The 5Big Thunderbolt from LaCie is a true enthusiasts dream, but before we go too far, let's discuss the build quality of the unit. When I first received the 5Big at my doorstep, I was pleasantly surprised by the overall girth of the box. After having the chance to get the LaCie into the photo booth and after unboxing, I quickly realized that this 5Big Thunderbolt is built like a tank.
In fact, as most of you know, I love tearing things down and showing you the internal workings, but I simply could not do it with this unit - I just couldn't find any way to peal it apart. The external shell appears to be made of single sheet aluminum with the innards made of high grade steel, all of this gives the 5Big a bit of weight, which is always a plus in my book.
Now onto performance, where I was blown away at the pure performance I found in RAID 0. Now we all know RAID 0 is NOT reliable in anyway and I certainly would never run anything that I deemed irreplaceable on array such as this, but for media professionals and enthusiast that want very quick access to their data or do their work straight from their external storage, the LaCie provides in every way.
Moving the 5Big over to RAID 1, we enjoyed performance that I would classify as "on par with expectations", as it was nowhere near what we saw with RAID 0, but again, it was very respectable, as most DAS devices even in this age barely touch 200 to 250 MB/s ever.
Pricing at this time for the LaCie 5Big Thunderbolt in the 10TB capacity is listed at $1099.99 with the larger 20TB model listed at $2099.99, both of which come with a three year warranty. When I first received this unit, I had the thought of doing a direct compare to the Drobo 5D I have in house, but after reading and researching both units, neither share any of the same RAID modes and thus eliminates any comparison between the two.