Kingston Technology offers three different lines in CF cards, from the budget friendly CompactFlash Standard, which is aimed at anything from mp3 players, PDA's and digital cameras. One step up they have CompactFlash Elite Pro, which has a much higher read/write speed and lower power consumption. This is aimed at the enthusiast to professional photographers. At the top of the line they have CompactFlash Ultimate 133X High Performance. These are the fastest CF cards kingston offers at the moment. The Ultimate line is also pre-loaded with OnTrack® EasyRecovery™ Professional 6.1
Kingston 2GB Ultimate 133X
Manufacturer's web site: www.kingston.com
The buffer timing was done by timing how long it took the Nikon D200 to empty the buffer after being filled with 21 shots. Each timing was done 5 times. Afterwards the fastest and slowest timing was discarded. The D200 was powered by the EH-6 and no lens was attached to the camera. The shutter speed was 1/1000 sec. All cards were formatted in-camera before each test. Lower is better i.e. faster Buffer emptying
Combined Device Index: A composite figure representing an overall performance rating based on the average of the Combined Index figures over the four file sizes(32kB, 256kB, 2MB and 64MB). (Higher is better, i.e. better performance)
Test machine: AMD 64 X2 4400, 4 GB ram, X800 GTO 256MB ram(GFX) 1.5 TB HDD, with a dedicated 37GB raptor HDD for WIndows.
The benchmarks gave some interesting results, one of them being that on the Nikon D2H the Kingston Elite Pro 50X was faster than the Ultimate 133X on the D2H buffer test. I repeated that test quite a few times, and every time the 50X was slightly faster. On the D200 the Ultimate 133x was faster by 4 seconds. This can be crucial for Pro shooters, since waiting for the buffer to emptying out means shots you wont get.
If you are a Pro user or you are in a hurry, the Ultimate series are for you. There is not a huge difference between the Ultimate and the Elite Pro, at least not that affects shooting. The big difference in speed is more noticeable when you copy from a card reader to computer.
Update; as of 26 of july the prices has changed, with the price change there really is only one alternative and that is the Ultimate 133x
Kingston 2GB Ultimate 133x
Kingston 2GB Elite Pro 50x