LaCie showcased their 2big Thunderbolt drive at CES 2012 and it has now started shipping. 

Specifications of LaCie 2big Thunderbolt Series
Capacities 4TB and 6TB (and 8TB)
Revolutions per minute (rpm) 7200rpm
Maximum Read Speed 327MB/s
Maximum Write Speed 320MB/s
Connectivity 2x Thunderbolt
Dimensions (WxHxD) 3.5" x 6.7" x 7.8" (9.1 x 17.2 x 20.0 cm)
Price $649 (4TB) and $799 (6TB)

The LaCie 2big Thunderbolt Series is essentially the LaCie Little Big Disk in 3.5" form factor. It has two swappable 3.5" drives whereas the Little Big Disk has two 2.5" drives. 3.5" drives offer larger capacities and better performance, particularly with hard drive. The 2big is rated at transfer speeds up to 327MB/s while the Little Big Disk tops out at 190MB/s (both results are for the non-SSD versions). LaCie has an 8TB model on their site as well but there is no price listed, which suggests that it's not shipping yet.

There are also two Thunderbolt ports for daisy-chaining, so you can daisy-chain several 2bigs or other Thunderbolt devices. The 2big most likely uses the same SATA controller as the Little Big Disk, which means you are limited to two SATA 3Gb/s ports. For the standard configuration this isn't an issue, but people who are interested in swapping the hard drives for SSDs should be aware that the SATA controller will be a potential bottleneck with the fastest SATA 6Gb/s SSDs.

Source: LaCie

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  • solipsism - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    Will you be doing any testing of these devices and comparing them to other external drives so we can see if the speed gained from TB over USB3.0 of eSATA is worth any difference in price?
  • zorxd - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    There is no speed gain over eSATA since these drives all are SATA internally, so there is no way that these drives can be faster than a native SATA 300 port.

    And there is probably no speed gain over USB3 either since the largest number out there (327MB/s) is only about half of USB3's speed. The performance of controllers, however, could go on either side.

    In the end, this is the maximum burst read speed. Average sustained speed is probably more like 150MB/s or so.
  • MySchizoBuddy - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    where did eSATA come in?
  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    Remember that 2big has two 3.5" hard drives in RAID 0 (or RAID 1 or JBOD if you want), thus sustained 327MB/s sounds reasonable. eSATA 6Gb/s would be sufficient for that but eSATA 3Gb/s would bottleneck it a bit.
  • zorxd - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    Except that you don't plug 2 SATA hard drives on a single port.
    You use two ports, so SATA 300 is more than enough.
  • repoman27 - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    Most external enclosures, regardless of the number of drives they can hold, only offer a single eSATA port for connection to the host. So yes, it is quite common to connect 2 or more SATA drives within an external enclosure to a host using a single eSATA cable.

    The test that would provide the data the original poster was hoping for could be done by pitting the LaCie 2big Thunderbolt series up against the 2big USB 3.0 and 2big Quadra using eSATA. The 2big Quadra would no doubt be the slowest of the pack seeing as it only offers an eSATA 3 Gbit/s connection. I actually just did a quick search for a 2-bay eSATA 6 Gbit/s enclosure, and surprisingly was unable to find a single one.
  • Zak - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    What if I want to plug 4 or more drives in RAID and I don't want four or more separate enclosures and max possible speed?
  • repoman27 - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    In that case, get a Pegasus:
  • zorxd - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    If you want 4 drives I say get a desktop.
  • zorxd - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    According to

    The fastest 7200rpm SATA hard drives do not even get 150MB/s when doing sequential readings. That's why I don't really believe the 327MB/s numbers, unless they count cache reading speed.

    In the real life I don't think anyone would notice the SATA 3Gb/s bottleneck, especially since a lot of stuff is actually random access instead of sequential.
    And we all know Lacie will ask twice as much for this Thunderbolt solution, so it's not going to be worth it.

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