GigaDrive Professional NVMe drive overview: speedy switch speeds, will not run scorching

GigaDrive Professional NVMe drive overview: speedy switch speeds, will not run scorching

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The GigaDrive Professional is billed because the “world’s quickest” exterior SSD. Whereas it simply barely falls in need of that lofty declare, it’s shut, and it’s a drive that may simply assist enhance storage capability for Mac video editors.

Mac and MacBook Professional homeowners can be all too accustomed to the problems of restricted storage. Most of Apple’s Mac vary does not provide the chance to improve the interior storage after buy, apart from the Mac Professional.

That leaves customers with the selection of both shopping for a Mac with a considerable amount of storage to start with, or so as to add exterior storage of some description. For the reason that latter is often a less expensive possibility, many customers will go down that route, however that too presents its personal points.

The chief one is that exterior storage is affected by its personal bottlenecks. Mainly, that is right down to the connectivity between the exterior drive and the Mac, with higher-specification and higher-priced drives utilizing the elevated accessible bandwidth of Thunderbolt as an alternative of USB.

There’s additionally the know-how being utilized by the drive to contemplate, as an exterior mechanical drive can be slower than an SSD typically, and a conventional SSD will often be crushed by NVMe.

A lesser-discussed concern is the thermal results on flash storage. As chips heat up as they get used, if the warmth build-up is not handled, drives will get scorching and decelerate to forestall harm to the drive over lengthy durations of utilization.

The GigaDrive Professional is an exterior drive that was put up for funding on IndieGogo. Claimed to be the “World’s Quickest Exterior SSD,” the corporate claims it’s able to offering excessive knowledge switch speeds that may additionally keep away from temperature-based throttling.

GigaDrive Professional – Key specs

  • USB-C USB4 and Thunderbolt 4 help
  • NVMe drive
  • 1TB, 2TB, 4TB capacities
  • 2,800MB/s max learn pace
  • 2,500MB/s max write pace
  • Aluminum alloy enclosure for cooling
  • IP67 water and mud resistance
  • Shockproof

GigaDrive Professional – “Futuristic” development

When it comes to how they’re constructed and offered, exterior drives do not usually have a lot room to distinguish themselves. They’re principally an enclosure with an information and energy connection, and that is about it.

The identical is true in regards to the GigaDrive Professional, in that it’s a lengthy and skinny drive with a single port for knowledge connectivity. Nonetheless, it is the enclosure itself that not solely provides the drive a personality all of its personal but additionally hints that it’s greater than a typical exterior drive.

The side profile of the GigaDrive Pro, showing its half-inch thickness.
The facet profile of the GigaDrive Professional, displaying its half-inch thickness.

Weighing 2.06 ounces, the GigaDrive professional is constructed utilizing an aluminum alloy shell, with a pair of rubber toes on the bottom to maintain it on the desk. Measuring 4.5 inches by 1.5 inches and 0.5 inches thick, the drive can be very compact and simply pocketable.

It’s claimed the drive is shockproof and meets IP67 water and mud resistance. It simply survived YourNextApp’s check of leaving it in a cup of water for an hour, with it working proper after drying off. It additionally survived tossing it round within the entrance yard, with just some scuffs to point out for it.

That aluminum casing additionally helps present cooling for the enclosed storage chips, permitting them to run quicker for an extended time frame. In keeping with the corporate, it is going to by no means transcend 40C in temperature, far beneath temperatures some exterior SSDs can attain when beneath load for lengthy durations of time.

GigaDrive Professional – quick, however not the quickest at 1TB

The GigaDrive Professional connects to a Mac or iPad Professional utilizing the USB-C connector, with help for USB4 and Thunderbolt 4. Since it’s backward suitable with all earlier USB and Thunderbolt variations, it presents in depth system help with the help of a dongle the place obligatory, however crucially it really works with the quickest current-generation connections.

Contained in the drive is a WD Black SN750, a high-performance home class stable NVMe SSD. That is coupled with an built-in DRAM cache chip that handles pre-processing, transfers, and buffering for the SSD.

With the connectivity, the NVMe SSD, and the thermal throttling, the drive’s producer confidently claims it might obtain learn speeds of as much as 2,800MB/s and writes of as much as 2,500MB/s. Whereas the real-world speeds aren’t fairly there, it’s fairly shut.

Test results for the GigaDrive Pro 1TB under BlackMagicDesign's Disk Speed Test.
Take a look at outcomes for the GigaDrive Professional 1TB beneath BlackMagicDesign’s Disk Pace Take a look at.

In YourNextApp testing utilizing BlackMagicDesign’s Disk Pace Take a look at software, the drive might handle write speeds of two,452.1 MB/s, whereas learn speeds reached 2,640.4 MB/s. These are a bit decrease than the marketed pace, however it’s greater than ample sufficient for anybody desirous to shift large quantities of knowledge.

The lower-than-marketed claims might be because of the testing being carried out on the 1TB mannequin, versus one of many greater capacities. That is presumably right down to an absence of parallelization at play, specifically how knowledge is written to, or learn from, chips.

At bigger capacities, extra reminiscence chips will usually be utilized by a vendor to extend the storage, as an alternative of getting to shift over to a higher-capacity chip variant. This makes it extremely believable for the 4TB model to really meet the two,800 MB/s declare, whereas the 1TB narrowly misses.

Regardless of the warmth administration at play, working the check for half an hour did finally scale back the pace of the drive. Whereas learn speeds remained static, write speeds eroded right down to 1,924 MB/s.

It is a hefty discount in write speeds, nevertheless it’s nonetheless fantastic to make use of. A video editor working from the exterior storage will in all probability be more than pleased with that degree of write pace for enhancing from the drive immediately, even with high-resolution, high-bitrate footage.

