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SATAVue Hot-Swap 1TB hard drive

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The Granite Digital SATAVue Hot-Swap has an industrial look. Constructed of heavy aluminum, it feels practically tank-like. However, underneath the heavy shell hides a hare, not a tortoise.

The SATAVue has two SATA connections on the back, each one going to its own drive. You create a software RAID via Apple’s Disk Utility.

Formatted as RAID 0 (combining both drives as a single volume), the SATAVue performed very well in our QuickBench tests, scoring the fastest average read speed (125 MBps) among similar drives we’ve tested recently.

Granite Digital has some interesting options when it comes to powering the SATAVue. First, it offers redundant power supplies for the RAID (if one power supply fails, your RAID can still operate). The company also offers a PCIe SATA host adapter that can pass electrical power to the RAID, so you don’t even need external power supplies.


Price per gigabyte $0.96
Connectors (2) eSata “L”
Rotational Speed 7,200 RPM
Other capacities 320GB ($360), 500GB ($480), 1.5 TB ($1,360)

timed trials

Average Read Speed 125 MBps
Average Write Speed 136 MBps
Copy 1GB to Drive 0:30
Duplicate 1GB on Drive 0:35
Low Memory Photoshop CS Suite 0:57

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

While the Granite Digital SATAVue Hot-Swap may not win any design awards, it performed very well in our tests. It’s a heavy-duty, speedy RAID. At $960, the 1TB version is a little pricey considering that you can buy the bare enclosure for only $160 from Granite Digital and then fill it with drives.

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

SATAVue Hot-Swap 1TB
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