- Up to 4TB
- Durable and Rugged
As HDDs seem to slowly be making their way into the “this tech is too old and slow” market like its predecessors: the cassette, the floppy disk, the CD… The SSD is now taking its place as the common or industry standard for external memory drives. Though it might take another decade for SSDs to fully dominate the market, it’s sure on its way, and it’s only a matter of time.
Do you remember the days of dial-up internet? I can hear the connecting sound in my nightmares. But here’s the thing, fast is fast… until you’ve experienced something faster. That jump from AOL 4.0 to let’s say 7.0 felt like hyperspeed. Now, we couldn’t imagine a world where we only have the means to AOL 7.0 speeds. The moral of the story, when you experience something faster, it’s hard to go slow again.
And the Gigadrive is no exception to this. Claiming to be the fastest external SSD on the market, that only means bad things for HDDs. The only thing keeping SSDs from taking over is cost/accessibility. But if you can have both high-performing technologies (worlds fastest SSD), and price it at half the cost from the leading producers in the market… well maybe that decades wait might actually be something that of a year.
But does Gigadrive live up to the claims? The hype? The tests? Luckily we got to test it out for ourselves at Tech I want to see if their claims hold up. So let’s check it out and see what we found.
You can watch our video review of the Gigadrive here:
Is this a truly new product that you can’t find on the market? Or this a product that defines an entirely new product category. In some cases, the combination of several features into one or the introduction of a new feature to an old product are also considered to be an innovation.
When Gigadrive arrived and we were finally able to have it in our hands, we were surprised by how small it actually was. From the expected square-ish standard external drive you see everywhere in the market, this little guy was stayed from that design by not only being small but also being very sleek. Honestly, Gigadrive was reminiscent of some cardboard cutters or switchblades. A sleek-looking cardboard cutter/switchblade.
That being said, it fits well in the hand and felt very sturdy. It didn’t have the feel of cheap plastic and did not have any loose or shaky parts. So for starters, when they claim to be one of the most durable external SSD drives, at first glance, you could believe them. But looks and feel only go so far, which is why we had to test that claim (and we’ll cover that shortly).
Besides its aesthetics, the Gigadrive comes in swinging with its bold claims. Not only do they state that they are the Worlds Fastest SSD (like seriously bold), but they do it by boasting thunderbolt 4 and USB-C 4.0 compatibility. Who uses Thunderbolt 4 in the market right now? Well honestly, not many out there.
That being said, by claiming transfer speeds of 2,800MBs, having Thunderbolt 4 and USB-C 4.0 compatibility while holding 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB capacities, they simply say they are future proof. And how tech is moving nowadays, futureproofing is incredibly important.
So to tie it all together, Gigadrive is very advanced in the external storage market, but it doesn’t revolutionize the world of SSDs. It performs very well and could be a really strong player in the tech game, but in short, it’s not innovating the category. But, it IS pushing the limits of what the current market is offering for SSDs.
So how does it compete in today’s market? Let’s take it to the competition.
How much better is it than the competition? Is it faster? Bigger? Cooler? More affordable? There needs to be a solid reason why you should back this project over any other.
|Gigadrive||Samsung X5||LaCie Rugged SSD Pro||G-DRIVE|
|Test Speed||2640MBs Apple insider||2326MBs. PC Mag||2223MBs. PC Mage||2502MBs|
|Speed after 1 hour||1924 MB/s||-||-||-|
|Space||1 TB||1 TB||1 TB||1 TB|
|Price per GB||$0,153||$0,349||$0,399||$0,379|
|Heatsink||✅ 40c||Different opinions||❌||✅|
|Water Resistance||✅ Apple insider test 1 hour||❌||✅ 30min submersion||❌|
|Crush Resistance||?||❌||2 tonnes car crush||453kg|
|Password Protection||❌||✅ with windows||❌||❌|
|Connection||Thunderbolt 4 UBC-C (USB4 protocol)||Thunderbolt 3 C-C||Thunderbolt 3 USB-C or Thunderbolt Mac/PC||Thunderbolt 3|
|Warrenty||1 year (upgradable to 3)||3-year limited warranty||Rescue Data Recovery Services and warranty - 5 years||5-year limited warranty|
Remote work is on the rise and the number of digital nomads is increasing (at least pre-pandemic). Levels.io in 2015 predicted there will be 1 billion digital nomads by 2035 – thus exponentially increasing the need for transportable, durable, and fast external drives.
