LaCie Little Big Disk (Thunderbolt)

For Thunderbolt testing we used a LaCie Little Big Disk dual 2.5-inch SATA enclosure, which is one of the few affordable Thunderbolt external drives out there. 

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A rather short 0.5 metre Sumitomo Electric Thunderbolt cable was bundled with the kit.

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Dual Thunderbolt DP ports for daisy chaining devices. The contraption also needs an external power source.

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The 240GB SSD option (US$849) comes with two Intel SSD 320 MLC 120GB drives pre-installed. Although the Intel drives have proven to be quite stable firmware-wise relative to their Sandforce brethrens, they are hardly the fastest drives available out there (SATA 3Gb/s interface, not enough to saturate the Thunderbolt bus even in pairs).

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The LaCie Little Big Disk uses a Light Ridge Thunderbolt chipset and a Marvell 88SE9182 SATA 6 Gbit/s controller to interface with the two SSDs.

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To ensure that the Intel SSDs were not the cause of any bottlenecks, we swapped them out for a pair of screaming fast Corsair Force GT 120GB which features an advertised sequential read speed of 555MB/s each.

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Since there is no hardware-level RAID option provided by the LaCie enclosure, we had to use Windows 7's Disk Management utility to create a RAID-0 striped volume so that performance is aggregated. If you are looking for redundency you can go for RAID-1 as well.

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