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Gear makers show Thunderbolt-ready drives

updated 05:20 pm EST, Thu February 24, 2011

LaCie, Promise drives already in works

A few peripheral makers are already beginning to announce Thunderbolt-compatible storage drives. LaCie has debuted a Little Big Disk with the connection technology, which has a maximum bandwidth of 10Gbps in either direction. Providing the actual storage are two 250GB Intel 510 SSD drives.

Promise, meanwhile, has uncovered two RAID cabinets, the R4 and the R6. These have four or six bays, respectively, and in a peak configuration can hold up to 12TB of data. RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50 and 60 configurations are supported, with a maximum sustained transfer rate of 800MBps.

Still missing from either the LaCie or Promise announcements are prices or release dates. Apple's new MacBook Pros are, however, the first computers to support the Thunderbolt standard. Apple may in fact be the only computer maker to have Thunderbolt until 2012.


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By Electronista Staff
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  1. Paul Huang

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Sep 1999

    -17

    What a joke

    The bottleneck in the "little big disk" is in the 2.5" drive, not FireWire/800 or eSATA.

    Thunderbolt is not going to do much good.

  1. nowwhatareyoulookingat

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2009

    +5

    Really? LaCie?

    Do they just keep finding new suckers to buy their stuff? The hardware looks beautiful, and generally works great, but then they throw in the cheapest power supply they can find and hope it goes out of warrantee before the supply goes, so they can sell you a replacement.

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2008

    +13

    While these products probably...

    ...won't change the landscape in reference to the usability/usefulness of Thunderbolt, we must not forget that the future looks bright for SSD drives and their eventual replacement/enhancement of spinning-platter drives.

    As SSDs get faster and faster (and hopefully cheaper, too!), simple USB 2.0 (or even 3.0) and FireWire connections may not be fast enough to fully carry the bandwidth that the SSDs are capable of producing. RAID a few SSDs up as well, and now we're approaching a theoretical 1GB/sec -- something that Thunderbolt would be more than suited for that other interconnects wouldn't.

    Thunderbolt may be overkill for what's available TODAY, but then again, when has any new technology been invented that is 100% taken advantage of the day it's released? It's TOMORROW I'm most interested in...

  1. Feathers

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Oct 1999

    +8

    OWC

    I'm waiting to see what Other World Computing comes out with. Solid gear at decent prices. I have had bad experiences with both Promise (aptly named) and LaCie in the past. The best thing LaCie ever did was displays and that was quite a while ago!

  1. Paul Huang

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Sep 1999

    -2

    So...

    I only buy LaCie products that do not require a power supply.

    Thunderbolt is a viable product that blows the doors off of other methods. However, the 'Little Big Disk' is really a silly 'anchor' product. In reference to my first comment, I meant Thunderbolt is not going to be much good to products that are unable to even saturate the bandwidth of eSATA and FireWire.

    The speed may be great, but it's going to take at least six months or more for them to become common place. For desktop units...the integrated mini DisplayPort design is going to be a roadblock. Who is going to unplug the display just to connect/disconnect a Thunderbolt device? I'd say a separate port is in order. Fortunately, this first round is on the portable, so they will discover the short coming soon enough.

  1. Hillbilly Geek

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2006

    +4

    adapters?

    another business opportunity?

  1. Paul Huang

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Sep 1999

    +1

    not to mention hubs

    Yes, a lot of $$$.

  1. MyRightEye

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008

    +4

    Excuse me...

    LaCie has tiny share of the market, and by FAR has the greatest failures. So go take your B$ elsewhere. LaCie used to be a top brand, but today is the single most stupid purchase anyone could ever make. Using LaCie is a recipe for disaster and very $$$ data recovery.

    So don't vote the guy's comment down - he's obviously learnt first-hand never to buy LaCie again.

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002

    0

    I have a flawless LBD...

    running on 3 years in striped raid (touch wood) now... It is quiet, fast, seems well crafted & has a security slot unlike many smaller drives...

    I was even thinking of upgrading the drives to a couple of hybrid xt however this new option may be far better, albeit costlier...

  1. chas_m

    Moderator

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +11

    Dear USB3

    THIS is how you make a successful new connection technology.

    Signed,
    The Market

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