G-Technology is the high-end desktop and portable storage solutions arm of Western Digital. They provide a higher level of quality and finish to their solutions, similar to how LaCie does the same for Seagate. G Tech has a long history of providing storage solutions that take advantage of multiple drive RAID solutions along with the latest and greatest interface. Recently, they launched their first USB-C portable SSD with the R-Series. Today we see just how good it is.
G-Tech opted for a small form factor "bar" type portable drive for their R-Series. This almost guarantees the use of the m.2 form factor internally paired with a USB-C to SATA host controller, the controller used will have a huge impact on overall performance. With G-Tech, it does appear they have taken all steps necessary designing the R Series to be legit USB 3.1 Gen 2 compatible with marketing performance offering a transfer rate of 560 MB/s.
Further, the R Series is designed to be quite durable with the enclosure offering IP67 water and dust resistance, 3-meter drop protection along with a 1000Lb crushproof rating. Capacity options include 512GB, 1TB and 2TB all compatible with Windows 10 and macOS 10.10 and later. MSRP of the 1TB model in-house reaches 349.99 with a five-year warranty.
Packaging follows the blue colorway we have seen in the past. The drive is pictured on the front with capacity up top and bits of marketing below.
The spine offers specifications along with contents in several languages.
Included in the box we find the drive, USB-C cable and Type-C- to C cable.
The drive offers an interesting aesthetic with a soft plastic shell large G Tech logo covering a blue anodized aluminum enclosure underneath.
The top offers the USB-C connection.
As mentioned in the opening statements, the R-Series is almost guaranteed to use the m.2 form factor just for its size. Internally, we did find the drive to use a SanDisk X600 SSD.
Windows 10 performance gave us a nice 560 MB/s read and 507 MB/s write.
Flipping over to macOS, we see a slight decrease in performance, 474 MB/s read and 450 MB/s write.
The R Series is an appealing drive; I particularly like the two-part design. The outer shell giving you a soft touch plastic and the underlying aluminum giving it the seal needed to be waterproof and durability, so it goes without saying quality is quite good.
Performance was much better in Windows than macOS but it's also important to note when using the drive with the A to C cable you are likely to lose performance especially if your Type-A ports are only USB 3.0. That said, the performance drop is roughly 60 MB/s for both read and write, so it's not a huge deal but can be felt if transferring large files. We were able to reach marketing performance within Windows, 560 MB/s read and 507 MB/d write.
So how does the R Series fit into the current market? The 1TB model sent over retails for $349.99. However, it is going a bit cheaper on Amazon, down to $284 in some cases. On average, I'm seeing the R Series just $30 more expensive than the new SanDisk Extreme and Samsung T5 while having a better warranty and IP67 certification.
Tyler's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Prime Z370 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i3 8350K (buy from Amazon)
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance 32GB 4x8GB DDR4 3200 (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair Hydro H115i (buy from Amazon)
- Case: Corsair Air 540 (buy from Amazon)
- OS Storage: Samsung 960 EVO 250GB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: Corsair RM850x (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 (buy from Amazon)
- Wi-Fi NIC: ASUS PCE-AC88 (buy from Amazon)
- 10Gbe NIC: ASUS XG-C100C (buy from Amazon)
- Thunderbolt 3: ASUS Thunderbolt EX3 (buy from Amazon)
The Bottom Line: For those that need a portable SSD with a touch more durability without breaking the bank, the R Series may be the key.
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