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Published on November 27th, 2011 | by Greg


Hitachi G-Drives: Making Mass Storage Look Good

Now that three ter­abyte drives have be­come more com­mon, there are a few things to dis­tin­guish them. You can get an in­ter­nal mod­el, and deal with the has­sles of con­fig­ur­ing your op­er­at­ing sys­tem or the drive it­self. Or you can opt for an ex­ter­nal ver­sion, which will work more broad­ly and of­fer more flex­i­bil­i­ty. We’ve tak­en a look at sev­er­al dif­fer­ent types- in­clud­ing a Hi­tachi Deskstar that was in­cred­i­bly use­ful and con­tin­ues to serve as a pri­ma­ry back­up for our lo­cal mu­sic li­brary.

To­day’s Hi­tachi of­fers the same 7200 RPM speed, qui­et and cool op­er­a­tion, and ex­cel­lent dura­bil­i­ty, but puts it in­to a love­ly all alu­minum en­clo­sure. The G-Drive 3TB Pro­fes­sion­al Ex­ter­nal Hard Drive sets a new stan­dard for high-ca­pac­i­ty, at­trac­tive stor­age. It’s more ex­pen­sive than many, but the sleek looks and fan-less cool­ing sys­tem go a long way to­wards mak­ing the pric­etag seem rea­son­able.

Pre-for­mat­ted for Mac users with the HFS+ for­mat­ting, it’s ready for Time Ma­chine back­up use right out of the box. We al­so tried for­mat­ting it for use with our Win7 64-bit PCs, and had some is­sues re­lat­ed to our com­put­er drivers. Af­ter a few up­dates, some re­search, and re­boots, we tried back­ing up a test fold­er of 10,000 small files, as well as a sin­gle 2TB file, and used Xcopy to mon­i­tor trans­fer rates in both di­rec­tions. And we ran the tests pri­mar­i­ly with eSA­TA, but ap­pre­ci­at­ed the FireWire 800/400, as well as USB 2.0 con­nec­tions. Un­for­tu­nate­ly, those look­ing for Thun­der­bolt or USB 3.0 are out of luck- drives us­ing the for­mer are few and far be­tween, while we did miss the lat­ter as it be­comes al­most stan­dard. What we saw were trans­fer speeds around 100 MB/s for both reads and writes, which is at the up­per end of what we have seen in past tests.

A three year war­ran­ty is pro­vid­ed; many com­peti­tors of­fer on­ly two years so we liked the added as­sur­ance. Plus, Hi­tachi in­cludes all of the ca­bles, which can save you some mon­ey as well as an an­noy­ing trip to the store. And, of course, Hi­tachi of­fers a wide ar­ray of oth­er drive op­tions for those in need- a few types of small­er, pock­et drives as well as larg­er RAID ar­rays. At $300, avail­able now on­line, this will def­i­nite­ly set you back a bit. But the qui­et op­er­a­tion and sol­id build qual­i­ty were def­i­nite­ly help­ful, and the brushed met­al look is great next to your Mac­Book Air or oth­er OSX ma­chine.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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