The Gigadrive has bravely taken a fight with some of the big players in the game: Samsung, LaCie, and G-Technology. All are competing against each other to win over the likes of videographers, gamers, video editors, and freelance multimedia travelers with each, their own high-speed durable SSDs.
However in this very technical sphere, few can completely deliver what they’ve promised as the devices the SSD’s are plugged in can differ quite a bit in processing speed — let’s say the difference between the 2008 Macbook and a 2020 ThinkPad.
So then… How does Gigadrive compare to the rest of the competition, when the important factors to SSDs are speed, space, portability, and price?
Gigadrive is claiming 4 big things. They claim it is the fastest SSD in the world; that it’s super durable, dust- and waterproof; you can game from it without lag; and that it can store your video files live directly from your camera. And they claim it can do all this without heating up above 40c. Sounds too good to be true? A little. But what we found surprised us.
Let’s start with SPEED:
SSDs are usually either SATA, NVMe, or PCIe Gen 4. So what’s under Gigadrive’s hood? Try the Intel AGI M.2 SSD. Ok pretty solid, but is that it? No, the second component of Gigadrive is the DRAM cache chip – which is basically a very fast machine that knows where data is stored and how to retrieve it.
Mixing these two components is a recipe for fast tech. But is it fast enough? And as fast as they say? They are claiming to be the fastest SSD at 2,800MBs, with three other competitors claiming to be just as fast. Who are those competitors? Samsung with their Portable SSD X5, LaCie’s Rugged SSD Pro, and G-technology G-Drive.
Independent tests from PC Mag show that the competitors actually only reach around 2,200-2,300MBs in the real world. Copying PC Mag’s test method, we did a Blackmagic speed test and reached 2700MBs. So yeah, Gigadrive was faster than the competitors.
From there we proceeded to transfer an 18GB 4K movie. The result? We waited 8 minutes. Wait did I say minutes? I mean seconds. 18GB in 8 seconds… We were astonished that it actually worked. To see the video of our test, click here.
So the fact that Gigadrive hits these speeds, and is being offered for just $153? All that performance for around half the price of the competition? That’s honestly ridiculous in the best way possible.
Now that we got past the speed, can it take the Heat?
The failure claim of the competitor Samsung Portable SSD X5 of it being always under 45C didn’t hold. Many Amazon reviews mention that it was incredibly hot and almost impossible to touch in some extreme cases.
So what about Gigadrive? Since Gigadrive doesn’t have any cooling fans and solely relies on its aluminum heatsink design to dissipate heat, it caused many calls for concern. Can something running at those speeds stay cool without fans?
Well, during our tests, Gigadrive stayed relatively cool the entire time, only reaching a max temp of 46C once which is important. Why? Well for one, it means that the heatsink design mostly works! But more importantly, if an HDD or SSD gets too hot, it can actually damage the chip and performance of the product.
Lastly, Gigadrive is compatible with Thunderbolt 4 which has a very fast transfer speed. However, Thunderbolt 3 goes over 2,800MBs anyways so it seems just like one of those cool features rather than a fully usable one (though it does mean that it’s slightly future-proof). It also has backward compatibility which is great so you can use it for thunderbolt 3 and previous USB versions.
The Gigadrive seems to do almost everything the established companies do but slightly better and for half the price. If the Gigadrive team finds a way to mass-produce and mass-ship this product, they could truly deliver the product that is game-changing for content creators in 2021.
