By far the best and most reliable portable drive I’ve used is the G-Raid seriesÂ by G-Technology. Â I have 4 of them, some are 4 – 5 years old, and they all still work great.
Internally, G-Raid has two 3.5″ SATA drives that are striped together using RAID level 0 for speed. Â The stripe management is all handled inside the box. The mac sees it as one volume. Therefore if you have a 500GB G-Raid, inside is two 250GB drives. Â These arrays are very fast and can handle multiple streams of DVCPRO HD. I edited a show in FCP at 720P and never experienced any drop frames. From a reliability standpoint I’ve never had any hardware problems with them but have seen the typical mac volume problems. However I’ve never had any data loss from it.
Now let’s examine the disadvantages. Â The main concern is that with 2 drives striped together you are risking up to 2TB of data with twice as many chances of a hardware failure. Â If either of the two physical hard drives inside the box die you lose all the data on both drives. If you’re using them for media and have the tapes as a backup – it might be an acceptable a low risk. Â Like I said, I’ve never had data loss.
As part of my “moving forward” theme (out with the old) I’m trying to lower the risks of data loss.Â I will most likely be selling my G-Raid drives in favor of a larger safer total solution. Since this solution will likely be based on a sata connection, I might keep one for transporting files.
There are other newer G-Tech solutions such as the G-Speed which I’ll talk about another day.