If you produce content on a regular basis or if you just have a large collection of movies, music, family pictures and other… documents and you really care about having it locally stored and not on a cloud, especially if you have a slow Internet upload speed, chances are that you have some kind more permanent large storage solution or you trying to find a new or expand the existing one. This time I’ll be looking at a potential solution to this problem, a pair of external G-Drives from G-Technology – the G-Drive USB-C and the G-Drive Thunderbolt 3. Wow, that’s a lot of G’s.
This brand is actually Western Digital’s sister company, so of course a certain level of quality and performance can be expected, even more so as the G-Technology is actually quite famous for their products among Apple users as Apple themselves sell their drives on their website. On a count of that, you can also guess that the price of these models won’t be among average.
G-Technology G-Drive new duo
Right upon pulling the drive out of the box you can definitely tell that this is not your run of the mill external data storage solution. We have this almost over the top aluminum housing, it’s really beefy, you can feel it right away when you take in hand for the first time. It’s also bigger than your usual external drive because it houses 3.5”, and not 2.5” drive, as they come in larger capacities.
Overall, the aesthetics are simple as you can get it, complemented by the really good build quality, smooth and almost glittery finish of its outer curved shell, while on the front we have this grill looking panel with glowing G logo. On the bottom, you will find four small bubble silicon feet so the enclosure doesn’t move around or transfer any vibration, and G-Technology actually intended for you to stack multiple G-Drives onto each other, especially the Thunderbolt 3 models which can be daisy chained up to five devices thanks to its technology.
Speaking of that, as you’ve probably noticed by now, I have two different models in front of me. As I said, one is called the G-Technology G-Drive USB-C and the other one the G-Technology G-Drive Thunderbolt 3, both carrying pretty up-to-date interface options. They come in as a refreshed versions of their predecessors, polished out and new interfaces, while also offering bigger capacities. For the USB-C model, I have the 4 TB model, which is the smallest, while it ranges up to 10 TB, while for the Thunderbolt 3 model I have the 8 TB one, while it from ranges from 4 TB to 12 TB.
G-Drive USB-C sets a new standard
They are essentially from the same series, G-Drive, but they offer a different type of connectivity. They do differ in performance though, but not because of the type of supported connection, cause the Thunderbolt 3 model also has a USB Type-C port beside it, but because of the models of the hard drives which are put inside. I don’t see why did they put a slower drive in the G-Technology G-Drive USB-C model, because the bandwidth of both interfaces can easily handle a regular drive which they usually put HDD storage options, and that’s somewhat odd, probably marketing related or they just wanted to make the USB-c model more affordable.
Of course, being a 3.5” drives, you’ll also need to power up them separately, and that power adapter and cable is included in the bundle, as well as two cables, USB Type-C to Type-C, or Thunderbolt 3 cable in case of the Thunderbolt 3 model, and an USB Type-A to Type-C in both models . Beside those power and data ports, back there you’ll also find power on and off switch, which is a good thing in case this is your long-term storage, so you don’t need to access it all to time, you can just turn it off and extend the drives lifetime.
Decent peformance for being that extra storage go-to
Taking a look at performance, of course, as expected it’s not blazing fast as a solid state storage, but it’s more than good enough for a long-term storage solution, reaching it’s claimed write and read speeds of around 200 MB/s for the Thunderbolt 3 model and it’s 7200 RPM drive and over 150 MB/s for the USB-C model and it’s 5400 RPM drive. The exact hard drive model in question for the Thunderbolt 3 version is it the HGST Ultrastar He8, those are filled with Helium which makes them run cooler and smoother, together with providing higher capacities, while in the USB-C version we have the Western Digital storage orientated Red series.
Software and utility support is on an average level at best, they have a format wizard utility and some kind of monitoring suite which doesn’t offer that much, I would really like them to see something more in this field, like proper monitoring and possibly something along the line of scheduled file backup utility. All in all a bit odd they left out this part, especially since they take themselves more serious compared to other external storage solutions out there on the market.
Although G-Technology puts a premium price onto their products, on the other hand, they do bump up the build quality and drives to choose to put in, alongside having up-to-date interfaces in their porofolio, like ones which G-Drive USB-C model has, which is something that can be appreciated, especially since no other manfucatuter tend to bother with that (at least not early on). Of course, in the end, you have to decide if it’s worth it that extra money to you or whould you rather go for something that’s is more common and offers higher capacity for the same price.