G-Technology G-SPEED Q RAID External Hard Drive Reviewed

Videomaker by Dan Bruns

A fast and flexible RAID drive that will keep data safe within its solid and sleek design.

Here's a fact that everyone can agree on: losing data stinks. Without a good storage solution, however, video editors constantly find themselves playing a digital version of Jenga - one wrong click and all of a project's data comes falling down. Especially when you're working with footage from a big production, losing data can mean a significant loss of money and time. At best, it might mean a sincere apology to a client and an extra week of work. At worst, it might sound the death knell for the entire project and put a permanent stain on your reputation. Though there aren't any ways to make sure data is 100% safe, there are some things anyone can do to diminish the chances for data to disappear into cyberspace. One of those ways is by having a RAID drive. RAID =Redundant Array of Inexpensive (or individual) Disks. RAID drives allow video editors to mirror their data in RAID-1 mode, speed up their hard drive speeds with RAID-0 or do a bit of both with RAID-5. Of course the best part is that most RAID drives can have an entire hard drive fail and still be able to get back all of the data that was lost. With G-Technology's recent release of its 8TB G-SPEED Q, they've shown that not only are they intent on saving your video projects from failure but they're intent on giving you a lot of space to do it as well.

The Design

Anyone who has ever fallen in love with the sleek and sturdy design of a Mac will inevitably enjoy G-SPEED Q's design. With its rounded aluminum corners and minimalistic approach, this drive will fit perfectly alongside any Mac while still looking cool next to a PC. True to the Mac style, its enclosure is made out of sturdy and sleek aluminum, allowing the drive to stay cool and compact. In fact, it's also so small and compact that it's weight can honestly take one by surprise. The first time we picked up G-Tech's unit we nearly dropped it due to its 12.5 pound bulk. This puts it in the same weight class as LaCie's 4big Quadra and Promise's SmartStor.

Of course, one of the most important aspects of any RAID drive are the connections types and G-Tech doesn't disappoint. The G-SPEED Q was thoughtful enough to include USB 2.0, two FireWire 800 ports for Daisy Chaining purposes, and an eSATA port for blazing fast speeds of up to 3 GB/s. Of course, it was a slight disappointment to not see either a USB 3.0 or Apple and Intel's Thunderbolt technology, but considering the unit's release date, it's hard to be too disappointed.

Looking at the front of the unit, G-Tech has included four hot-swappable drive bays. Swinging a latch on each unit and unlocking it with an included key allows the bays to come out of the unit. The latches also felt well-designed to the point where even a fairly hard push wouldn't ruin the hinges. Inside each bay that G-Tech sent us were 2 TB Hitachi Ultrastar "enterprise-class" SATA hard drives. This means that the hard drives should be able to withstand constant use even while continually spinning at a fast 7,200 RPM with 32MB of cache. Though this more than likely adds to the price of the unit, it also gives editors something that's hard to put a price on: peace of mind. read more...

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