If you are doing any kind of heavy duty editing, you will probably have a RAID array connected to your computer. My review system has two, eight Bay towers made by CI Design, which contain 16 Seagate 15,000 RPM SAS drives, connected to an ATTO R380 SAS controller. These drives give me enough speed to edit HD, but they are large and expensive.
My main RAID is over 6 TB in size, so it’s really hard to find something large enough to hold my backup data. I have never had a failure, but sometimes I have over 200 hours of editing in a project, and having a backup helps me sleep better at night.
he G-SPEED Q, at under $1500, allows me to back up my RAID, and easily transport my data to a different editing facility.
G-SPEED Q is a high-performance, 4-bay RAID solution that has a very small footprint. It easily fits on your desk, or in a small case when you want to use it on location. It was actually designed to be rugged enough to travel.
The enclosure is a solid, all aluminum case built for durability, which is exactly what you want protecting your priceless data. It is only L8.25″ x W4.9″ x H6.5″, or 210 x 124 x 166 mm. It may be small, but it is packed with features.
It comes equipped with a 4x 3Gbit eSATA, two FireWire 800/ FireWire 400, and two USB 2.0 ports, so it easily interfaces as you move it from computer to computer, and setting up your RAID is easily done with software using a simple Mac or PC application.
The four hot-swappable hard disk drive modules give it an 8 TB capacity in RAID 0, and a 6 TB capacity in RAID 5. The internal RAID controller features the Oxford 936SE, supporting RAID 0 for maximum performance or RAID 5 for data protection.
Depending upon what you are editing, you can use the G-SPEED Q as your main RAID system. FireWire performance completely saturates the FireWire 800 bus at speeds of 75-80MB/sec. When connected via eSATA, using the G-Tech PCIe x4 RAID controller or other 4x eSATA adapter, the G-SPEED Q can sustain Data transfer rates of over 220MB/sec. Some new laptop computers come with an eSATA connection, allowing you to get full bandwidth. If you are editing on a laptop, this is a very portable solution.
The G-SPEED Q is really a handy device to have around. When I reinitialized my SAS RAID using new settings, I needed somewhere to offload the projects that were already in progress. This was a real- world data transfer, as I had no other copy of the data. If the G-SPEED Q failed to work, I would lose everything.
I used the FireWire 800 connection to my Mac Pro, and backed up about 3 TB of data. At 75 to 80 MB per second it took a while, but it performed flawlessly, and safely transferred my data back to the SAS RAID. Now, I keep a daily backup on my G-SPEED Q, as insurance against data loss, and the best part is that the cabling is provided.
In addition to a CD manual, the G-SPEED Q kit comes with an AC power cord, 1.8 m FireWire 800 to 800 and 400 to 400 cables, a USB 2.0 cable, and a 1 m eSATA cable.
The four hard drives are Hitachi 7200 RPM, 4X SATA II’s with up to 32 MB of cache per drive. These drives, along with the cooling fan are pretty quiet since the “Smart Fan” technology keeps the noise of the RAID to a manageable level.
It doesn’t matter if you have a PC or a Mac, this system works with Mac OSx 10.3 or higher, and Windows 7 or Vista operating systems.
If you want to transfer data between your Mac and a PC there is a program that you should know about. MacDrive8 is a very cool program that you can load on a PC, instantly allowing it to read your Mac files. I have used it, and it works.
If you are wondering how much data will fit on a G-SPEED Q here is the breakdown. Each Terabyte will take up 84 hours of HDV 1080i, 17 hours of DVC Pro HD 1080/60i, 13 hours of 8-bit SD, 10 hours of ProRez 422HQ or 10 bit SD, and 2.25 hours of HD 1080/60i. Since you have 6 or 8 TB to work with, you can store a lot of projects on your G-SPEED Q.
Whether you use your G-SPEED Q as your main RAID, or use it to ensure that you always have a backup, it’s still a great little product. Granted, most people use a RAID 5 that can be rebuilt if one drive fails, there is still the rebuild time to consider. This rebuild time can take days, and when you are on a deadline you don’t always have that luxury.
I found that the G-SPEED Q is a great way to back up and transfer your data, as well as a solid, portable RAID solution for smaller systems.
MSRP: G-SPEED Q 8TB $1499
My review system consisted of a MacPro 8 core with an Intel SSD drive, mounted in a tray from maxupgrades.com, an ATTO R380 SAS controller card connected to two, CI Design 8 bay RAID cases, loaded with 16 Seagate 450GB SAS drives, a BlackMagic HD Extreme 3D card with output viewed on a TVLogic 17” HD monitor. An nvidia FX4800 card connected to an Eizo ColorEdge monitor, mounted on Monitor in Motion stands. Also inside was an nvidia 4000 card for extra Cuda processing for CS5 and the DaVinci Resolve for Mac, the G-SPEED Q for backup and small projects, two Genelec audio monitors, a Mackie mixer, an intuos tablet,and a Tangent Wave panel.