Lexar Professional 512GB To CFexpress Type B Card Review

Lexar Professional 512GB CFexpress Type B Card Testing Today, Our Goal Is To Test In A System That Has Been Optimized With Our…

Lexar Professional 512GB To CFexpress Type B Card Review

SSD Optimization Guide

Some time ago, we posted our review on the newest storage media to hit the consumer as of late, the Lexar Professional 256GB CFexpress Type B Card.  At 1750MB/s read and 1000MB/s write, this storage media is pretty much the fastest there is for its size. It comes with a limited lifetime warranty, and at the time of our review, it had been released in capacities from 64GB to 256GB…with 512GB to be introduced sometime in the future.

In our first report, the Lexar Professional was proven to be the fastest CFexpress media we had tested with respect to sustained write speeds, a performance variable that became front and center with the release of the Canon EOS R5 Mirrorless Camera.  The importance of this was the fact that the R5 is the first consumer camera that records RAW 4K and 8K video, as long as the sustained write speed of the CFexpress card in use was over 325MB/s. Some cards did not meet that threshold.

Understanding sustained write speeds is rather important, as it is a totally different method of measurement than the standard advertised read and write speeds typically used to sell storage.  In other words, we had no clue as to whether the card would be good enough for the R5 as manufacturers were not testing or displaying sustained write information on their cards. That’s where we come in.

And then there is the issue of transferring that data from the card to your PC.  The typical ‘consumer level’ medium is through use of a external CFexpress 10Gbps reader, such as the Lexar CFexpress Type-B USB 3.1 Reader found here.  The difficulty that we initially had with this, of course, was that we could not test CFexpress cards at speeds any higher than 1050MB/s, although they were advertised as high as 1750MB/s.  Besides, doesn’t it make sense that we would want to move data as fast as possible?

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And Lexar pulled through again, creating a PCIe 3.0 CFexpress card reader that would read (and test) CFexpress cards at their described read and write performance speeds.  Remember though, sustained write speeds have become especially important, and are not typically identified through our normal test regimen.  We had to find a way to do this separate to our other testing methods.

More to come on testing but it should be mentioned that you cannot get this PCIe CFexpress Card Tester; it was a one off.  If you want to reach full CFexpress transfer speeds in moving your data to computer, you would need to have a ThunderBolt 3 capable PC and look at buying either the Sonnet SF3 ThunderBolt 3 Dual CFexpress Card Reader that we reviewed here, or the ProGrade CFexpress/XQD Single Slot CFexpress Card reader that we reviewed here.

Getting back to the Lexar Professional CFexpress card, we have already mentioned that this is a NVMe Type B class CFexpress card, availably in capacities from 64GB to the 512GB sample we are testing today, and that this card comes with a limited lifetime warranty.  Checking Amazon, it is also priced at $762.42.

TSSDR TEST BENCH AND PROTOCOL

CFexpress Card testing at TSSDR differs slightly, depending on whether we are looking at consumer or enterprise storage media. For our Lexar Professional 512GB CFexpress Type B card testing today, our goal is to test in a system that has been optimized with our SSD Optimization Guide. To see the best performance possible, the CPU C states have been disabled, C1E support has been disabled, and Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (EIST) has been disabled.SYSTEM COMPONENTS

The components of this Test Bench are detailed below. All hardware is linked for purchase and product sales may be reached by a simple click on the individual item. As well, the title is linked back to the individual build article where performance testing can be validated.

TSSDR ASROCK Z370 TAICHI TEST BENCH (link)

  • PC CHASSIS:       Corsair Graphite 760T Arctic White Window Chassis
  • MOTHERBOARD:              ASRock Z370 Taichi
  • CPU:      Intel Coffee Lake Core i7-8770K
  • CPU COOLER:     Corsair Hydro Series H110i GTX V.2
  • POWER SUPPLY:              Corsair RM850x 80Plus
  • GRAPHICS:         MSI Radeon RX570
  • MEMORY:           Corsair Vengeance RGB 32GB DDR4 3600Mhz C18
  • STORAGE:           Intel Optane 900P 480GB SSD
  • KEYBOARD:        Corsair Strafe RGB Silent Gaming
  • MOUSE:               Corsair M65 Pro Gaming
  • OS:         Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
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BENCHMARK SOFTWARE

The software in use for today’s analysis is typical of many of our reviews and consists of Crystal Disk Info, ATTO Disk Benchmark, Crystal Disk Mark, Anvil’s Storage Utilities, AJA, and AS SSD. Our selection of software allows each to build on the last and to provide validation to results already obtained.

