All of us are pretty much aware of what the Thunderbolt series is capable of when used in tandem with SSDs, and not everyone really look at a NAND kind of external storage to meet their requirements, do they? But what is deemed essential by many of us, nevertheless, would be tons and tons of storage space for all of our multimedia and backup files and this is where the Thunderbolt series beats its competitors hands down in transferring bits and bytes at a blazing speed. So, if you are someone who is looking at exactly this kind of a backup, then looks like your search ends right here with the LaCie 2big Thunderbolt series External Hard Drive. Interestingly, the 2big sums up a grand total of 6TB by packing two 3TB spinners and packs a software configuration of RAID 0 allowing users to take complete advantage of its capabilities.
Also hardcore Mac users have a lot on offer from the LaCie 2big Thunderbolt Series, whose RAID 0 array is both speedy as well as capacious. This hard drive will particularly come in handy for especially those in the still/video shoot industry with clients who rush them to their deadlines. This sure is a incomparable scratch/work drive. And what’s more, if you are someone that keeps upgrading your PC or laptop once a year, then this is a perfect drive for you. So, are we all set to explore the 2big right away, having had enough of introduction now?
- Solid and classy aluminium casing
- Blazing Thunderbolt Interface
- RAID flexibility takes care of Security and Speed
- Ultra-silent operation
- Can be stacked horizontally or stood Vertically
- Replaceable disks allows for constant access of data
- Aluminium reliability and security
- Hot-swappable Disk Drives
- Dual Thunderbolt ports allow of daisy chaining of as many as 6 compatible storage devices.
- Transfer Speeds of 327 MBps
- Advanced Dual Cooling System lengthens the drive’s life
- A backward compatible Mini DisplayPort that can be daisy-chained with other digital devices like cameras or PCs.
- Daisy chaining multiplies options
In the box
- LaCie 2big Thunderbolt Series hard drive
- External power supply
- Drive stand for upright use
- CD with user manual and quick install guide
- Intego Backup Manager Pro
- P.S.: Thunderbolt cable need to be purchased separately
Design and Feel
Even as you unpack the 2big, the unit’s heftiness dawns on you with its 5.95 lbs. Well, no complaints here though, as it is this heaviness that gives the drive a robust feel, and neither does the 2big tries to portray itself as a portable storage. It actually is an amazing look-alike of its predecessor 2big USB 3.0 with the same chunky round blue orb that glows to indicate that the drive is powered on and is all set to roll. Getting to the rear, you will notice the two hard drive bays each of which is capable of housing a 3.5-inch 3TB SATA hard drive summing up to a total capacity of 6TB with the drive being set up in RAID 0. Then again, with RAID 1 setting the usable capacity gets reduced to half, wherein the other half is kept redundant, just in case of a hard-drive failure. The drive also comes with various power plugs, just in case you are planning to lug it around the world, you should be able to use it in majority of the places that you travel. The 2big packs a utility disk holding the drive management and backup software within, but it is thoroughly usable out of the box. Additionally, it comes with a stand attached to aid in horizontal mounting or can be removed, if you choose to, for rack mounting too.
Getting to the exteriors of the LaCie 2big, it is the same old design that we are familiar with – an aluminium block with ribbed sides and the customary sphere-shaped button onto the front. The azure glow of the button is still here which does multitasking of acting as a power button (no, it doesn’t pulse while the drive runs) and also a bright LED, similar to its predecessor Little Big Disk. The only difference here is that the button has LaCie embossed on it and is seated as securely as possible with a wee bit of play given to it before it registers a press.
Again, as there is no dedicated power switch for the 2big and can be turned On/Off even as it is plugged in. This is no big deal as the power status of the drive is in sync with the host PC and can be turned on even before hooking it up with a Thunderbolt-enabled PC. Upon being plugged, the drive goes Off on its own with the PC getting into a sleep mode or being turned off and springs back to power with the PC back in operation.
Moving onto the rear of the device, it houses dual Thunderbolt ports (that come in handy with connecting the Thunderbolt PCs/DisplayPort and daisy chaining the drives) together with the power plug and the dual drive bay drawers. Thanks to the gadget’s mammoth size, noise isn’t an issue here. Despite housing two 7200RPM 3.5-inch drives, the chassis doesn’t hum any louder than you would expect it to.
