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G-Technology G-RAID Thunderbolt Hard Drive Review

G-Technology’s flagship RAID array drives might have been given a Thunderbolt upgrade, bur does it warrant the price tag?

Price: £449/$599.95

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Key features: • Dual-Thunderbolt ports • RAID 0 array • 7,200rpm hard drives

G-Technology’s G-RAID range has been around for some time and it has proved itself to be a stalwart of the data storage game, providing a solid back-up and external storage solution for anyone needing some serious space and transfer speeds.

Not only that, but the G-RAID series looks the part set against a backdrop of your MacBook or iMac too, thanks to its sandblasted aluminium exterior. All in all, it’s the perfect choice for creatives who need extra storage or a powerful backup for their Mac. The new G-RAID with Thunderbolt, as the name suggests, takes G-Technology’s flagship drive a step further by adding the fastest I/O connection available on any Mac.

The G-RAID with Thunderbolt doesn’t look all too different from its non- Thunderbolt sister, save for a shiny new Thunderbolt logo badge stuck on the front and its FireWire, USB 2.0 and eSATA ports replaced with two Thunderbolt ports on the back. This drive also looks a little more svelte and slightly taller than its predecessor. They’re subtle changes, however aesthetics aren’t key here. What’s important are those Thunderbolt ports and, boy, what a difference they make.

In our tests, we transferred a 10.86GB batch of HD movie files from an SSD- equipped MacBook Pro to the G-RAID with Thunderbolt; the transfer clocked in at 39.8 seconds. When you compare this to the 36.4 seconds it took to transfer 8GB of HD movies to the Elgato Thunderbolt SSD we reviewed last issue, it’s fair to say that even with spinning platter hard drives, the G-RAID with Thunderbolt more than holds its own. To achieve these speeds, G-Technology uses a RAID 0 system where the data being transferred is split in half and written simultaneously to the two 2TB hard drives inside the G-RAID’s enclosure. This RAID 0 array style is built for speed but does have one fatal flaw: if one drive breaks, you’ll have effectively lost half of e

ach file, making the other halves pretty useless. It’s a compromise you’ll have to be prepared to make if you want to achieve lightning-fast transfer speeds, but we’re pretty confident it’s a worthwhile gamble.

All in all, this is an impressive external hard drive. There were a few letdowns such as the noise (we could hear the drives spinning and the fans firing up in a busy office) and weight of the unit (this thing is heavy), but this is a desktop drive and it really does deliver on its promise of speed.

Pros Transfer speeds are incredible and it looks great next to your Mac

Cons It’s a little pricey, very heavy and lacks a Thunderbolt cable