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LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt review

Mike Jennings
6 Jul 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
573
inc VAT

Hideously expensive, but the combination of Thunderbolt and two SSDs makes for some of the fastest file transfer speeds we’ve ever seen

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Specifications

120GB+120GB hard disk, Thunderbolt, 85x40x140mm

Thunderbolt could be the next big thing in storage technology, but until now its adoption has been restricted to the Apple's latest-generation MacBook and iMac products. Now motherboard manufacturers such as Asus and MSI are releasing boards with built-in Thunderbolt ports and more firms, such as LaCie, are unveiling accessories that work on both Macs and PCs.

LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt

The Little Big Disk is the first of LaCie's range to include Thunderbolt and, with two 240GB SSDs installed in its tough-feeling aluminium frame, it's well-placed to exploit the 10GB/s theoretical speed that Thunderbolt offers. The SSDs in question are mainstream Intel 320-series drives, and the Little Big Disk itself has two Thunderbolt ports on its rear, so multiple devices can be daisy-chained together, SCSI-style.

The drive didn't disappoint in our benchmarks. In the large file write benchmark it scored 212MB/s, following this up with a mammoth 564MB/s in the large file read test - the best indicator we've yet seen of Thunderbolt's potential speed.

The LaCie also performed well in our small file tests, although it didn't match its large file performance. A result of 132MB/s in the small file write test is particularly impressive, with this figure dropping to 61MB/s in the small file read benchmark.

Those figures were recorded in RAID 0 mode, which stripes the data so 222GB of formatted space is available across the two Intel SSDs. The LaCie drive also supports RAID 1 mode, which mirrors the contents of one drive across the other - so there's only 111GB to play with, but your data will survive the failure of one disk.

LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt

Thunderbolt is a new technology, though, and that comes at a price. The 240GB version of the Little Big Disk, with its two Intel SSDs, costs over £550. That's even more than you'd pay for a 6TB NAS and over three times the price of a 2TB USB3 disk such as the Western Digital My Passport 2TB, but the Western Digital disk only has a tenth of the Thunderbolt LaCie's file transfer speeds.

If you regularly work with large files such as raw high-definition video and need lightning-quick transfer speeds to avoid delays in the workplace, the LaCie is a luxury that might pay off. The rest of us, though, should wait until the price of Thunderbolt devices begins to fall.

Basic Specifications

Rating****

Storage

Hard diskIntel 320 Series SSD
Capacity120GB+120GB
Formatted capacity222
Price per gigabyte£2.38
Disk size2.5in
InterfaceThunderbolt
Power connectorExternal
CacheN/A
Seek timeN/A
Weight650g
Size85x40x140mm
Power consumption idle7W
Power consumption active11W

Buying Information

Backup software includedGenie Timeline Pro
Price£573
Warrantythree years RTB
Supplierhttp://www.misco.co.uk
Detailswww.lacie.com

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