G-Technology G-Raid3 review
G-Raid3 delivers excellent performance, provided you have the budget to match.
Review Date: 9 Mar 2009
Price when reviewed: (£399 ex VAT)
Reviewed By: Alan Stonebridge
This solid desktop hard drive from G-Technology is fashioned after the Mac Pro, so the G-Raid3 looks right at home parked on top of a Mac Pro. Its distinguishing feature, however, is the inclusion of a second disk in a Raid 0 configuration.
The lack of Raid 1 for redundancy is a deliberate move, as the G-Raid3 is pitched at applications that need reliably fast performance, such as editing video in multiple streams. As such, the inclusion of a full-size USB 2 port seems a little unnecessary, but we're glad that a FireWire 400 port is included, as it's handy for daisychaining a portable drive to take files away from the office to work on.
The drive also has two FireWire 800 ports and a single 3Gbits/sec eSata port to eke out extra performance from the Sata II disks that promise blazing read and write speeds that can reach more than 200MB/sec.
Over FireWire 800, our benchmarks returned good results on a par with the Iomega Ultramax Plus reviewed in our hard drive Labs when that drive was configured as a Raid 0 array, delivering 62MB/sec in our random write test. That's a comfortable 8MB/sec faster than the best single-disk drives, and a Raid drive stands a better change of coping with increased strain.
When we switched to eSata, results remained good across the board. The drive met G-Technology's speed claim in one write test and almost got there in the read test, where it pulled in scores of 214MB/sec and 194MB/sec, respectively. However, they were sequential tests, and performance was understandably poorer with the tougher random tests. There, the drive achieved 86MB/sec when writing and 31MB/sec at reading from the disks, the latter being a slight improvement over FireWire 800, which managed 25MB/sec.
The G-Raid3 also monitors its temperature and starts its fan when needed with the aim of extending the life of the disks. It's pretty quiet: you'd be hard-pushed to notice it in a dedicated studio space, and it was certainly nowhere near as loud as the Mac Pros in our office when they're put to a heavy task.
The G-Raid3 is on par or better than other drives we've recently tested. Its FireWire 800 speeds are good if not outstanding, but it's over eSata that G-Raid3 proves its worth.
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