Sport & Auto
- About Future
- Digital Future
- Cookies Policy
- Terms & Conditions
- Investor Relations
- Contact Future
If you added up all the storage in every Mac you’ve ever owned, would it even approach this 20TB, 5-disk RAID?
This drive marries five hard disks in a 20TB volume, which, thanks to the capabilities of Thunderbolt, work together at wildly fast speeds. In tests with very small files, the drive performs about as well as Western Digital’s two-disk, 10,000rpm My Book Velociraptor Duo (4 stars, Jan/13, p64). With larger data, the 5big streaks ahead to peaks of 777.7MB and 634.9MB per second in sequential-read and -write tests. The first figure is near LaCie’s quoted 785MB/s, although the second is further below the expected 695MB/s.
Hard disk performances fluctuate, but the 5big’s average read and write speeds of 569.1MB/s and 490.1MB/s remain respectable.
In the tougher random-read and -write tests, we observed average read and write speeds of 367.8MB/s and 348.9MB/s, respectively. These are within 20MB/s of the peak in these tests, meaning the 5big is more consistent in difficult conditions, and still acceptably fast.
The 5big Thunderbolt series is blazing fast, but the boost in speed comes with a boost in price.
The drive uses OS X’s software RAID technology, which limits it to basic striped and mirrored configurations. The latter isn’t much use unless you want four terabytes of data to be stored five times. Look for a drive with a hardware-based RAID controller and more exotic RAID types (like a Drobo, for example) if you need a better blend of speed, capacity, and protection against disk failure. The design makes it easy to swap in new drives, and we also appreciate the extra Thunderbolt port for daisy-chaining and the included 1-meter Thunderbolt cable.
The bottom line. The 5big Thunderbolt Series’ top speeds are downright incredible, and the average speeds are great, too, but the price restricts it to pro-level video work.
Thunderbolt port, OS X 10.6 or later
Good-to-excellent speeds. Thunderbolt cable is included. Easily replaceable disks.
Only supports two RAID models.