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SanDisk Professional G-Drive SSD Review: Fast, Resilient Pro Storage

Wielding WD’s Blue SN550E and a crush-proof enclosure, the SanDisk Professional G-Drive SSD is a responsive, rugged and secure portable SSD.

 SanDisk Professional G-Drive SSD
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Our Verdict

SanDisk Professional G-Drive SSD is built to take abuse and keep on going. It's a responsive portable SSD that's rugged and secure, although it is a bit pricey.

For

  • + Responsive performance
  • + Rugged IP67 water/dust resistant design
  • + AES-XTS 256-bit hardware encryption
  • + Long cables
  • + 5-year warranty

Against

  • - Costly
  • - Needs to be reformatted for use in Windows

Tom's Hardware Verdict

SanDisk Professional G-Drive SSD is built to take abuse and keep on going. It's a responsive portable SSD that's rugged and secure, although it is a bit pricey.

Pros

  • + + Responsive performance
  • + + Rugged IP67 water/dust resistant design
  • + + AES-XTS 256-bit hardware encryption
  • + + Long cables
  • + + 5-year warranty

Cons

  • - - Costly
  • - - Needs to be reformatted for use in Windows

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.

Specifications

Product500GB1TB2TB
Pricing $139.99 $229.99 $359.99
Capacity (User / Raw)500GB / 512GB1000GB / 1024GB2000GB / 2048GB
Interface / ProtocolUSB-C / USB 3.2 Gen 2USB-C / USB 3.2 Gen 2USB-C / USB 3.2 Gen 2
Included19" USB Type-C & USB Type-C to USB Type-A Cables19" USB Type-C & USB Type-C to USB Type-A Cables19" USB Type-C & USB Type-C to USB Type-A Cables
Sequential Read1,050 MBps1,050 MBps1,050 MBps
Sequential Write1,000 MBps1,000 MBps1,000 MBps
Interface ControllerASMedia ASM2362ASMedia ASM2362ASMedia ASM2362
NAND ControllerWD ArchitectureWD ArchitectureWD Architecture
DRAMDRAM-lessDRAM-lessDRAM-less
Storage MediaWD 96L TLCWD 96L TLCWD 96L TLC
Default File SystemHSF+HSF+HSF+
PowerBus-poweredBus-poweredBus-powered
EnduranceIP67 water and dust resistance; up to 3-meter drop protection; 2000lb crush resistanceIP67 water and dust resistance; up to 3-meter drop protection; 2000lb crush resistanceIP67 water and dust resistance; up to 3-meter drop protection; 2000lb crush resistance
Security256-bit AES-XTS Encryption256-bit AES-XTS Encryption256-bit AES-XTS Encryption
Dimensions (L x W x H)95 x 50 x 15 mm95 x 50 x 15 mm95 x 50 x 15 mm
Weight90 g90 g90 g
Part NumberSDPS11A-500G-GBANBSDPS11A-001T-GBANBSDPS11A-002T-GBANB
Warranty5-Years5-Years5-Years

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

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

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

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SanDisk Professional G-Drive SSD

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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SanDisk Professional G-Drive SSD

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

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.

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SanDisk Professional G-Drive SSD

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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SanDisk Professional G-Drive SSD

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

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.

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SanDisk Professional G-Drive SSD

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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SanDisk Professional G-Drive SSD

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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SanDisk Professional G-Drive SSD

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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SanDisk Professional G-Drive SSD

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

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.

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  • dwd999
    IDK the ssd itself retails for $200 and you can add a Sabrent enclosure for $28 so they're talking about over $100 for their crush-proof waterproof enclosure. I guess that's OK if you're expecting rough wet usage, but maybe not.
    Reply