Review: LaCie 2big RAID – Made for Photographers
For years, photographers have had to deal with the booming size of RAW files. Many photographers have resorted to buying Cloud storage, moving files to cheap external drives, and even deleting precious RAW images and videos just to make space. This is why reliable storage solutions like the LaCie 2big RAID have become ‘go-to’ options for many professionals with work that constantly involves large bulks of files and other data.
The LaCie 2big RAID is aimed at creatives like photographers, videographers, and music producers who produce massive amounts of data every day. Not only is the LaCie 2big RAID visually pleasing, but the handsome external hard drive houses a maximum of 8TB. It houses two drives — 4TB in each — and you can configure it so that your computer recognizes it as two separate drives, or as one ultra-fast 8TB drive.
Look and Structure
LaCie has created an external hard drive that doesn’t look too intimidating. With the 2big RAID, they’ve matched minimalist aesthetics with functional features. The deep gray enclosure is made of aluminum which goes perfectly with most Apple products — and we all know that creatives love Apple products.
At the back of the LaCie 2big RAID, you can find the power button, Kensington lock, power port, cooling fan, and the Thunderbolt 3 USB 3.1 Type-C port. Unlike LaCie’s other products which have a silver finish, the 2big RAID features a space gray enclosure, most likely because most Apple desktops and laptops have space gray as their “default” color. While the sleek look of the enclosure looks attractive, fingerprints and dust particles are more noticeable. You might want to have a microfiber cloth nearby if you want to keep it spotless.
The aluminum isn’t just for looks. Aluminum can help maintain temperatures along with the cooling fan in the rear. The drive tray doors are made of plastic but this shouldn’t bother you — the only time you’ll have to take the drive out is when it bites the dust. Still, we wish that the 2big RAID had sturdier and more secure drive tray doors to prevent tampering.
On the front of the unit, you can find a bright blue LED light. We found it too distracting and had to tape a piece of paper over it just to dim the light. Even with the piece of paper, the bright blue light still shone through. The LED light makes the 2big RAID look futuristic but we just wish there was a way to turn it off.
Software and Accessories
The LaCie 2big RAID comes with a USB-C to USB-C cable, USB-C to USB-A cable, a 36W power supply, and a manual.
It also comes with the LaCie Toolkit and RAID Manager software, which you can use to set up your unit in no time. LaCie RAID Manager lets you send notifications about your hard drive’s health straight to your email. Toolkit lets you manage backups, like creating mirror folders, and automating imports directly to your device.
The 2big RAID also comes with a 1-month free subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps. This gives you access to all Adobe Creative Cloud applications, which you would normally have to pay for at AUD$79.49. But that’s not all — the hard drive also comes with a 5-year Rescue Data Recovery service in case something unfortunate happens.
Ease of Use
The LaCie 2big RAID is a plug-and-play type of device. All you have to do is plug in the power supply and connect the 2big RAID to your computer using the USB Type-C cable. And just like that, you can start moving files. The 2big RAID is one of the most easy-to-use external hard drives in the market.
If you’re a travel photographer or vlogger, you’ll be happy to know that the 2big RAID includes adater plates for almost every kind of power outlet in the world.
We used DiskBench to test the performance of the LaCie 2big RAID in terms of transfer or copy. Using real data, including around 10GB of raw images, 50GB of movies, and 20GB of documents, we transferred all of that data onto the 2big RAID.
The 2big RAID delivered stellar performance. Transferring the photos and documents resulted in speeds of 232-244 MB/s, while transferring the movies resulted in a rate of 422MB/s.
One thing we noticed was that the 2big RAID can be a bit loud when transferring large amounts of data. The device hummed and made all sorts of clanks. They weren’t too disturbing, but they were loud enough to disturb the peace of our quiet office. Flash still wins when it comes to silence.
We wanted to see how well the LaCie 2big RAID would perform in real-world situations, such as running programs like Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite, and games such as World of Warcraft.
We used PCMark 8, a trace-based program that can measure the performance of hard drives and other external storage devices.
Total scores ended up at 2,952 to 3,133 points with an average bandwidth of 14-16 MB/s. This is impressive for a hard drive, but it’s nothing flash can’t do. The rapid access times and file transfer rates of flash easily beats the LaCie 2big RAID.
The LaCie 2big RAID is an excellent storage solution for anyone who is looking to expand their storage space. The size of a brick, it isn’t a portable external hard drive, but it will look stylish with the rest of your high-end gadgets on your desk. It’s designed for 24/7 use and has firmare opritmized for RAID. The five-year data recovery services included in its warranty will give you confidence while using the LaCie 2big RAID. Your files won’t be going anywhere with that kind of backup system in place.
The LaCie 2big RAID is priced at AUD$799 and can be purchased directly from LaCie as well as on Amazon.