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Nine External Thunderbolt Storage Devices, Rounded Up

LaCie 2big 6 TB

RPM7200 RPM7200 RPM7200 RPM
Capacity4 TB6 TB8 TB
Devices2 x 2 TB2 x 3 TB2 x 4 TB
Price (MSRP)$600$750unreleased
Market Price$570$715unreleased

LaCie’s 2big external RAID enclosure, featuring hot-swappable bays, is a much better option for enthusiasts looking for a little flexibility without jeopardizing warranty coverage. The 2big isn't a clear winner over LaCie's Little Big Disk in every way, though. It's larger and less portable, whereas the Little Big Disk leverages 2.5" drives to keep its form factor much more compact. But that shouldn't be a deterrent; the 2big accepts higher-capacity 3.5" storage and is deliberately designed to be stationary. If you need mobility, LaCie has more purpose-built solutions (like the Little Big Disk). 

As with pretty much all of the Thunderbolt-based products we're looking at today, the 2big isn't an inexpensive piece of hardware. LaCie's 4 TB model (9000191) sells for $600, or ~$0.15 per GB. Jumping to the 6 TB model (9000192) increases the price to $750, but reduces the cost per-gigabyte to ~$0.09. Fortunately, both available versions can be found online for a bit less.

Regardless of the capacity point, LaCie utilizes Seagate's 7200.14 Barracuda (ST3000DM001) family inside its 2big models. That's a respectable choice, as the 7200.14 happens to be a decent middle-of-the-road performer.

The 2big employs the same Intel CV82524EF/L and Marvell 88SE9182 configuration as the Little Big Disk, but it integrates beefier power circuitry to support 3.5" disk drives.

Expect to see sequential read results somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 MB/s from the 2 big in a RAID 0 configuration. Writes level off around ~290 MB/s.

Protecting your data with RAID 1 nearly halves those performance numbers.