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Reader Comment: LaCie 2Big Thunderbolt 3 Storage Dock

Not sure which Mac or storage system you need, or how to configure it, plan for backup, etc? Consult with Lloyd.

Christopher C writes:

I have an iMac Pro coming tomorrow (Apple business-to-business lease), and decided that it was silly to pair such a fast machine (8-cores, Vega 56, 64GB RAM, 2TB SSD) with old storage, so I just took delivery of a LaCie 2big Dock Thunderbolt 3 8TB (there’s a mouthful!) which I purchased through the link on your site from B&H.

I have never used a RAID before, and have my work fairly highly segregated, such that I keep video and “derivative” scan and print files on drives separate from my primary Lightroom images drive. Even with 132,000 images, the Lightroom drive only currently requires 2.3TB of space, so I have fair flexibility in setting up the 8TB LaCie.

I see that you highly recommend SoftRAID, and so have downloaded a trial of the “Lite” version to give it a spin in both RAID 0 and RAID 1 modes. I have three full backups of my photographs (onsite, offsite and BackBlaze), the first two fully verified with your wonderful IntegrityChecker, so at some level I don’t really need the safety of RAID 1. I am, however, starting to shoot more 4K video with the Sony a7Rii and Sony a6500, and some of it is recorded to Atomos Ninja Flame in ProRes 422, so that is dense footage, and would probably benefit from using part of the LaCie as temporary storage for “working” video projects in RAID 0 mode.

I very much appreciate all the recent testing you’ve done — especially on the iMac Pro — and just renewed my “Mirrorless” subscription. Without your testing, I would not have known that there was such a significant advantage to having a generous 2 TB internal SSD on the iMac Pro, and I pointed out your testing and site to my friend at Apple, who was very glad to learn about it. Thanks too for continuing to include equipment such as the LaCie 2big in your reviews, as that would have slipped past me otherwise.

I had initially thought to order one of the OWC Thunderbolt 3 docks, but realized after your mention that the LaCie 2Big would cover the basics (SD card slot, Displayport for 27” NEC PA272W), as well as update my image file storage.

MPG: see my in-depth review of the iMac Pro.

The LaCie 2Big is a very nice product—see my in-depth review. It can be used with the LaCie RAID Manager to create a hardware RAID, or a program like SoftRAID can be used to create a software RAID.

I will be reviewing the 4-bay OWC Thunderbay 4 Thunderbolt 3 as soon as it arrives.

The OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock has other features in addition to its Mini DisplayPort that make it a good choice such as extra USB ports (including high power ones, which the LaCie 2Big lacks), and also a gigabit ethernet port.On that last point, I explained to a consulting client today that in his workgroup one machine like an iMac Pro could host two gigabit networks to in effect double the network bandwidth by putting some users on one network and others on another network.

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