External TB storage recommendations?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Bosh, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. Bosh macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2006
    I'm looking for a 8TB (or more) Thunderbolt (version 2 preferred) storage for under $800. This would be for backup for a nMP (when it arrives some day).

    The two that I am considering so far are (#1) LaCie 2big 8TB and the (#2) WB My Book Thunderbolt Duo 8TB. The LaCie seem to be faster than the WB from what I have read in reviews.

    Does anyone use either of these ? Any positive or negative experiences with them ?

    I'm also curious about speed (what speeds are you seeing ?) and noise levels.

    Is there a drive not on my list I should be considering ?
  2. snouter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    I'm impressed with my Pegasus2, but it blows your budget by 2x.

    I've read some not great things about LaCie lately, but, that's my hearsay on top of other hearsay.

    OWC sells a Thunderbolt 1 chasis:

    Thunderbolt 1 is probably fast enough if you are just running non-RAID platter drives.

    And Apple sells an empty Pegasus2:

    Can be a little fussy about drives. I've heard they ship much faster than 1-2 months as indicated.
  3. popcorn-in-sac, Mar 18, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2014

    popcorn-in-sac macrumors member

    Jan 30, 2008
    Seattle, WA area
    WD Thunderbolt Duo

    I recently picked up the 8TB WD Thunderbolt Duo. I'm using it in RAID-1 mode (mirrored) to get 4TB of space for a Mac mini based media server. Note that the RAID is not hardware-based, but uses Apple RAID (software).

    My mini is a 2011 without USB 3.0, so the only decent option (for me) was to use Thunderbolt, hence the purchase.

    I specifically needed a quiet device and wasn't as concerned with very high speed. The 8TB Duo uses 2 4TB Red drives, and these drives are very quiet. The Duo also has no fan, so combined, this thing is very quiet -- I would say inaudible in a quiet room after a few feet of distance from the unit, once the drives are spun-up, anyway.

    Very positive experience so far -- the unit seems well built, even if primarily plastic. No complaints so far, but I'm only a week in. I don't really think it's worth what they charge for it, but that seems to be pretty much par for the course with Thunderbolt.

  4. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    If like the last Multidock product, it is limited to 2.5" drives. Not a big deal for folks shooting/recording onto 2.5" SSDs, but a bit harder (in the short term) to get to 8TB of storage.


    For HDDs and Thunderbolt, the number of HDDs is likely going to be a bigger driver of speed/bandwidth issues than the Thunderbolt specific parts.

    8 x 1TB HDDs versus 2 x 4TB HDDs. x ≤ 2 extra high capacity HDDs aren't going to press Thunderbolt much in most operating envelopes.
  5. Alexis1537 macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2003
    Paris, France

    I agree with you if 8TB is your requirement (the unit can take mechanical drives, and these go up to 1.5TB, from what I've seen). Personally, I don't need 8TB (my current needs don't go much above 4TB), but I can see why this would be a limitation for you. The main attractions for me are the rack form factor, JBOD default setup and platform-agnostic approach (I'd use both Mac OSX and Windows).

  6. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    The WD Thunderbolt Duo is the cheapest 8 TB enclosure with Thunderbolt that I know of.
  7. bxs macrumors 6502a

    Oct 20, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    I have three 4TB RAID-0 LaCie 2big Thunderbolt-1 devices, one 6TB RAID-0 LaCie 2big Thunderbolt-1 device, and a 2TB RAID-0 LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt-1 (LBD). They have been rock solid for me.

    All have dual Thunderbolt ports for daisy chaining.

    Noise: They are relatively quiet. I measured 50 dB with my iPhone placed 6-inches away from one of them.

    Speed: All four of my 2bigs run at around 300 MBytes/sec as measured on my MacBook Pro 8,3 and same for my Mac Pro 6,1.

    Budget: Consider buying these on eBay for half the retail price. I bought all four of my 2bigs this way. If you bid, be sure to ask the seller for the Serial Number and with this you can goto LaCie web site to establish when the device was first sold at retail. This then provides you with when the LaCie 3 year warranty expires. I registered all mine with LaCie and they are all within their 3 year warranty and LaCie will honor this.

    These 2bigs and the LBD have given me no problems at all.

    If you want more speed from the 2bigs you can actually break each one down to JBODS and then RAID-0 across them all. For example, take two 4TB 2bigs and using Disk Utility delete the RAID-0 set on each. Now, using Disk Utility RAID-0 all four 2TB disks to double the 300 MBytes/sec speed. If you do this the LaCie RAID Monitor will object as it expects each 2big to be a RAID-0 to itself. No matter, it will work as I've done this without issues.

    Good luck with your decision making. :)

    Here's a speed test I just ran on my 6TB 2big on my MacBook Pro 8,3

    Barrys-MacBook-Pro:~ bxs$ !507
    dd bs=1000000 count=10000 if=/dev/zero of=/Volumes/6TB\ LaCie\ Thunder/10g_test_file
    10000+0 records in
    10000+0 records out
    10000000000 bytes transferred in 35.364748 secs (282767461 bytes/sec)
    Barrys-MacBook-Pro:~ bxs$

  8. Bosh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2006
    Snouter, do you have more details about the LaCie drives ? Were they slow, noisy, or failed to work ?

    Thanks everyone.
  9. stefmesman macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2010
    The new blackmagic design update is a great one! When mirrored the lastversion of this machine allowed you to read from both mirrored drives simultaniously. Wich gave redundacy, super fast read speeds and normal write speeds. Being able to just use 2,5" disks plug and play can also be a great advantage. And, it has no fans.
  10. snouter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    When I was researching what to buy for external storage, I was looking at the OWC, the LaCie, the WD Duos, etc.

    It just seemed like I came across a lot of threads like this:


    The author says LaCie is his "go to drive." But people in the comments section disagree and pile on.

    I understand people love to complain, but... I saw it enough to just made me a lil' wary. Hard drives are voodoo enough as it is.

    I have no personal experience with LaCie.

    One man's "go to drive" is another man's "steaming pile of junk?"
  11. FireWire2 macrumors 6502


    Oct 12, 2008
    How about this
    I use it as 4x drives RAID5 and 1x bay JBoD hot swap single drive - like docking

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