Accessing the twin drives is pretty much easy as it just needs a simple turn of the latch, which can be done either with a coin or a flathead screwdriver. Well, if you have a hard time locating a coin, there is a plastic key provided by LaCie for this purpose. Once unlocked, the drive sleds can be easily hauled out. The opening in the drive bays is good enough for fingertips to be slid in, if you need to anchor the drives out. Unfortunately the drive is devoid of any quick remove lever that would make the whole task smooth and easy.
Now, if you were disappointed with the drive swapping ease of the 2big, well it makes up by impressing you big time with its build quality because it is an entirely different story with LaCie, which always impresses users with their build quality beating its competitors hands down every time. The thick aluminium built of the 2big comes in fairly handy with its chic, yet efficient chassis. In fact, it feels kind of over engineered No, doesn’t mean that it will take falls for you – the drives wouldn’t really be too pleased being dropped constantly), but yes the chassis oozes power. It would particularly please users who detest cheap-looking HDD enclosures and would prove to be a real feast for such sore eyes.
But you might wanna be aware of this though – once the drives are slid out and if you choose to have the hard drives replaced, the warranty gets voided, claims LaCie. Also of note, while the drives are allowed to be hot-swapped, you might want to restrict doing that only if you are planning on setting it up in RAID 1 (as it is RAID 0 by default). Then again, if you are going to try pulling out the drives while in operation, it would result in damage of data.
Now getting this beast connected shouldn’t pose much of a problem, that is if you have enough of real estate for a 3.5 x 6.7 x 7.8 inches footprint, along with the required cable. Yeah! We heard you – you just shelled out your hard earned bucks of around ?600 just for a drive with Thunderbolt connections that doesn’t include a compatible cable and leaves you with the task of finding one. Well, not that LaCie’s drives get cheaper by the day, if at all they only tend to keep rising with every new product that is unveiled, might as well add a cable to the behemoth pricetag. Yeah! Indeed annoying, we hear you! In any case, once you have managed to find a compatible cable, all that requires to be done is to connect your Mac, plug it in the wall outlet and power on the Power button and Voila! The drive is at your service. Again, setting it up shouldn’t be much of an issue as it comes HFS+ preformatted out of the box and after it is hooked to a Thunderbolt-compatible Mac, it is all ready to rock just like any other storage device. But then if you are looking at using the drive in RAID 1, then you might have to run the Disk Utility that changes the RAID, which takes roughly about a minute or if anything less. There is also an Intego Backup Manager Pro software CD that accompanies the 2big, but then you would barely get to use it as the setup is fairly easy and it would be ideal to use it in sync with the Time Machine in Mac for all your backup needs.
The 2big is the first to boast of dual-bay drawers in the Thunderbolt series, which means it can be compared with the Pegasus R6 only when it is set up using the RAID 0. Whereas when you change it over to RAID 1, it is pretty much a single-volume drive. The possible explanation for this would be in RAID 1, the drive’s bandwidth gets limited by the internal hard drive. So that makes sense, huh! The two 3TB hard drives inside the unit spin at a speed of 7200rpm and support SATA3 and caps at 6GBp/s which way slower in comparison to the standard Thunderbolt 10GBp/s. There seems to be a vast difference in terms of performance too between the two setups of RAID.
It is kind of hard for the two 3.5-inch hard drives to literally saturate the Thunderbolt interface, but yes the 2big is remarkably nippier than its HDD-based predecessor, Little Big Disk, especially with sequential large block transfer. While the latter proves to be faster in reading disks, the former is definitely better with write speeds. Even as random performance is one strong point of SSDs, what matters most here would be the sequential performance particularly with external storage used exclusively for storing movies, huge archives and photos these days. The company claims that the transfer rates of the 2big maxes out an average of 320MB per second for writing and 327MB per second with reading. But looks like the results are far more better with routine write speeds somewhere around 350MB per second and read speeds of 370MB per second. A 1GB transfer roughly takes around 13 seconds with a 5GB transfer that happens in a minute or if anything less. Again, a a 10GB transfer literally flies to the LaCie in 2 minutes or less. Obviously, a drive as voluminous as this is prone to be used as a backup arsenal and the 2big performs like a literal charm in this regard. Utilising the Time Machine, it manages to duplicate data of 117GB in about 45 minutes with a bootable backup of 143GB that is created in one and half hours, with the speed averaging to about 34MB per second utilising the Intego Backup Manager Pro Software that comes along with the drive.
