Western Digital launches new 22TB and 44TB Sandisk Professional external hard drives

 The Sandisk Professional G-RAID Mirror External HDD
The Sandisk Professional G-RAID Mirror External HDD

Storage behemoth Western Digital added two new external hard disk drives to its already burgeoning roster of storage devices ahead of IBC2023, the International Broadcasting Convention that takes places every year in Amsterdam and attracts, the cream of the broadcasting, media and entertainment industry.

The pro-grade products fill a gap in Western Digital’s offering and include the SanDisk Professional G-Drive PROJECT and the G-RAID Mirror, formerly part of the G-Technology family.

Both come with Thunderbolt 3 (rather than Thunderbolt 4) allowing up to five devices to be daisy-chained, a five-year warranty and with one or two hard disk drives (up to 22TB Ultrastar Enterprise-class hard drives, likely to be the Ultrastar DC HC570). They also both feature a PRO-BLADE SSD mag slot that allows you to manage content via this SSD-based storage device.

The PROJECT is available in capacities ranging from 6TB ($369.99) up to 22TB ($849.99). Western Digital claims that it can reach read/write speeds of up to 260MB/s which is slightly less than the maximum transfer speed reached by the HC570 (291MB/s).

The G-RAID Mirror reaches up to 44TB using two drives and costs a whopping $1499.99. It ships in RAID-1 “mirroring” mode for enhanced data redundancy. It can be changed to RAID-0 for better performance or JBOD (Just a bunch of drives) simply by flipping a switch.

In comparison, the My Book Duo, a consumer product, costs just under $1,200, and comes with a shorter warranty, lacks the PRO-BLADE SSD mag slot and runs on USB 3.2 Gen 1. The price gap is even bigger - $450 or 70% - between the 22TB WD Elements and the 22TB PROJECT.

What about Seagate?

Western Digital’s arch-rival doesn’t have an equivalent line of product, focusing instead on consumer external hard drives with the Expansion and One Touch family ranges. Instead, you need to look at LaCie, Seagate’s separate premium storage brand, that maintained a distinct identity from the mothership.

Its 2Big Dock competes against the G-RAID Mirror, with a much higher price tag ($1899) and a lower storage capacity (up to 40TB). It does however have two Thunderbolt ports, CFexpress Type B, CFast 2.0, and SD card slots as well as a USB hub and a full size DisplayPort.

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