G-Technology Thunderbolt 2-Equipped G-RAID and G-SPEED Studio Storage Systems


When speaking about how quickly the world of technology changes, a few years might seem like a decade for anyone who doesn’t pay close attention. When the Thunderbolt interface first started arriving on Mac computer products in 2011, creative professionals such as I were excited and impressed by this new interface that could deliver 10 Gbps of data simultaneously across one input lane and one output lane. Not only was the two-way data stream a modern marvel at that speed, but the transfer speed itself was double that of USB 3.0, which was released about the same time. This new technology reaffirmed that the passion all Mac-obsessed professionals felt for their Mac products was based on the technology and not just what the Mac brand and aesthetic said about us as creative professionals. A couple of years later, the arrival of Thunderbolt 2 allowed us to rejoice even more, since the Thunderbolt 2 interface let users combine that two-way 10 Gbps traffic into a single, super-fast 20 Gbps data stream.

"G-Technology’s storage devices have been beloved by creative professionals like me since their first external storage systems arrived on store shelves about a decade ago."

For all the years I’ve been using a Mac Pro computer to record audio, edit video, and touch up high-resolution photos, I’ve had a G-Technology external storage system by my side to handle my entire data backup. G-Technology’s storage devices have been beloved by creative professionals like me since their first external storage systems arrived on store shelves about a decade ago. When the company released its original G-RAID and G-SPEED storage products equipped with first-generation Thunderbolt connectivity, I remember thinking that it couldn’t get much better than this―especially if you’re editing high-resolution video, recording multiple audio signals simultaneously, or backing up hundreds of high-res photos. However, in the blink of an eye, G-Technology has surpassed our wildest dreams once again with its latest G-RAID Studio and G-SPEED Studio external storage systems that now take advantage of Apple’s improved Thunderbolt 2 interface technology, which supports modifiable two-way 10 Gbps or one-way 20 Gbps data-transfer options.

Although G-Technology’s G-RAID Studio External Storage System with Thunderbolt 2 is more affordable than its G-SPEED Studio enclosures, that doesn’t mean the system doesn’t belong on the desk of even the most demanding creative professional. Available in either a 6TB, 8TB, or 12TB configurations, the G-RAID Studio is designed for creative professionals working with the Thunderbolt 2 interface who are interested in a two-bay RAID system that supports RAID 0, RAID 1, or JBOD backup configurations. RAID 0, or striping, allows you to split data evenly across the enclosure’s two disks for faster editing and backup times. Although this two-way striping option doesn’t support simultaneous parity or doubling of your data, it provides a fast alternative to traditional single-disk data-backup workflows. RAID 0 just lets you edit and back up your data faster by splitting the load between two drives. The G-RAID Studio also supports RAID 1, or mirroring backup. This method, which is ideal for storing or backing up more critical data, lets you back up identical data on two separate drives simultaneously. Using the G-RAID Studio system in a JBOD configuration gives you the freedom to use each of the enclosure’s two drives independently as individual storage units.

Even though the G-RAID Studio features Thunderbolt 2 connectivity, it also works for users still relying on first-generation Thunderbolt connectivity, thanks to Thunderbolt 2’s backward compatibility with its predecessor. This option lets users upgrade their storage system even if they’re still working with an original Thunderbolt workstation. If you’ve upgraded your computer and are using Thunderbolt 2 connectivity, backward compatibility will allow you to use the G-RAID Studio with your older first-gen Thunderbolt workstations, as well. The G-RAID Studio is compatible with Mac OS 10.9 and above, as well as Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 via reformatting.

The G-RAID Studio external storage system is outfitted with a modern black enclosure that houses two removable enterprise-class 7200 rpm SATA III hard drives. Although I haven’t tested these units myself, G-Technology promises sustained transfer rates of up to 360 MB/s. That is a 33 MB/s, or about 10%, improvement over the original G-RAID with Thunderbolt external storage systems.

The G-RAID Studio works well for real-time storing and backing up of Full HD 1080p, 2K and compressed 4K multi-stream video workflows. However, its more modest price tag makes it a great option for basic storage applications, as well. You can use it to back up or save your favorite movies. You can also use it to back up your large data or digital music libraries. The G-RAID Studio enclosure’s dual Thunderbolt 2 ports support bi-directional 10 Gbps or one-way 20 Gbps data streams. Plus, you can use the dual Thunderbolt 2 interfaces to simultaneously daisy-chain up to six Thunderbolt-equipped devices.

For creative professionals that require a more robust and powerful storage option, G-Technology’s G-SPEED Studio Storage System with Thunderbolt 2 provides four-bay enclosures that are available with total capacities of either 12TB, 16TB, or 24TB. The G-SPEED Studio enclosures are equipped with four bays that each supports an enterprise-class 7200 rpm SATA III hard drive. The most impressive of the G-SPEED Studio options features four 6TB hard drives. Just imagining a 6TB hard drive would have been unthinkable a few years ago, but technology improves so fast that the unthinkable becomes reality in the blink of an eye.

