Sabrent 1 TB CFexpress Card Packs Good Speed for Low Price

Jul 4, 2022 | CFexpress Type B, Memory, News, SD Cards, Wildlife

sabrent 1tb cfexpressUS memory vendor Sabrent jumped into the CFexpress market with a 1 TB and 512 GB offering.

While the smaller card tests a bit slow for a CFexpress card, the 1 TB model sports a very decent 291 full RAW files in thirty seconds from a Canon R5, our primary standard test. That is 90 percent of the throughput of the fastest card yet tested (325 images in :30) but priced at $0.49 per gigabyte ($490), a low price not bested by any card in the 1 TB or smaller classes, and by only a couple of the 2 TB and larger offerings.

The 512 GB version shot only 224 frames in half a minute.

Sabrent claims a sustained write speed of 400 MB/S for both cards, enough for all practical video requirements. In our own video tests, we found that both cards indeed could shoot 8k 24p All-I footage for the full 30 minutes the R5 allowed. There were no data throughput hiccups, nor was there excessive heat that caused an early shutdown. For perspective, of the thirteen cards we’ve tested for 8k stamina, only three others proved adequately heat-efficient to run the entire 30 minutes. The others failed between minute 25 and minute 29.

The cards’ price per GB and frames per half minute speed test results are shown below (red columns) in relation to the others tested. Blue is the relative speed, and the orange columns indicate price per gigabyte.

CFexpress Card Speed and Price Sabrent

This means that stills shooters looking for massive storage will find the Sabrent 1 TB card the most price efficient option outside of springing for a 2 TB card from Delkin or Angelbird. But those larger cards are a much larger cash outlay, and many shooters will find themselves never filling the second terabyte.

loons and loonlets with CFexpress

While taking the Sabrent cards out into the wilds to verify they could hold up to intense use, I happened upon a scene I’ve been trying to shoot for several years – a mother loon giving a ride to baby loons on a local pond. It is exactly this sort of use case where having both fast and very large cards can be important. As I shot pictures of parent loons feeding minnows and small crayfish to the days-old loonlets (note left-hand adult above, with crayfish in beak), I quickly filled up the buffer over and over again. I was taking long, sweeping series of shots because I was far enough away that I was unable to see clearly through the viewfinder exactly what was going on between their beaks. One camera had the Sabrent 512 GB card in the main slot, and the other camera had no CFexpress card in the slot because I’d managed to leave the other card in my shirt pocket. The camera with the Sabrent card kept up quite well, but the other camera – on which I had my long lens – froze after I filled the buffer and it started to unload the data onto the backup SD card. Not accustomed to having the camera switch over to the SD card slot, I thought my camera had crashed.

And then the babies hopped on the mother’s back. About that time I realized I was simply stuck with SD on the big lens, so I grabbed the CFexpress card out of the camera with the wide lens and mashed it into the other camera (not realizing the other CFexpress card was in my shirt pocket). I was able to get the shots from then on. Lesson 1: SD speeds are untenable under certain use cases. Lesson 2: Any CFexpress card is going to be a world of difference, even a slower one. Lesson 3: Put cards in cameras.

loonlets on mother loon's back with cfexpress

The 512 GB card Sabrent sent us was slow on the CFexpress scale (224 frames in :30, or about 70 percent the speed of the fastest card tested), but not a bad value for the price ($0.66 per GB) for a card of this size. No other 512 GB card is offered this cheaply.

Even the worst of the CFexpress cards tested so far (Transcend) prove to be much faster than other available formats. Where one SD card can be three times the effective speed of another, all but 2 CFexpress cards are within 80 percent of the top throughput. This means that judging cards based on their relative placement on the speed list is likely making too big a deal out of that factor.

Other factors people should consider are features such as the ability to upgrade firmware at home, warranty policies, service reputation and, of course, price. Sabrent indicates the cards can be upgraded. They offer a 3 year warranty with registration (1 year otherwise). Flash management features include LDPC and RAID error correction along with over-provisioning.

The 1 TB card sells for $490, and the 512 GB card sells for $340.


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