Even more goodies are coming out from SanDisk this week, and these ones are quite impressive. As part of the “Extreme IV” line, SanDisk has three new models of flash cards, all with very high capacities. The cards, which can read and write at up to 40MB/sec, will be offered in 2GB, 4GB and a massive 8GB variety, and supposedly are good to operate in both extreme cold and extreme heat. Unlike a lot of paper-specs and hype, it seems these cards are actually able to deliver what they promise:

Here's a taste: the best CompactFlash cards on the market now are capable of real-world throughput between about 15MB-17MB/second in the best shipping readers we've tried. By comparison, the SanDisk Extreme IV 2GB, when inserted in an Extreme FireWire Reader, tops out at a whopping 38.6MB/second, with the Extreme IV 4GB weighing in at 38.4MB/second. These aren't synthetic benchmarks, but the actual speediness of Extreme IV when moving JPEG and RAW picture files to a Power Mac G5 here.
Assuming we can expect that performance in other systems, that is quite impressive. Of course, with whopping performance comes whopping price, and the 8GB model will run you as much as $640, plus the cost of the high-speed FireWire reader. With an 8GB flash module now on the horizon, it's no question at all as to whether or not we'll see HDD alternatives in the near future. Let's just hope the cost comes down before then.