GRAID Thunderbolt 1

In the FCP.co office we were looking at storage options as our new Macs all have Thunderbolt ports. When we found out there was over 30% off the G-Technology G-Raid 8 Terabyte Thunderbolt Drive, the credit card didn't stay in the wallet for long! 

Thunderbolt storage blows the rest of the competition away. The speed, and ease of use make it a requirement on any fast peripheral, not just hard drives. So when we started to look for more storage in the office we were certain that whatever we bought, it must have that little connector with the lightning bolt on the back.

We looked at the Pegasus R4 which has been the favourite of others, but we wanted something more portable as the drive had to be easily transported off to shoots and other locations for editing.

A quick Amazon search brought up the usual list of suspects such as LaCie, Western Digital and G-Tech as you would expect. We already own a few 2TB G-Technology (Owned by Hitachi) Firewire drives and they have been very robust and not let us down. Having lost the packing boxes, (The cleaner took them by mistake) had the units travel the globe and leaving them in the car overnight in freezing conditions, we didn't need to be convinced about the quality of their drives.

What did shock us was the price. In the UK, the RRP for the 8TB Thunderbolt drive is £788.99. On the UK Amazon Store they are currently offering the drive at a 32% discount at £536.89. Looks like other people think this is a good deal too as the delivery date is a lot longer than the 24 hours it took for our unit to arrive.

Over on the Amazon Store in the US, the 8TB model is selling for $706.99 or a saving of 12% on the list price of $799.95. Which by our basic maths makes it an even better deal than we get this side of the pond!

GRAID Thunderbolt 2


So having been very pleased at picking the 8TB model up at such a good price, we thought we would test it against the 2TB Firewire 800 & eSATA versions we've had for a few years. We have never used the eSATA connection on the previous model as the drives have been used either with a MacBookPro or a MacPro without an eSATA board installed.

As you can see the Thunderbolt model has the same style, width and depth of the older model but is taller. It feels heavier too although not by much. You would be able to carry this in a bag through airport security but as we have found out, it will get the contents of your bags hand searched every time. The Thunderbolt badge on the top right instantly distinguishes the connectivity differences hiding round the back.

GRAID Thunderbolt 3


Round the back, the news is what isn't there. On the new Thunderbolt drive, that is all the connectivity you get. No USB, Firewire or eSATA although this can easily be connected to non-Thunderbolt devices with Apple converters. There is of course no Thunderbolt cable in the box, you will have to buy that separately. Amazon does give you the option of buying both together.

GRAID Thunderbolt 4


On the back as well are a power input, the power button, a security slot and of course a second Thunderbolt port so you can chain devices together.

It might seem a bit petty, but using the same power brick for all models is a very sensible idea. The brick is exactly the same model for both the Firewire & Thunderbolt drives. When you have more than one drive and you have to make sure the right power adaptor goes back in the right box... We have all been there!

GRAID Thunderbolt 5

This brick works on 100 to 240v, but we are not sure if you will get the same model if you buy the drive in the US.


So how did the unit fare? As you would expect, the unit worked right out of the box. It is already formatted for OSX so all you need to do is rename the drive should you wish.

The unit contains two 7200 RPM drives in a RAID0 configuration which means if one drive should fail, all the data would be lost. This drive will get compared to more expensive RAID5 drives such as the Pegasus R4, but you could buy two of the G-Raids for the same price with money left over.

And onto the speed. We searched and searched online for somebody to have run the BlackMagic Design or AJA speed test on this unit and we couldn't find anything. So let's put that right.

As a benchmark we started off testing the 2TB G-Raid with a Firewire connection.

GRAID Firewire Speed

Hardly stunning, the drive will just about manage two streams of 1080 ProRes, but we didn't expect much over Firewire 800.

Onto the G-Raid 8TB Thunderbolt.

GRAID Thunderbolt Speed

A pretty healthy 300 MB/s read/write which in theory would do up to 10 streams of 1080. More than enough for a portable drive! With only two drives in the unit, we are not seeing the faster speeds that that the Pegasus R4 can produce, but this is a different type of unit. It is smaller and a lot cheaper and with reference to the R4, it has a larger capacity as it doesn't suffer the space lost due to the RAID setup. If you want more speed, RAID5 and slightly more space, go for the Pegasus R6.

So our conclusions? We think this model has hit a real sweet spot on price, space and performance. The unit went out the day after it arrived onto a shoot where it was connected all day to a Retina MacBook Pro. We ingested C300 media into Final Cut Pro X (optimising as well) at the same time as making Camera Archives and the drive never even stuttered.

The drive runs a lot quieter than the previous model, but that may be down to the new larger more efficient drives. How comfortable are we running RAID0? We have owned most makes of drive in the past, LaCie, Western Digital e.t.c and they have all failed at one point in time. We have just heard about one unfortunate company who lost a lot of data when their Drobo decided not to wake up in the morning. If your data is that important to you, then the only safe way of protecting it is to have two copies on separate drives.

Impressed? Yes we are. In fact we are looking to purchase another one as soon as the waiting time on Amazon comes down.

If we ran a rating system, it would get five clapperboards out of five.



Written by
Top BloggerThought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

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Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.


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BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

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Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.


Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!


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