As it’s able to being utilized in such a means for prolonged durations of time with out enduring a lot slowdown, this makes it a extremely enticing proposition in such conditions.

Worth to efficiency

It is one factor to say the efficiency of a drive is the quickest in the marketplace, nevertheless it’s one other if you must pay a excessive value to get that pace.

The GigaDrive Professional is obtainable in three capacities, protecting 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB. They’re being bought on the time of publication at a reduction by IndieGogo, with the 1TB priced at $153 as an alternative of $299, the 2TB at $219 as an alternative of $438, and the 4TB at $359, down from its anticipated post-funding value of $699.

One direct competitor is the G-Expertise Cell Professional SSD, which testing confirmed speeds of as much as 2,300MB/s and a pair of,500MB/s for writes and reads respectively. That Thunderbolt 3 drive remains to be accessible, however at present prices $379.94 for the 1TB model and $699.95 for the 2TB mannequin, far exceeding the GigaDrive Professional’s undiscounted costs.

Plugable’s Thunderbolt 3 NVMe SSD is in the identical ballpark, with claimed learn speeds in extra of two,400MB/s and writes of 1,800MB/s, which YourNextApp testing confirmed was pretty conservative by way of advertising and marketing claims. Sometimes 2,650MB/s learn and a pair of,100MB/s write speeds have been noticed.

It is also comparatively priced at $299 for 1TB, matching GigaDrive Professional, although the 2TB mannequin is costlier at $499.

The aluminum alloy casing helps keep the drive from running too hot under load.
The aluminum alloy casing helps preserve the drive from working too scorching beneath load.

On the high-speed finish of the desk, the GigaDrive Professional appears to be an excellent deal in opposition to different rival drives. You’ll be able to beat it on value with different NVMe fashions, however actually not on the identical type of pace.

For instance, the WD My Passport SSD makes use of NVMe and prices $139 for 1TB or $269 for 2TB. Whereas significantly cheaper, the USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 connectivity means it runs slower, at as much as 1,050MB/s for reads and 1,000MB/s for writes.

It is the identical story for the SanDisk Excessive V2, an NVMe-based USB-C drive that’s priced at $149 and $299 for 1TB and 2TB respectively. The claimed speeds of 1,050MB/s for knowledge reads and 1,000MB/s for writes have been virtually reached in testing.

For comparability, SSD-based drives that use SATA function at a far slower charge, usually within the a whole lot of megabytes per second. For instance, the Lacie Boss SSD maxes out at 430MB/s, which resulted in check speeds of 405MB/s writes and 421MB/s reads.

These cheaper drives actually provide speeds which can be fully usable for video enhancing functions, however those that completely want the upper switch charges can be eyeing the batch of quicker drives. Of these potential prospects, the GigaDrive Professional arguably appears to be the higher possibility.

Quick and protecting

Whereas many would argue that the entire level of exterior storage is to supply further capability to a pc, it’s only actually useful if that storage might be accessed at speeds in the identical ballpark because the onboard storage itself.

Within the overwhelming majority of instances, the exterior drive merely does not method what the Mac or MacBook Professional’s inside storage can provide by way of pace. Even in 2021, most drives in the marketplace provide a number of hundred megabytes per second for knowledge transfers, whereas the M1 Mac mini can deal with round 2,800MB/s for writing knowledge to inside storage.

Some drives do handle to the touch gigabit speeds, that are helpful sufficient for most individuals, however not for these with data-hungry use instances. Even paying high greenback for a drive with NVMe storage and a high-bandwidth Thunderbolt connection, the warmth remains to be an issue space for long-term use.

The end of the GigaDrive Pro contains a sole USB-C port.
The top of the GigaDrive Professional accommodates a sole USB-C port.

Within the GigaDrive Professional, its creators tried to deal with the issues with a drive that may run comparatively cool beneath load, and with USB 4 and Thunderbolt 4 coupled to high-speed storage know-how.

Whereas it falters a bit for lengthy durations beneath load, that dip in efficiency nonetheless places the drive on the greater finish of the dimensions.

Its compact dimension makes it probably versatile sufficient to deal with virtually any moveable knowledge switch software you throw at it. Positive, you might reserve it for increasing your Mac’s native storage, nevertheless it might simply as simply be a drive for an iPad Professional, or used to switch knowledge between units, as you’ll use a thumb drive. The producers additionally be aware that it may be used for a recreation console, however at current, that is profound overkill, because the USB buses aren’t Thunderbolt USB4 and would be the bottleneck on the drive.

However, for Mac of us, the GigaDrive Professional actually solutions all the points that exterior drive customers face. It does so with high-end, however not fairly the quickest ever, efficiency.


  • Compact and smooth look
  • USB4/Thunderbolt 4 connectivity
  • Runs comparatively cool for lengthy durations
  • Very excessive knowledge switch speeds


  • Crowdfunding product — with all that entails — from unproven firm
  • The case is probably not all that enticing to some

Score: 4 out of 5 — whereas nonetheless on sale

The place to purchase

The GigaDrive Professional is obtainable to buy from IndieGogo, with all fashions discounted from their anticipated remaining retail values. The 1TB mannequin prices $153 as an alternative of $299 in the course of the funding interval, the 2TB model is $219 as an alternative of $438, and the 4TB is $359 however will rise to $699 after the interval ends.

Bundles are additionally accessible to buy, once more at reductions. YourNextApp requires manufacturing {hardware} in-hand for testing of all crowd-funded tasks, however our technical evaluation is not any assure that the seller will ever ship the product.


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