By Neil Bennett | on March 30, 2009
Price: 415 . 499
Pros: Fastest performance in our tests; largest capacity of a two-drive device; long warranty.
Cons: Pricey; limited flexibility.
This drive is reviewed as part of our group test of desktop storage devices.
The G-RAID 3 is firmly aimed at creative pros working with motion media – from video editors and VFX artists to DVD authors and animators.
It’s a two-drive device with the drives configured into a RAID 0 array that can’t be changed.
It doesn’t bother with bundled back-up software as it’s designed only for use as a media drive. It also has an eSATA connection – as well as FireWire 800, FireWire and USB 2.0 – that G-Technology guarantees will offer two real-time video streams of 10-bit or 8-bit SD or Apple’s ProRes 422 HQ, four streams of DVCPRO HD, five streams of HDV, or eight stream of DV.
The device is also pitched at Mac users, and is styled to match the Mac Pro. So while it’s not the best-looking drive around, it works as part of a Mac-based suite. Iomega’s UltraMax Plus is channelling the same design guru, but is much longer and slightly less tall.
The focus on providing fast data throughput for motion-media production has paid off, as the G-RAID 3’s performance when connected over eSATA was the fastest in our tests.
The G-RAID 3 was 9.5 per cent faster at writing data over eSATA than its lookalike, the UltraMax Plus, and 8.3 per cent faster at reading. It was also up to 95 per cent faster than the single-drive Seagate FreeAgent XTreme and almost 50 per cent faster than the Sonnet F2, though this is to be expected, since the G-RAID is considerably more expensive and better-specced than either model.
The G-RAID 3’s only problem is its price. Its main rival here, the UltraMax Plus, isn’t available in a 3TB version, but the 2TB G-RAID 3 costs £415 to the 2TB UltraMax Plus £260. The G-RAID 3 has better performance, and a longer warranty than even includes getting your data back if unit fails but not the drives – so it’s better for video pros with larger budgets. The UltraMax Plus can also be configured into a RAID 1 array if you need a backup drive, which the G-RAID can’t.
However, if the G-RAID 3 breaks – rather than either drive – during the warranty, UK distributor Global Distribution will repair the drive and return it with the data intact, which Iomega won’t.