SanDisk Professional G-Drive Specifications
Couple: USB 3.2 Gen 2
Claimed sequential read performance: Up to 280 MB/s
Claimed sequential write performance: Up to 280 MB/s
Compatibility: Formatted APFS for macOS 10.15+ (compatible with Time Machine); Windows® 10+ (via reformatting)
Dimensions (L x W x H): 210mm x 133mm x 41mm
The SanDisk Professional G-Drive impresses right out of the box. However, this external hard drive is not just made to impress your eyes, with its Blade Runner-like design or the gray anodized aluminum housing, because its main purpose is to disappoint you with its gigantic storage space.
When I was a kid, 12 terabytes belonged to the realm of science fiction. Whether this says more about technological advancement or my age remains up for debate, but I couldn’t help but think that a terabyte fits in a medium-sized room at best, as I’m in my hands over this slightly larger than palm-sized block of metal.
And this isn’t even the biggest SanDisk Professional makes. While I was sent the 12 TB version to test and review, you can order up to 22 TB variants of the same drive, in the same enclosure. The G-Drive Pro version of it is already one of our best external hard drives (opens in new tab), so expectations were high. First impression? They were indeed a good sign.
SanDisk Professional G-Drive review: design and build
The SanDisk Professional G-Drive looks stylish and eye-catching compared to most external hard drives, which are usually bland variations of a black and gray cube with a logo plastered somewhere. Not so the G-Drive. Confusing with almost the same name as the G-Drive Pro, the G-Drive has a rounded hexagonal profile on the front rather than a rectangular profile, with a grille-like row of grippy louvres on the front and along the top and bottom inside the aluminum shell. It looks, dare I say it, kind of cool.
And for the more OCD among us (and given that HDDs are often daisy-chained together), it’s also stackable, handy for professionals with limited space.
SanDisk Professional G-Drive review: features and performance
On the inside we get a little more technical. Of course, since the SanDisk Professional G-Drive is an HDD, not an SSD, we can’t expect the same transfer speeds as an SSD offers, but the G-Drive claims transfer speeds of up to 280 MB/s for the largest model, and 250 MB/s for the larger model. model I tested, the 12TB. Those are speeds usually reserved for two or more HDDs in a RAID configuration, so put that below: in bold.
To achieve this, SanDisk has an enterprise-class 7200 RPM Ultrastar hard drive inside, which uses spinning metal for less friction and faster speeds, and I was curious to see if it could live up to its boast.
Write: 231.67MB/s; Read: 229.04MB/s
Write: 287.27MB/s; Read: 234.24MB/s
In short: yes. In fact, the SanDisk G-Drive outperformed in our CrystalDiskMark benchmark test, with write speeds of 287.27 MB/s, nearly 15% above the claimed figure, and read speeds very close to the advertised number as well.
In practice, transferring large video files, images and large numbers of smaller documents seemed very consistent with benchmark figures, although the segmentation that happens with many small documents naturally results in a lower average speed, whether on an HDD or SSD.
With some of those paired I can imagine the speed being boosted even further, and to support that the G-Drive has a Thunderbolt dock and a fast USB-C transfer cable that claims speeds of up to 20Gbps. Useful to know if you’re producing an MCU-sized movie…
It comes pre-formatted for use with a Mac, but can be easily reformatted to an NTFS or exFAT format for use with a Windows system.
SanDisk Professional G-Drive review: price
The G-Drive ranges from £206.99 / $209.99 for the 4TB version to £707.99 / $649.99 for the 22TB version. The 12TB model I tested has an MSRP of £468.99 / $379.99. That’s not cheap. It is even more expensive than many similar sized external hard drives on the market today, including WD Gold and Seagate Expansion drives. But appearances aside, this drive has transfer speeds a step up from most, offering something of a bridge between SSD and HDD drives when it comes to size without sacrificing too much speed.
Should you buy the SanDisk Professional G-Drive?
If you’re not a professional filmmaker or photographer or someone whose profession involves storing massive amounts of data locally, you don’t need this drive. But if you need something that transfers files fast enough not to hamper your workflow with enterprise-grade capacity, the SanDisk Professional G-Drive, with its durable design, excellent performance, and the SanDisk seal of quality, might be worth checking out. price tag.