How capable is the team? Have they developed something like this before? Do they have crowdfunding experience? Manufacturing experience? A lot of campaigns fail to deliver their product because they don’t know what they’re doing.
Here’s where things get interesting. So as amazing as the Gigadrive is with all of these tests checking out, the company and its team members are something of a question. Why is that? The team behind the campaign is nowhere to be found (at least on the internet). After some fraud accusations, we have been doing extensive research to be sure everything checks out.
So where do our concerns begin? Well, we started wondering after some confusing changes, Gigadrive finally landed on using the Intel AGI M.2 2280 NVMe which is around $117. With the 1TB version selling only at $153 and DRAM costing only a couple of dollars, we struggled to find out how they were going to make money.
It’s definitely seen before in crowdfunding that a company actually makes a big loss in their first campaign just to establish themselves in the market and continue their journey; something big external investors often suggest as an approach. Another option is that they are getting a nice bulk discount at the SSD shop. So we’ll leave that to speculation.
Next, after doing name research on Linkedin and on the internet, it seems they have no social profiles anywhere online.
After checking their website, WHOIS registration, and XML sitemaps, we couldn’t find more info on them. It might not be comfortable not knowing exactly who you are dealing with. So why did we give them such a high score? Because the product they’ve given us lives up to their bold claims, passed the tests, and looks great.
One of the biggest challenges for first-time campaigners is mass production and shipping. It’s very often where the big failures occur. From the sheer quality of this product, it seems like these guys actually have great experience in manufacturing – but it’s a feeling we get from only this one product, we have no other external info to back it up.
But that’s what crowdfunding is. Investing in someone’s dream and in return, possibly getting a game-changing product that many others in the world don’t have. And if it’s a product like Gigadrive, it might be worth the risk.
How transparent are the campaigners? Do they give their backers valuable updates on their progress? Do they engage with their backers? Crowdfunding is all about community, sharing information, and building a meaningful relationship with the people who fund your project.
So aside from their ghostly presence in the crowdfunding realm, what’s their interaction like with backers? As first-time campaigners, honestly, not bad. Sometimes what you see with first-time campaigners is either amazing effort with sloppy execution, amazing professionalism because they’re already an established business, or just terrible to no interaction whatsoever.
And for Gigadrive? They’re somewhere in the top third tier. They respond with solid information in a timely manner; usually taking at most a day to get back to comments which are awesome. So it’s everything you need in response but may just lack a bit of a personal touch. They’re nice, get right to the point, and that’s that.
If you’re looking for that added touch of warmth and care, well you might not find that in the comments, but you will get your answer. All that being said, coming from a campaign team that is nearly non-existent, it’s amazing that this level of attentiveness is there. Helps you rest a little easier at night knowing that your concerns are being answered by someone, and not by error-404s.
Conclusion & Public Opinion
The World’s Fastest SSD is here. Well hopefully. This product went through all of our concerns, went through our tests, and to our amazement, fulfilled many of the claims it had.
General consumers and backers may have had concerns around Gigadrive, but after putting those concerns under a microscope and running this external SSD through our own hardcore tests, Gigadrive checks out. And checks out very well. Yes, it got hotter than 40 degrees Celcius in our test, but that being said, other SSDs have been rated to reach temps of 60 degrees.
After a multitude of major back-to-back drop tests, Gigadrive did show some wear. That being said, it was not put through our planned waterproof test. But surviving the 6 major drops we did in our review video and still functioning properly afterward is impressive enough. We’ll just take Apple Insider’s waterproof test into consideration.
Aside from all of these things, Gigadrive did hit 2,800MBs, making it the fastest external SSD on the market. And the fact that you can get it at half the price from what the competitors offer, that’s a solid sell.
So is it worth the risk of backing? The company is nearly an anomaly. But they do communicate and respond to our messages, and send us a working prototype. So is it sketchy? Possibly. But would the payoff be worth the risk? If you were to receive the same product we tested, in our humble opinion as crowdfunding experts, we’ll give a clear yes.