Skilled video editors and filmmakers have raved about G-Expertise’s arduous drives for over a decade. These customers — day-one adopters of Apple’s Mac Professional and MacBook Professional computer systems — want quite a lot of arduous disk house, quick interfaces, and above all else, reliability. Dropping half or all of a mission can kill a film, so nothing is left to probability on the storage facet. I’m not a video skilled, however as a father, my household photographs and residential movies are a few of my most respected possessions, and I don’t need to lose them to a tough drive failure. Quite a few suggestions led me to Hitachi GST subsidiary G-Expertise’s G-Drives years in the past, and now there’s a brand new entry-level mannequin that’s inexpensive sufficient for everybody: G-Drive USB ($160-$400, available here for $150 and up).
G-Drive USB provides all of the capability, pace and reliability G-Tech drives are recognized for, however in a smaller enclosure with fewer ports on the again. I’ve been testing one for the previous month, and it’s as glorious because the 5 earlier G-Tech drives I’ve used since 2006. G-Drive USB isn’t the most cost effective arduous drive round, however while you care about long-term reliability, it’s price paying a premium for peace of thoughts.
I’ve liked the economic designs of LaCie arduous drives for a very long time, however from my perspective, if the precise arduous drive mechanism isn’t sure to be dependable after a few years — a recognized however considerably undiscussed situation with many manufacturers of arduous drives — the casing doesn’t matter. G-Expertise’s desktop arduous disks provide the very best of each worlds: a substantial-feeling, Mac-matching perforated aluminum enclosure, plus a 7200RPM arduous drive inside, backed by a 3-year guarantee.
Other than 4 clear white rubber toes on the underside and a glowing white G standing gentle on entrance, G-Drive USB is totally constructed from metallic, and in case you love Apple’s Mac designs, stunning in its personal proper. Measuring 5″ extensive by 7.7″ deep by 1.26″ tall, it’s a half-inch shorter and 1.5″ shallower than the usual G-Drive, a considerable financial savings in measurement that makes the USB model simpler to maneuver round if wanted. G-Expertise has slimmed the unit as a lot as is sensible to accommodate a full-sized arduous drive — the one mechanical disk measurement we’d belief with essential information, photographs, and movies. Smaller laptop computer arduous drives are likely to compromise reliability for measurement, which isn’t sensible for backups or essential information.
G-Drive USB at present is available in 4 totally different capacities: 2TB ($160, here for $150), 3TB ($180, here for $170), and 4TB ($200, here for $190) fashions with 165MB/second peak switch charges, plus a 6TB mannequin ($400, here for $350) with a 226MB/second peak switch fee. Each mannequin has the identical USB 3.0 port on the again, and ships with a USB 3.0 cable that’s backward-compatible with USB 2.0 gadgets. You additionally get a slim energy adapter that — not like some G-Drives — solely occupies one energy outlet.
The USB 3.0 interface is what permits G-Drive USB to promote at $40 to $150 reductions versus older, comparable-capacity G-Drives, which embody Firewire 800, USB 3.0, and typically eSATA connectors and cables. But USB 3.0 can beat Firewire 800 in uncooked efficiency. I bought a 4TB G-Drive USB with the 165MB/second peak switch fee, and reliably achieved 140MB/second learn and write speeds when utilizing a MacBook Professional with USB 3.0 ports. That’s twice as quick because the 69MB/second write and 55MB/second learn speeds I get from my older 2TB common G-Drive utilizing Firewire 800, and nonetheless nearly twice as quick as my newer 3TB G-Drive (78MB/second learn, 73MB/second write). G-Drive USB’s efficiency drops when related to older USB 2.0 Macs — I noticed 32MB/s learn and 26MB/s write speeds — which is to say that trendy Macs will recover from 4 occasions higher efficiency from the identical machine, although all of those speeds are completely high quality for consumer-grade backups. G-Tech notably guarantees the identical 165MB/second peak switch fee for a Thunderbolt version of G-Drive, which sells for lots extra.
From my perspective, the 4TB version of G-Drive USB is the household’s candy spot, which is the explanation I bought it over the 2TB, 3TB, and 6TB fashions. It’s sooner and higher-capacity than the Firewire 800 G-Drives it changed in my workplace, but additionally smaller, cheaper, and quieter — not silent, however whisper-quiet, with half the sound of prior G-Drives. Most significantly, I’ve by no means had a problem with the reliability of any G-Drive I’ve owned; the items I bought eight years in the past nonetheless work after getting used for all the things from backups to file storage. As Mac equipment go, G-Drive USB is as extremely really useful as they arrive — my private Mac accent of the yr, and an important entry level into professional-grade backup and storage options.
[Note: If you’re thinking of ordering a G-Drive, this is a perfect time to give Amazon Prime a try to save on shipping costs. I’ve ordered G-Drives using Amazon for a long time, reducing the total cost considerably with free Prime shipping and nice discounts on the drives themselves.]
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