G-Technology G-Drive Pro with Thunderbolt
Smaller and lighter than other 4-drive RAIDs; dual Thunderbolt ports for Daisy Chaining
Lackluster performance; the enclosure isn’t user serviceable; slow to wake from an idle state
$799.95 (2TB); $999 (4TB)
The G-Drive Pro with Thunderbolt by G-Technology is not very big, especially for being a four drive RAID; it’s just over a centimetre taller than the company’s G-Drive. Does weight and size really matter when it comes to desktop drives?
The aluminium enclosure is much like other G-Technology drives, sporting perforated front and sides panels that complement legacy Mac Pros design. Inside the enclosure, things are quite different. Unlike the G-Drive, which has a single 3.5in drive, the G-Drive Pro with Thunderbolt has four 2.5in drives configured in a hardware RAID 0. While four-drive RAID setups aren’t uncommon, they often features drive mechanisms you can replace without tools. The G-Drive Pro goes in a different direction: opening the enclosure voids your warranty, and you need both a Philips-head and T8 security torx driver to replace the drives. You can’t even change the RAID configuration to a mirrored or JBOD setup.
The four independent 7200-rpm drives working together give the G-Drive Pro with Thunderbolt a nice boost in speed, while still providing a healthy 4TB capacity. Our tests showed the drive performs about three times as fast as an average 2.5in 7200-rpm drive on its own. However, the G-Drive Pro lagged behind competing RAID enclosures that use four 3.5in 7200-rpm drives.
We did run into something unusual during our testing. After sitting idle for a while, the G-Drive Pro with Thunderbolt would take longer than we expected to become responsive. After 15 minutes of idle time, it took the drive more than a minute to get to a ready state.
You’re paying a premium, both in terms of cash and speed, for a smaller and lighter than average desktop RAID. Some may choose to sacrifice raw speed for a bit of added portability, even considering that the G-Drive Pro with Thunderbolt is a desktop storage device and requires external power.
Photos from Michael Homnick.