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LaCie 2Big Dock Thunderbolt 3 20TB External HDD Review

LaCie 2Big Dock Thunderbolt 3 20TB External HDD Review
LaCie outs the 2Big Dock powered by Thunderbolt 3 technology and we take the 20TB model through testing.
By: Tyler Bernath | Enclosures/Externals in Storage | Posted: Dec 8, 2017 5:43 pm
TweakTown Rating: 91%Manufacturer: LaCie

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When it comes to external storage, USB-C is probably the best thing to come along since Thunderbolt. With the additional throughput that this new connectivity provides, it has allowed vendors to introduce additional functionality to their storage solutions. LaCie was one of the first to take advantage of this when they redesigned the 2Big Thunderbolt 3 to include a media dock.

 

With the latest revision of the 2Big from LaCie, the Neil Poulton design has undergone some changes. On the outside, the design has been flipped on its side and shortened with one bank removed to accommodate the media hub that has now been placed at the bottom.

 

Features include a two-drive RAID enclosure capable of 0, 1 or JBOD with capacity options reaching up to 20TB. A USB 3.0 port is made available on the front of the unit along with SD and Compact Flash slots. Daisy chain functionality is made available via the Thunderbolt 3 connection while power delivery too is a feature of this unit with 27 watts available over USB-C and 15 watts on Thunderbolt 3.

 

The MSRP of the 20TB LaCie 2Big Dock comes in at $1299.99 with a five-year warranty.

 

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Packaging follows past appliances from LaCie. We have the enclosure shown on the front with capacity and performance in the top right corner.

 

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A full specification and features list is available on the back of the box.

 

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With the 2Big Dock, we received a Thunderbolt 3 cable, power adapter, and USB Type-C to Micro B cable.

 

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The front of the enclosure still has that iconic LaCie Neil Poulton design although a bit shorter. The top two are the drive trays and slide out, as we will see shortly. At the bottom, we have the USB 3.0, CF and SD slots on the media hub.

 

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The back side gives us a slight peak at that Noctua cooling fan with the power button to the left. Down below, we have a host of ports including power, dual Thunderbolt 3, and USB-C.

 

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Removing the drive trays, we have two IronWolf Pro drives from Seagate.

 

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Moving to the array management, we have the option for both RAID 0 and RAID 1.

 

GO TO TOP OF THE NEXT COLUMN ^

 

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Software for the 2Big gives a quick overview of your drive with a health indicator at the bottom right, array status in the center, and menu bar to the left.

 

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Diving into performance, I used Thunderbolt 3 for testing. With the 1080p ProRes workload in AJA, I was able to get 179 FPS read and 145 FPS write in RAID 0.

 

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The Ultra HD workload, with RAID 0, was able to produce 43 FPS read and 42 FPS write.

 

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Slipping over to RAID 1, we see performance fall slightly with 86 FPS read and 89 FPS write in the 1080p workload.

 

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Ultra HD slowed further with RAID 1, coming in at 24 FPS read and 22 FPS write.

 

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Throwing data at the front-mounted SD card slot, I was able to grab 92 MB/s read and 78 MB/s write with a SanDisk Extreme memory card.

 

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Moving to the USB 3.0 port using our external SSD, I was able to get 357 MB/s read and 346 MB/s write.

 

LaCie never disappoints when it comes to quality and to that point, I have also never had a LaCie product that I felt was built to accommodate a price point. The 2Big Dock as it will be known is a fantastic representation of this with the classic all-aluminum Neil Poulton design that has now been reworked for added functionality with a smaller footprint.

 

Performance is adequate for hard drives and as seen in my testing was able to provide solid performance for 1080p workloads in both RAID 0 and RAID 1. Ultra HD struggled slightly but did manage to reach 43 FPS with RAID 0 and 24 FPS with RAID 1.

 

On the outside, we tested the front-mounted SD card port to produce plenty of throughput for a UHS-I SanDisk Extreme while the USB 3.0 port was disappointing to be honest, offering 357 MB/s peak. To me, this signals a less than efficient design with a SATA RAID controller for the two internal drives and likely a USB 3.0 interface that is splitting throughput for the port and two card readers. This was likely done because of its compatibility with USB 3.1, but even so, it cripples media flow when you have to wait for data.

 

Moving on, the software for this solution is amazing and very easy to work with. I had no issues formatting or setting up arrays and the small icon in the corner allows you a quick view of your array health. In closing, my only gripe is LaCie didn't take this unit to the extreme with multiple controllers for the front mounted media panel, which would have allowed full throughput on all devices.

 

 

 

Tyler's Test System Specifications

 

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance90%
Quality95%
Features95%
Value85%
Overall TweakTown Rating91%

The Bottom Line: LaCie always improves their lineup and the 2Big is no different. We have a high capacity appliance that provides solid performance and adds to it with SD and CF functionality for increased media flow.

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