SanDisk Professional is a new name for a brand familiar to many professionals in the video and cinema community: G-Technology. SanDisk Professional strives to design and build products that deliver blazing-fast speeds, ultra-rugged resiliency, security, and portability. On our test bench today is the company’s latest G-Drive SSD to find out if this rugged drive can compete with the best external SSDsI
With a 10 Gbps interface and a WD Blue SN550E powering it from within, the G-Drive SSD promises responsive performance and reliability. Not only that, but it’s also IP67 water/dust resistant, can easily withstand a 10-foot drop, and comes with a 2000-pound pressure rating. Also on board is hardware encryption for added security. With a design and features like this, the SanDisk Professional G-Drive SSD seems to impress. Let’s dig deeper to find out if it really is one of the best.
|Capacity (User / Raw)||500GB / 512GB||1000GB / 1024GB||2000GB / 2048GB|
|Interface / Protocol||USB-C / USB 3.2 Gen 2||USB-C / USB 3.2 Gen 2||USB-C / USB 3.2 Gen 2|
|Including||19-inch USB Type-C & USB Type-C to USB Type-A Cables||19-inch USB Type-C & USB Type-C to USB Type-A Cables||19-inch USB Type-C & USB Type-C to USB Type-A Cables|
|Interface controller:||ASMedia ASM2362||ASMedia ASM2362||ASMedia ASM2362|
|NAND controller||WD Architecture||WD Architecture||WD Architecture|
|Storage media||WD 96L TLC||WD 96L TLC||WD 96L TLC|
|Default file system||HSF+||HSF+||HSF+|
|Endurance||IP67 water and dust resistance; up to 3 meters fall protection; 2000lb crush resistance||IP67 water and dust resistance; up to 3 meters fall protection; 2000lb crush resistance||IP67 water and dust resistance; up to 3 meters fall protection; 2000lb crush resistance|
|Security||256-bit AES-XTS encryption||256-bit AES-XTS encryption||256-bit AES-XTS encryption|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||95 x 50 x 15mm||95 x 50 x 15mm||95 x 50 x 15mm|
|Weight||90 grams||90 grams||90 grams|
|Guarantee||5 years||5 years||5 years|
The G-Drive SSD is available in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities ranging from $0.18 to $0.28 per gigabyte, with each capacity priced at an additional cost. Out of the box, the SSD is preformatted to HSF+ for use with macOS, but can be easily reformatted to NTFS for use with Windows and take advantage of Trim support. SanDisk Professional rates the G-Drive SSD for delivering sequential read/write speeds of up to 1,050/1,000 MBps. But these numbers are based on the SLC cache performance of the underlying storage and will decrease with large transfers.
Unlike internal SSDs, this portable SSD comes without durability ratings that limit the five-year warranty. However, it features solid LDPC ECC memory and comes with 9.9% factory overprovisioning for improved reliability. And, as we mentioned earlier, it also has support for password-enabled 256-bit AES-XTS hardware encryption, to protect your data from prying eyes in the event of theft or loss. XTS is the latest block encryption mode that uses two AES keys for stronger protection to eliminate potential vulnerabilities in other block encryptions like CBC.
Software & Accessories
SanDisk Professional comes with two long 19-inch USB cables. One is USB-C to USB-C and the other is USB-C to USB Type-A. The company also provides software to enable hardware encryption for use on macOS or Windows.
A closer look
Measuring 95 x 50 x 15 mm and weighing about 90 grams, the G-Drive SSD is fairly compact in terms of size and weight, albeit bulkier than some of its competitors. The size is a good thing, though, as it’s necessary for the drive to run well under the most grueling professional workloads. When persistent requests saturate the G-Drive SSD, the extruded aluminum core keeps it cool.
The G-Drive SSD has a very solid feel in the hand, as it should be given its 2000 lb. pressure resistance and IP67 ratings. The rubbery exterior also sticks to the surface you place it on. There is also a white power/activity LED on the other side of the USB Type-C port.
The SanDisk Professional G-Drive SSD is powered by a WD SN550E, similar to that of the normal SN550, but with firmware optimized for this portable application. Its low power consumption, lack of DRAM, and solid performance made it a perfect candidate for the G-Drive SSD. The drive features a 4-channel DRAM-less controller architecture for efficient operation and is paired with thirty-two 512Gb 96L BiCS4 TLC chips from Kioxia, each likely running at 800 MTps.
In addition, the internal SSD and host communicate through an ASMedia SM2362 USB 3.2 Gen 2 to PCIe NVMe SSD bridge chip. Supporting a PCIe 3.0 x2 interface, this chip is packed with features, making it a solid choice for any portable use, including link power management, SMART data throughput, and USB Attached SCSI Protocol (UASP) support.
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