Print 12 comment(s) - last by PandaBear.. on Sep 27 at 4:20 PM

Sandisk bumps the capacity of its Extreme III CF cards

Professional photographers will be able to enjoy fast read/write speeds and increased capacity with Sandisk's latest additions to its Extreme III CompactFlash family. The company today announced new 12GB and 16GB models which it says are the highest capacity cards in the world.

The cards will have minimum read/write speeds of 20MB/sec thanks to the in-house developed Enhanced Super-Parallel Processing (ESP) technology. The cards are also guaranteed to function in temperatures ranging from minus 13F to 185F and include RescuePro software for image recovery in case of accidental deletion.

The Sandisk Extreme III 12GB and 16GB CompactFlash will be available in December with price tags of $779.99 and $1,049.99 respectively. Both cards will come backed with a lifetime limited warranty in the United States.

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Impressive, but doesnt make much sense.
By d33pblue on 9/26/2006 10:51:25 AM , Rating: 3
You can buy an 8GB, 150x RiData compact flash card for $155. Two of them for $310. While you are paying over three times as much here for the "convenience" of having all of that on one card.

Whild I'm sure the Sandisk card is a tad faster, their outrageous prices make it much more of a niche product. Lately companies like RiData, Transcend, and A-Data have been steeling Sandisk's bacon on the low and midrange compact flash sales. Most people (including myself), even a lot of professionals realize it just doesnt make a whole lot of sense to pay 2-3 times as much money for a 20% increase in speed. And that is basically what youre getting with a Sandisk Extreme III over a "regular" high speed CF card.

All of that said, its impressive someone finally put that much memory into a single card. I just cant wait for someone to do it in a more affordable way.

RE: Impressive, but doesnt make much sense.
By miahallen on 9/26/2006 10:58:58 AM , Rating: 3
Hey, it's a start. Flash memory is alway more expensive if you want the cutting edge...if you want this technology at a better price. You'll have to wait for the 32GB versions to be released, of course by then you'll be to busy complaining about how expensive they are...

RE: Impressive, but doesnt make much sense.
By Assimilator87 on 9/26/2006 12:04:08 PM , Rating: 2
Flash is great and all for compact devices, but I don't like the idea of them replacing HDDs. The transfer rates are way too slow.

By piranhaa on 9/26/2006 1:19:24 PM , Rating: 2
At this point in time harddrives are faster, yes... 20MB/sec for flash is a huge improvement than what they were originally. With harddrives, the transfer rate increases as the rpm increases (as does power consumption), and as data density rises (though that reduces random access). With flash, you don't necessarily buy it for the throughput (yet ...), but rather the fact that the card has access to every portion of the card - making access time next to nothing!

RE: Impressive, but doesnt make much sense.
By PandaBear on 9/26/2006 1:44:24 PM , Rating: 2
Wear leveling on an A-Data card would not be the same, and the Nand chip they use would also be different.

Recently there are many MLC chips from Samsung that aren't reliable enough to erase more than a hand full of cycles (i.e. 500 or so). This cause a huge problem for all card manufactures and users including Apple. Remember Apple and Samsung's huge contract of flash for iPod nano? Apple is pissed at Samsung for that reliability problem now.

Guess who are buying those Samsung MLC when reputable vendors are rejecting them? Those bargain brands like A-Data are. I would trust the nands from Toshiba/SanDisk (same FAB), which mostly go to SanDisk and M-System (i.e. Kingston and Memorex).

If you are buying the low end SanDisk, they are not that expensive compare to generic. Extreme uses higher speed nands and they charge a lot more for it. Comparing it to RiData is like comparing a 5400rpm large capacity HD to a small capacity Raptor.

RE: Impressive, but doesnt make much sense.
By d33pblue on 9/26/2006 2:24:45 PM , Rating: 2
I dont know where you got this information about brands like A-Data buying "reject" memory chips, but I'll assume for a moment that its true.

Even if it were true, why does it matter if their products carry a lifetime warranty? If I can use my flash card for 10 years (not that I would - it would be obsolete in 2-3 year) and it not fail, I'm happy.

