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LaCie 2big RAID 16TB Review: Big on Reliability and Capacity

Editor's Choice

Conclusion

LaCie’s 2big RAID is an excellent external storage device that is mostly a great buy for those looking to up their storage space. Being the size of a big brick, it’s not portable, but the sleek design will nicely accent the rest of your high-end tech on your desk. That is if you can stand the obnoxiously bright blue LED dome light on the front of the unit. In order to dim the light, I had to place a piece of tape over the clear plastic that shinny bright light shines through to the front blue dome. Only then was that “issue” remedied.

The inclusion of Seagate’s IronWolf Pro’s helps to add to the unit’s reliability and durability. Designed for 24/7 use with firmware optimized for RAID, it’s a perfect match for the working professional. The five years of data recovery services over the course of its warranty gives you a sense of confidence in the product, too. And, with speeds hitting upwards of 240MB/s each or 460MB/s in RAID 0, the drives are fast. But that speed does come at a slight cost.

While on, the fan is whisper quiet from two feet away and kept the HDDs operating around 40-48C during testing. While the fan is quiet, the HDDs can be quite the opposite. While performing a system backup, the device hummed and made all kinds of clinks and clanks when it hit small files that disturbed the peace of my rather quiet home. Nothing beats flash when it comes to silent pleasure. But let’s not forget that flash just isn’t at price parity with mechanical storage quite yet.

We like the fact that you can configure the device in RAID and JBOD mode. Not everyone needs the speed that RAID 0 has to offer, or they don’t want to leave their data at risk. For these people RAID 1 is a great way to add in some redundancy in case one of the drives fail, although it is not an excuse to go without a backup. And then there are people like me, who want the full capacity but prefer separate volumes for manually managed storage. Setting things up with LaCie’s RAID manager was quick and easy. The device’s flexibility is a perfect match for most in this regard.

While it lacks the Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, the SD card readers, and USB port of the 2big Dock, the 2big RAID’s simplicity makes it a lot cheaper. Over $150 cheaper in fact. As well, it is cheaper than G-Technology’s 16TB G-RAID and other professional storage solutions. The only thing close to it is the WD My Book Duo at ~$570, but that can’t touch the performance of this unit with its 5400-RPM RED drives. If you can do with a bit less performance and are tight on cash, it may be a worthwhile alternative. In terms of value, the 2big RAID has a lot going for it.

Image Credits: Tom's Hardware

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  • xpd.co.nz
    Those "cons" are not cons.
    Noise - its running enterprise grade drives - you dont buy them for silence.
    Blue LED - Tape/marker fixes that
    Wall power - again, enterprise drives, speed, RAID - you really want all that at the mercy of a USB connection ? :)
    Reply
  • neoculture
    Just once, I'd like NAS companies to think about heavy-duty home users.
    I don't want a paltry "home"-level 2-disk RAID device. I need decent storage (4+ disks).
    I don't want enterprise speed/throughput/reliability. This is a home device.
    It got to the point that I built my own NAS using an old rack-mount chassis, 9 desktop HDDs, running on Linux software RAID-5. And it hasn't failed me since I turned it on back in 2003 (power outages notwithstanding).
    Reply
  • seanwebster
    xpd.co.nz said:
    Those "cons" are not cons.
    Noise - its running enterprise grade drives - you dont buy them for silence.
    Blue LED - Tape/marker fixes that
    Wall power - again, enterprise drives, speed, RAID - you really want all that at the mercy of a USB connection ? :)

    Of course, acoustics don't really matter too much when you have thousands of high-speed fans blasting in an enterprise/datacenter setting. But, the thing is, that is not who this product is for. The device is for content creators. My mention of it was to bring attention to buyers that these are louder than normal drives. Using mostly SSD storage and various drives over the years, the noise level came as quite a shock. Imagine now you are using this device in your workflow with an Apple computer in a small office, hearing these things clink and clank and hum constantly can become quite distracting.

    Blue LED: Yes, but I sit next to multiple Windows in sunny South Florida all day, this little blue light outshines the sun it seems and somehow manages to hurts my eyes when looking at it briefly. I went ahead and taped mine during the review, but it shouldn't be so bright and distracting to begin with...

    The mercy of a USB connection? The USB-C standard can now offer more than enough juice and bandwidth nowadays to support it... Please, elaborate?

    neoculture said:
    Just once, I'd like NAS companies to think about heavy-duty home users.
    I don't want a paltry "home"-level 2-disk RAID device. I need decent storage (4+ disks).
    I don't want enterprise speed/throughput/reliability. This is a home device.It got to the point that I built my own NAS using an old rack-mount chassis, 9 desktop HDDs, running on Linux software RAID-5. And it hasn't failed me since I turned it on back in 2003 (power outages notwithstanding).
    There are a lot of NAS solutions for home users that fit those requirements. I personally have a 4U, 27 drive, 100TB+ storage server. But, because of power consumption, I usually just run my main rig as my NAS for my other devices now.
    Reply