The TeraByte Drives Redefine External Storage


The capacity point of almost one teraByte is impressive all by itself. However, the products that LaCie and Maxtor put together deliver more than just raw storage capacity. Both LaCie and Maxtor deployed all the interfaces that are important for quick and flexible data exchange. Almost every computer has USB ports these days, Firewire is important for isochronous data transfers (e.g. audio and video streams) and Firewire 1394b is the premier choice for the highest bandwidth requirements.

Both LaCie and Maxtor cater to the performance-sensitive customer and run their teraByte products using a fast, but risky RAID 0. Be aware that your data is at a higher risk, because all of it will be gone should even one of the two drives fail. Maxtor offers a RAID 1 option, cutting the capacity by 50%, but increasing data safety by a considerable amount. However, both companies fail to offer a simple JBOD setup that would merge the capacity of both drives without decreasing data safety.

On the software side, Maxtor wins over LaCie by providing a backup software that is more comprehensive. It schedules, allows for different backup strategies, and is capable of working in the background. But still it's not capable enough to create complete system backups for disaster recovery.

In the end, both drives perform more or less alike, making the decision a really difficult one. While it is Maxtor delivering the better feature set in hardware and software, we don't understand why both companies settled with a warranty of only a year. It leaves quite a bad aftertaste that certainly isn't a good fit for these otherwise great drives.