The 1TB G-Technology G-Drive Mobile Pro SSD offers remarkable performance: with its optimized cooling and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, the comparatively expensive, large and heavy model offers lasting top performance.
In the context of our theme external SSDs, after the Samsung Portable SSD T5 (review), the model G-Drive Mobile Pro SSD from G-Technology has to prove what it does in practice. Further individual tests will follow in the next few weeks,
Specifications and features
With digital storage products released under the G-Technology brand, Western Digital addresses professional creatives such as photographers and filmmakers. The product line includes a variety of external storage solutions, including the tested and 1TB G-Drive Mobile Pro SSD as the flagship of its portfolio of external SSDs. Their pleasing, sturdy and durable aluminum housing emphasizes the professional ambitions of the storage medium connected via Thunderbolt 3: dimensions (117 × 80 × 17 mm) and weight (203 g) are significantly higher than for lifestyle products, but with various advantages. According to the manufacturer, the portable flash memory has a shock rating of 450 kg and survives a fall of up to three meters on a carpet laid with concrete.
From the outside, G-Technology provides the drive with a non-slip surface coating. The silver plastic side panels, a discreet white status LED and the blue-green aluminum heat sink that shines through the cooling fins set visual accents. The latter cools the PCI Express-connected NVMe SSD inside much more effectively than the solutions of the competition. As expected, G-Technology relies on storage from its own product portfolio. Inside, a Sandisk Extreme Pro in M.2 format works with 64-layer 3D TLC NAND.
When delivered, the G-Drive Mobile Pro SSD is pre-formatted in Apple file format HFS +, for Windows use there are two different options. The Paragon HFS Plus for Windows software, housed on a separate FAT32 partition on the SSD, enables out-of-the-box use on Microsoft's operating system and is ideal for mixed use in the Apple and Microsoft PC environments. On the other hand, there is slightly more performance under Windows if the user reformats the drive to NTFS using the G-Technology Format Wizard. This file system is also used in the performance survey. The other delivery accessories include a 51.5 cm long Thunderbolt cable from plug tip to plug tip, as well as some information leaflets. A solution for 256-bit AES encryption, however, the manufacturer does not provide.
Although the 1 TByte, external Thunderbolt SSD is significantly more expensive, especially in comparison to slower alternatives with a USB port, for around 450 Euros there are the best measured performance values so far. The official specifications only point to a maximum reading speed of 2800 MB / s, but the unique feature is the considerable writing performance. Also top is the five-year manufacturer's warranty.
Already in the Crystal Disk Mark, the G-Drive Mobile Pro SSD is in top form: a reading and writing speed of a maximum of 2873.6 and 2511.5 MB / s are by far the best measured values so far. With a simple request depth, such as For example, in the case of a normal copy operation, the benchmark measures 1216.1 and 1384.1 MB / s. Thus, the writing performance again enough for the first place. The read value is slightly lower than expected, but this seems to be related to the benchmark used: normal copying and corresponding IOMeter workloads completes the SSD with higher speed. The IO performance for random reading and writing of 4 KB data blocks is also very good.
G-Technology G-Drive Mobile Pro SSD (1TB), Crystal Disk Mark v6.0.2 x64
seq. Read QD32
2873.6 MB / s
seq. Write QD32
2511.5 MB / s
seq. Read QD1
1216.1 MB / s
seq. Write QD1
1384.1 MB / s
4K Rd. Read QD1
4K Rd. Write QD1
4K Rd. Read QD32
4K Rd. Write QD32
In the 4K random tests of the IOMeter at a queue depth of 1 and 32, the results are strong again, only with the QD32 writing pass does the drive lag behind other Thunderbolt SSDs. The drive starts with just over 80000 IOPS, towards the end of the three-minute test, the value drops reproducibly to just under half, resulting in the average value listed in the table.
Samsung Portable SSD X5 (1TB): IOMeter
4K Rd. Read QD1
4K Rd. Write QD1
4K Rd. Read QD32
4K Random Write QD32
In mixed workload with 70 percent read and 30 percent write share, the G-Drive Mobile Pro SSD once again positioned itself in the top class, with only four times the depth of the request, the performance slowly decreases during the three test minutes.
The 15-minute sequential read and write endurance test is exceptionally durable for the test candidate: despite a 27-degree ambient temperature, the cooling solution is so powerful that no thermal degradation occurs. So far this is a unique selling point for G-Technology in this performance class, especially as the 1 TByte SSD is in practice fully written before the 15-minute time window of the continuous write test expires. After the idle temperature reaches 40 ° C after 15 minutes after a cold start, the sensor value output by Crystal Disk Mark increases comparatively slowly to just 52 ° C, even if the external SSD is written to permanently.
Since this model also uses caching, which addresses a small fraction of TLC 3D NAND cells such as SLC memory, the write performance in IOMeter at 32 times the initial query depth averages 2479.3 Mbytes / s. Thereafter, the actual continuous speed of the drive shows, here it is enough with 1482.8 MB / s again for a best value. In the QD1 run, no caching effect is noticeable, the SSD writes with an average of 1449.5 MB / s. Reading it reaches very fast 1601,0 (QD1) and 2733,0 MByte / s, while the temperature rises during the test to a maximum of 42 ° C.
G-Technology currently offers the G-Drive Mobile Pro SSD in size classes 1 TB and 500 GB.
The high performance level of the G-Technology Thunderbolt 3 G-Drive Mobile Pro SSD is unique at the moment, delivering the highest write rates, both within and beyond the limits of the cache. Depending on the benchmark used, the fast flash memory with PCI Express connection and NVMe support achieves 2500 MB / s (with cache) or around 1400-1500 MB / s (after the cache has been written). Even better: this data throughput is permanently available. Even if the drive is written once, it will not reach a critical temperature threshold beyond which it throttles performance to prevent overheating. This has its price insofar as that the G-Drive Mobile Pro SSD slightly larger, heavier and with prices of around 450 € also at least slightly more expensive than the direct competitor in the form of Samsung's X5 fails. In return, there is one of the currently most robust, external SSD enclosures and a 5 year warranty unusually generous. Only a solution for 256-bit AES encryption does not come with G-Technology.
Anyone who is unsure whether their own requirements, an HDD, SSD or NVMe is best suited, should look at our guide to the subject.