Little by little, and aside from debates on privacy, the cloud is taking a position to become the storage most used by users. Maybe now we’re squeezing people more accustomed to the technology more, but it’s already catching on among the general user.

But despite all this, external hard drives remain the solution for those who need to store large amounts of data without depending on an internet connection. Today we are going to see a solution to this need: the Sandisk G-Drive with no less than 12TB of space inside.

SanDisk G-Drive, technical specifications and design

sandisk gdrive

Disc type

Mechanic model Ultrastar at 7200 RPM

dimensions

19.61 x 12.85 x 3.53 cm

weight

2 kilograms

abilities

4, 6, 12 and 18 TB

Link

USB 3.2 Gen1 (USB-C), charging capacity up to 45W included

the price

From € 197.99 to € 600.99 depending on capacity

compatibility

macOS 10.12 or later, Time Machine compatible disc

We’re not dealing with the already common, comfortable, small, and portable external drive that only needs one cable. We return here to what we saw before: a large external hard drive, desktop, heavy and designed to sit on our desk or shelf. One compelling reason for this is its 12TB space (in our test unit), which can go up to 18TB.

Aluminum in the housing gives the G-Drive a rugged industrial look.

The drive cage is made of hard and sturdy aluminum, giving it an industrial look reminiscent of the design of the Mac Pro before the 2013 black bin. The bottom adds four rubber feet to support it well, which is perfect because I I was able to verify that the hardness of aluminum is capable of scratching solid wood tables.

Rubber feet are popular, as aluminum easily scratches wood.

I have little to say about ports, although that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. The G-Drive connects to Macs via USB 3.2 Gen 1, with the included USB-C cable and compatible with Thunderbolt interfaces. This gives you theoretical maximum speeds of 5 Gbps, more than enough for a mechanical hard drive. In addition to the USB-C port, we have a slot for Kensington locks and a drive on / off switch, and the ability to daisy-chain up to 5 compatible devices.

This G-Drive is capable of charging a MacBook and even an iPad Pro with a power of 45 W

Note a small advantage which can be decisive for users of portable Macs: you can use the GDrive and its power supply as a charger for MacBook. That is to say: if you connect the disk (with its plug to the current) and connect its USB to the MacBook, it charges at a maximum power of 45W. This might slow down the charging of larger, more demanding MacBook Pros, but it still allows you to use the drive socket as a charger and carry the laptop socket in your backpack for other uses. .

I tried doing the same on my 11 inch iPad Pro by taking advantage of its USB-C port and yes it is also able to charge it with no problem while I can use the G-Drive as an external drive straight from it. application files. Be careful though: this is only possible if the drive is not configured as a Time Machine drive on a modern Mac.

The disk ports: a Kensington lock, a USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 connection, the power outlet and a switch.

When it comes to noise, the G-Disk also performs well. I’m used to my Mac mini M1 being completely silent (I can’t perceive when it’s on or off with sound alone). The disc emits a very slight noise which will be completely camouflaged if you have a more “scandalous” computer like a Mac Pro or a MacBook Pro which is running at full blast and has to use its fans. What is noticeable are its vibrations: I feel them in my arms through the solid wood table on which all my equipment rests as the disk copies data.

Performance: a disc that does it all for the general user and (almost) the most demanding video editor

The G-Drive reminds that it is mechanical and not SSD when connected to the Mac, it does not appear almost immediately, it takes a few seconds (more if the drive has been off for a while). Now, that doesn’t mean slowness – here is the result of running the player through the BlackMagic benchmarks:

The disk promises read and write speeds of 240 MB / s, and that’s what the tests give me: oscillating between 235 and 244 MB / s we can consider that it keeps its promises, of the less to HFS + files. This would allow us to edit videos in 4K and 60fps as long as we use Apple’s ProRes format, and to edit videos in 1080p at 60fps in all formats except some 10-bit profiles. Not bad for a simple mechanical hard drive that cannot be accelerated with RAID configurations.

SanDisk promotes G-Drives as Time Machine ready drives. I did the test by enabling the function on my Mac mini M1 without any copies, and I could see how the assistant made a full copy of the whole computer (almost 122 GB) in just 12 minutes. Very good numbers, although that can change depending on the Mac you have and the speed of its internal drives. It must also be said that the high speeds of the USB-C ports play their role here. Connecting the drive using adapters to traditional USB-A ports can make these copies much slower.

Conclusions: it is not an SSD, but to be a mechanical disk it offers everything and more

In short, this SanDisk G-Drive is a drive for those who need a lot of storage and add good performance, and don’t mind having a static drive on their desk. It can move, but between the weight and the lumps it is quite uncomfortable. I see it on the desks of families who need a Time Machine drive for multiple Macs with plenty of storage, or maybe connected to a video editor’s computer that hasn’t made the leap to High performance SSDs and / or who want extra SSD space in your storage solutions.

It’s priced at $ 445.99, so there’s a lot more to consider when choosing higher storages like this 12TB. If you need 6TB or less, you may be able to. -being to save money by buying one or two basic portable external drives and sacrificing some of the performance I mentioned.