Review of Lexar's new Write Acceleration (WA) Technology
--B. Moose Peterson, 1/6/03

Every time a new "speed" CF card comes on the market, I wonder, "is it a big improvement?" Should I recommend the new stuff to shooters? In some cases, there isn't really a big benefit, in other cases, it's a close call. So now we have Nikon D1Xs and D1Hs that once you brave the upgrade process, work with the new Lexar WA card technology. So again the question comes up, are the new WA cards a big improvement?

While the times on the chart below aren't earth shattering, I feel the WA technology is making a difference in big frame bursts! It's more than a split second of gain and in clocking my D1H with the WA technology, I found that at the 1/125 I'm doing better than the 5.5fps speed. That in itself makes purchasing the WA technology worth while! This is for the D1H, what about the D1X? I don't have a D1X but when I've shot with folks who have the buffer and firmware upgrade and who are using the WA cards, they all comment they can see a difference. It's here I'll turn the commentary over to David who does shoot with the D1X, upgrade and WA cards.





David adds--I really like my new 24x 512MB cards with WA. Frankly that's mostly because my older 512 cards were 12x and 16x, so I get a big speed boost out of having current cards. The WA makes them a touch faster--most noticeable for long bursts of Raw images. I've added some timings for a firmware & buffer-upgraded D1X below.

D1H Chart

Lexar CompactFlash CF Speed Comparisons

File Format

40fr. - 512 24x WA

40fr. -512 24x

40fr. - 512 16x

1fr. -512 24x WA

1fr. - 512 24x

1fr. - 512 16x


21.87 sec

23.36 sec

24.1 sec

0.135 sec

0.138 sec

0.15 sec


22.34 sec

23.77 sec

24.0 sec

0.145 sec

0.147 sec

0.18 sec


22.80 sec

24.49 sec

25.2 sec

0.166 sec

0.168 sec

0.19 sec


1.44 min

1.549 min

2.186 min

2.927 sec

2.962 sec

3.17 sec


3.11 min

3.312 min

3.497 min

4.877 sec

4.958 sec

5.46 sec

HI Raw

50.47 sec

53.89 sec

1.047 min

1.873 sec

1.936 sec

2.41 sec

Test preformed with D1H w/upgrade, 1/125, M Focus, fresh EN4

D1X Chart 

Lexar CompactFlash CF Speed Comparisons

File Format

9fr. - 512 24x WA

9fr. - 512 24x

9fr. - 512 16x

1fr. -512 24x WA

1fr. - 512 24x

1fr. - 512 16x



9.83 sec

 9.98 sec


0.55 sec

0.56 sec



9.96 sec

10.4 sec


0.59 sec

0.70 sec


10.53 sec

11.14 sec

11.24 sec


0.74 sec

0.95 sec



1.01 min

1.09 min


0.66 sec

0.71 sec



1.43 min

1.53 min


10.95 sec

12.1 sec

HI Raw*


24.08 sec

30.1 sec


3.7 sec

4.7 sec

*RAW is only a 6-frame burst, not 9.

Test preformed with D1X w/upgrade, 1/125, M Focus, fresh EN4

Charts reprinted courtesy of The D100 and D1 Generation Update from Moose Press


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