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2024-04-15 18:38:58
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OWC Atlas Ultra CFExpress 4.0 Type B: Faster than most SSDs!

UPDATE 2024-04-11: OWC now offers CFExpress Type A cards with included adapter so that they too can be used in this card reader.

...

The OWC Atlas Ultra CFExpress Type B card family now supports CFExpress 4.0 for insanely fast speeds.

I’m not sure, but Thunderbolt 5, coming later this year, might enable even faster speeds.

Along comes the OWC Atlas CFExpress 4.0 Type B Card Reader USB4 and you now have camera card and reader that hugely outperforms most external SSDs.

A camera card. See graphs below.

About $100: OWC Atlas USB4 CFexpress 4.0 Type B Card Reader
About $480: OWC Atlas Ultra 1TB
About $680: OWC Atlas Ultra 2TB

Read speed (eg for downloads)

See also: Camera Cards for Wallet Backups — SDXC vs CFExpress Type B, APFS Encryption

Below, read speed is comparable to the fastest external SSDs I have ever tested—WOW!

Regular SSDs cannot even approach these speeds (most USB SSDs cannot even do 1000 MiB/sec).

At this speed, downloading 2 terabytes of video footage should take only 598 seconds (10 minutes). Assuming you have a fast enough SSD on your computer to download to!

OWC Atlas Ultra 1.0TB: 3189 MiB/sec = 3344 MB/sec
OWC Express 1M2 4TB: 3136 MiB/sec = 3288 MB/sec
OWC Express 1M2 8TB: 3294 MiB/sec = 3454 MB/sec

Read speed: OWC Atlas Ultra, OWC Express 1M2

Read/Write speed

See also: Camera Cards for Wallet Backups — SDXC vs CFExpress Type B, APFS Encryption

I brutalized the card by using diglloydTools DiskTester Java (dtj).

No camera or video capture ever remotely approaches this extreme level of write demands. You’d have to shoot 100MP RAW images at 30 fps to make write-speed demands this ridiculous. And yet, the Atlas Ultra shrugged it off.

At ~1600 MiB/sec = 1677 MB/sec, the Atlas Ultra should be able to accept 13-15 100 megapixel RAW images per second. Since no 100MP camera today can do more than about 3-4 fps, that provides a “small” margin.

Below: after 250GB or so unrelenting continuous writing, the Atlas Ultra dropped its sustained speed to “only” ~1600 MiB/sec eg 60% faster than the fastest USB-C SSD. With a camera card. Dang!

Read speed: OWC Atlas Ultra, OWC Express 1M2

 


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