capsule review

G-Technology G-RAID 4TB

At a Glance
  • G-Technology G-RAID 4TB

    Macworld Rating

    At 15 cents per gigabyte, the G-RAID comes at a decent price tag and a three-year warranty. We also loved the reliability and ease-of-use of the G-RAID. The G-RAID is worth considering due to its massive...

The most noticeable attribute about G-Technology's G-RAID 4TB is how aesthetically pleasing it is to the eye. With its aluminum casing and familiar glowing white light to indicate that it is running, the G-RAID blends effortlessly with any member of the Mac family, especially the Mac Pro.

Its ventilation system located at the rear keeps the drive cool and slightly warm to the touch. Because it is a thermo-regulated smart fan, it only kicks in when it needs to and hums quietly while operating. The G-RAID's design is solid as a brick and at 3.85 lbs, weighs nearly as much as one.

Setting up the G-RAID is simple considering it is already formatted with RAID 0 for Mac OS X systems and it is ready to go the instant it is connected to your computer. The quad-interface lets you plug in either an eSATA, FireWire 800, FireWire 400, or USB 2.0 cable and comes with all four cables, each running more than a meter long.

The G-RAID 4GB has a 32MB cache, an Oxford 936 chipset, and a disk drive operating at 7200 rpm. With 4TB of space, it is one massive storing machine and is designed for professionals who need huge amounts of space for video and audio files or pro applications like Final Cut Studio. If you are looking for something that will keep or run your huge compilation of movies, animations, and music in one place (without worrying about what will happen when your collection continues to grow) the G-RAID should be of some consideration.

Specifications

Price per gigabyte $.15
Connectors USB 2.0 (1), FireWire 800 (2), eSATA (1)
Rotational speed 7200 rpm
Other capacities 1TB, 2TB

We recently implemented a new test suite for storage devices, which runs under Snow Leopard instead of Leopard. We also added more RAM to our Mac Pro test machine, doubled the file size to our Photoshop test, and added an AJA system test. After running these tests on the G-RAID 4TB, the device started performing the way it ought to have all along.

Copying a 1GB file through USB took only 53 seconds and duplicating it took one minute, 14 seconds. On our eSATA connection, copying a file took 27 seconds, while duplicating took 47 seconds. Our low-grade Photoshop test, now with a 300MB file, took 38 seconds with a FireWire 400, 47 seconds with a FireWire 800, and 38 seconds with an eSATA connection.

Compared to the EZQuest Thunder Pro A/V ( ), the G-RAID still managed to hold its own with these new configurations. When it came to copying a 1GB file through USB and duplicating a file through eSATA, the EZQuest Thunder was a few seconds faster. However, the G-RAID finished quicker when it executed the Photoshop test on both connection cables, and when copying a 1GB file via eSATA cable.

Timed trials

10.6
Copy 1GB file to USB 2.0 0:53
Copy 1GB file to FireWire 400 0:44
Copy 1GB file to FireWire 800 0:36
Copy 1GB file to eSATA 0:27
Duplicate 1GB file via USB 2.0 1:14
Duplicate 1GB file via FireWire 400 1:05
Duplicate 1GB file via FireWire 800 0:48
Duplicate 1GB file via eSATA 0:47
Low-memory Photoshop: USB 2.0 1:18
Low-memory Photoshop: FireWire 400 1:05
Low-memory Photoshop: FireWire 800 0:47
Low-memory Photoshop: eSATA 0:38

Scale = Minutes: Seconds

How we tested. We ran all tests with the drive connected to a Mac Pro Quad 2.66GHz Xeon running Mac OS 10.6 with 2GB of RAM. We tested the drive with each available port. We copied a folder containing 1GB of data from our Mac's hard drive to the external hard drive to test the drive's write speed. We then duplicated that file on the external drive to test both read and write speeds. We also used the drive as a scratch disk when running our low-memory Adobe Photoshop CS3 Suite test. This test is a set of four tasks performed on a 300MB file, with Photoshop's memory set to 25 percent.—Macworld Lab testing by Lynn La

AJA tests

Write Read
USB 28.5MBps 37.2MBps
FireWire 400 34.9MBps 39.6MBps
FireWire 800 60.6MBps 84.8MBps
eSATA 107.1MBps 126.6MBps

The AJA tests also yielded good result speeds. Setting the video frame size to 1920-by-1080 10-bit RGB, and the file size to 2GB, the G-RAID writing speed was 34.9MBps and reading speed was 37.3MBps with the FireWire 400 cable. With an eSATA cable, the speeds were 96.9MBps and 124.3MBps for writing and reading, respectively.

Macworld's buying advice

At 15 cents per gigabyte, the G-RAID comes at a decent price tag and a three-year warranty. We also loved the reliability and ease-of-use of the G-RAID. The G-RAID is worth considering due to its massive storage availability, sleek design, and great price.

[Lynn La is a contributor to Macworld Lab.]

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At a Glance
  • Macworld Rating

    At 15 cents per gigabyte, the G-RAID comes at a decent price tag and a three-year warranty. We also loved the reliability and ease-of-use of the G-RAID. The G-RAID is worth considering due to its massive storage availability, sleek design, and great price.

    Pros

    • Good performance when using Snow Leopard. Nice case design

    Cons

    • Performance hit when using Leopard
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