LaCie’s wicked fast Thunderbolt Drives turn MacBooks into Mac Pros

“Hard drive supremo LaCie will at last sell you a 2big Thunderbolt Series external drive,” Charlie Sorrel reports for Cult of Mac.

“It’s about time. Thunderbolt is as fast as hooking components up inside the computer, and as such makes a MacBook almost as expandable as a Mac Pro,” Sorrel reports. “It might also make it as expensive: the 4TB LaCie costs $650, while the 6TB runs to $800.”

Read more in the full article here.


      1. But we’re comparing them now to other 4TB drives… which run from 200-300. Granted it’s ok to charge a bit of a premium for decent hardware, but jacking it up this much kind of sucks. Don’t forget to add the extra 50 for the cable. I’m sure prices will come down when more folks jump into the ring.
        I have a pegasus and felt like I was paying too much, but it sure is zippy.

    1. And why? Is there a premium expense to Lacie using a Thunderbolt port (as opposed to USB 3) or are they gouging the market knowing there are precious few Thunderbolt peripherals right now? We will remember this. I have not had the best of luck with Lacie DVD burners or drives so this adds insult to injury.

        1. The 2big drives are RAIDs, not single disk drives.

          Thunderbolt is worth a few extra bucks.

          Remember that USB3 (like USB 1 and 2) is processor dependent, unlike Thunderbolt which (like FireWire) has it’s own dedicated controller chip which enables high-speed TWO-WAY data transfers without slowing down the system.

          Realize also, that Thunderbolt is able to handle not only external storage devices, but also network and video … simultaneously. It’s light years ahead of USB.

  1. Supposedly a saying on a hot rod shop sign years ago:

    “Speed costs money, how fast do you want to go?”

    For me, at least until prices drop (a lot), I’m thinking I’d like to go about Firewire speed.

  2. FWIW, it appears to be a $100 premium for the LaCie TB version over the LaCie FW version (per their website), plus $49 for the TB cable from the Apple Store, for a $149 premium to go a lot faster. Still, a lot of money either way.

    1. Depends on who the user is:

      Designers charging by the hour for video work?
      They’ll make that $150 back in less than a day of work.

      Average home user clicking on Farmville?
      Expensive and waist of time.

    2. $150 premium for jumping to TB is chump change for a scientist working with large data sets, a pro working with massive video and photo files, or a business with large databases. It appears to me that TB will be awesome for shared storage, as well.

      For the rest of us…well, I paid a premium for FW400 and, later, FW800 when I bought external drives for my Mac. My new MBA has TB, and when I upgrade my iMac I will probably upgrade to a central TB RAID, as well.

  3. If people would actually read and comprehend the article you would see that this is two 2TB drives in a Raid box.
    OWC charges $459 for a non TB version.
    The La Cie price listed is retail which nobody in their right mind pays.
    My guess is you will pay $100 premium for Thunderbolt plus the cable. Expensive yes but not as out of line as people are claiming without understanding what this is.

    1. C’mon Darwin, be realistic, you want people to actually read and comprehend the actual article before going postal? This is MDN… the Queen of knee-jerk reactionary web sites.

      Look on the positive side, no has blamed Obama yet for the pricing. 😉

      I’ve had quite a few LaCie 2big RAIDs and never had a problem. If one of the drives craps out, it’s easy to get a replacement and swap it out.

    2. Yep. New technology is not going to be cheap right out of the gate either. Over time it will become mainstream and much lower in price.

      If computer prices followed car prices, holy crap, people would go out of their minds at those prices.

      We got it good. Others need to stop bitching.

  4. The main problem is what it’s being compared to. Everyone seems to want to compare it to USB3 when what you really should be comparing it to Fiber Channel. When you start making that comparison the price problem goes out the window.

  5. Let’s be truthful, LaCie uses western Digital hard drives and their durability is awful. I have a pile of dead Lacie Big disk drives (and a couple others) what seems to fail are the LaCie controller boards. I have in multiple instances taken them apart, pulled the actual drives and been able to use them. Of course thanks to LaCies proprietary raid the data on them was toast, the drives needed reformatting to be used.

    1. I don’t know of any HDD vendors that you can rely upon these days. WD used to be solid – they were OEM for most Macs for years. Seagate used to be a no-brainer – good quality and a five-year warranty. But Seagate bought Maxtor, reduced the duration of its warranties, and started a downhill slide. Hitachi? Samsung? Anywhere you look you will generally see about 20% to 25% 1-star ratings for a HDD. Some of those are unfair because people try to use cheap drives in a RAID configuration. But there are a lot of reports of DOAs and infant mortality, too.

      On rare occasions I find a HDD with extensive positive reviews and <10% 1-star ratings. The last time that I did I bought six 2TB HDDs and haven't had a problem yet (knocking on fibrous cellulosic material).

      I honestly don't know of a go-to vendor for HDDs. One possible approach if you value reliability is to pay extra for enterprise quality drives.

    2. I concur on the horrible reliability of Lacie drives, and yes it is always the controller boards that failed on mine, not the WD hard drives inside. My experience with Lacie is 3 years old because it was about 2009 when I looked at the pile of junk in the corner and realized that my company was seeing a trend named “Lacie”.

      To be fair to Western Digital, we now use tons (okay, dozens) of My Book, (FW800 and USB versions), and My Passport drives for backup and travel project work and we love them. NOT ONE HAS DIED IN TWO YEARS.

      Lacie may have solved their reliability problems or not, but they lost me as a customer and as long as I’m happy with WD I’m not returning. It won’t be long before WD Thunderbolt drives are sitting on the shelf at the local Walmart.

  6. Expensive? PFFT.
    My MacPlus in 1986 cost $3000. I added a 20MB LaCie hard drive for about $1000 in 1988. Never figured I’d ever be able to fill the thing.
    This brings up a point to consider. Perhaps we SHOULD be paying more to have this stuff built on shore by workers that get paid decent salaries on this continent. At some point the Wal-Mart mentality needs to end…

    1. Agreed. An unreliable HDD is worth less than nothing. Even if you are good about backing up your data, you still have to waste your time reconstructing a volume from backups. It just isn’t worth it. There are far too many HDD failures because capacity and cost have taken precedence over quality.

  7. Expensive? Really?
    My first 1GB drive for a MacIIci cost $1,400, and that was on sale. It was $3K just a few months prior. And the SCSI cable was about $50 bucks.

    This Lacie 6TB is serving wicked speed at about .13 cents GB.

  8. As the owner of a Mac Pro I’m calling Bullshit.

    Impressive sounding headline that is just that- a fictional headline.

    I agree with the comments regarding HD reliability which is a BFD since backing up 8TB of data to the cloud is a joke. How many ISPs would cut the cord on you for that?

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