Snapshot Product Reviews

Apr 1, 2008 12:00 PM

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GLYPH GT 062 RAID

High-Capacity Desktop Storage System

The GT 062 from Glyph is a half-rackspace desktop hard drive system comprising two Seagate SATA drives that run at 7,200 rpm and an Oxford 924 chipset. Available in sizes up to 2 TB, Seagate's SATA drives are faster than traditional parallel ATA drives because SATA drives include a built-in Native Command Queuing (NCQ) algorithm. NCQ increases efficiency because it cuts down on extra arm motion by dynamically rescheduling and reordering commands so that the heads travel less over the platters.

The all-steel GT 062 has an internal power supply and is cooled by a superquiet fan. There are two FireWire 800 ports, along with FW400 and USB 2. The drive comes in a plastic travel case complete with cables for FW400, FW800 and USB, plus AC power, the Glyph Manager (GM) software and a three-year warranty, which includes a free, two-year basic data-recovery service.

Designed for pro A/V, the 062 is capable of a sustained transfer rate of 80 MB per second and supports four RAID drive modes. As Pro Tools and some other DAWs do not support software-based RAIDs, the GM software configures the firmware inside the 062 so it presents itself as JBOD (Just a Bunch of Discs), where the CPU sees two independent drives; “Spanning,” where data is written sequentially (when the first disc is filled, the remaining data is written to the second disc); RAID 0 (aka “Striping”), the fastest mode because both drives read and write concurrently; and RAID 1, or “Mirroring,” where data is written redundantly to both drives — a little slower, but the safest mode with half the total capacity of the two drives. If either drive fails, then the other will operate seamlessly. GM checks the health of each drive in RAID 1 mode and indicates a failure by bouncing in the Mac's Dock.

I mounted my 1TB GT 062 next to my 250GB GT 050Q drive in a single rackspace using the optional dual-rackmount kit and daisy-chained the two to my quad-core Mac using FW800 cables. After installing the GM software, I selected RAID 1 mode. Changing RAID mode at any time necessitates the power cycling and erasing of the entire drive. I used the Mac's Disk Utility to erase and turn the 062 into a Mac OS Extended (Journaled) volume. (Or for Windows PCs, a NTFS volume; Vista is not yet supported.)

I chose RAID 1 mode to offer to my mixing clients the added safety that all of their audio files and mixes would be redundantly stored on the 062. Even though I make a copy after each day's work, it is possible that a read/write error or an actual drive failure could occur during a session.

I got the same speed, quiet operation and track count (as high as 120 with low edit densities) as my 250GB GT 050Q — with all the same performance in my Pro Tools HD3 Accel rig. The big difference was a sense of confidence that all my hard work was stored safely. Until solid-state storage becomes cheap enough, hard drives remain essential in A/V production; it's imperative they always work accurately and reliably. The GT 062 fulfills that imperative. Prices: $452 (500 GB), $665 (1 TB), $1,092 (1.5 GB) and $1,425 (2 TB).

Glyph, 800/335-0345, www.glyphtech.com.
— Barry Rudolph






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