ProGrade Digital CFexpress Type B 4.0 (Cobalt) memory card review

ProGrade breaks speed records with its most extreme memory card ever. But are things now getting out of hand?

ProGrade Digital CFexpress Type B 4.0 (Cobalt)
(Image: © Future)

Digital Camera World Verdict

This is quite simply the best memory card money can buy right now, if sheer performance is your main objective. It far exceeds the write speeds required by current cameras, and is an awesome demonstration of what the CFexpress format is capable of. If you just want a card that will keep you futureproofed for as long as possible, this is it. But when plenty of other Type B cards are already more than fast enough even for 8K RAW recording, paying such a huge premium for this Cobalt card is almost impossible to justify.


  • +

    Incredible speed

  • +

    High capacity

  • +

    Bragging rights


  • -

    Hugely expensive

  • -

    Hard to justify

  • -

    One capacity option

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It seems like barely yesterday that CFexpress Type B usurped the XQD format and became the go-to memory card for anyone wanting ultra-fast transfer speeds that could keep up with the most technologically advanced mirrorless cameras. With speeds approaching 2000MB/s, there was (and frankly still isn't) a camera that can truly max out the best CFexpress cards of the current generation.

And yet we're now seeing next-generation Type B cards like the ProGrade Digital CFexpress Type B 4.0 Memory Card (Cobalt) that are built around the new PCI-E gen 4 interface. This enables transfer speeds twice as fast as previous Type B cards were capable of. Do we need such speeds right now? No. Is it nice to know your memory card is, at least for the foreseeable future, totally futureproofed? Absolutely. Providing you can ignore the price you'll pay for such peace of mind.

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Ben Andrews

Ben is the Imaging Labs manager, responsible for all the testing on Digital Camera World and across the entire photography portfolio at Future. Whether he's in the lab testing the sharpness of new lenses, the resolution of the latest image sensors, the zoom range of monster bridge cameras or even the latest camera phones, Ben is our go-to guy for technical insight. He's also the team's man-at-arms when it comes to camera bags, filters, memory cards, and all manner of camera accessories – his lab is a bit like the Batcave of photography! With years of experience trialling and testing kit, he's a human encyclopedia of benchmarks when it comes to recommending the best buys.