capsule review

G-SATA 1TB hard drive

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The G-SATA follows in the footsteps of G-Technology’s G-RAID 800 (   ). The stylish housing remains unchanged.

The G-SATA requires that you use Apple’s Disk Utility to format the drives. In our testing, when formatted as a RAID 0 volume, the G-SATA had an average read speed of 93 MBps and an impressive 160 MBps write speed when empty, using a Sonnet Tempo 4+4 PCI-X card. At 90 percent capacity, the G-SATA’s read and write speeds fell to 47 MBps and 79 MBps, respectively. This minimum speed ensures that users can edit even 10-bit uncompressed standard definition video without problems.

To give you an idea of how this stacks up to FireWire speeds, the G-RAID 800 turned in read speeds of 76.5 MBps and write speeds of 54 MBps in our review of that drive.

One noteworthy shortcoming of the G-SATA is that it does not have hot-swappable drives, so you can’t easily replace drives.

In standard operation, the G-SATA’s fan was relatively quiet compared with those of the other RAIDs we’ve tested recently, and the enclosure always remained cool.


Price per gigabyte $0.99
Connectors (2) eSata “I”
Rotational Speed 7,200 RPM
Other capacities 320GB ($329), 500GB ($449), 148GB 10,000-rpm ($599)

Timed trials

Average Read Speed 93 MBps
Average Write Speed 160 MBps
Copy 1GB to Drive 0:31
Duplicate 1GB on Drive 0:39
Low Memory Photoshop CS Suite 1:06

How We Tested: All scores are in minutes:seconds, except for the average read and write score, which is in MBps (megabytes per second). All tests used the drive’s eSATA port, connected via PCI-X cards installed in a dual-2.5GHz Power Mac G5 with Mac OS X 10.3.9 and 512MB of RAM. 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 CS Suite test. This test is a set of four tasks performed on a 150MB file, with Photoshop’s memory set to 50 percent. For the average read and write scores, we used a 50MB custom test based on QuickBench (disk drive performance evaluation software) and ZoneBench (a benchmarking application designed to measure the read and write speeds over an entire local storage device) tests.—Macworld lab testing by James Galbraith, Jerry Jung, and Anton Linecker.

Macworld’s buying advice

The G-Technology G-SATA is a good—if expensive—workhorse, with fast write speeds and quiet operation. Currently, G-Technology is neither bundling the G-SATA with SATA host adapters nor selling SATA cards (though the company plans to in the future). In the meantime, anyone interested in the G-SATA should look to Sonnet or FirmTek for compatible host cards.

[ Anton Linecker is a writer and video technical advisor living in Los Angeles. ]

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