SanDisk Professional G-Drive specifications
Interface: USB 3.2 Gen 2
Claimed sequential read performance: Up to 280MB/s
Claimed sequential write performance: Up to 280MB/s
Compatibility: Formatted APFS for macOS 10.15+ (Time Machine compatible); Windows® 10+ (via reformat)
Dimensions (L x W x H): 210mm x 133mm x 41mm
The SanDisk Professional G-Drive makes an impression right from the start. However, this external hard drive isn’t just made to dazzle your eyes with its Blade Runner-esque design or gray anodized aluminum casing, its main goal is to dazzle you with its gargantuan storage space.
When I was a kid, 12 terabytes belonged in the realm of science fiction. Whether this says more about technological advances or my age is up for debate, but I couldn’t help but think that a terabyte fits into a medium-sized space at best, as I held in my hands this slightly larger-than-palm slab of metal.
And this isn’t even the biggest that SanDisk Professional makes. While I was sent the 12TB version to test and review, you can order up to 22TB variants of the same drive in the same enclosure. The G-Drive Pro version of this is already one of our best external hard drives (opens in new tab), so expectations were high. First impressions? They were indeed a good sign.
SanDisk Professional G-Drive review: design and build
The SanDisk Professional G-Drive looks stylish and bold compared to most external hard drives, which tend to be boring variations of a black/grey box with a logo somewhere. Not so the G-Drive. Confusingly, the G-Drive bears almost the same name as the G-Drive Pro and has a rounded hexagonal front profile rather than a rectangular one, with a grid-like array of grippy fins on the front and along the top and bottom within the aluminum chassis. It looks, dare I say it, a little bit cool.
And for the OCD among us (and considering HDDs are often used together in a daisy chain), it’s also stackable, handy for professionals short on space.
SanDisk Professional G-Drive Review: Features and Performance
On the inside, we’re going to get a little more technical. Of course, since the SanDisk Professional G-Drive is a hard drive and not an SSD, we can’t expect the same transfer speeds as an SSD, but the G-Drive claims transfer speeds of up to 280MB/ s. and 250 MB/s for the 12 TB model I tested. These are speeds normally reserved for two or more hard drives in a RAID configuration, so mark these under: bold.
To achieve this, SanDisk included an Ultrastar 7200rpm enterprise-class hard drive that uses rotating metal for lower friction and faster speeds, and I was curious to see if it could perform.
Write: 231.67MB/s; Read: 229.04MB/s
Crystal Disk Mark
Write: 287.27MB/s; Read: 234.24MB/s
In short: yes. In fact, the SanDisk G-Drive surpassed it in our CrystalDiskMark benchmark test, achieving a write speed of 287.27 MB/s, nearly 15% above the advertised number, and read speeds were also very close to the advertised number.
In a real-world environment, transferring large video files, images, and a large number of smaller documents seemed very consistent with the benchmark numbers, although of course with the segmentation that occurs with many small documents, you’ll get a lower average speed if that’s the case is on HDD or SSD.
When several of these are connected I can imagine the speeds are boosted even further and to support this the G-Drive has a Thunderbolt dock and a high-speed USB-C transfer cable capable of speeds of up to to 20 Gbit / s claimed. Handy to know if you’re producing an MCU-sized film…
It is pre-formatted for use with a Mac, but can easily be 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 is not cheap. In fact, it’s more expensive than many same-sized external hard drives currently on the market, including WD Gold and Seagate Expansion hard drives. But looks aside, this drive has a transfer speed that’s superior to most, offering a sort of bridge between SSD and HDD drives when it comes to size without sacrificing too much speed.
Should You Buy the SanDisk Professional G-Drive?
Unless you’re a professional filmmaker, photographer, or someone whose job involves storing massive amounts of data locally, you won’t need this drive. But if you need something that transfers files fast enough not to bog down your workflow with enterprise-level capacity, the SanDisk Professional G-Drive might be worth the premium price tag, with its rugged design, excellent performance, and SanDisk hallmark of quality.