G-Tech G-DRIVE mini Triple

The Good Fast FireWire 800 throughput; FireWire interface is bus-powered; OS X-ready, cool and quiet during operation, three-year warranty.

The Bad High cost per GB; subpar FireWire 400 throughput speed; not Windows XP-friendly, USB 2.0 requires separate power adapter purchase.

The Bottom Line Unless you are using a Mac with a FireWire 800 port, G-Tech's G-Drive mini Triple portable hard drive holds little appeal.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 8.0
  • Features 5.0
  • Performance 7.0
  • Support 8.0
6.7 Overall

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Review

G-Tech G-DRIVE mini Triple

We have mixed feelings for the G-Drive mini Triple. On one hand, this portable hard drive boasts three connection options, a rugged design, and an internal hard drive that spins at a fleet 7,200rpm (most 2.5-inch drives spin at only 5,400rpm or slower). But a drive's rotation speed offers little difference in performance, particularly when operating on a FireWire 400 or USB 2.0 connection as we saw in testing. The other interface option is FireWire 800. The drive is quite friendly with Macs, but those running Windows XP will need to engage in a rather advanced reformatting process before you get up and running. We also found that when operating via USB 2.0, the drive requires you to purchase the separate power adapter. Finally, at around $250 for the 200GB model, the G-Drive mini Triple does not offer good value per GB. Thus, we are left to conclude that the G-Drive mini Triple is suited only for Mac users with FireWire 800 ports. The SimpleTech Signature Mini Black Cherry or the OWC Mercury are portable drives with broader appeal--both offer more storage space, a lower cost per GB, and better support for USB 2.0 connections.

Design and features
The G-Drive mini Triple ships in a simple package that includes a traveling pouch, a CD with the manual in PDF format and data cables for all the connection types it supports (USB 2.0, FireWire 400 and FireWire 800). The drive has a power port for an optional $20 power adapter, which is not included. Unfortunately, we discovered that the USB 2.0 connection, unlike the FireWire 400 and FireWire 800 connections, needs this adapter for the drive to operate--with both PCs and Macs. (If you have a MacBook Air , which has no FireWire connection port, make sure you get the adapter when you order the drive.)

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Specs / Prices

  • MSRP $149
  • Brand Western Digital Corp.
  • Capacity 160 GB
  • Hard Drive Type external hard drive
  • Interface Type IEEE 1394b (FireWire 800) / IEEE1394 (FireWire) / USB 2.0
  • Spindle Speed 5400 rpm
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