The number of devices compatible with Thunderbolt is growing. We recently reviewed a number of motherboards with Thunderbolt, and now we are putting the Lacie 2big Thunderbolt to the test. It's an external hard drive with two 3.5in hard disks; a direct competitor to the WD MyBook Thunderbolt Duo.
The design of the Lacie 2big Thunderbolt is reminiscent of the recently reviewed 2big NAS. The solid, aluminium chassis has two Thunderbolt connectors and two 2TB 7200 RPM Barracuda disks by Seagate, LaCie's new parent company.
No Thunderbolt cables are included, which is standard for Thunderbolt devices. You do get the traditional CD-ROM with drivers and a manual. We'd like to see this replaced by a USB stick to be honest, since more and more Apple computers such as the Mac mini and MacBook Air don't have disc drives. Of course, you can always download the software from LaCie's website.
The software is pretty minimal. It's a monitoring programme that displays the status of the disks - much less comprehensive than WD's software that also lets you change the settings of the RAID volume. Here you have to do it with the Apple Disk Utility. The default setting is RAID 0. It's fast, but also risky, since you can lose all your data if one disk breaks. You can opt for safety instead and put the Lacie 2big Thunderbolt in RAID 1, which stores your data mirrored on both disks. The official Windows drivers are not yet out, but as soon as we get our hands on those, we will test this NAS again.
We compared the Lacie 2big Thunderbolt 4TB with two other products: the WD My Book Thunderbolt Duo 4TB and the LaCie Little Big Disk. The Little Big Disk has two 120GB Intel SSD 320s and is faster and more energy-efficient. The power usage of the 2big is significantly higher than the WD, which is probably due to the fast 7200 RPM disks compared to WD's energy-efficient disks. You can read the rest of LaCie 2big Thunderbolt 4TB on Hardware.info.