World’s fastest CompactFlash card?

The folks at ATP contacted me recently to ask if I would like to test their ProMax II CompactFlash card. They claimed that it is the world’s fastest UDMA CF card and even offered to send me one of their UDMA ready USB card readers to make sure I would experience the fastest file transfers possible. Never one to turn down a challenge to test a product, I said yes. A few days later a 4GB CF card and a small card reader showed up in the mail. At this point I realized that in order to conduct a real test, I would need another UDMA card to compare it to. A quick surf using my best buddy google helped me find a 4GB UDMA card from Lexar. I typed in my credit card number and then waited for the card to show up in the mail so that I could start my testing. It arrived today, so here we go…

atp promax
atp promax

Test cards:
ATP Pro Max II UDMA 4GB 300x 45mb/sec
Lexar Professional UDMA 4GB 300x 45mb/sec

Card readers:
ATP UDMA ready USB 2.0 card reader
Brando 55-in-1 Hi-Speed USB 2.0 card reader

Test files:
118mb .WMV movie
1.2gb folder of folders of .jpg images


First tests are with the ATP card reader

atp promax

118mb .wmv file copied from PC to ATP 8 sec
118mb .wmv file copied from ATP to PC 7 sec
1.2gb folder copied from PC to ATP 1 min 46 sec
1.2gb folder copied from ATP to PC 1 min 17 sec

118mb .wmv file copied from PC to Lexar 8 sec
118mb .wmv file copied from Lexar to PC 7 sec
1.2gb folder copied from PC to Lexar 1 min 49 sec
1.2gb folder copied from Lexar to PC 1 min 19 sec


Now let’s try the same tests with the Brando card reader

atp promax

118mb .wmv file copied from PC to ATP 8 sec
118mb .wmv file copied from ATP to PC 8 sec
1.2gb folder copied from PC to ATP 1 min 54 sec
1.2gb folder copied from ATP to PC 1 min 26 sec

118mb .wmv file copied from PC to Lexar 8 sec
118mb .wmv file copied from Lexar to PC 7 sec
1.2gb folder copied from PC to Lexar 1 min 55 sec
1.2gb folder copied from Lexar to PC 1 min 25 sec

And the results show that yes, the ATP Pro Max II card is a tiny bit faster than a competing brand’s card at copying files to and from a computer when using a UDMA ready card reader. When using a non-UDMA reader, the file copying speeds between the two cards are pretty much equal. In reality though, I found that the speed difference when using the UDMA card reader with the Pro Max II card was pretty much negligible. Two to three seconds really isn’t something that any human would notice when copying files. That said, the price of the ATP and Lexar cards are close enough to make me pick it, just to say I have the fastest card in the world… or at least until the next speed bump in flash cards occurs.

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