CFexpress Type B cards are created equal and the table below shows this. (Specifications have been taken from the manufacturer listings on Amazon, ProGrade specs are taken from their press release.)

BrandCapacityRead SpeedsWrite Speeds (bursts)Price
ProGrade Gold128GB1700MB/s1500MB/s (400MB/s sustained)TBA
ProGrade Gold256GB1700MB/s1500MB/s (400MB/s sustained)TBA
ProGrade Gold512GB1700MB/s1500MB/s (400MB/s sustained)TBA
ProGrade Gold1TB1700MB/s1500MB/s (400MB/s sustained)TBA
ProGrade Cobalt325GB1700MB/s1500MB/s (1400MB/s sustained)TBA
ProGrade Cobalt650GB1700MB/s1500MB/s (1400MB/s sustained)TBA

As you can see, CFexpress Type B cards, like other types of storage, all perform differently, so it’s well worth your time to compare the options available so you purchase the right card. The new cards from ProGrade Digital will be coming in two flavors (Gold and Cobalt). Aside from the differences in sustained write speeds, the two cards have a lot in common with each other. Both Gold and Cobalt cards feature:

  • Fully compliant with CompactFlashTM Association 2.0 specification
  • NVMe host interface with PCIe Gen3 X2 interconnect
  • Extended battery life and low standby power through NVMe PS0 – PS4 support
  • Metal enclosure for improved durability and heat dissipation
  • Thermal throttling protects the card from overheating
  • Unique serialized tracking of every card enabling identification of key components and manufacturing data for the highest quality control
  • Rigorous 100% full card testing down to individual memory chips for optimal quality
  • X-ray proof, shock-proof
  • Temperature ranges: operating 14 to 158°F/ -10 to 70°C; storage -4 to 185°F/ -20 to
  • 85°C
  • 3-year warranty
Nikon’s Z6 can take advantage of CFexpress cards

When used with the new CFexpress Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.2 Gen 2 high-speed card readers and the Refresh Pro performance restoration and health monitoring software app, creators will have a complete solution for capturing and downloading still and video images as well as enhancing workflows.

If you have a camera that can use CFexpress storage, and you have deep enough pockets to pick up a few cards, it seems like (on paper at least) the new ProGrade cards may have a slight edge in performance. Of course, there is no word on pricing just yet, so it is yet to be seen if they offer great value over the other cards on the market. If you’d like more information about the cards and what they can do, head on over to the official webpage of ProGrade Digital for more details.

Brett Day

Brett Day is the Gear Editor at The Phoblographer and has been a photographer for as long as he can remember. Brett has his own photography business that focuses on corporate events and portraiture. In his spare time, Brett loves to practice landscape and wildlife photography. When he's not behind a camera, he's enjoying life with his wife and two kids, or he's playing video games, drinking coffee, and eating Cheetos.