updated 03:35 pm EDT, Tue September 14, 2010
LaCie 2big USB 3.0 gives fast external RAID drive
Venturing into relatively new territory, LaCie released the 2big USB 3.0 as the first ever external drive to combine both RAID and the faster USB interface. The two-drive enclosure can run as JBOD (just a bunch of disks) or in a RAID 1 mirror for security but excels when put into a RAID 0 stripe for speed. At a peak 205MB per second, the stripe is faster than even a FireWire 800 or eSATA drive and can transfer large volumes of data in record time; LaCie claims a dual-layer 50GB Blu-ray could copy in under five minutes.
Following suit with most USB 3.0 peripherals, the 2big is backwards-compatible with USB 2.0 and will run at its slower speeds with older hardware. Choosing to mirror gives the option of backing up the external drive with LaCie Backup on both Macs and Windows PCs. Both drives are modular and can be swapped out with generic replacements if capacity needs go up or if a drive fails.
Two capacities are available from the outset, including a 2TB version for $350 and a 4TB model at $580. Both should be ready today and are being joined by the d2 USB 3.0, a single drive unit with speeds up to 130MB per second and capacities of either 1TB for $150 or 2TB for $250.