LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 External Storage Device Review

LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 External Storage Device Review

The "World's Fastest External Storage" makes its way through the lab at TweakTown. Read on to see what we had to say about this unique storage solution.

@TylerBernath
Published Wed, Apr 16 2014 5:05 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:32 PM CDT
Rating: 93%Manufacturer: LaCie

Introduction & Pricing, Availability and Specifications

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Just before CES 2014, a lot of anticipation swirled around the tech scene as to who would release the world first Thunderbolt 2 enabled device. After all, Intel announced its Thunderbolt 2 spec to the public the previous April.

Right now, three months into the year, I can think of only a few companies that have a Thunderbolt 2 product on the market, and one of those happens to be LaCie. LaCie has enjoyed tremendous success with their excellent line of backup and not-so backup storage solutions. I say not-so backup storage solutions because the solution we are about to look at is an absolute screamer, tearing through data in milliseconds.

The LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 is the next evolution of external storage solutions. It's capable of 1375 MB/s read and 1180 MB/s write in RAID0, and, with that kind of performance, I'm not so sure anyone would want to run it in RAID1. In fact, LaCie configures the LBD TB2 in RAID0 from the factory. Of course, the big reason this device is being marketed as the "World's Fastest Portable Storage" is the inclusion of two M.2 PCIe SSDs, both of which are 512GB and manufactured by Samsung.

Compatibility of the LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 extends to OS X 10.8.5+, and, of course, you will need an available Thunderbolt 2 port for maximum performance, but it is backwards compatible to first generation Thunderbolt.

Pricing, Availability and Specifications

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MSRP for the 1TB Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 is set at $1299.99 with a three-year warranty. Availability is slim-to-none at this point but should ramp up in the very near future as units make it to channel partners.

PRICING: You can find the LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 (1TB) retails for $1,299.00 at Amazon.

LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2

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I was quite surprised at how small the box was for the LBD, but it really goes to show how small the device actually is. On the front of the box, we have an image of the drive centered with marketing information around the outside edges.

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Removing the packages from the box, you can see LaCie took a lot of care in packaging the LBD. The accessories are separated into their own box while the unit itself is packed into high-density foam.

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The scope of delivery for the LBD includes a whole host of power connections, which appear to be one for each region the device will be launched. We also have the Thunderbolt cable, stand for the enclosure, and the Little Big Disk itself.

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The Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 is a Neil Poulton design, though to differentiate from previous models, LaCie has gone with a black finish.

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The back of the drive houses dual Thunderbolt 2 ports along with the power connection and Kensington lock slot.

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Opening up the unit, we found a very small fan with a rubber duct to control the flow of air in the unit.

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The Thunderbolt 2 PCB houses the Intel L5520 Controller.

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Moving on, we have the M.2 PCB with both 512GB Samsung PCIe SSDs.

Test System Setup

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In testing the performance of Thunderbolt storage solutions, we utilize the Apple MacBook Pro Retina Late 2013 model, which as of this article is running OS X 10.9.1. Full system specifications are available above. To create RAID volumes in OS X, I use SoftRAID 4.5.3 with 64k stripe size for RAID 0 volumes.

Black Magic Design Disk Speed Test

[img]99[/img]

Disk Speed Test is an easy-to-use tool to quickly measure and certify your disk performance for working with high quality video. Simply click the start button and Disk Speed Test will write test your disk using large blocks of data and then display the result. Disk Speed Test will continue to test writes and reads from your disk, so you can evaluate both performance and readability over time.

AJA System Test

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Check the performance of any drive on your system to ensure it is tuned for the performance you need.

Benchmarks - Black Magic Design Disk Speed Test

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In our first test, we benchmark the performance of the LBD in RAID 0. Here we were able to reach 1143 MB/s read and 1086 MB/s write.

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RAID 1 gave us 1050 MB/s read and 581 MB/s write.

Benchmarks - AJA System Test

All testing with AJA System Test is done with a 16GB file size over 500 frames.

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First, we look at 720p read where we show the read and write speeds over 500 frames. Here we have the read speed staying consistent around 600 MB/s with peaks up to 1100 MB/s. Write speeds held strong upwards of 1100 MB/s.

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Over to 1080p with our RAID 0 array, we have the LBD coming in with peak rates of 1200 MB/s read and write.

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4K really calmed things down quite a bit. Here we see the LBD reach near 1400 MB/s read and 1300 MB/s write.

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Now we switch over to RAID 1 in the OS X Disk Utility. In our 720p test, the LBD did close to 1000 MB/s read and 600 MB/s write.

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1080p stretched things out a bit more, and we see the read speeds touch 1200 MB/s read and 600 MB/s write.

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4K again calmed down the charts, and we see the LBD reach 1400 MB/s read with 600 MB/s write.

Benchmarks - Volume Fill

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Above, we have the results from our volume fill test. In this test, we fill the entire LBA range of the device taking read and write results as the test runs. As you can see, in RAID 0, the read performance of the LBD stays consistently around 1400 MB/s for the entire range, and write performance also stays pretty consistent around 1100 MB/s.

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RAID 1 shows a little more fluctuation in the read speeds, which range from 1100 MB/s to 1300 MB/s. Write speeds were pretty solid and around 600 MB/s.

Final Thoughts

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When I first had the chance to lay my hands-on the LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2, the first thing that came to mind was how small this unit really is. Keep in mind that I never had the chance to test the original, so this is a first time deal for me. The entire chassis of the device is designed out of aluminum, which doubles as a heat sink to keep the components cool.

One thing I can surely say is this unit is whisper silent, and it's certainly not like I didn't beat the heck out of the LBD because that volume fill test has the tendency to really warm things up. Alas, the fan in the LBD did turn on, but it never got above the noise I hear daily from my MacBook Pro.

Performance of the LBD, as you seen in the charts, was pretty amazing. Any time your external storage can outperform your internal storage, it's pretty remarkable. In our AJA system benchmarks, we watched as the LBD scaled through 720p, 1080p, and 4K with ease, and the volume fill showed consistent performance throughout the device.

Build quality, as you can assume, was top notch, something I have come to expect from LaCie in testing previous products from them. Of course, with this device being a Neil Poulton design, the desktop art feel is still there as well, and it is surely something I would love to have on my desk.

The LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 in the 1TB configuration carries a MSRP of $1299.99 with a three-year warranty. Current market pricing for the unit can be found below.

PRICING: You can find the LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 (1TB) retails for $1,299.00 at Amazon.

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PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

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Growing up in a small farm town, tech wasn't around, unless it was in a tractor. At an early age, Tyler's parents brought home their first PC. Tyler was hooked and learned what it meant to format a HDD, spending many nights reinstalling Windows 95. Tyler's love and enthusiast nature always kept his PC nearby. Eager to get deeper into tech, he started reviewing.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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