We review the G-Drive by G-technology. 2TB of awesomeness!

A tidy package arrived in our office a few hours ago. The little package from FedEx was duly opened, and neatly nestled inside, we found THE most beautiful hard drive ever. Find out what we think to the brand new 2TB G-Drive in today’s review.

What a piece of kit! This is quite easily the most beautiful mac accessory ever! The machining and build is second to one. I’m not an expert on CNC machining, however I do see that the finish is absolutely flawless. This product is Apple-level quality. The case comprises of an outer shell wrapped around an inner cage, with small air holes that add a real classy finish and presumably aid cooling and ventilation.

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Spacing and fitting around the hard drive is uniform and only adds to the high-caliber finish. It looks right at home on my desk next to the iMac – finally a hard drive I am proud to show off! Every detail serves a function as well as looking fantastic, somewhat similar to Apples own memorandum. The G-technology guys have put some serious thought and design into this product. Its easy to see that whilst visually pleasing, each element of the hard-drive serves a functional purpose. Each detail is carefully perfected and the finished product reflects this. The whole case has a lovely, mottled effect, similar to the iMac finish but slightly more pro-found. Even the G logo on the front looks amazing, with a grooved effect to the logo, mounted on an acrylic / polycarbonate plate that lights up white when the hard drive is active. The case is very sturdy, with a heavy feel to it, which adds to the quality.

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The whole item weighs 2.6lbs – this is a monster of a hard drive. It’s compatible with both OSX and Windows 2000 / XP / Vista. As you can see from the pictures we’ve included, the hard drive has to be seen to be believed. Even the under-side has been carefully crafted, with a large heat sink placed on the bottom designed to keep the heat down.

Set-up

Setting up the massive 2tb hard drive is a doddle. Simply plug it in to your mac using one of the supplied cables, and power up the drive. We were supplied with a US fitting plug, fortunately we had an AC / DC adapter from another external hard drive (that was made by the same company too) and within minutes we had a huge back-up hard drive up and running. We chose to use the Fire-wire 400 port in our mac. The whole thing looks very neat, with only 2 wires entering the drive.

I was very pleased by the amount of cables included in the package. Normally, I’d expect a USB cable to be included, and I’d be pretty happy if that was all. However, the hard drive also ships with:

1x 3Gbit, eSATA
2x FireWire 800 (9-pin)
1x USB2.0
(FireWire 400 via 800 to 400 cable – which we used to connect to our 2008 iMac test model)

These aren’t little 1 foot long cables either, included to save money. No, these are 1.6, 1.8 and 0.6 meter long cables respectively, meaning you can have your hard drive placed up to 5 foot away from your workstation if needed.

On your desk

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Upon powering up, the G Drive took perhaps 10 seconds to register as a drive to the Mac. Shortly it would be time to test it, but we wanted to talk about how the devices works in terms of noise, size e.t.c

On your desk the hard drive sits pretty right next to your mac. It runs with a pleasant sound – its pretty quiet and has a Macbook Pro sort of sound to it. As with other drives, expect the occasional whizz and whir as the platters spin round, but in general the hard drive is no noisier (or annoying) than your average clock or colleague.

The hard drive is a reasonable sized piece of kit, it’s not huge, it’s not small, its just about the right size. it fits snugly under my Dell 24″ monitor, but I have chosen to place it further away to allow air to access the awesome looking heat-sink on the lower-side. To sum up, if you buy this hard drive, everyone knows you mean business, it transforms any desk to look like something out of Star Trek Enterprise (TNG).

Performance

Now for the fun bit. The hard drive looks mean and purposeful, but can it live up to performance tests? Running a few tests, transferring 1-3GB files, we found the drive to be blisteringly fast. The disk runs at 7,200 RPM, with up to 32MB of cache. I expected the transfer of one file, which contained 3.75GB of data to take around 20 minutes (perhaps even 30 minutes) as I had become accustomed to my slower, cheaper previous external drive. After 1 minute we’d transferred close to 1GB of data. I couldn’t believe it!

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The OSX data transfer windows tells me at 2.2GB there’s a minute left In all the whole operation took 3 minutes 48 seconds.Very quick indeed! A result I am thoroughly happy with.

As a back-up drive for a designer or developer, the G-Drive will be asked to do a lot of work. But, from our tests I can tell you its going to take everything you throw at it. This is like a marine of the hard drive world.

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Transfer speeds could be even faster, if we had a Firewire 800 port, we could expect speeds of 75MBps writing and 55mbps writing.

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With Esata this is even more impressive, 113mbps reading speeds, with similar writing speeds. This drive is pretty future proof.

The drive knows how to keep cool too! It’s been running now for about an hour or two non-stop. To the touch its not even warm, a push to even call it tepid. I haven’t given it an easy time, it’s backed up half my computer now! The design of the case surely helps this, as the drive stands on what look like 4 legs, squat like a rhino. The benefit of this means the underside is open to cooling air. its large 4 x 2 inch heat sink is completely exposed. The aluminium cover also helps to keep things cool, dissipating any heat generated. It’s not got that much of an easy environment to work in either. Currently its about 22 degrees indoors. It’s winter here, and outside is chilly to say the least. We have the heating on, leaving the office rather toasty so we don’t freeze our little fingers. Consequently, the hard drive is dealing with that extra heat too.

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The underside heat-sink. Just out of frame are the rubber pads that grip the drive to your desk, and cushion the metal from scratching.

Verdict

I’m not traditionally a very easy to person to please. Even the great Apple iMac has a few niggles that bug me. But this drive is probably the first ever product I say I’m 100% happy with. There’s nothing that could be done to make this drive better. It looks great, performs insanely fast and is a pleasure to use. Nothing major stands out and that really demonstrates the work and effort that has gone into creating the perfect hard drive for video and web professionals alike. The speeds of the hard drive are impressive and the G-Drive packs some horsepower under its beautifully crafted hood.We had the 2TB model to test, that’s a lot of storage! But thanks to the G-Drive we know we can restore back-ups at blistering speeds and more importantly, reliably. A great hard-drive, and the best product I’ve tested all year clean room data recovery locations.

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If your on the look-out for an external back-up or network storage drive, this device should be the only one on your list. Forget about wasting your money on anything else! Get a G-Drive, and you’ll love it!

The G-Drive is available in 500GB – 2TB configurations, and ranges from $149.99 (500GB) to $349.99 for the top spec, 2TB drive we had. The drive is literally worth every penny. I have no intention of ever switching to another drive manufacturer and will be highly recommending G-Technology products to my peers and contacts. The G-Drive isn’t the only G-Tech product though! They have all kinds of drives and RAID devices. You should head on over to the G-Technology website, where you can find out more about their awesome products: http://www.g-technology.com/index.cfm