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BARE FEATS - real world Mac speed tests

SPEED TEST:
LaCie Little Big Disk Quadra 1TB
(SATA, FW800, and USB2 results)

Originally posted August 1st, 2008, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

LaCie now has a ONE TERABYTE version of the Little Big Disk (LBD) Quadrawhich features eSATA, FireWire 800, and USB 2.0 ports.

We benchmarked all three interfaces of the LBD Quadra on the most current Mac Pro and MacBook Pro.

GRAPH LEGEND
All four graphs show results from testing the LaCie Little Big Disk (LBD) Quadra 1TB using QuickBench 4.04. They represent averages of 5 runs using the custom sustained test (1GB size) and small random test (4K - 1024K).
SATA = In the case of the Mac Pro, the LBD was connected to one of the spare internal SATA ports on the motherboard. In the case of the MacBook Pro, the LBD was connected to the LaCie ExpressCard/34 SATA adapter. In both cases, the AC power adapter was required.
FW800 = The LBD was connected to the built-in external FireWire 800 port of the Mac Pro and MacBook Pro. No AC adapter was needed since it is able to run on bus power provided by the FW800 ports.
USB 2.0 = The LBD was connected to the built-in external USB 2.0 port of the Mac Pro and MacBook Pro. In both cases, the AC power adapter was required.

TEST MULES: Early 2008 Mac Pro 8-core 3.2GHz
and 2008 MacBook Pro "Penryn" 2.6GHz.

CONCLUSION
The
LaCie Little Big Disk (LBD) Quadra with its dual 5400 rpm 500GB drives in a HW RAID 0 configuration provides a versatile external storage device for any model of Mac for backups, booting, or expanding.

OTHER THOUGHTS
If you have a SATA port, you will get greater speed out of the LBD Quadra 1TB, but be sure your SATA host adapter is hot-swap. And you will need the use of the included AC adapter.

USB 2.0 speed has improved in the newer Intel Macs but its still "smoked" by both FireWire 800 and SATA interfaces. Even FireWire 400 beats it.

We feel the LBD Quadra is most useful in bus powered mode on a FireWire 800 port. There are some single notebook drives like the Hitachi Travelstar 7K320 that are faster in FireWire 800 mode but they can only hold one-third the amount of data.

We have used the original Little Big Disk (dual 7K200 drive) for years as our favorite FireWire 800 "shuttle" for installing Apple OS X updates on various Macs and platform for launching benchmarking apps. I think it's time to retire it and replace it with the new 1TB Little Big Disk Quadra.

WHERE TO BUY NOTEBOOK DRIVES

WHERE TO BUY NOTEBOOK RAID ENCLOSURES

  • LaCie sells the Little Big Disk Quadra in 400GB, 500GB, and 1TB configurations. (It has an eSATA, FW800, FW400, and USB2 port.)
  • Sonnet Technology sells the Fusion F2 in a 640GB and 1TB configuration. (It has two eSATA ports -- one for each drive. It uses the FW400 port for power.)
  • G-Technology sells the G-RAID mini in up to 500G configurations. (It has a FW800, FW400, and USB2 port.)

WHERE TO BUY A MACBOOK PRO

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Also check with Small Dog Electronics and Power Max. (Power Max takes trade-ins.)

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2008 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
Email , the webmaster