SanDisk Professional G-Drive ArmorATD Review

The SanDisk Skilled G-Drive ArmorATD ( begins at $ 89.99 for 1TB ; $ 109.99 for 2TB as examined ) is a cost-efficient, semi-rugged exterior exhausting repel out there in capacities as much as 5TB. As a spin ( 5,400rpm ) platter drive, its pace is typical of its class, which means nicely insufficient of the efficiency of solid-state drives. This makes the ArmorATD less-than-ideal for customers needing to again up many bombastic recordsdata in a rush, nevertheless it ought to work nicely for vacationers or cell staff who want plenty of capability for the spend, versus what their cash would purchase in an exterior SSD .

Platters That Play Effectively With Macs

The ArmorATD is without doubt one of the starting merchandise in western Digital ‘s SanDisk Skilled line of storage options, which mixes a rebranding of WD ‘s G-Expertise sequence with the initiation of some new merchandise. A barely modified model of the G-Expertise ArmorATD, the G-Drive ArmorATD has a recent shade scheme—the casing has modified from blue to house grey—and comes formatted in HFS+ moderately of exFAT .
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HFS+ is a Mac-friendly format, certainly one of two ( together with APFS ) appropriate with the macOS backup association Time Machine. Not like exFAT, which is each Mac- and Home windows-compatible, HFS+ can be utilized solely on a Mac. If it’s essential use the ArmorATD with each Home windows PCs and Macs, you ‘ll have to reformat it to exFAT. This may be finished with a Mac ‘s Disk Utility, the place HFS+ is named Mac OS Prolonged ( Journaled ). For those who solely have a Home windows machine and need to convert the format to NTFS, you are able to do thus utilizing the Home windows Disk Administration utility by rigorously deleting the HFS+ partition and reformatting the drive as NTFS, wiping the drive uninfected. Utilities corresponding to Paragon NTFS-HFS Converter supply a easy and sq. path to transform drives between HFS+ and NTFS. Do you have to reformat the ArmorATD, it would be best to again up all of your information first. ( The Paragon utility night prompts you to take action. ) As for software program, SanDisk does n’t embody any on the drive. In contrast, the WD My Passport ( 5TB ) helps AES-256 {hardware} encoding and password safety via its WD Safety app. It moreover contains utilities for checking drive well being, backing up and reformatting the marketing campaign, and downloading information from obscure storage. True to its title, the Seagate Backup Plus Extremely Contact supplies stand-in software program ( by way of a free obtain ) ; it moreover helps 256-bit AES hardware-based encoding with password auspices .
( {photograph} : Molly Flores )
Measuring 0.8 by 3.4 by 5.1 inches, the ArmorATD can slot in one hand, and it ‘s simple to grip the black, rubberized detachable sleeve that cushions the drive. The machine ‘s silver-grey floor exhibits via on the height and bottomland. On the facet, a condom plug connected to the drive conceals a USB-C port with a USB 3.1 Gen 1 interface. ( After all, the port moreover works with the Thunderbolt 3 ports on all current Macs, over a USB-C-to-C cable ) The tug ‘s auspices towards mud and rain is contingent on the port being lined. The ArmorATD comes with a pair of 2-foot cables, one USB-C to USB-C, the early USB-C to USB-A .
( {photograph} : Molly Flores )

A Drive That is Semi-Robust

The ArmorATD is a platter-based exhausting drive with some ruggedness cred. With a arctic bumper cushioning its aluminum body of reference and inside shock mounts, it ‘s rated to outlive as much as 1,000 kilos of blackmail or a drop from 3.3 ft. Its ingres protecting masking ( IP ) rat of IP54 supplies some safety towards spine and rain, although it ‘s nonetheless probably weak to nice particles. You possibly can splash water on ( however not immerse ) the unit with no in poor health results. The underside line is that the ArmorATD in all fairness rugged. A hike journey that includes the necessity for information backup, say to save lots of photographs, ought to pose no terror, and journeys round township needs to be a breeze. For those who want one thing extra water-tight or are heading into notably soiled or chilly environments, you ‘ll possible be higher off with a higher-IP-rated exhausting drive such because the ADATA HD830. You might at all times spring for a solid-state drive, whose miss of transferring elements makes it inherently much less weak than a phonograph document drive. The SanDisk Skilled G-Drive SSD sports activities IP67 water and mud resistance, as much as 3-meter drop safety, and a pair of,000-pound jam resistance. You ‘ll pay extra for the G-Drive SSD, however in accession to being extra rugged, it ‘s a lot quicker and supplies utilitarian software program. At present retail ( Amazon ) worth, the ArmorATD ‘s 2TB model goes for five cents per gigabyte, whereas the 4TB and 5TB fashions every promote for 3 cents per gigabyte. The extra rugged ADATA HD830 moreover prices 3 cents a spear in 4TB and 5TB capacities, although its 2TB translation goes for 4 cents per gigabyte, as does the 2TB Seagate Backup Plus Extremely Contact. SanDisk backs the ArmorATD with a three-year assure .

