LaCie 4big: The Enthusiast Data Jukebox

Test Setup, Access Time, Interface Bandwidth

Test Setup

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System Hardware
ProcessorsIntel Core 2 Duo E8500 (45 nm, 3.16 GHz, 6 MB L2 Cache)
PlatformGigabyte P45T-Extreme, Rev 1.0, Intel P45 Express Chipset
RAM4X 1 GB DDR-1066 Crucial BL12864BA1608, 4X 1024 MB, CL5-5-5-15 Timings
System Hard DriveSamsung HD120IJ, 120 GB, 7,200 RPM, 8 MB Cache, SATA / 300
Mass Storage Controller (s)82801JIR IC H10 RAID ( ICH10R)
Graphic CardATI Radeon HD 3850 512 MB
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System Hardware
Performance MeasurementsHDTach
I/O PerformanceIOmeter 2003.05.10, Fileserver-Benchmark, Webserver-Benchmark, Database-Benchmark, Workstation-Benchmark
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System Software&Drivers
OSMicrosoft Windows Ultimate 64 Bit, Service Pack 1
Platform DriverIntel Chipset Installation Utility
Graphics DriverCatalyst 8.11

Interface Bandwidth

LaCie says that the 4big Quadra reaches up to 230 MB/s throughput via eSATA. We selected a RAID 0 to check the throughput, but we could not see more than 175 MB/s. Although four 7,200 RPM drives can theoretically reach approximately 400 MB/s in an ideal RAID 0 environment, 175 MB/s is still a good result.

As you can see, the maximum throughput clearly depends on the interface. The 175 MB/s we mentioned can only be reached on eSATA. FireWire 800 reached 80 MB/s, which is one of the best results we’ve seen on this interface. 40 MB/s is typical for FireWire 400, as is 35 MB/s for USB 2.0.

Access Time

Access time depends on the RAID level you select: RAID 0 clearly is the fastest, providing a quick 13.9 ms average access across all four drives. RAID 5 takes as much as 18 ms for average access time, while a RAID 10 array or degraded RAID 5 array are slightly faster. These numbers, however, are only important if you intend to run applications off the 4big Quadra, which typically won’t be the case—this is a mass storage product.