Roundup: CompactFlash Cards For Professionals

Kingston Ultimate 266X 16 GB

The Ultimate product line is listed within the photo/video category on the Kingston Web site. Kingston starts off with a basic product that is simply named CompactFlash; these entry level products are available at 2, 4, and 8 GB capacity points. They aren’t fast, but they’re inexpensive. The Elite Pro series, which reaches up to 32 GB, is rated at 133X speed and is an upper mainstream product. We received a 16 GB sample of the Ultimate 266X. This equals 40 MB/s throughout, which the card cannot always maintain for writes, but it can actually exceed during read operations. This can also be found on the datasheet, which specifies 40 MB/s for writing and 45 MB/s for read operations. The I/O performance of the Ultimate 266X is average.

The Ultimate 266X cards are available in 4, 8, and 16 GB sizes—there is no 32 GB Ultimate 266X yet. If you purchase an Ultimate 266X card you also get a free download of the Media Recover 4.0 recovery software, which is very useful if you accidentally delete files on your CompactFlash card, or if you want to recover data on other drives as well. We also like that it supports a secure erase mode, which you should use before selling or disposing of any storage devices.

Kingston’s Ultimate 266X CompactFlash card delivers the highest overall throughput (read/write) paired with above-average I/O performance, which is why it received the Recommended Buy award.

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