By Albert Filice Macworld.com | on June 09, 2014
Price: £593.95 plus VAT
Pros: Smaller and lighter than other 4-drive RAIDs. Dual Thunderbolt ports for Daisy Chaining
Cons: Lacklustre performance. The enclosure isn't user serviceable. Slow to wake from an idle state
The G-Drive Pro with Thunderbolt by G-Technology is not very big, especially for being a four drive RAID; it's only a half-inch taller than the company's G-Drive. Does weight and size really matter when it comes to desktop drives?
The aluminum 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 3.5-inch drive, the G-Drive Pro with Thunderbolt has four 2.5-inch drives configured in a hardware RAID 0 – so there's no safety if one of the drives fails, but the throughput should allow high-performance video editing. 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 7,200rpm 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 2.5-inch 7,200rpm drive on its own. However, the G-Drive Pro lagged behind competing RAID enclosures that use four 3.5-inch 7,200rpm 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.