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Acer CFE100 CFexpress Card Review

Source:storagereview, 06/13/2022

TheAcer CFexpress card or CFE100 is the next addition to the Acer memory card portfolio. The CFE100 is a CFexpress memory card (Type-B form factor) that supports 8K DCI video recording and stores bursts for a variety of compatible cameras.


Compared to Acer's other CF100 compact memory cards, the CFE100 is a higher profile memory card designed for capturing high-quality images and transferring RAW 4K or 8K video. The CFE100 can deliver up to 1,600MB/s read speed and 1,200MB/s write speed for ultra-fast file transfers, increasing workflow and saving time for any professional user.


CFE100 CFexpress Card


Acer CFE100 memory card


Designed with industrial NAND flash and PCIe Gen 3×2 interface, the CFE100 enables Acer to report read speeds of up to 1,600MB/s and write speeds of 1,200MB/s. With these numbers, users can expect better performance than some SSDs on the market, as well as a huge increase in performance compared to many conventional SD cards used for shooting video and images. The CFE100 is designed for professionals as it can handle RAW 4K and 8K video quality.


Since the CFE100 is designed for those who intend to shoot continuous high-quality video or images, Acer has introduced the CFE100 in three different capacities, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB. Each capacity is also rated at 1,600MB/s sequential read speed, however, only the 512GB model is rated at 1,200MB/s sequential write speed, while the other two models are rated at 1,000MB/s sequential write speed.

The CFE100 comes with a 5-year warranty and costs around $190 for the 128GB model on Newegg, but, in this review, we'll be looking at the 512GB model, which doesn't have an official price yet.


Acer CFE100 Memory Card Specifications



product

Acer CFE100 CFexpress Card

Model Name

CFE100-128GB / CFE100-256GB / CFE100-512GB…

capacity

128 GB / 256 GB / 512 GB

Constituents

CFexpress™ Type B

interface

PCIe Gen3×2

maximum. in order

reading speed

1600 MB / s / 1600 MB / s / 1600 MB / s

maximum. in order

write speed

1000 MB / s / 1000 MB / s / 1200 MB / s

compatibility

Backward compatible with some XQD cameras

storage

temperature

-40℃ – 85℃

Serving

temperature

-20 °C – 70 °C

aspect

29.60 × 38.50 × 3.80 mm

weight

≤10g

limited

Warranty

5 years



Acer CFE100 memory card design and build


With a width of 1.16 inches and a height of 1.5 inches, the CFE100 conforms to the form factor of a CFexpress Type-B card. Still, with its compact size, the CFE100 is able to make a considerable difference in the performance the card is capable of handling. The card is capable of delivering better speeds than some SATA SSD drives and is only a quarter the size.


The CFE100 does have a PCIe Gen 3×2 interface, which is one of the ways it can achieve such high speeds when recording video. Acer also says that when the card is connected to a computer via a USB 3.1 Gen 2 standard cable, it won't be able to reach the reported speeds originally given, and will be less than 10Gbps.


CFE100 PCIe Gen 3×2 interface


The standard green label on the front of the CFE100 shows the Acer name, the speed the card is capable of, the capacity, and that it is a CFexpress Type-B memory card. These are great information without making the cards look too cluttered, since pros may have multiple cards, so it's easy to read which card in your hand would be fine for a pro.


Acer also talks about how every CFE100 card goes through rigorous testing before leaving the factory. Each CFE100 card is fully sealed and is anti-magnetic, X-ray, UV, and anti-static to reduce accidental damage and ensure no damage to files. The CFE100 can also operate in a temperature range of -20°C - 70°C, enabling imaging even under extreme conditions.


Acer CFE100


Acer CFE100 memory card performance


To test the CFE100, we used a BlackJet TX-1CXQ Thunderbolt 3 CFexpress Type B card reader. This BlackJet device is a standard CFexpress Type-B/XQD card reader, also Thunderbolt 3, ideal for professional cinema memory card users.


Since the CFE100 is designed for those that intend to shoot continuous high-quality video or images, Acer is releasing the CFE100 in three different capacities, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB. Each capacity is also rated at that 1,600MB/s sequential read speed, however, only the 512GB model is rated for the 1,200MB/s sequential write, while the other two are listed at 1,000MB/s sequential write speed.


The first test was conducted using the Lexar Professional CFexpress Type B in the Blackmagic Design Disk Speed Test, where the card was capable of 825MB/s read and 487MB/s. Lexar is able to put many checkmarks in "Will It Work?" section, showing support for many video files.