In addition, we will be closing the report off with our heat, sustained performance and true data transfer testing.

CRYSTAL DISK INFO VER. 8.3.1

Crystal Disk Info is a great tool for displaying the characteristics and health of storage devices. It displays everything from temperatures, the number of hours the device has been powered, and even to the extent of informing you of the firmware of the device.

As we can see through Crystal DiskInfo, the Lexar Professional CFexpress Type B card operates in PCIe 3.0 x2 using NVM Express 1.3.

ATTO DISK BENCHMARK VER. 3.05

ATTO Disk Benchmark is perhaps one of the oldest benchmarks going and is definitely the main staple for manufacturer performance specifications. ATTO uses RAW or compressible data and, for our benchmarks, we use a set length of 256mb and test both the read and write performance of various transfer sizes ranging from 512b to 65mb. Manufacturers prefer this method of testing as it deals with raw (compressible) data rather than random (includes incompressible data) which, although more realistic, results in lower performance results.

These are the results we like to see in ATTO, steady performance increase commensurate with the data sample size increase.  We can also see that this card performs pretty much as listed in spec.

CRYSTAL DISK BENCHMARK VER. 7. 0.0 X64

Crystal Disk Benchmark is used to measure read and write performance through sampling of random data which is, for the most part, incompressible. Performance is virtually identical, regardless of data sample so we have included only that using random data samples.

AS SSD BENCHMARK VER 1.9

The toughest benchmark available for solid state drives is AS SSD as it relies solely on incompressible data samples when testing performance. For the most part, AS SSD tests can be considered the ‘worst case scenario’ in obtaining data transfer speeds and many enthusiasts like AS SSD for their needs. Transfer speeds are displayed on the left with IOPS results on the right.

ANVIL STORAGE UTILITIES PROFESSIONAL

Anvil’s Storage Utilities (ASU) are the most complete test bed available for the solid state drive today. The benchmark displays test results for, not only throughput but also, IOPS and Disk Access Times. Not only does it have a preset SSD benchmark, but also, it has included such things as endurance testing and threaded I/O read, write and mixed tests, all of which are very simple to understand and use in our benchmark testing.

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AJA VIDEO SYSTEM DISK TEST

The AJA Video Systems Disk Test is relatively new to our testing and tests the transfer speed of video files with different resolutions and Codec.

REPORT SUMMARY AND FINAL THOUGHTS

To date, the Lexar Professional has one of the highest temperatures seen in a CFexpress card, but this hasn’t curbed their performance, sales or reputation.  We were able to reach a maximum speed of 85°C with some effort and it never throttled, much as the SanDisk Extreme Pro does at 65°C.  Our testing consists of moving 85GB of 8K video onto the card, much like the R5 would store 8K video simultaneous to recording.

REAL WORLD FILE TRANSFER COMPARISON

For our Real World File Transfer, we move four folders of video, music, photos and OS files from one place on the CFexpress card to another.  The Lexar Professional once again had decent transfer speeds.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Lexar is one of the best names in the media business and has been for many years.  They were one of the first to manufacture CFexpress cards with performance specs up to 1750MB/s which is still the top read speed to date.  Their sustained write speeds of just under 1GB/s validate that this card will do an excellent job in any camera out there, professional, pro-sumer or consumer. Pricing is a bit high for what we are seeing in other cards, but right on par with the SanDisk Extreme Pro which is this cards direct competition.

From an industry standpoint, we are just now seeing other manufacturers marketing newer cards with an optimized firmware to the benefit of temperature and performance.  Perhaps we will see same at some time in the future from Lexar.  Lastly, if there is any hesitation whatsoever, Lexar includes a limited lifetime warranty which is still not all that common in the storage industry.

This news was originally published at thessdreview.com

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