Since G-Technology’s new G-SPEED Q model was added to the lineup, there’s been a lot of interest in it: It’s the only G-SPEED that doesn’t require an eSATA, miniSAS, or Fibre Channel connection. This makes it sound like a great option to many users, particularly those with notebooks or iMacs.
But then comes the inevitable question: What’s the difference between it and the G-SPEED eS? Despite all those added interfaces, the G-SPEED Q is hundreds of dollars cheaper. So what’s the catch?
The difference between the two models is actually very simple, albeit not particularly well-explained in the G-Technology catalog.
The G-SPEED Q does your choice of RAID 0 or RAID 5 onboard. RAID is mandatory, but because it’s done internally, you can carry a Q around to any ol’ workstation and pick up exactly where you left off. (The FireWire and USB interfaces more or less necessitate not offering JBOD; accomplishing it with those interfaces requires a good deal of ugliness.)
The G-SPEED eS is a JBOD enclosure. There is no internal RAID controller, so any RAID functionality must be provided by software or hardware on the host computer. This means you can run nearly any RAID level your heart desires with any controller you want. This also means a G-SPEED eS cannot, as a rule, be moved among multiple computers.
So to recap:
G-SPEED Q offers FireWire and USB options, must run in RAID 0 or RAID 5, and can be moved between computers at will.
G-SPEED eS is an eSATA-only JBOD, can run any or no RAID configuration, and will be tied to a single workstation if RAIDed.