Like the G-RAID Studio, the G-SPEED Studio storage systems support RAID 0 and RAID 1 backup configurations. However, the G-SPEED Studio also supports RAID 5 and RAID 10 setups. RAID 5 provides striping with parity. This means that like RAID 0, the storage system allows data to be stored simultaneously across multiple drives for faster editing and backup speeds. However, RAID 5 features distributed parity, which means that the backup process is duplicated by the extra drives. Basically, it doesn’t matter if one drive goes down or malfunctions during the backup process, since your data is protected from a single drive failure. RAID 5 is a cost-effective solution for providing speedy editing and backup performance as well as storage redundancy.

The G-SPEED Studio supports a RAID 10 configuration, as well. RAID 10 provides striping across multiple drives simultaneously, for speed, and it also offers redundancy, thanks to multi-disk mirroring or doubling of data for added safety during backup. RAID 10 provides maximum speed and protection of your critical data by combining the protection of RAID 1 mirroring with the speed of RAID 0 striping.

Like G-Technology’s G-RAID Studio storage solutions, the G-SPEED Studio also takes advantage of Apple’s ultra-fast Thunderbolt 2 connectivity.  Plus, with four drive bays, it supports sustained data-transfer rates of up to 700 MB/s, which is about twice as fast as the two-bay G-RAID Studio. The G-SPEED Studio’s dual Thunderbolt 2 interfaces support daisy-chaining of up to six Thunderbolt-equipped devices, as well. This means that you can dedicate one of the device’s Thunderbolt 2 ports to backing up or saving your data using a RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, or RAID 10 configuration, while the second Thunderbolt 2 port allows you to connect the G-SPEED storage system to up to six peripheral devices, including multiple monitors and additional workstations for sharing, copying, or transmitting data across your office or home workstations.

"Just imagining a 6TB hard drive would have been unthinkable a few years ago, but technology improves so fast that the unthinkable becomes reality in the blink of an eye."

Although the G-Technology G-RAID Studio storage systems are designed to handle multi-stream HD, 2K, and compressed 4K video workflows, the four-bay G-SPEED Studio enclosure offers faster sustained data-transfer rates, as well as more RAID backup configurations. This means that creative professionals working with tight deadlines, larger data files, and more critical work loads should consider the G-SPEED Studio storage systems instead of the G-RAID Studio enclosures, because the G-SPEED offers better protection, faster backup speeds, and up to 24TB of storage space per enclosure.

Although the G-RAID Studio storage system is compatible with both Mac OS and Windows operating systems (via reformatting), the G-SPEED Studio enclosures are plug-and-play compatible with Mac OS only. Both Studio options feature modern, minimalist black enclosures that are designed to match Apple’s latest Mac Pro aesthetic. Plus, both the G-RAID Studio and G-SPEED Studio storage systems come with a standard three-year limited warranty from G-Technology. And if you have any questions or issues with your storage system, G-Technology provides unlimited free technical support from experienced representatives, who are familiar with all the latest content-creation applications.

Both the G-RAID Studio and G-SPEED Studio lines include all the necessary cables for connection to your workstation. This means you can plug them in and get started as soon as you get your storage system home and out of the packaging. For more information on either the G-Technology two-bay Thunderbolt 2-equipped G-RAID Studio storage systems or the four-bay Thunderbolt 2-equipped G-SPEED Studio storage systems, please stop by the B&H SuperStore in Manhattan or visit us on the web by logging onto the B&H website. You can also direct any questions you might have to a professional sales associate or tech specialist. Both are available over the phone at 1-800-606-6969 or via the B&H Live Chat system.

  G-Technology G-RAID Studio Storage Systems G-Technology G-SPEED Studio Storage Systems
Total Enclosure Storage Capacities Available 6TB
Enclosure Interfaces 2 x Thunderbolt 2 Ports (backwards compatible with original Thunderbolt interface) 2 x Thunderbolt 2 Ports (backwards compatible with original Thunderbolt interface)
Disk Type 2 x Enterprise-Class SATA III Hard Drives (drives included) 4 x Enterprise-Class SATA III Hard Drives (drives included)
Disk Drive Speed 7200 rpm 7200 rpm
Transfer Rates 6TB: up to 330 MB/s
8TB: up to 330 MB/s
12TB: up to 360 MB/s
12TB: up to 660 MB/s
16TB: up to 660 MB/s
24TB: up to 700 MB/s
Supported RAID Configurations RAID 0
Mac Operating System Requirements Mac OS 10.9 and above Mac OS 10.9 and above
Windows Operating System Requirements Windows 8.1, 8 and 7 (supports Windows via reformatting) N/A
Product Dimensions (WxHxD) 4.28 x 8.4 x 7.11" (109 x 213 x 181mm) 7.94 x 10.08 x 8.36" (202 x 256 x 212mm)
Product Weight Approx 6.4 lb (2.9 kg) Approx. 13.5 lb (6.1 kg)