Black Lion Audio's MicroClock is an excellent dedicated master clock generator that will certainly improve the clarity of your A/D conversion.
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"I'm living proof that Glyph stands behind their warranty. I won't even consider another drive."
"For an drive built for the audio industry, the Glyph is surprisingly loud. [It] sounds like a someone's mowing the lawn next door..."
"The carrying case is a great touch."
"The failure question is not if, it's when. And when your drive decides to pose the question, usually at the worst possible time, you want Glyph to be the answer."
April 11, 2008
../ TestDrive: Glyph GT 062 Hard Drive
Just when you're putting the finishing touches on your next masterpiece that's going to make Madonna take notice and come begging for your production
services, your hard drive decides to take a dirt nap. Nooooo! Why me??
Professional may be an understatement
Why you? Because, what you saved at the cash register on that budget hard drive,
is now going to cost you ten times that amount in aggravation, time and a new drive.
After the umpteenth drive of ours decided to wet its bed, we contacted Glyph. Glyph has
been around for 15 years providing hard drive solutions for the audio and video markets, and they claim that not only are their hard drives more reliable
than their competitors, but they also put their money where their mouth is by backing it up with a device replacement and data recovery policy.
FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB2.0 interfaces
80 MB/sec sustained transfer rate
Rotational Speed: 7200 RPM
Durable Stainless Steel
Internal power supply, no wall wart, internal fan
Dual Seagate SATA drives
8MB, 16MB or 32MB cache, depending on capacity
Glyph Manager Software
Ships in hard-shell plastic case
3 Year Warranty, 2 Year Free Basic Data Recovery, Overnight Advance Replacement
If your drive bites the dust for whatever reason within the first year, Glyph will replace
the drive (usually within 48 hours) and rescue your data for free, if possible. In the second year of warranty, Glyph will fix or replace your the drive at
their discretion, and recover your data for free, if possible. In the third and final year of the warranty, Glyph will fix or replace the drive at their
discretion, and offer to rescue your data for a fee. The warranty is limited to the original owner, and replacement drives are often refurbished models,
but this is currently the longest and most extensive warranty in the business.
Glyph sent us their 1TB GT 062 for our evaluation and we tested it over a period of three
months in a variety of rough environments and stressful workloads. The first thing we noticed when unpacking the GT 062 is its robust all-metal chassis,
and heft. The housing utilizes thick, strong metal, with an attractive stainless-steel face-plate. The IEC power supply is located inside the unit, and
certainly contributes to its prodigious weight, but that's a small price to pay for not only having to drag an external wall-wart from location to location,
but also actually remembering to pack it.
Based on failure rate statistics and their own extensive testing, Glyph only uses Seagate
drives inside their devices. Unlike other manufacturers who utilize a variety of different brand drives inside their units, Glyph has focused solely on Seagate,
which allows them to quickly pinpoint problems when they arise.
The GT 062 houses dual 7200 RPM Seagate SATA drives with a 16MB cache and a 80 MB/sec
sustained transfer rate. Glyph also employs an Oxford Semiconductor 924 bridging chip, which is found in many higher-end drives. The bridging chip performs
the vital task of integrating the Seagate drives with the FireWire, USB, eSATA protocols. Based on our research, the failure of a bridging chip is often
the culprit in drive troubles. So before you decide that your external drive has bitten the dust, and should be launched off the highest pinnacle you can
find, it may be wise to investigate the bridging chip.
A Full compliment of FireWire and USB 2.0 connectivity resides next to the vociferous fan
The last thing you want is a noisy drive in your audio environment, and Glyph has gone
to great pains to find a cooling solution that works well without sounding like a squirrel is having breakfast in the back of your studio. Glyph locates
the low RPM fan at the back of the drive next to the FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB2.0 connectivity. Glyph is very proud of their cooling system and touts
their free-flow design, which starts with the metal mesh air intake holes positioned on the front panel. Fresh air flows directly over the drives and exits
out the back for superior cooling. However, several reviewers felt that the drive wasn't quiet enough, especially for a product whose primary habitat is
a music studio.
Glyph noted to us that many drives with fans donXt even sport air intakes, making the
inclusion of a fan a complete waste. It's a valid point, and something that most users, and apparently several drive manufacturers, donXt even think about.
So if you're shopping for a drive, it's definitely an item that should be on your feature list. However, most high-end drives do have intake ports, albeit
not nearly as sexy, or as extensive as the GlyphXs Captain Nemo inspired design.
The 062 can be formatted in one of four options, RAID 0, RAID 1, JBOD, and Spanning depending
on your needs. The included Glyph Manager software utility for both Mac OS X and Windows XP/Vista allows you to set up the GT 062 in one of the four
aforementioned drive modes very easily. It then runs in the background monitoring the health of the drive, and lets you know instantly if there's any
problems. We didn't notice any system lag, while running the utility under Mac OS X.
