I am a huge fan of portable storage. I think it really makes our current mode of living (on-the-go) possible. I have a 2016 MacBook Pro. It has 250GB of flash storage installed, which is twice as much as what I had on my previous laptop. Still, when you are dealing with media files (photo, video, audio, etc.), that space is a premium. And, if you happen to have a drive failure, then what? With that in mind, I’ve become a huge fan of keeping a portable drive with me. I like having the flexibility of doing a quick backup or accessing archived files when I’m on-the-go. I’ve primarily been using mechanical drives recently. They are historically more affordable and they get the job done. That said, I am very happy to be able to upgrade to a mobile SSD with the G-Drive Mobile Pro SSD portable hard drive.
The G-Drive Mobile Pro SSD portable hard drive is designed with a durable, shock-resistant case. The SSD a transfer rate of up to 2800MB/s and is fast enough to allow users to edit multi-stream 8K footage at a full frame rate. The hard drive’s case provides shock-resistant storage with 3-meter drop protection and 1000lb crush-proof rating. The Mobile Pro SSD has a single Thunderbolt 3 port which provides a high-speed connection without the need for external power. There is a protective aluminum core which helps to prevent overheating. The enclosure insulates the drive so that case remains cool on the outside of the case when the drive is in use. While the hard drive is specifically formatted for macOS out of the box, it can be formatted to work with a Windows machine.
- Interface: Thunderbolt 3 port
- Transfer Rate: Up to 2800MB/s
- Compatibility: MacOS 10.13+, Windows® 10 (via reformat)
- Dimensions: 4.41” x 3.15” x 0.67” / 112 x 80 x 17 mm
- G-DRIVE mobile Pro SSD
- 1 x .5m Thunderbolt 3 Cable (40Gbps)
- Quick Start Guide
The G-Drive Mobile Pro SSD portable hard drive comes in a reinforced, G-Technology branded box. It features blue and white colors and includes the major details of the device. I think this is a very effective method of identifying the product on a retail shelf. It’s easy to see the image of the device as well as the capacity you are selecting. Inside the box, you will find the hard drive encased in plastic. It ships with a Thunderbolt 3 cable and a user manual. The hard drive has a soft silicone covering on the majority of its case. The ends of the hard drive feature exposed aluminum. One end of the hard drive has a Thunderbolt 3 port on it while the other features the LED indicator. The top of the drive has the “G” logo on it along with a TB icon to indicate what kind of connection this drive needs. When it appears on the desktop of the computer, it has an image that looks like the hard drive itself. I thought this was a nice touch as it uniquely identifies the hard drive on your computer, which is great if you have more than one external drive connected at one time.
Once I connected the drive using the provided Thunderbolt 3 cable, I opened the System Profiler on my computer and looked at the storage availability. The G-Drive SSD appeared normally and showed that it had 503.13GB of 499.76GB available. There were no system files stored on the drive out of the box and Disk Utility showed that 499.32GB of space was available. The System Profiler also identified that the connection is PCI-Express and that the drive was pre-formatted as MacOS Extended.
At this point, I began testing the drive’s transfer speeds. As a matter of practice, I use three methods to test this function when I check out a hard drive: Blackmagic Speed Test, AJA Speed Test, and a simple data transfer timed with a stopwatch.
Blackmagic Speed Test result: 1102.4 MBs WRITE/2324.0 MBs READ
AJA Speed Test results: This test allows you to test specific video formats so that you can judge if this drive will work for your purposes. I will usually only test a drive at 1080P and 4K Full, but since this was a Thunderbolt 3 capable drive, I also tested the 5K Red format.
1080P — 1442 WRITE1735 READ MBs
4K Full (4096×3112) 16GB File Size: 1121 WRITE2307 READ MBs
5K Red (5120×2700) 64GB File Size: 902 WRITE2311 READ MBs
Finally, I copied a small file to the hard drive. It was a movie file that was 2.37GB in size. I used my iPhone’s stopwatch to time the transfer. It took 2.99 seconds for the file to copy to the drive. Because that was such a quick test, I decided to copy a much larger file to it. I grabbed a compressed file that was 15.46GB in size. That transfer was still very quick at 39.38 seconds.
I never had any heat issues with this drive, even after running these stress tests. The drive has remained cool to the touch. Its case is very durable and easy to use.
The G-Drive Mobile Pro SSD is a HUGE upgrade for those who are working with Thunderbolt 3 compatible machines. It is an expensive upgrade (at the time of publishing this article, G-Technology lists the 500GB model of this drive at $399), but in my opinion, it’s well worth it if you work remotely. Even though G-Technology advertises a maximum drive read speed of 2800MBs and I only reached around 1100 write/2300 read speeds, I believe that 2800MBs is attainable if you have the right set-up as G-Technology notes that the maximum read speed will vary depending on your hardware and software components and configurations. I’ve been very happy with the speed of the drive as well as it’s general use performance. While I have several portable hard drives, this will now be my ‘go to’ drive when I need to work away from the office because of the SSD enclosed within.