If you keep an eye on reviews of flash cards, you will find that failure rates of ALL flash is extremely low (even old flash cards). The newer "high speed" cards such as RiData and the like are receiving rave reviews across the board and I have not heard of a single failure for many of these brands. (FYI - I had a 4GB Kingston Elite Pro card fail on me about 8 months ago - and they are a "name" brand).

All of that said, anyone who wants to pay $1100 for 16GB of flash thats going to be worth $300 in a year has got more money than sense - especially when you consider the economical alternatives currently available. but thats just my two cents.

By PandaBear on 9/26/2006 9:59:03 PM , Rating: 2
I got my info about who buy "rejects" because I work in this industry, and let's say people know each other here and if someone f-ed up, everyone knows.

$1100 for 16GB extreme, so it will probably be only $400 for the base model from SanDisk, compare to your Ri-Data it is still expensive, but not that much more.

Then again, it all depends on how you use your flash. I have used CF in an industrial equipment a few years ago, it doesn't have wear leveling, and the card dies after 2 months due to data corruption. Sure, I can reformat it, but if you have to go into a clean room to take the controller apart, it is justified to spend a bit more.

For those of you who don't know the difference, the faster cards use binary memory that are faster and more reliable than the higher capacity/cheaper MLC memory. If you are looking at something that is only for storing photos or MP3 on a regular camera (non-multi-shot) then it probably won't make much of a difference. Heck, most camera aren't as fast as the card anyways.

Go ahead and buy a RiData, it is probably all you need, but that doesn't mean everything else is overpriced. (eg. SCSI hard drives designed for server work load that cost 3x as much as your IDE desktop drives).

RE: Impressive, but doesnt make much sense.
By melgross on 9/27/2006 1:39:48 AM , Rating: 2
Can you provide a link showing that what you are saying about Apple and Samsung is true. I'm sure that would have been reported if it were a real problem.

By PandaBear on 9/27/2006 4:20:32 PM , Rating: 2
For its part, Samsung has not managed, for technical reasons, to produce enough MLC chips, and it has already caused Apple to delay launches. With a full merger or even a partial agreement behind them, SanDisk, Toshiba, and M-Systems will move full steam ahead with the implementation of x4 on the MLC product lines in Japan, and the three will have a tremendous advantage in the market over Samsung, which only manages to produce a quarter of its output using MLC.

By bunnyfubbles on 9/26/2006 2:58:13 PM , Rating: 3
Welcome to the world of digital storage, you're not discovering anything new. The price of the highest capacity has always offered some of the worst capacity per $.

But go ahead and pat yourself on the back, you're a genius.

By peternelson on 9/26/2006 11:10:34 AM , Rating: 3
My first point is that Sandisk should update their website since the largest they offer there is 8GB currently.

Compact flash is the form factor of choice, since its access speeds completely beat competing serial formats like MMC.

However, Sandisk are in my opinion the premium brand. This is demonstrated by their superior wear levelling algorithm etc. I would not trust my data to the no-name or cheapo brands, that's why I have bought Sandisk, and have had no problems using them in several devices.

This card is in the Extreme III series. If you are concerned about price, go for the cheaper Ultra II series which has less data speed but more mainstream pricing.

However, looking at the Sandisk site, I see an Extreme FOUR series which offers twice the data transfer of Extreme THREE.

Therefore in my opinion if you are thinking of one of these new 12 or 16 cards, you may be advised to wait because they may soon announce availability of the 12 and 16 sizes in the Extreme FOUR range. If on the other hand you want to save money, I'd be looking out for the 12 and 16 sizes to trickle down to the Ultra II range.

Of course you have some choices, I would say Lexar are also a reasonable CF brand.

Since with the suitable adaptor, CF can emulate an ide hard drive, this increasing size is welcomed for embedded applications etc etc.

By Xorp on 9/26/2006 2:39:09 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure these things will be 5 bucks at a yard sale a year from now...

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates

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