Reviews |G-Drive Pro Desktop Drive

G-Drive Pro Desktop Drive Review

Solid data storage for photographers and videographers

G-Drive Pro Desktop Drive
Review

Price when reviewed

£604

$559
Check current price

Our Verdict

To put the G-Drive through its paces, we tested the performance and reliability by entrusting it with being the main working drive for all video editing for over two months.

The drive provided consistent performance, being used to edit 4K video from various cameras, including the mirrorless Sony A7 III and Canon EOS R and higher quality files from the Sony PXW-FS7. The drive connected through Thunderbolt 3 to a MacBook Pro 2019, M1 Pro and M1 Max. After the initial tests on the Mac platform, the G-Drive was reformatted and used with an Intel NUC 9 Extreme; again, the performance was more than fast enough to keep up with the demands of Premiere Pro.

Through extensive use, the all-metal design and cooling system kept everything cool and ensured that performance stayed consistent over prolonged use.

While the drive performs well, the older magnetic drive technology, while excellent, is noisier than newer SSD technology, and the clicks and viruses can be a little disconcerting.

However, it’s an excellent, high-capacity solution for everyday use at a price for this storage volume.

For

  • Large capacity
  • Speed
  • Robust performance

Against

  • Older HDD technology
  • Can be noisy

What is the G-Drive Pro Desktop Drive 12TB?

The G-Drive Pro Desktop is a traditional desktop external hard drive that features a large-capacity magnetic drive. Its capacity is huge at a staggering 12TB, at least for our review unit, which is more than enough for storage for almost all video editing needs.

While you may think of magnetic as slow compared with the latest SSD and Nvme storage, magnetic still has life, not just because of cost. The Enterprise-class 7200RPM Ultrastar Drive inside utilises a fast Thunderbolt 3 interface or USB 3.2 Gen 1 to ensure fast transfer speeds between the drive and your computer. It can be a viable working drive for video editing with fast transfer rates of up to 250MB/s.

Capacity and speed aren’t the only things going for the G-Drive Pro Desktop; the all-metal design means that heat is well distributed, so even after hours of prolonged use, the speed and reliability of the drive are unaffected.

Build and Handling

Some products arrive that instantly impress due to the high design and build quality. The G-Drive Pro Desktop is one such product with an all-metal design, dark space grey finish and a Large G-Drive print logo emblazoned down the side.

The all-metal design does more than look attractive; it also helps to disperse the heat when the drive is under pressure from use.

The G-Drive G takes centre stage on the front, with the grill fronting the sleek form. The actual design of the G-Drive desktop enclosure hasn’t altered much since the range was introduced.

G-Drive Pro Desktop Drive

The power socket plugs into the AC and the Thunderbolt 3 port and securing port if you need to bolt the drive down on the back of the drive. It is very little to the drive; it is, after all, just a desktop hard drive.

Setting the drive-up takes a few moments with the drive coming pre-formatted in the Mac OS file system; if you want anything else of the more up to date APFS file option, it can be quickly reformatted, likewise if you’re using a Windows file system.

After formatting, the drive is ready to use as a direct working drive or backup. I use single disc drives as working drives, reserving any backup for cloud or NAS systems like the WD EX4100 and Backblaze.

Performance

The G-Drive Pro Desktop is designed as a premium single drive storage solution. The Thunderbolt 3 connectivity ensures a fast transfer rate, and while the maximum speed of the drive is well below what is possible with the Thunderbolt 3 connection, it helps to ensure fast read/write speeds.

I ran the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test in the first test, which instantly demonstrated the drive’s quality. Running a transfer test resulted in the following results on a MacBook Pro 16-inch i9 (late 2019):

Read: 237MB/s
Write: 239MB/s

These results were above those quoted by G-Tech, and leaving the drive to run for an hour with the same test saw no drop in performance.

In the next test, the drive was used to edit 4K video, transcoding 4K MXF files and then editing the files within Final Cut Pro X.

The editing of the footage was relatively streamlined, with the MacBook Pro firing up the fans after a couple of minutes to cope with the additional processing. While the computer struggled with the 4K video, the drive provided the transfer speeds required to edit. The effect was the same with the 4K footage edited directly from the MacBook Pro’s HD, proving that the G-Drive was more than capable of providing working storage for the i9 MacBook.

I switched to a newer M1 Pro-16-inch laptop to double-check the drive’s speed. The difference in the speed of the machine newer but much lower spec’d machine profound. The M1 Pro with the G-Drive ripped through the 4K footage without issue, with little to no noise of slow down from the MacBook while the drive whirled and clicked as the editing progressed.

While the performance with the older intel MacBooks was good, the performance with the new M1 MacBooks is superb.

Final thoughts

12TB is a huge amount of storage, but when it comes to 4K video or higher, that storage can disappear quickly.

One hour-long production will easily eat through your storage and once you’ve created proxy media, added overlays, graphics, music and effects, that storage space will vanish. Although probably not all 12TB in one go…

The G-Drive strikes a careful balance by combining older magnetic drive technology with an ultra-fast interface that enables you to take advantage of the capacity and speed at a more affordable price.

G-Drive Pro Desktop Drive

G-Technology has got this spot-on, with a drive that can be used as a fast, reliable working drive that can keep up with the demands placed on the storage through the editing process.

There’s a reason they look, and the design of the G-Drive has only been slightly tweaked in the years that it has been produced, and that reason is that it’s a solid workhorse that can be relied on.

If you need fast performance, large capacity and an affordable price, then there’s little else that can compete with the formidable G-Drive.

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