The G-Drive Q is the Swiss army knife of external disks. The “Q” stands for quad—referring to the four different types of data connectors on the back of the drive. You’ll find two FireWire 800 ports along with a FireWire 400, USB 2.0, and a high-speed eSATA I-type port. You can’t ask for a more versatile drive.
Using the G-Drive Q is easy: You attach the power supply and connect it to your computer via any of the four connections on the drive. The drive ships with a FireWire 800 cable; but for eSATA, USB 2.0, or FireWire 400, you must get your own cable. The G-Drive Q doesn’t require any drivers, and it mounted automatically on my desktop. The G-Drive Q can be configured as a backup boot drive, as it is bootable on all four ports. (Only Macs with Intel chips support booting via USB 2.0.)
The G-Drive Q shares its enclosure design with its predecessor, the G-Drive—a slick aluminum case inspired by the design of the PowerMac G5. Since it operates without a fan, the G-Drive Q is very quiet—only the occasional spin up and spin down of the drive can be heard. Even without the fan, the drive’s aluminum casing dissipates heat easily.
Inside the enclosure, G-Technology uses Oxford Semiconductor’s new 924 chip to interface with the installed 500GB Hitachi 7200-rpm SATA II drive. Using QuickBench (a 50MB custom test) to test data transfer rates, we found that the G-Drive Q scored an average write speed of 55 MBps and an average read speed of 69 MBps via the eSATA connection. With FireWire 800, the write speed averaged 57 MBps, and the read speed came in at 58 MBps. FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 came in at 39 MBps and 21 MBps write, respectively, and 32 MBps and 18 MBps read.
|Price per gigabyte||$1.12|
|Connectors||FireWire 400, FireWire 800, USB 2.0, and eSATA|
|Rotational Speed||7,200 RPM|
|Other capacities||160GB ($219), 250GB ($269)|
|Average Read Speed||69 MBps|
|Average Write Speed||55 MBps|
|Copy 1GB to Drive||0:29|
|Duplicate 1GB on Drive||0:52|
|Low Memory Photoshop CS Suite||1:20|
Scale = Minutes: Seconds
Macworld’s buying advice
G-Technology’s G-Drive Q is one of the most versatile desktop drives around. With nearly every type of connection you could want and quiet operation, it’s a winner.
[ Anton Linecker is a writer and video technical adviser living in Los Angeles. ]G-Drive Q Serial ATA 500GB (front)G-Drive Q Serial ATA 500GB (back)