CFE100 memory card performance


The next Blackmagic test was on the CFE100, which allowed us to read 1,430MB/s and 294MB/s while doing the same amount of checks in "Will It Work?" part. As we can see from the first benchmark, the CFE100 far outperforms the Lexar Professional CFexpress, almost doubling the read speed, but the write speed is proportionally slower, and the CFE100 is about half that of the Lexar.


CFE100 Blackmagic test


Moving on to the first IOMeter benchmark, we tested the Acer CFE100 and Lexar in a single-threaded workload as usual. In a 2MB sequential workload, the CFE100 was 1,165MB/s read and 280MB/s written, and the Lexar was 700MB/s read and 433MB/s written.


In a 2MB random load, the CFE100 was 754MB/s read and 145MB/s written, and the Lexar was 696MB/s read and 428MB/s written. Finally, in the 4K test, the Acer CFE100 read 7,170 IOPS and wrote 294 IOPS, while the Lexar read 8,906 IOPS and wrote 22,198 IOPS.



IOMeter (1 thread)

test

Acer CFexpress

Lexar CFexpress

2MB sequential write

280.05MB/sec

433.03MB/sec

2MB sequential read

1,165.88MB/sec

700.08MB/sec

2MB random write

145.87MB/sec

428.30MB/sec

2MB random read

754.88MB/sec

696.07MB/sec

4K random write

294.18 IOPS

22,198 IOPS

4K random read

7,170 IOPS

8,906 IOPS



The last test we ran was the IOMeter benchmark, but with a 4-threaded workload to try and put a heavy workload on both cards. In a 2MB sequential workload, the CFE100 achieved 1,422MB/s read and 318MB/s write, and the Lexar Professional CFexpress 944MB/s read and 524MB/s write.


In a 2MB random load, the CFE100 was 1,064MB/s read and 152MB/s write, and the Lexar was 948MB/s read and 510MB/s write. Finally, in the 4K test, the Acer CFE100 read 25,613 IOPS and write 1,149 IOPS, and the Lexar read 23,513 IOPS and write 53,347 IOPS.



IOMeter (4 threads)

test

Acer CFexpress

Lexar CFexpress

2MB sequential write

318.23MB/sec

524.63MB/sec

2MB sequential read

1,422.38MB/sec

944.76MB/sec

2MB random write

152.18MB/sec

510.40MB/sec

2MB random read

1,064.86MB/sec

948.23MB/sec

4K random write

1,149 IOPS

53,347 IOPS

4K random read

25,613 IOPS

23,513 IOPS



in conclusion


The Acer CFE100 is a CFexpress Type-B memory card with PCIe Gen 3×2 interface and industrial NAND flash memory, with a read speed of approximately 1,600MB/s and a write speed of approximately 1,200MB/s. The CFE100 is designed for video professionals who need fast file transfers and need to capture continuous video with support for 4K or 8K video. Each of Acer's CFE100s is built to withstand harsh environments, allowing video to be shot anywhere, with CFexpress cards ranging from 128GB to 512GB.


Looking at the first performance benchmark we ran, the Blackmagic Design test, the Acer CFE100 was able to get 1430MB/s reads and 294MB/s writes, while the Lexar Professional CFexpress was able to hit 825MB/s reads and 487MB/s writes. As a direct comparison between the two, the Acer CFE100 is better in some areas, and the Lexar Professional CFexpress is better in some areas.


Professional camera memo


Looking at the next benchmark we ran, the 1 thread, 2MB sequential test, the Acer CFE100 hit 1,165MB/s reads and 280MB/s writes, while the Lexar Professional CFexpress hit 700MB/s reads and 433MB/s writes . In our random tests, the CFE100 achieved 754MB/s read and 145MB/s write, and the Lexar had 696MB/s read and 428MB/s write.


In the 4-thread test, when looking at the 2MB sequential test, the Acer CFE100 hit 1,422MB/s reads and 318MB/s writes, while the Lexar hit 944MB/s reads and 524MB/s writes. In our random tests, the CFE100 achieved 1,064MB/s read and 152MB/s write, and the Lexar 948MB/s read and 510MB/s write. The 4-thread test continues the trend of the CFE100 outperforming the Lexar in read speed but not in write speed. Neither card hit the write speeds they cite.


Overall, the Acer CFE100 is another CFexpress Type-B memory card option for those shopping in the more exclusive professional media card space. The CFE100 is an upgraded version of the Acer CF100, designed for users who need improved video performance when shooting 4K or 8K video.


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