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.

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Top Rated Comments

OllyW Avatar
169 months ago
But weren't all the naysayers saying there isn't any Thunderbolt support and that no one cared about it?

I think a lot of members have been complaining that they've had their Thunderbolt equipped Macs since February and have not been able to purchase any peripherals to take advantage of it.

Don't worry, they'll soon be complaining how expensive the first products are when they finally do go on sale. ;)
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
0815 Avatar
169 months ago
Thunderbolt + SSD aren't made for simple photos.

If you have to ask for price, it's probably out of your budget.
They are probably not made for photos - but they help a lot with iPhoto ... ever since I put a SSD in my laptop iPhoto is responsive and usable again (with lot's of photos in it).

SSD is the best upgrade you can do to any computer - better than any new hardware/processor. If you have the choice between the next generation processor and a SSD upgrade, go with SSD (exceptions apply, some [few] people need the 'processing' power of newer processors). The harddrive is the biggest single bottleneck in modern machines - SSD is the cure for it. (And for external harddrives it is Thunderbolt + SSD drive)
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
0815 Avatar
169 months ago
Can't wait for the Thunderbold SSD drives.

The current iMacs have only a 256 GB SSD option and you can't even custom order one with bigger SSD drives or two SSD drives. I need > 512 GB SSD. This way I can order the 27' iMac with the small (256) SSD and attached more fast SSD storage through Thunderbold.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dagamer34 Avatar
169 months ago
So they DO exist! I'm wondering what the cost will be for these boxes as I'd like to store my photo collection on them.

Also, Thunderbolt to USB 3.0, make the freaking adapter already!

EDIT: Anyone notice in the images on SlashGear that the copy of Avatar has a file name that is WAY too similar to what you'd find on torrent sites?? O_O
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GFLPraxis Avatar
169 months ago
Someone needs to make a Thunderbolt to USB 3.0 / eSATA 6Gbps / Firewire 1600 or 800 / HDMI or (mini)Displayport in/out hub. One cable to rule them all.

This.

And a Thunderbolt external GPU.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mad Man Avatar
169 months ago
I'm keen to know who the misery guts is -1'ing all the comments.

Is there a fanboy on the loose?
disagreement [with you] != fanboy
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)