Komputerbay (1 of 1)

Before I disappeared, I had promised some speed tests with the somewhat infamous KomputerBay CF cards. These cards are priced better than pretty much any other CF card on the market making them a very attractive choice for those that need a lot of capacity. I decided to try out a few different sizes and speeds to see how well they work. I even took the risk of using them as my primary memory card over the last 3 weeks of shooting.

From left to right we have the KomputerBay 128GB 600x ($119), 64GB 1000x ($114), and 128GB 1000x ($179). While the Komputerbay 128GB 600x card isn’t going to be fast enough for raw 1080p on the Canon 5d mark III, I thought it might still be interesting to see how it stands up against the Transcend 400x cards I normally use for filming. After all a 64GB Transcend 400x card is only about $10 less than the Komputerbay 128GB 600x CF card.

As usual, i’ll be using H2testw for speed testing. The reason for this is that H2testw writes directly to the card in 1GB file chunks and records their average write speed over a length of time. Read speeds are not measured and aren’t that relevant to DSLR filmmakers, you want the card for it’s write speeds not it’s read speeds. Out of all of the speed test methods I’ve tried H2testw seems to provide the most accurate representation of a memory cards performance while recording video. On a side note, I used a USB 3.0 CF card reader for these tests. This is because usb 2.0 speeds aren’t fast enough to accurately measure fast CF cards write speeds.


As a baseline, I’ve used the Transcend 400x 32GB card (above). The speeds from this card have always been more than enough to keep up with the ALL-I recording requirements of my Canon 5d mark III. The speeds aren’t record breaking, but 31MB/s is very respectable for a card that only guarantees 20MB/s on the label. These cards have served me well and continue to be used by all of my cameras.

Komputerbay 600x 128GB card

Starting with the lowest speed rating and working my way up the KomputerBay 128GB 600x card did quite well for the price. 41MB/s is a 1oMB/s faster than the Transcend 400x card and provides more than enough speed for anything a stock 5d mark III can throw at it in the video department. It’s not nearly enough for the speeds required by raw video capture at 1080p, but it’s price per GB is a real value when compared to just about any other card in it’s price range. If you don’t want to change out your card during a full day of shooting the KomputerBay 128GB 600x is a great value.

Komputerbay 128

The KomputerBay 128GB 1000x was also a decent performer. However 1000x is probably not the proper label for this card. At a price tag of $179 it’s a lot less than any other card bearing the 1000x label but 63MB/s isn’t even close to 1000x write speeds.

For those of you who aren’t really sure what the ###x speed rating means, it’s supposed to refer to the old days of CD rom drives.  A 1x drive could read at 150kB/s, keeping that in mind a 1000x card should operate at 1000 x 150kB/s which equals 150MB/s. While the read speeds for this card might very well reach 150MB/s, the number seems to have very little bearing on the write speeds actual value. All you can really say for sure is that a higher “x” number means there will be some kind of gain in write speeds, but who knows how much.

Don’t get me wrong the KomputerBay 128GB 1000x card is a gain over it’s 600x little brother and it’s still a lot more reasonably priced the the competition, but it won’t get you fast enough write speeds for raw video on the 5d mark III. The 600x card is already fast enough to keep up with stock 5d mark III video speeds and the 22MB/s gain from this card in write speeds will only provide a small performance increase in burst mode. You may as well save $60 and go with the KomputerBay 128GB 600x card for the price.

Komputerbay 1000x 64GB card

If you are looking for the best write speeds for the price the KomputerBay 64GB 1000x card is where it’s at. Consistent write speeds above 80MB/s should be enough to keep up with raw video from the Canon 5d mark III. At $114 a card the price per GB isn’t nearly as much of a value offering as the 128GB 600x model, but it is by far the fastest out of the bunch. Not really sure why the 64GB version seems to be the best performer but that seems to be the case.

Komputerbay (2 of 2)

For speed alone the KomputerBay 64GB 1000x card, for value I would consider the 128GB 600x model. For what it’s worth, I had no problems over the last few weeks using these cards for pretty much everything. No failures, no drop outs, and good data transfer speeds when copying files. For future raw video testing with the Canon 5d mark III i’ll be using a pair of the 64GB 1000x cards, but I think I’ll also be adding a few a few more 128GB 600x models to my collection. With a klever name like KomputerBay what could go wrong?

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