Testing the ArmorATD: On Par for Platters

The ArmorATD ‘s efficiency proved typical of a 5,400rpm exhausting drive from a serious producer, which is unsurprising as a result of about all such drives fall inside a really narrow-minded charge of scores. ( See extra about how we take a look at exhausting drives. ) The PCMark 10 Storage quiz generates a proprietorship rating based mostly on a desegregate of simulated workloads, together with a Home windows Defender scan, video enhancing duties, and lotion launches. The ArmorATD completed an in depth second to the WD Black P10, the lone different 5,400rpm drive we ‘ve examined since upgrading our PCMark benchmark from PCMark 8, with a grudge of 499 versus 503 .
Crystal DiskMark, a examination of consecutive take and write speeds for straight-line transfers of contiguous information, represents a best-case state of affairs for phonograph document drives. Rated for a invoice take away ( consecutive learn ) pace of 140MBps for the 2TB translation we examined, the ArmorATD merely missed with a study amphetamine of 135MBps and a write speed up of 132MBps. Its perceive amphetamine was tied with three others for the very best among the many 9 5,400rpm drives with which we in contrast it, and its publish pace tied for second greatest, however the scores had been inside a narrow-minded sufficient vary that variations are of little consequence. The Seagate FireCuda Gaming Hub, which accommodates a 7,200rpm desktop-size ( 3.5-inch ) exhausting drive, predictably led the pack with learn and compose scores of 233MBps and 255MBps respectively. For our personal folder switch trial, we use a MacBook Professional laptop computer. This drag-and-drop trial consists of copying a criterion 1.2GB folder from the Mac to the trial drive, with a stopwatch displaying how lengthy it took to complete the job. The G-Drive ArmorATD claimed bragging rights by finishing the switch in 10 seconds, a second fast than 5 early 5,400rpm drives together with the previous-generation G-Expertise ArmorATD. The 7,200rpm Seagate FireCuda Gaming Hub was predictably quickest, taking 7 seconds. No drive took longer than 13 seconds to finish this take a look at. The Mac-only BlackMagic testing utility was created by an australian producer of video recording software program and {hardware}, and is commonly used to assist videographers gauge how a drive will carry out when working with giant video recordsdata. It measures a drive ‘s throughput in MBps for studying and writing respective tv codecs. The ArmorATD ‘s scores of 121MBps learn and 125MBps compose put it a sting above par amongst its 5,400rpm rivals, which all scored in a reasonably specialize charge. Though fast SSDs arguably dominate at the moment ‘s storage area, spinning troublesome drives nevertheless have a lot to suggest them. They ‘re a lot out there in capacities hardly ever seen in SSDs—the ArmorATD, as talked about, supplies as much as 5TB of cupboard space, as do many different exhausting drives. Its worth per gigabyte is typical of its class, notably on the 4TB and 5TB capacities .

Spinning Bits for the Street

The SanDisk Skilled G-Drive ArmorATD is a stable and superbly designed slice of equipment that works nicely as a grab-and-go drive. It has a pricey symmetry of worth and huskiness, with on-the-mark operation thrown in .
( {photograph} : Molly Flores )
If you need a phonograph document exhausting drive that comes with a software program suite or information encoding ( or each ), look to the WD My Passport or Seagate Backup Plus Extremely Contact, although neither is especially rugged and the Seagate peaks at 2TB. The ADATA HD830, a PCMag Editors ‘ Alternative winner like the opposite two drives talked about above, is much more safe than the ArmorATD, nevertheless it lacks a USB-C interface. The ArmorATD is a more-than-reasonable various, specifically for Mac customers volition to accept phonograph document speeds alongside a budget capacities they make potential .

SanDisk Skilled G-Drive ArmorATD


See It
$ 82.99

at Amazon

Begins at $ 89.99


  • Rugged sufficient to guard from the weather, with rubberized sheath and interface cowl
  • enticing design
  • Ideally suited for observe with macOS
  • Each USB-C and USB-A cables bundled
  • aggressive worth

View Extra


  • Lacks software program cortege and hardware-based encoding
  • Requires reformatting to be used with Home windows

The Backside Line

The SanDisk Skilled G-Drive ArmorATD is a gorgeous, cost-efficient moveable exhausting tug, greatest for Mac customers, that gives some protecting masking from the weather however lacks a software program suite and hardware-based encoding .

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