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LaCie's Little Big Disk Has Thunderbolt Interface

When Intel first debuted the "Light Peak" interface back in 2009, the impressive 10Gpbs transfer rate blew minds. However, due to several technical issues, including the inability to piggyback with a USB port, it sounded more like fusion power - great idea but when will it actually happen - than an impending reality. Then they joined forces with Apple and the result of that joint effort, the Thunderbolt, bypasses USB entirely and looks like it might even manage to supplant the USB standard... sometime in the future. For now, Apple is adding a Thunderbolt port to a wide range of their products including Macbook Pro, Macbook Air and Mac mini. That's great for new Mac owners, they just need a peripheral that can utilize the interface.

Enter external hard drive guru LaCie. They have produced the first storage device designed to utilize Thunderbolt, the extremely twee-named Little Big Disk. Little Big Disk isn't a misnomer. It weighs in at less than two pounds, comes in an aluminum casing housing two 2.5-inch drives and has two ports to allow it to be daisy-chained along with the 5 other devices supported by Thunderbolt. It comes in two varieties: the 1TB model at 7200 rpm for $399.95, and the 2TB version at 5400rpm for $499.95. Not cheap, but as long as you make sure not to place it on the edge of your desk and in the path of oncoming housecats, it's likely to last at least until Thunderbolt becomes the new standard. As Mac currently sells the only Thunderbolt devices, Little Big Disk is available online and in Apple stores. Sony plans to include a Thunderbolt port in the Vaio Z21.

  • kilo_17
    This whole Thunderbolt thing sounds kind of nice, but I won't be impressed until I see a product that can actually come close to 10GB/s transfer rates.
    Reply
  • warmon6
    kilo_17This whole Thunderbolt thing sounds kind of nice, but I won't be impressed until I see a product that can actually come close to 10GB/s transfer rates.
    a few sata III's ssd's in raid 0 should do the trick nicely.
    Reply
  • larkspur
    From the article, "It comes in two varieties: the 1TB model at 7200 rpm for $399.95, and the 2TB version at 5400rpm for $499.95."

    How are a couple of spinners in RAID-0 going to utilize thunderbolt bandwidth? LaCie's website lists a more plausible "Little Big Disk" with two Intel 510's in RAID-0. Maybe someone who has a better understanding could explain why they are putting 5400rpm spinners in a thunderbolt chassis? Sounds like putting a Geo Metro engine in a 69 vet.
    Reply
  • mavroxur
    kilo_17This whole Thunderbolt thing sounds kind of nice, but I won't be impressed until I see a product that can actually come close to 10GB/s transfer rates.


    It would be nice to see all devices (monitors, external disk drives, etc) using a common bus. Just imagine multiple monitors daisy-chained together and only one connector going to the host. This opens the door for lots of neat ideas. Affordable external video cards for laptops, e.g. use the internal IGP when on the go, and connect a beast of a video card when you get home. I hope this standard takes off.

    Reply
  • raqcoon
    LaCie promotes this drive for editing in the field. However, since it apparently is not bus-powered, LaCie does not indicate the voltage requirements other than the AC adapter. I can probably rig up a portable power or portable solar power array if I know the DC(?) voltage required to power this drive. Do you know? That's the deal-breaker for me to purchase or not this expensive drive. Thank you.
    Reply
  • larkspur
    mavroxurJust imagine multiple monitors daisy-chained together and only one connector going to the host.
    That is called DisplayPort 1.2 and is technically already here though finding devices that support it is tough.
    Reply
  • 500 bucks for an external 2gb 5400 rpm drive. Oh...available from Apple, never mind.
    Reply
  • larkspur
    raqcoonLaCie promotes this drive for editing in the field. However, since it apparently is not bus-powered, LaCie does not indicate the voltage requirements other than the AC adapter. I can probably rig up a portable power or portable solar power array if I know the DC(?) voltage required to power this drive. Do you know? That's the deal-breaker for me to purchase or not this expensive drive. Thank you.
    You should be using a portable SSD if you want to minimize your power consumption. Or you could use a hard disk drive with a low-power external enclosure that is designed to run off a USB port's native power rail (not all USB ports are 'powered'). Look for ones that don't require an AC power adapter. Then you don't have to worry about rigging up power at all.
    Reply
  • AbdullahG
    D'awww, it looks so cute =3
    Reply
  • lozz08
    Monkeys are smart enough not to buy LaCie products.
    Reply