FAKE SanDisk Extreme III 4GB Compact Flash Card Exposed

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Intro

Seems like many memory cards sold by members of East Asian countries are FAKE! How to identify if yours is counterfeit? Here is my Story.

I bought a Sandisk Extreme III 4GB Compact Flash card for a very nice price on eBay. I choose Sandisk Extreme because of its quality and speed. When I got the card I immediately tried it. I noticed that the box, card and contents was a bit different than my Sandisk Extreme III 2GB and Ultra II 1GB Compact Flash cards, which I bought in the local store. I heard about fake cards which have lower speeds than real ones. So I decided to do some writing tests with my camera. Unfortunately the 4 GB card seemed to be slower than my 1 and 2 GB cards.

Afterwards I started browsing on the internet for similar cases. I found this very interesting page: FAKE SanDisk Extreme Compact Flash Cards Exposed. After reading it I got convinced that my card is FAKE.

Beneath I explain you the reasons why I think that mine is fake.

Clue 1: writing speed

With my Nikon D200 I filled up the internal buffer of the camera. Therefore I set the camera in RAW mode, put it in high speed (so it takes 5 pictures per second) and start shooting continuously the same picture by pushing the shutter down till the buffer was full. Then I started measuring the time to write all the data to the compact flash card. Here are the results (less seconds is faster):
  • Sandisk Extreme III 4 GB (bought on eBay): 87 seconds
  • Sandisk Extreme III 2 GB (bought in local store): 35 seconds
  • Sandisk Ultra III 1 GB (bought in local store): 48 seconds
This is lot slower slower. Even if I would make an error of 10% in measuring the time, it is still too slow for a real Sandisk Extreme III card.

Clue 2: the front view

  • The real one (2 GB) has 4 round metal corners, the fake (4 GB) one has 2 sharp metal top corners and 2 round metal bottom corners.
  • The metal inner border is seemless integrated in the black plastic box. The metal inner border is less good integrated and metal border in the top corners goes inside the case.
  • The metal inner border of the real one is shinny and has a horizontal pattern, at the fake one it looks matt without any pattern.
  • The black border down is wider than the fake one.
  • The characters 'X' and 'III' of the fake one have a small black and white border, so they look more bold.
 

                      real                                              fake

Clue 3: the back side

  • The real one (2 GB) has 4 round metal corners, the fake (4 GB) one has 2 sharp metal top corners and 2 round metal bottom corners.
  • The metal inner border is seemless integrated in the black plastic box. The metal inner border is less good integrated and metal border in the top corners goes inside the case.
  • The metal inner border of the real one is shinny and has a horizontal pattern, at the fake one it looks matt without any pattern.
  • The black border down is wider than the fake one.
 
                      real                                              fake

Clue 4: the bottom

  • The real one (2 GB) has a number starting with BE06 and a label MADE IN CHINA, the fake one (4 GB) does not have any label

 

                          real                                                       fake
    

Clue 5: the transparent plastic protective box

  • The real one (2 GB) has round corners, the fake one (4 GB) has sharper edges.
  • It is easy to put your CF card into the real box, in the fake one you have to force it a bit.

Clue 6: the black pocket

  • The black pocket of the real one is bigger and feels nicer then the fake one.
  • A label MADE IN CHINA is in the real one. The fake one has no label.
  • You can store 2 transparent plastic protective boxes in the real one, in the fake one none.
  • The material of the fake one is badly stitched.
 
         real                     fake                                 fake


Clue 7: the paper package

  • The picture of the camera on the real one is sharper and has nicer colors than the fake one.
  • The real one (2 GB) has a picture of a real Sandisk CF card. The fake one (4 GB) has a also a picture of a real Sandisk CF card but the memory card inside looks a bit different (see above).

                   real                                               fake


What can you do if you bought a fake one?

Please read the bottom of the page: FAKE SanDisk Extreme Compact Flash Cards Exposed.



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