LaCie d2 USB 3.0 Thunderbolt Series
Fast; multiple interfaces
Can be a little noisy
As soon as you extract the LaCie d2 USB 3.0 Thunderbolt Series from the box, you know you’re using something more than an ‘el cheapo’ drive. With its solid aluminium case and options for both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt connectivity – cables included – LaCie has delivered a very solid drive that adds a touch of elegance to your desktop.
Although the d2 has just one hard drive, it delivered a whopping 3TB of storage – although for an extra $120 you can bump that up to 4TB. Once connected, LaCie’s setup utility is available. The main option to watch is how the drive is to be formatted. By default, 2.2TB is formatted for Mac use only with the remainder formatted in FAT32 so that it can be shared between Mac and Windows users.
You can also opt to install software for backups and cloud services. At the end of the configuration process two drive partitions were mounted – the Mac-only one and the shared one.
Performance, for a single-drive system using 7200rpm disks, was excellent. Using the Thunderbolt connection to the Mac OS Extended (Journaled) partition delivered a transfer rate of 1.2Gbps. When we repeated the same tests using USB 3.0 that dropped to 1Gbps – still very fast. Interestingly, we ran the same tests on the FAT partition that can be shared between Mac and Windows systems and found that the FAT file system was about 30 percent slower.
Copying files from the d2 back to our test system delivered similar performance. Given that USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt claim to offer 150MB/s and 165MB/s respectively, our testing got close to those levels – 125MB/s is 1Gbps.
Macworld Australia’s buying advice:
Great performance and build quality make the LaCie d2 USB 3.0 Thunderbolt Series a compelling option if you’re after fast storage access. Although it’s not cheap, the d2 is an excellent unit.