To sum up, the 2big meets your expectations when it comes to performance with RAID 0 topping the performance chart in comparison to RAID 1. Either ways, it still looks to be your best bet and fastest in the external storage arena. Nevertheless, if you intend hosting your crucial data, ensure changing the drive configuration to RAID 1 if you want the data to be extremely secure.
With Thunderbolt’s capacity to deliver just 10W, the 2big has to depend on an external power adaptor. There is a two part adaptor that comes in the box, which has four cables that could be fit into any kind of receptacle in any corner of the world. While the idle power consumption is remarkably higher at 18.5W in comparison to the big brother Little Big Disk, it sure is significantly lower than the 6-drive Pegasus R6.
As mentioned above, noise is absolutely not an issue with the 2big. Yes, we do endorse that there are two 3.5-inch 7200RPM drives spinning inside the chassis. So while it is too much to ask for pin-drop silence in there, it definitely is a far cry from its predecessor the Little Big Disk that almost looked to be raucous in comparison. You do hear an occasional whirr of the drives but for that, it sure is awfully quite for the most part. Moreover, it handles drive temperatures fairly well too. The drive only seems to get slightly warm while working, making it evident that the noiseless fan and the finned skin takes care of dispersing the heat generated by the drive. The highest temperatures is supposedly 47°C post a 6TB write.
The LaCie 2big Thunderbolt Series comes with a 3-year warranty which is actually better as against the Pegasus R6 that is backed by just a 2-year warranty. The company’s website offers access to the unit’s FAQs, manuals, knowledge base and also allows for downloading of software compatible with the unit. Well, the only hitch here is you will have to first register yourself with LaCie which could pose to be bit of an annoyance particularly if you wish to have some immediate answers for your queries.
To conclude, this particular offering from LaCie sure does look to be a tempting option for the Mac-equipped specialised market (like graphic artists) with its lightning Thunderbolt interface and whopping 6TB capacity. The solid built, quite operation and mammoth capacity, most important of all blazing transfers sure does go on to make one helluva package for users with requirements of immense media backup needs. But for the premium pricetag of the 2big and the fact that it is devoid of ports that can connect non-Thunderbolt PCs and Mac’s, we really cannot think of other reasons to not recommend the 2big. That said, if you have the means and in need of an external storage that would offer you endless storage, then you wouldn’t regret your purchase of the LaCie 2big.
LaCie 2big Thunderbolt Specifications
|Type of Drive||External|
|Colours available||Colours available|
|Dimensions (H x W x D)||3.5 x 6.7 x 7.8 in. / 91 x 172 x 200 mm|
|Weight||5.95 lbs / 2700g|
|Rotating Speed||7200 rpm|
|Capacities Available||4TB, 6TB and 8TB|
|Interface||Dual 10Gb/s Thunderbolt ports for daisy chaining|
|Cache||64MB (2 x 32MB) or greater|
|Included Disks||2x swappable hard disks|
|Interface Transfer Rate (max bus speed)||Up to 10GB/s|
|Average Transfer Rate||Average Transfer Rate|
|Protocols||Data: PCI Express
Video: Dual-Mode DisplayPort
|Video Channels||10Gb/s independent up and downlinks|
|Data Channels||10Gb/s independent up and downlinks|
|Daisy Chain||Up to six Thunderbolt technology-compatible devices
including LaCie Thunderbolt series products,
other Thunderbolt technology-compatible devices,
and LaCie professional displays
|Cables Technology||Thunderbolt Cables (to be purchased separately)|
|System Requirements||Computer with a Thunderbolt port
Mac OS X 10.6 or greater
Thunderbolt cable (purchased separately)
|RAID Modes||Preconfigured RAID 0 striped set
RAID 0 / 1 / JBOD configuration using Mac OS Disk Utility
|Cooling||Aluminium enclosure with heat sink
design for 60% better cooling
High performance fan
|Power||Power down drives without breaking daisy chain connection|
|Power Supply||100-240Vca; 50/60Hz|
|Warranty||3-Year Limited Warranty|