The G-Drive external hard drive line has been out for a bit now. But the latest model is loaded with the Hitachi 2TB 7200RPM 3.5-inch hard drive, which means I had to check it out. Let’s just say, this boy is big, bad, and fast.
- 2TB 7200RPM SATA II hard drive
- eSATA, FW800, FW400, USB 2.0 interfaces
- White LED strobe light
- MSRP of $349.99
Let’s get one thing out of the way first. This could be the best-looking external hard drive on the market. It looks amazing even if you don’t have a Mac Pro. It’s housed in an aluminum enclosure with a modestly-sized heat sink on the bottom and a very bright activity light that could double as a strobe on the front. At 2.6 lbs, it’s actually quite beefy, too. The backside houses the power rocker and all the ports: a Kensginton lock port, eSATA, twin FW800, USB2.0, and the power input. It’s just an external hard drive, folks. Really nothing fancy here.
Thankfully the drive is as solid as it looks. Each piece is milled from aluminum and held together with counter-sunk screws. It’s really quite beautiful and simple but you’ll void the warranty if you tear yours apart.
A 6.7GB file
- eSATA = 1:34 @ 71MB/s
- FW800 = 1:54 @ 59MB/s
- USB 2.0 = 4:27 @ 25MB/s
Those numbers are right on par with what a 7200RPM hard drive with a 32MB cache should do. Of course eSATA was the fastest but Firewire 800 isn’t a slouch either. For comparison, a USB 2.0 bus-powered drive transferred the same file in 4:48 @ 24MB/s.
Unlike a lot of other external hard drives, the G-Drive doesn’t make that much noise. I heard occasional clicks of the hard drive but it’s definitely one of the quieter drives I’ve heard. The solid aluminum enclosure and noise dampening feet are probably to thank for that.
As the Mac-inspired design suggests, the drive is aimed at the OS X crowd, but it works just fine on PCs too. The hard drive comes HFS+ formatted and Time Machine ready, but the included software, or Windows’ Disk Management tool can easily reformat it to NTFS.
Surprisingly, given the $349 price tag, there isn’t any included backup software. I guess Hitachi feels most buyers are probably Mac users and therefore will stick with Time Machine. Still, some users might appreciate and use a basic backup software program.
The 2TB G-Drive delivers. It can hold a crap-ton of data and manages to keep its transfer speeds up with the best thanks to the fast Hitachi hard drive. Plus, it looks great next to a Mac or a PC. Too bad the $349 MSRP sets it north of most other options and therefore out of sight for some potential buyers.