Thunderbolt comes to the Windows PC – ASUS P8Z77-V Premium and MSI Z77A-GD80 Review
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.
A rather short 0.5 metre Sumitomo Electric Thunderbolt cable was bundled with the kit.
Dual Thunderbolt DP ports for daisy chaining devices. The contraption also needs an external power source.
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).
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.
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.
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.