One of the biggest upsides to Intel’s Thunderbolt connection has always been the potential for speed. Since it ties directly into a computer’s PCI Express subsystem, devices that take advantage of the technology could be much, much faster than devices that use connections like USB or FireWire. While the Thunderbolt connection supports DisplayPort-compatible displays by default, most companies are investigating the potential for quicker storage than ever before.
LaCie is making that more true than ever with the release of an updated version of its speedy LaCie Little Big Disk. The new model features a dual set of solid state drives, or SSDs, inside, which can be configured in either a RAID 0 or RAID 1 arrangement.
RAID 1 means that data is duplicated from one drive to the other. RAID 0 means that data is striped across both drives as it’s written – one bit goes on one drive, the next bit goes on the second drive, and so forth.
It’s this second version of RAID that makes the Little Big Disk with Thunderbolt so darned speedy.
As a result of the fast flash memory and the even faster Thunderbolt connection, the Little Big Disk can hit read speeds of up to 635MB/s – faster than most internal storage by far. LaCie claims that the Little Big Disk’s bandwidth is sufficient to copy a 50GB project (a not unreasonable example for HD video projects) in under two minutes, or allow the editing of up to “six uncompressed 422 streams” simultaneously.
On the back of the Little Big Disk are two Thunderbolt ports. Only a few new devices, such as the LaCie and Western Digital’s Thunderbolt Velociraptor Duo drives feature the second port – it’s an important distinction, since it allows users to “daisy-chain” multiple devices (Little Big Disks or otherwise).
Although the Little Big Disk is considered by LaCie to be one of its portable drives, it’s not exactly tiny – it comes in at 1.4 pounds, which is double or treble the weight of traditional mobile hard drives. Still, it fits in the palm of your hand, and as Thunderbolt-equipped RAID arrays go, nothing can touch LaCie’s new disk.
Available now, LaCie’s Little Big Disk is available in both 512GB and 1TB capacities, which start at $699. The unit comes equipped with a three-year limited warranty, which includes in-house tech support and global warranty fulfillment.
Check out a full gallery of press images here.