Not Quite a Fan: Lacie 2big Thunderbolt RAID

The LaCie 2big Thunderbolt RAID drive seems like a perfect choice for Mac users who need fast storage solutions for photos, video and backup. The Lacie hardware features prominently with Apple and both on-line and in most Apple Stores. I recently upgraded my iMac for a brand-new Retina 5K i7 with a 512 GB SSD. Nice. My last iMac lasted nine years and was the last 24-inch White iMac Intel Core2, which was really showing its age. But, I digress. I was looking for a storage solution for music, photos and backup, and I like the idea of a RAID1 configuration, especially with the photo library which has crept up into the 100 GB range. When using external storage, you want something fast fast fast, especially when you just invested quite a bit in a new computer. The Thunderbolt connections are supposed to be the way to do this on your Mac.

So, you may ask, how’s it been so far with this drive? Answer: meh. The pros of this unit are the nice visual design: it’s compact, looks cool and has clean lines. The cons are that the fan is a bit noisy, there is an odd panel in the back that helps hide the cable (but is way too snug for my taste), and I’ve had problems with the drive ejecting on sleep. The eject on sleep issue is somewhat pervasive, as you’ll see from the Lacie posts on the Apple store, and is annoyingly random – I had this problem for a while and then it randomly fixed itself one day after I tested the drive with USB3 and when I switched it back to Thunderbolt all was good. Sigh. The fan noise is particularly stupid. I had a Lacie 2big NAS for a couple years and I felt like I was working in a saw-mill. The fan noise was horrible. I eventually dismantled the whole unit to find that not only was the fan a bit cheap and noisy on its own, but it was not properly mounted and isolated from the chassis (it was actually vibrating against the chassis). Now, the Lacie 2big Thunderbolt is not this bad, but with my whisper quiet Mac and the USD 749 price tag (which is about CAD 999 with tax), why the heck can’t they put an awesome fan in it?!? Like, really.

lacie2big

Fancy but fan noise not fantastic (see what I did there?)

The bottom line: This is that is a “decent unit”, but I wish I considered alternatives like those from OWC. I also feel like Apple ought to put more effort into critiquing and/or picking accessories for the Apple Store: is this really the best unit out there?

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