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Hitachi G-Drive (3TB) review: Hitachi G-Drive (3TB)

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Hitachi's G-Drive looks like a serious bit of kit. Built from metal, and powder coated with aluminium, it has sled-like legs that elevate it from the surface it sits on, as well as its own finned heatsink. In short, Hitachi's looking after the lifespan of its drive. Perforated sides and front add to the Mac aesthetic, and it comes HFS preformatted to finish the deal.

hitachi-gdrive_1.jpg
8.5

Hitachi G-Drive (3TB)

The Good

Dual FireWire 800 and eSATA. Some real thought went into the fan-less cooling system. Great performance.

The Bad

USB 3.0 would have added more life to the drive.

The Bottom Line

We like the G-Drive. For a single drive set-up, it does quite well, and will fit nicely into any Apple ecosystem you may have.

It's also well appointed for ports: eSATA, dual FireWire 800 ports and USB 2.0 are the connection options, allowing a variety of speeds. There's a sad lack of USB 3.0 here, but perhaps that'll make the next revision.

Firing up CrystalDiskMark with a 1GB test of random data provided some interesting results.

Sequential reads (MBps)

  • e-SATA
  • FireWire 800
  • USB 2.0
  • USB 3.0
  • 149.572.5723.78N/A
    Hitachi G-Drive (3TB)
  • 127.3583.3320.32N/A
    Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II (6TB)
  • N/A83.5921.95
    N/AWestern Digital My Book Studio (2TB)
  • N/AN/AN/A117.8
    Western Digital My Book Essential (3TB)

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Sequential writes (MBps)

  • e-SATA
  • FireWire 800
  • USB 2.0
  • USB 3.0
  • 153.1057.8122.95N/A
    Hitachi G-Drive (3TB)
  • 98.560.519.55N/A
    Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II (6TB)
  • N/A74.4323.02N/A
    Western Digital My Book Studio (2TB)
  • N/AN/AN/A93.82
    Western Digital My Book Essential (3TB)

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

512K random reads (MBps)

  • e-SATA
  • FireWire 800
  • USB 2.0
  • USB 3.0
  • 57.9840.9118.45N/A
    Hitachi G-Drive (3TB)
  • 38.5334.3615.30N/A
    Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II (6TB)
  • N/A37.3918.69N/A
    Western Digital My Book Studio (2TB)
  • N/AN/AN/A40.69
    Western Digital My Book Essential (3TB)

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

512K random writes (MBps)

  • e-SATA
  • FireWire 800
  • USB 2.0
  • USB 3.0
  • 66.8149.8722.86N/A
    Hitachi G-Drive (3TB)
  • 28.7329.3418.62N/A
    Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II (6TB)
  • N/A54.322.56N/A
    Western Digital My Book Studio (2TB)
  • N/AN/AN/A51.64
    Western Digital My Book Essential (3TB)

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

4K random reads (MBps)

  • e-SATA
  • FireWire 800
  • USB 2.0
  • USB 3.0
  • 0.7220.6090.663
    Hitachi G-Drive (3TB)
  • 0.4670.4790.414
    Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II (6TB)
  • N/A0.5310.502
    Western Digital My Book Studio (2TB)
  • N/AN/AN/A0.610
    Western Digital My Book Essential (3TB)

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

4K random writes (MBps)

  • e-SATA
  • FireWire 800
  • USB 2.0
  • USB 3.0
  • 1.7351.6011.724
    Hitachi G-Drive (3TB)
  • 0.2950.3030.310
    Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II (6TB)
  • N/A1.2121.156
    Western Digital My Book Studio (2TB)
  • N/AN/AN/A0.974
    Western Digital My Book Essential (3TB)

(Longer bars indicate better performance)


While its storage density helps it hit some of the highest speeds of the available external desktop drives, the G-Drive is still no slouch overall, although it's clear that Western Digital employs a much better FireWire implementation as far as sequential throughput is concerned. Switch to random, though, and Hitachi regains ground in a big way.

We like the G-Drive. For a single drive set-up, it does quite well, and will fit nicely into any Apple ecosystem you may have.