An inexpensive adapter from Sintech allows to build a CFexpress Type-B memory card at home using a cheap M.2 2230 NVMe SSD and save hundreds of dollars. How about a 512GB CFexpress Type-B card for $155?
Being aimed at specialists who use expensive professional cameras, CFexpress memory cards are notoriously overpriced. A 256GB CFexpress Type-B card costs $200 – $270 at Amazon, whereas a 512GB CFexpress Type-B card is priced at $319 – $453. Yet, from technology standpoint CFexpress Type-B memory cards are nothing more than tiny M.2 2230 NVMe 1.2-compliant SSDs with a PCIe 3.0 x2 interface, drives that cost 4-5 times less than a comparable CFexpress memory card.
Apparently, the similarities between these two standards can be used to build a CFexpress card at home using Sintech's PA-CFEBM2-S adapter (via Hermitage Akihabara) that mechanically converts an M.2 2230 M-key interface to a CFexpress Type-B interface. The adapter is rather easy to use and perhaps the most complex procedure is applying thermal grease onto the heat spreader of the drive. The device is available for $44 directly from the company (shipping not included).
Sintech says that the adapter has been tested with various NVMe 1.2-compliant M.2 2230 PCIe 3.0 SSDs, including Kioxia's KBG30 and KBG40, Samsung's PM991, and Western Digital's WD SN520, SN530 (CH SN530 not supported), and some other drives. The company also claims that the adapter is compatible with Canon's EOS: R51, DX Mark III, C300 Mark III, and C500 Mark III; Nikon's Z6/Z7/D5/D500/D6/D850; and Panasonic's DC-S1/S1R cameras.
Now, M.2 2230 SSDs are not really widespread since the form-factor was designed for sleek laptops and appropriate drives are mostly consumed by OEMs (which is why you are not going to find any 2230 SSDs on our best SSDs list). Nonetheless, both Amazon and Newegg carry numerous M.2 2230 SSDs in 256GB or 512GB capacities.
For example, Amazon has a Kioxia 256GB M.2 2230 drive for $46, whereas Newegg has a Samsung PM991 256GB M.2 2230 SSD for $43, an SK Hynix BC511 256GB drive for $37, and even a Kioxia 512GB M.22230 SSD for $111. All of these SSDs feature a PCIe 3.0 x4 interface, but they will work perfectly with the PCIe 3.0 x2 interface used by CFexpress Type-B.
Using one of these drives with Sintech's PA-CFEBM2-S adapter allows you to build a 256GB CFexpress Type-B card for $78 (without shipping costs) or a 512GB CFexpress Type-B card for $155 (without shipping).
In October last year Sintech released an adapter that allows to use M.2 2230 SSDs as expansion cards for Microsoft's Xbox Series X|S game consoles.