SanDisk Professional is a new name for a brand many professionals in the video and cinema community are familiar with: G-Technology. SanDisk Professional strives to design and create products that offer blisteringly 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 SSDs.
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 is also IP67 water/dust resistant, can easily handle a 3-meter drop and comes with a 2,000-pound crush-resistance rating. Also on board is hardware encryption for added security. With a design and feature set like this, the SanDisk Professional G-Drive SSD looks to impress. Let's dig deeper to find out if it's truly 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|
|Included||19" USB Type-C & USB Type-C to USB Type-A Cables||19" USB Type-C & USB Type-C to USB Type-A Cables||19" USB Type-C & USB Type-C to USB Type-A Cables|
|Sequential Read||1,050 MBps||1,050 MBps||1,050 MBps|
|Sequential Write||1,000 MBps||1,000 MBps||1,000 MBps|
|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-meter drop protection; 2000lb crush resistance||IP67 water and dust resistance; up to 3-meter drop protection; 2000lb crush resistance||IP67 water and dust resistance; up to 3-meter drop 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 15 mm||95 x 50 x 15 mm||95 x 50 x 15 mm|
|Weight||90 g||90 g||90 g|
The G-Drive SSD is available in capacities of 500GB 1TB, and 2TB, and ranging from $0.18 to $0.28 per gigabyte, each capacity is priced at a premium. Out of the box, the SSD is preformatted to HSF+ for use with macOS, but can easily be reformatted to NTFS for use with Windows and leverage Trim support. SanDisk Professional rates the G-Drive SSD to deliver sequential speeds of up to 1,050/1,000 MBps read/write. But these numbers are based on the SLC cache performance of the underlying storage and will degrade with large transfers.
Unlike internal SSDs, this portable SSD comes without endurance ratings limiting its five-year warranty. It features solid LDPC ECC memory and comes overprovisioned from the factory by 9.9% for enhanced reliability, though. And, as we mentioned earlier, it also has support for password-enabled 256-bit AES-XTS hardware encryption, to keep your data safe from prying eyes in the case of theft or loss. XTS is the newest block cipher mode that utilizes two AES keys for stronger protection in order to eliminate potential vulnerabilities in other block ciphers such as CBC.
Software and Accessories
SanDisk Professional comes with two long 19-inch USB cables. One is a 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 in at roughly 90 grams, the G-Drive SSD is fairly compact in terms of its size and weight, although bulkier than some of its competitors. The bulkiness is a good thing, however, as it is needed to keep the drive working well under the most grueling of professional workloads. When sustained requests saturate the G-Drive SSD, its extruded aluminum core keeps it cool.
The G-Drive SSD has a very solid feel in the hand, as it should considering its high capacity 2,000-pound crush resistance and IP67 ratings. The rubber-like exterior also grips the surface you place it on. There is a white power/activity LED on the opposite side of the USB Type-C port, too.
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 while interfacing with thirty-two 512Gb 96L BiCS4 TLC dies from Kioxia, each likely running at 800 MTps.
Additionally, the internal SSD and host communicate via an ASMedia SM2362 USB 3.2 Gen 2 to PCIe NVMe SSD bridge chip. This chip supports a PCIe 3.0 x2 interface and has a lot of features, making it a solid choice for any portable use including link power management, S.M.A.R.T. data passthrough, and USB Attached SCSI Protocol (UASP) support.
MORE: Best SSDs
MORE: All SSD Content