Western Digital & LaCie Add Speed, Size to Thunderbolt Drives

Thunderbolt HDD

Storage companies Western Digital and LaCie both announced updated Thunderbolt products Tuesday. Western Digital expanded on its My Book Thunderbolt Duo line while LaCie updated its Little Big Disk portable Thunderbolt hard drive configurations.

Both products, originally released late last year, utilize two drives and offer a choice of RAID 0 (Striping), RAID 1 (Mirroring), or JBOD (Concatenated) configurations. The My Book Thunderbolt Duo, primarily intended for desktop use, includes two 3.5-inch mechanical hard drives, while the more portable Little Big Disk utilizes either two 2.5-inch mechanical drives or two 2.5-inch solid state drives.

One of the problems with the previous Little Big Disk was its use of only SATA II drives, reducing maximum bandwidth. The device still performed quite well in our benchmarks, but as both mechanical and solid state drives continue to improve in performance, a transition to SATA III was necessary, and LaCie has now added the option to its SSD versions of the device.

Configurations for the Little Big Disk now include (prices in USD):

1 TB (2 x 500 GB) 7200rpm HDD ($399.95)
2 TB (2 x 1 TB) 5400rpm HDD ($499.95)
512 GB (2 x 256 GB) SATA III SSD ($699.00)
1 TB (2 x 512 GB) SATA III SSD ($999.00)

A Thunderbolt cable, which usually costs around $50 if purchased separately, is included for the SSD versions of the Little Big Disk, although is oddly absent from the HDD configurations.

The My Book Thunderbolt Duo is now offered the following configurations:

4 TB (2 x 2 TB) HDD ($559.99)
6 TB (2 x 3 TB) HDD ($659.99)
8 TB (2 x 4 TB) HDD ($849.99)

Note that the hard drives in the 4 TB and 6 TB My Book Thunderbolt configurations are Western Digital Green drives, which dynamically spin between 5400 and 5900rpm. There is currently no commercially available 4 TB Green drive, so it is unknown at this time which drive Western Digital is using for the 8 TB model.

Both products are available to order now from the manufacturers’ websites.