Hands-On Video of LaCie Little Big Disk SSD With Thunderbolt
Since Apple and Intel introduced the Thunderbolt high-speed connectivity standard back in February, users have been waiting for third-party manufacturers to deliver compatible peripherals taking advantage of the significant speed boost over existing mainstream interfaces.
At the Thunderbolt debut, prominent external hard drive solution provider LaCie was one of the first to commit to the new connectivity standard, noting that it was planning to release Thunderbolt-enabled versions of its Little Big Disk external hard drives.
SlashGear today posted a hands-on video with the Thunderbolt-enabled Little Big Disk, showing off an SSD-based version packing two 160 GB drives. LaCie's setup saw two such drives daisy-chained in a RAID 0 configuration with a 24-inch display tacked on at the end of the chain, all connected to a Core i7-based MacBook Pro. The drive setup was able to handle impressive read speeds of over 825 MB/sec and write speeds of over 350 MB/sec.
The first demo was a raw speed test, reading and writing to the drives with 4GB files. As you can see in the video, the MBP was able to write at up to 352.5 MB/s, while read speeds reached 827.2 MB/s. The company told us that the same setup had hit 870 MB/s peaks in their own testing.
The second test was playing back three simultaneous video files stored on the drives, each coming in at 1080p Full HD resolution. Again, as in the video, playback was stutter-free whether windowed or full-screen. We were also able to scrub back and forth through the clip - with the two others running in the background - with no lag or pauses.
SSD models of the Little Big Disk with Thunderbolt are due to ship this summer ("a question of weeks from now", according to the LaCie representative), but pricing has not yet been released. More budget-friendly models based on traditional hard drives are also in the works, although LaCie has yet to offer a release timeline for those models.