Four Drive Modes
RAID 0 Mode - Striping: The two drives are seen as one large drive, and reading/writing
occurs on both drives simultaneously. It is designed to increase the performance and data throughput of the drive system. The built in RAID 0 controller splits
each piece of data across both of the drives in segments and distributes the I/O burden. Since data is written without any form of parity data-checking, it
allows for the fastest data transfer of all the RAID levels.
The downside is that if one drive becomes damaged, the whole array can become corrupted. RAID
0 is not redundant or fault tolerant like RAID levels 1, 3, and 5, but the trade off is speed; RAID 0 is the fastest of all RAID levels.
RAID 0 applications include: video editing, where the speed of one drive is simply not high
enough to support the bandwidth of the video stream. Two drives together can handle a single stream of uncompressed SD 8 or 10-bit, and multiple streams of
DVCPRO HD, HDV and DV25. Sample libraries that stream off of the drives benefit from the speed, such as BFD and Synthogy Ivory. Read speeds in RAID 0 mode
are in the range of 70-75MB/sec, and they stay high as the drive's capacity increases and becomes more fragmented. The read speeds of single drives slow
down tremendously as they fill up with data.
RAID 1 Mode X Mirroring: The dual drives are seen as one drive, but have only the capacity
of a single drive. This is due to the fact that the reading and writing occurs on both drives simultaneously, so that each of the drives contain exactly the same
data - mirroring each other. If either of the drives should fail the other is there to seamlessly continue operation, and provide backup.
It basically means that your disk can survive a drive failure and still have your data. When
configured in RAID 1 mode, Glyph Manager constantly monitors the health of the drives. When a problem is detected, Glyph Manager alerts the user by animating
in the Mac OS X dock or displaying an error balloon from the Windows System Tray. Data can then be backed up before any is lost due to drive failure.
As for performance, RAID 1 Mode typically has slower write speeds because the controller has
to author both disks simultaneously.
JBOD Mode: JBOD is an acronym for Just a Bunch of Disks, meaning the dual drives will
be seen as two independent drives. Each drive will be seen with their actual capacity, so a 1TB GT 062 will be seen as two 500GB drives. Think of this as if
the 062 was just housing two separate drives.
Applications for JBOD mode are usually audio production, since the highest track count / write
performance can be achieved with this mode. Another benefit is that if one drive fails, it will not affect the health of the second.
Spanning Mode: The two drives are seen as one large drive and data is written sequentially
across them. When the first drive fills to the limit, data is then written to the second drive. This mode is useful for applications requiring large volumes, but
not requiring the speed of RAID 0. Spanning does not provide any performance or redundancy benefits.
Testing & Performance
Even during some of our longest sessions with the 062, we never found that the drive experienced
heat build-up issues, despite the heavy enclosure and internal power supply. However, the drive is not exactly silent, especially when booting up, so it is advised
to place the 062 in a well-ventilated, yet sonically shielded, area of your studio.
Over the course of our evaluation, we tested the drive in both multitrack audio sessions and computer
video editing. Both situations tend to separate the men from the boys in the drive business, and we found the Glyph performed flawlessly with no write errors.
We tested the Glyph simultaneously recording sixteen tracks at 24 bit / 95 kHz resolution and didn't encounter a single glitch, hiccup or dropout. Glyph documented
their own tests, so if your multitrack requirements are more extensive, then you can
review their data.
The GT 062 can be rack-mounted with GlyphXs single or dual rack kit, which are sold separately. The
dual kit allows two units to be racked side by side in a 1U rack and is quite convenient if you have several drives, but you may want to evaluate that the drives
are getting the cooling ventilation they desire.
The protective case is a nice added-value, and demonstrates Glyph knows its customers
Another nice feature is the padded, hard-plastic carrying case that's included in every order. This
is not only a solid added-value, but also wonderful if you and your drives are often on the move.
With the plethora of external hard-drive options on the market, we found it fascinating that only
one company truly stands behind their product. The reality with hard-drives is not if they will fail, but when. Most drives are only rated for three years of reliable
operation, after that you can only hope for the best. Kind of like NASA's Voyager missionsXor the Mars Rover. With such a comprehensive warranty, Glyph's drives need
to perform, or they'll be quickly out of business. Good thing for them and us, they do. If youXre looking for a solid, reliable hard drive solution for your audio
and video projects, then there's only one name to consider, Glyph Technologies.
The Future: Glyph still has some work to do on the noise level of the eternal fan.
Glyph Technologies GT 062 (1TB) retails for $959. Buy It Now!
With the introduction of the GT 062, Glyph Technologies further distances themselves from the competition with a world-class warranty, professional-grade components and an innate understanding of their customers.