As our resident content creator, I get very excited about storage and memory cards. A slow or underperforming card can ruin your day and impede your workflow. When I am out in the field filming videos and taking photos, I tend to back up as I go, but if I'm stuck with a slow card, I may not, and you risk possibly losing your videos and images if you don't back up.
Read and Write speeds have been trending the past year, and OWC has been pushing the limits of SD cards, super portable external SSDs, and now CFexpress cards, which are pro-level industry-standard cards known for high capacity.
Today, OWC announced the launch of its new Atlas Pro and Ultra CFexpress 4.0 memory cards with double the speed of CFexpress 2.0 memory cards and the industry's first capability of upgrading previous generation Atlas 2.0 memory cards to the new CFA (Compact Flash Association) CFexpress 4.0 specification.
How fast are the new OWC Cfexpress cards?
Most SD memory cards top out at 300MB of read and write speed. Many CFexpress cards feature speeds of 1,000 MBps or more, ideal for shooting 6K, 8K, and above-resolution footage. Which some may think isn't very common, but you would be surprised. Most mirrorless DSLRs can now shoot up to 6K in a handheld form factor. Many content creators will film in 6K and down res in post for YouTube and other video streaming services.
We tend to film our videos in 6K and down res to 1080p, which allows us a great deal of room to manipulate footage data while editing. For example, while color grading, or in some cases repairing, focus quality. However, these file sizes are massive and can take a long time to download from your cards onto your editing computer.
This is where OWC's latest generation of CFexpress cards will come in handy. As announced today, the new Atlas Pro 256GB, Atlas Pro 512GB, Atlas Ultra 1TB, and Atlas Ultra 2TB cards leverage PCIe Gen 4 technology to enable mind-blowing 3650MB/s read, and 3000MB/s write speeds, a 97% increase from the previous generation cards. These significant speed increases make capturing stunning 4K, 6K, and 8K+ videos possible while enabling the next generation of cameras to access and offload content for editing and distribution like never before.
These speeds will speed up any content creator's workflow, allowing faster backing up footage, uploads, and sharing. Being able to file dump quickly, wipe a card, and keep filming will be a game changer, especially as we begin shooting with 8k and 12K cameras.
However, this next part excited me even more.
Backward and Forward Compatibility
What do you mean by "Backward and Forward Compatibility"? If you purchased OWC's previous CFexpress cards, you can upgrade them to improve read and write speeds.
In the statement released today, OWC's team states, "by utilizing OWC's Innergize software to upgrade the firmware on previous PCIe Gen3 Atlas Ultra 1TB and 2TB cards to CFexpress 4.0 firmware.
Memory card users have never had the opportunity to elevate their card's performance and prolong its usefulness with field firmware upgrades. This OWC exclusive upgrade almost doubles the current read/write speeds, from 1850MB/s and 1700MB/s read/write speeds to 3650MB/s and 3000MB/s."
OWC didn't forget its longtime users, and this not only helps pro-level creators but also those on a tighter budget. If you want to enjoy faster read and write speeds, upgrade your old Gen3 Atlas CEexpress cards and save. Also, Innergize software is free and available for both Windows and Mac.
Pricing and availability
If you've ever shopped for memory cards or external drives, you know it can get expensive. Every Prime Day, I hunt for deals to share with my fellow creators on everything from cameras to storage.
OWC always does an excellent job with pricing, and the Atlas Pro CFexpress 256GB ($169.99) and 512GB ($199.99) memory cards are now available. If you need even more storage, you can grab the Atlas Ultra CFexpress 1TB ($579.99) and 2TB ($999.99) memory cards, also available for purchase now.
As you can see, bigger is better but definitely pricier. However, remember you can upgrade your current OWC Gen 3 CFexpress cards and enjoy faster read and write speeds.
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Mark has spent 20 years headlining comedy shows around the country and made appearances on ABC, MTV, Comedy Central, Howard Stern, Food Network, and Sirius XM Radio. He has written about every topic imaginable, from dating, family, politics, social issues, and tech. He wrote his first tech articles for the now-defunct Dads On Tech 10 years ago, and his passion for combining humor and tech has grown under the tutelage of the Laptop Mag team. His penchant for tearing things down and rebuilding them did not make Mark popular at home, however, when he got his hands on the legendary Commodore 64, his passion for all things tech deepened. These days, when he is not filming, editing footage, tinkering with cameras and laptops, or on stage, he can be found at his desk snacking, writing about everything tech, new jokes, or scripts he dreams of filming.