ProGrade’s new 320GB, 640GB CFast 2.0 cards are its fastest yet, but still fall short to CFexpress

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The CFast 2.0 might be all but dead, but ProGrade is determined to keep the format evolving for those few cameras that still use the large memory cards.

ProGrade has announced its new 320GB and 640GB CFast 2.0 Cobalt memory cards, which offer read and write speeds up to 550MB/s and 520MB/s, respectively. Sustained write speeds are quoted at 470MB/s, according to ProGrade and the cards are both V130 certified, meaning write speeds will never drop below 130MB/s.

The CFast 2.0 specification was released back in 2012 and is based on the Serial ATA (SATA) 3.0 interface, which has a maximum bandwidth of 600MB/s. While ProGrade’s new Cobalt cards are its fastest to date, they still come up short of the maximum bandwidth possible. Spending time getting to that maximum, however, likely isn’t worth the extra research and development required. Especially considering how few cameras use CFast 2.0 cards and how much more ubiquitous CFexpress has become, due to its smaller form factor and much higher bandwidth (the CFexpress 2.0 standard tops out at 4GB/s, over 6.5x more bandwidth than CFast 2.0 could ever achieve).

As it stands, CFast 2.0 cards are almost exclusively found in cinema-style cameras, with ARRI and Blackmagic Design using it in their Alexa and Pocket Cinema Cameras, respectively.

ProGrade claims the cards feature error correction for handling potential writing errors and use wear-leveling technology for longer use. The cards are X-ray and shockproof, with operating temperatures of 0ºC (32ºF) to 70ºC (158ºF).

The 320GB and 640GB ProGrade CFast 2.0 Cobalt cards are available to purchase for $329.99 and $599.99, respectively. All cards come with a three-year warranty and are expected to start shipping in ‘late December.’

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