Slow Lexar 400x CompactFlash card - Fake?

Started Mar 4, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Nikon Rob
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Slow Lexar 400x CompactFlash card - Fake?
Mar 4, 2011

I just received a 16GB Lexar Professional 400x CompactFlash card and used it for the first time. I immediately noticed that transferring a small batch of photos to my computer that it was quite a bit slower than my much older, 200x Sandisk Ultra 30MB/s card. I ran several benchmarking utilities and they all had the new card's speed very, very consistent, but also quite slow at 15MB/s. I reformatted and got the same results throughout the entire 16GB of the card. Testing a full buffer write on my D300s it seemed to write at the same speed as the Ultra (within the fraction of a second error of starting/stopping my stopwatch).

Is it possible that this card is fake/counterfeit? I've heard of fake Sandisk cards, but not fake Lexars. I can think of 3 possibilities for the slow numbers:

1) The card is fake.

2) My CF reader doesn't like this particular card. I have the Addonics CF adapter, which Rob Galbraith used to test the 300x and 600x versions, but not the 400x. Could the 400x be that different from the others that it's less than 20% the speed of them?

3) There are multiple versions of this card, and one of them is slower. I noticed 2 different images at different stores. Compare Adorama's and Abe's of Maine (where I bought it):

I thought Abe's was a reputable dealer, so if it is fake I don't think they know about it. if anyone with experience with this sort of thing could offer some possible explanations, it would be most appreciated. Right now I plan on calling Lexar, then RMAing the card back to Abe's if they can't help me. I'll probably end up spending more on the Sandisk 400x (can't justify over twice as much for the 600x). The season starts in a week, so I need to order a card by Monday.

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