LaCie d2 Big Disk 500GB review
With half-a-terabyte of storage and three different interfaces, the d2 Big Disk is the king of external disks. As you can probably guess, this is achieved with two 250GB 3.5in desktop disks inside it. Unlike the Extreme version, this d2 Big Disk doesn’t involve running the disks in a RAID0, but performance is impressive nonetheless.
The d2 Big Disk is a looker too, thanks to the brushed aluminium casing and blue power button on the front. It shares exactly the same form factor as other LaCie external products, including optical drives, and can be mounted in a rack thanks to the grooves on its sides. LaCie bundles a sturdy stand for vertical mounting too.
On the rear, you’ll find USB 2, FireWire 400 and two FireWire 800 ports. Obviously, FireWire 800 gives the highest bandwidth (800Mb/sec, which is about double the speed of the other two ports), but few PCs have this interface. We used LaCie’s own FireWire 800 PCI card to test the d2 Big Disk; cables for all interfaces are included in the box.
Average STR over FireWire 800 was 49.9MB/sec – quicker than three internal disks. 32.6MB/sec over USB 2 was a respectable performance too, although slower than the 250GB USB 2 LaCie disk. It was no surprise to see the d2 Big Disk storm the file-copying tests using FireWire 800 – 30.4MB/sec when writing large files and 54.3MB/sec when reading them was miles ahead of the competition. A surprising result was writing small files over USB 2, which, at 11.1MB/sec, was quicker than all the internal disks.
Thanks to quiet operation and a relatively low cost per GB, the LaCie is a good choice for those with FireWire 800 ports. Otherwise, the 250GB USB 2 version remains our favourite.