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G-Technology G-RAID 20TB Thunderbolt 2 Device Review

G-Technology G-RAID 20TB Thunderbolt 2 Device Review

We test the capacity-friendly G-Technology G-RAID Thunderbolt 2 storage device. It may not be for everyone, but it has its place.

By: Tyler Bernath from Dec 8, 2016 @ 17:13 CST
TweakTown Rating: 85%Manufacturer: G-Technology

At the tail end of Thunderbolt 2 products, G-Technology has released a swan song of sorts. While I'm sure there will still be products that take advantage of the interface soon, Thunderbolt 3 will take the main stage. With that said, G-Technology has launched the G-RAID 20TB Thunderbolt 2 storage device.

The G-RAID lineup covers an array of connectivity options and capacities, and those include USB 3.0 model along with solutions that house both Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3.0. Capacities range from 8TB to 20TB with all models featuring enterprise-class 7200RPM hard drives.

Performance of the Thunderbolt 2 enabled solution is said to top out around 480 MB/s, that of course is in RAID 0 and all G-RAID solutions have the option of RAID 1 should you need it. Compatibility sees these solutions come from the factory ready for OS X, but can be easily formatted for use with Windows platforms.

MSRP of the 20TB G-Technology G-RAID Thunderbolt 2 comes in at $1449.99 with a three-year warranty.


Packaging for the G-RAID is quite familiar with some of the previous GTECH products we have had come through. Capacity is listed at the top right along with marketing performance. At the bottom right, we have compatibility listed with Mac and Windows.


The backside goes into further detail of the specifications.


With the package, G-Technology included both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt 2 cables next to the power adapter and reading materials.


Our first look shows off the aluminum single piece design of the enclosure, of course, a large GTech logo covers the side.


The front of the enclosure is a mesh panel that pushes air through while doubling as a door to remove the drives.


On the backside, we have the I/O panel that includes dual Thunderbolt 2, USB 3.0 and the power input. To the far left, you find a Kensington lock slot and to the far right the power button.


Inside our sample, a pair of He10 drives from HGST made an appearance.


To start things off, I ran this solution through Flash Bench on our Windows system outlined below, just a better way of visualizing ATTO. As you can see, read and write started out at 415 MB/s and held that through 2M transfers.


Moving this solution back to OS X and our MacBook Pro, I ran through Disk Speed Test and came up with 468 MB/s read and 449 MB/s write on the Thunderbolt 2 connection.


In AJA Systems, with ProRes4444 encoding, we reached 316 frames a second read and 292 write at 1080p.


Switching over to 4K, we managed to reach 78 frames read and 77 write.

Having used this for a week or so as a Time Machine backup for my MacBook Pro, I can honestly say the capacity is just ridiculous and will certainly be overkill for many of you as it was for me. With that said, what is nice about the G-RAID device is the performance without sacrificing capacity. And yes, SSDs are making strides in the capacity segment, but for prosumer or enthusiasts that want something that works, the G-RAID could certainly be that solution. In terms of aesthetics, the G-RAID device delivers there as well with a simple aluminum design and with removable drives prolonging the life of the enclosure should you ever need more capacity.

Performance, as seen in the images above was quite good, slightly better over Thunderbolt 2 than USB 3.0 but that is expected at this point. On our Windows platform, we reached 415 MB/s while moving over to OS X netted us a slight performance gain up to 468 MB/s read and 449 MB/ s write. In AJA Systems Test, we managed a solid 77 frames read and write at 4K while 1080p produced upwards of 300 read and 290 write.

Overall, the G-RAID 20TB isn't going to be for everyone. The price alone will dictate that, but it's certainly a viable option for professionals that want both performance and capacity in a single desktop solution.

Tyler's Test System Specifications

Quality including Design and Build90%
General Features85%
Bundle and Packaging85%
Value for Money80%
Overall TweakTown Rating85%

The Bottom Line: The G-RAID Thunderbolt 2 isn't for everyone, but the solid capacity options and ample performance make it a solid contender for media professionals.

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