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Kingston CompactFlash Elite Pro 4GB 45X

The first of two CF showings for Kingston, the 4GB Elite Pro is rated at 45X and is designed to help advanced amateur and professional photographers get the best performance out of their high-end imaging devices and applications, as the company likes to put it. 45X is about 6.75MB/s and that’s the write speed.

As mentioned in the Crucial CF review, the card readers we used appear to be limiting all of the CF cards read performance when copying over the mixed files in multiple folders to the PC. In fact, the Elite Pro equals the 5.4MB/s and 2.6MB/s seen in the Crucial card’s results for each reader.

When it comes to the more real world process of copying images from the card to the PC using the SanDisk reader, the Elite Pro card manages to beat the Crucial card by 0.9MB/s to reach a read speed of 6MB/s. That translates to an average wait of just over 170 seconds, half a minute less than the Crucial card, but 40 seconds slower than Kingston’s Ultimate 100X CF card.

That said, many argue that the write speed is more important and figures of 1.2MB/s and 1MB/s were posted with both readers for the mixed files in multiple folders test - some five times faster than the Crucial card, but perhaps still limited by the data structure.

However, when writing a gigs worth of images to the Elite Pro, it manages a decent 4.8MB/s, compared to the Crucial’s 1.7MB/s – a saving of some 6.5mins. That figure is also not too far from its 100X “Ultimate” sibling, which hits 5.7MB/s – that’s less than 1X difference. Does that mean the Elite Pro should be rated at 99X?? Joking aside, like most on test here, both cards are falling short of their quoted “ideal world” potentials.

On the subject of sibling rivalry, the Elite Pro just pipped the Ultimate card in the Canon EOS-1D Mark II write test. It managed 4.1MB/s compared to the Ultimate’s 3.9MB/sec.

Verdict

At around £55 less than it’s 100X Ultimate stable mate, the Kingston Elite Pro 4GB 45X CF card seems the better value choice if in-camera performance is more important to you than transferring your images over to the PC. That said, it’s not the slowest card either, so if you’re on a budget this is a sensible choice. A lifetime warranty is stated, as is free technical support.

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