Desktop Storage (External) Reviews
External desktop storage reviews range relatively widely from single to several drive units that perform an immense variety of tasks. Some external desktop storage reviews feature devices designed for capacity expansion, typically via 1-5 bays, that interface over Thunderbolt or USB 3.0. Others feature direct attached storage (DAS) devices that connect with similar interfaces or even Gigabit Ethernet. In these external desktop storage reviews, we also look at specialized products designed specifically for RAIDing drives, backing up home media content via a router connection, or providing a local and cloud storage solution.
by Tucker Mindrum

G-Technology G-RAID with Removable Drives Review

G-Technology's G-RAID Removable Drive Storage System is a 2-bay attached storage device intended for media professionals that want a large capacity (at a lower cost) for low-demanding use cases. The G-RAID would be appropriate for high-definition streaming, photo editing, or just straight-forward storage. G-Technology loads the G-RAID with two of its standard 7200RPM HGST SATA III HDDs with total capacity options of 12TB, 8TB, or 6TB. This storage solution, which is compatible with both Mac and Windows workstations, offers varied interfaces (USB 3.0, FireWire, and eSATA) to appeal to a broad range of users as well as provide compatibility with older devices. It reportedly achieves transfer speeds of up to 330MB/s (12TB, RAID0), and can be configured in RAID0, RAID1, and JBOD. Like many of G-Technology's offerings, the G-RAID has a built-in RAID controller, allowing it to be easily shared rather than confined to a single workstation.

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by Lyle Smith

LaCie d2 Thunderbolt 2 Review

LaCie has updated their d2 desktop storage line, making it the first single drive solution to feature Thunderbolt 2 connectivity as well as the first to include both Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3.0 together. LaCie has upped their game even more with their new d2, giving users the option to purchase an SSD Upgrade Kit to greatly enhance its performance. The kit adds 128GB of PCIe SSD storage and increases throughput up to 1150 MB/s for the flash component. LaCie indicates that users simply need to remove the rear panel and insert the PCIe card into the slot to install the add on. With this performance potential, LaCie is certainly correct in specifically targeting the d2 for audio, photo, and video professionals with resource-heavy workloads. This is a serious hardware bonus for users, as it allows for significantly more flexibility with both performance and capacity elements within the same housing.

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by Tucker Mindrum

G-Technology G-SPEED Studio 4-bay Review

The new G-SPEED Studio 4-bay, along with the G-SPEED Studio XL 8-bay and G-RAID Studio 2-bay, characterizes HGST G-Technology's new Studio line of customizable media-oriented attached storage devices. The G-SPEED Studio, with its maximum capacity of 24TB (using four 6TB 7200RPM HGST HDDs), delivers a reported transfer speed of 700MB/s and can handle multi-stream compressed 4K and 2K workflows in both pre- and post-production. The entire Studio line is designed to embody the minimalism commonly found in Apple products, closely aligned with Mac Pro design. The line exclusively features Thunderbolt 2 connectivity and comes pre-configured for Mac OS.

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by Lyle Smith

LaCie 5big Thunderbolt 2 Review

The LaCie 5big Thunderbolt 2 is the company’s latest addition to their Mac-centric portfolio of professional 5-Disk RAID device, designed for professionals and businesses that focus on 4K and other bandwidth-heavy workflows as well as for those who need a larger storage solution embedded with LaCie’s pedigree of slick design and reliability. The LaCie 5big is quoted to boast Thunderbolt 2 speeds up 1050MB/s for 4K video editing, up to 30TB in capacity, and hardware RAID5/6 for data security.

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by Tucker Mindrum

LaCie 2big Thunderbolt 2 Review

The LaCie 2big Thunderbolt 2 is a recently released desktop storage solution catered to media enthusiasts and professionals. It comes in capacities of 6, 8, and 12TB, and could provide up to 60TB of storage if five 2bigs are daisy-chained together. The 2big was designed to be compatible with both Macs and PCs, providing Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3.0 connectivity (the former of which results in an impressive 420MB/s reported read when equipped with 12TB and configured in RAID0) and compatibility with Time Machine or Windows Backup if professional-grade backup solutions are desired. This device would be best implemented in the storage of large audio, photo, or video libraries, especially where frequent transfers are needed.

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by Lyle Smith

Drobo Review (Gen 3)

Created by Connected Data, the Drobo Gen 3 is a direct attached storage device (DAS) with four 3.5" SATA II/III HDD carrier-less bays and one USB 3.0 connection port. The new Drobo sports a new design and continues Connected Data’s focus on simplicity for their storage solutions. For example, this simplicity includes the ability to use drives from any manufacturer, capacity, and spindle speed with no carriers or tools required for installation. This type of functionality is definitely welcomed, making this little storage solution quite a versatile DAS.

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by Lyle Smith

WD My Book Duo Review

The WD My Book Duo is the newest addition to the company’s easy-to-use family of desktop storage solutions for both the home and office, which is comprised of two WD Red drives (which are optimized for small RAID environments), hardware-level RAID, and USB 3.0. The My Book Duo comes bundled with software that creates secure local, cloud and system-level backups for a complete data protection package. Quoted to boast transfer speeds of up to 290MB/s, WD’s newest desktop storage solution comes preconfigured in RAID0 (for performance and capacity) and allows users to configure the My Book Duo to mirror mode (RAID1) for increased data protection as well as the JBOD configuration so that users can work with the drives individually.

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by Adam Armstrong

Seagate Backup Plus 5TB External Hard Drive Review (STDT5000100)

The Seagate Backup Plus Desktop Drive 5TB is an external hard drive with plenty of capacity. With more devices creating content, consumers find that they need more and more room to backup or store their data. Storing all one’s data from a desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone, and social media can quickly added up to large amounts of storage space. The Backup Plus 5TB is USB 3.0 connected and supports Windows 7,8, Vista, and XP as well as Mac OS 10.4.6 and later. Users can install the preloaded NTFS driver for Mac and then use the drive back and forth between Windows and Mac without reformatting.

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by Lyle Smith

LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 Review

The LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 is a palm-size, mobile drive designed for creative professionals who want to stream and edit their HD (4K or 3D) video at home as well as in the field, a much desired feature for consumers with mobile creative workflows. The new LaCie drive quotes blistering read speeds of 1,375MB/s in addition to dual Thunderbolt 2 ports for daisy chaining, a nice compact size for field-based creative workflows, and virtually silent dual cooling. The new LaCie drive also comes equipped with a set of PCIe SSDs preconfigured in RAID 0, which is definitely a welcomed out-of-the-box feature. 

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by Adam Armstrong

CalDigit T3 Review

The Caldigit T3 is a 3-Bay Thunderbolt direct attached storage enclosure that is unique in that the device allows users to employ RAID 0 or RAID 1 with two drives, while also allowing JBOD for the third. This feature alone gives the T3 substantial versatility, which depending on use cases can get even better thanks to support for both 2.5" SSD drives and 3.5" HDD drives. The T3 has a maximum capacity of 12TB with HDDs and up to 3TB with SSDs across the three bays.

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