Sony had a hold on the CFexpress Type A market when the first compatible cameras (a7S III, a7 IV) launched. However, things have changed in recent years, and Pergear now joins a growing list of memory card brands offering a variety of CFexpress card sizes and speeds.
Thankfully for consumers, this broadening of options has been followed by a drop in CFexpress Type A card prices. The reviewed 260GB Pergear CFexpress Type A card costs $279 while offering a claimed sustained write speed of 400MB/s and a read speed of 880MB/s. It has a 5-year warranty and can be bundled with a dual-slot CF/SD card reader for minimal added cost.
Disclosure: Pergear sent me this card for review. No money changed hands, and they were not allowed to see the review before it was published.
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Pergear CFexpress Type A/SD Card Reader
The Pergear 260GB CFexpress Type A card is available in two variations: Card only or card + card reader. My review sample included the USB-C card reader, which conveniently includes an SD card slot and a CFexpress Type A card slot. Sony’s cameras use a combination SD/CFexpress Type A card slot, so anyone buying the Pergear CFexpress Type A card will likely own a few SD cards.
The 260GB card combo pack (card + reader) costs $28 more than buying the card on its own. For a dual-slot USB-C reader, this is good value. Sony’s MRW-G2 costs $118, and the ProGrade Digital CFexpress Type A reader costs $80. Curiously, if you buy the more expensive Pergear 520GB card, the combo pack will add $42 for the same reader.
Pergear lists the card reader as USB 3.1, but they should be more precise as this leaves room for confusion. USB 3.1 Gen1 offers 5Gbps speeds (625 MB/s), whereas USB 3.1 Gen2 offers up to 10Gbps (1250 MB/s). After my testing, it became clear that the Pergear card reader was of the faster Gen2 standard, which is good news and means there are no performance bottlenecks when used with the CFexpress Type A card.
The body of the card reader is made from brushed aluminum, giving it a relatively premium look and feel. Adding to that notion is the braided USB-C cable, which includes a USB-C to USB-A adapter for improved compatibility. There can be no complaints for a card reader effectively costing $28. Read and write speeds were as expected, and even if you already own a CFexpress Type A readers, the value proposition is such that it might be worth buying to combo just to get a spare reader to keep in your travel bag. Note that Pergear does not sell this reader on its own, so you’ll want to make that decision at time of purchase.
Speed Test Results
Pergear claims the 260GB CFexpress Type A card has a read speed of up to 880MB/s and a write speed of up to 400MB/s. Such things are always hard to verify, as in-camera performance varies wildly from camera to camera, as does offload speed on various computers. Still, it’s worth validating through a card reader using my usual combination of Blackmagic and AJA speed testing tools. My tests were performed on an M2 Macbook Air.
The results show good consistency for the read speeds on larger files and maximum speeds that approach and occasionally exceed the 880MB/s claims. Sustained read speeds drop with larger files but stay within tolerable standards. This is a very good result for read speeds.
Write speeds fluctuated more than expected during extended tests for sustained writes with larger files. That said, the result of each test, the overall average write speed for the test’s duration, always exceeded the claimed 400MB/s speeds. Exceeding the claimed speeds is always to be commended. Still, it should be noted that a 400MB/s write speed is on the lower end of things for CFexpress Type A speeds. Sony’s cards offer up to 700MB/s, as do Lexar Silver series, ProGrade Cobalt series and Angelbird’s pro series. Pergear’s own 1TB CFexpress Type A card also offers up to 700MB/s write speeds.
To this point, Pergear should differentiate its memory card speed series better. Their cards are all labeled as “Professional” with the word “Prime” on them, even though there is a clear difference in class between this 260GB card and the much faster 1TB card. Lexar has its Sliver and Gold series, ProGrade Digital has Gold and Cobalt, and Wise has Pro and non-Pro cards. Having multiple tiers of card speeds in a catalog is great for those that don’t need to buy the fastest cards for intensive operations like 8K video recording. However, clearer distinctions should be made in line with what has become standard practice among all other card brands.
Looking at the results from Blackmagic’s Disk Speed testing tool, we can see that the card easily passes all 4K tests and can also record 8K videos in h.265. The card can capture 8K video from Sony’s top-of-the-line mirrorless cameras, the a1 and a7R V. From these results, the card would likely pass VPG400 standards and certainly VPG200 standards. I’m not sure why Pergear has not applied for these labels.
Making conclusions about memory cards means balancing speed tests with current pricing and reliability. I have used this card in my Sony cameras for over a month and had no issues or concerns. Therefore, we must closely consider the price and performance.
The review time price of the 260GB card is $279 ($1.08/GB). Necessarily, we must do a bit of mental arithmetic to consider cost per GB, as few CFexpress card manufacturers produce cards with the same capacities. Pergear is on its own with a 260GB card. Price-wise, the Pergear card compares favorably to the faster Cobalt ProGrade, Sony G-Series, Gold Lexar, and Angelbird cards. Lexar’s Silver series cards ($1.18/GB) come close and offer a VPG200 rating for those who want that piece of mind.
Pergear’s most significant competition comes from the 512GB Wise card, which is cheaper, twice the capacity, and claims a faster 730MB/s write speed. I have not tested that card, so I can’t vouch for it, but the specs and pricing make it a compelling option to consider alongside the Pergear card. Notable, though, is the 5-year warranty of the Pergear card, compared to the only 2-year warranty on the Wise card.
It’s also worth considering that Pergear’s 1TB CFexpress card offers a faster 700MB/s write speed and an exceptionally low $0.72/GB price. That still makes it a $720 purchase, but it’s excellent value and worth serious consideration if you shoot a lot of card-space-consuming 8K video.
Overall, I find the Pergear 260GB CFexpress Type A card a good option for those looking to balance price and performance. It is not the fastest card on the market, but it’s also far from the most expensive. The option to get a good quality CF/SD card reader in the bundle strengthens its value proposition.
Where to Buy
The Pergear CFexpress Type A cards are available from the Pergear website or via Amazon. As always, using our links to make your purchases is appreciated. In this instance, I include links to the 260GB card reviewed and the larger 520GB card, which shares the same read and write speed specifications. Pergear makes additional CFexpress Type A cards with varying capacities and speed specifications, which are discoverable on their website.