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LaCie 12big 96TB Review (Thunderbolt 3)

LaCie’s 12big certainly lives up to its name; its big, heavy, has 12 drive bays – alongside a hefty price tag. It’s also big on performance. It’s by far the fastest external drive we have seen to date with Sequential read/write speeds that give even PCIe NVMe SSD’s a run for their money.

LaCie quote read/write figures for the 12big of 2,600MB/s and 1,700MB/s respectively for RAID 0 and up to 2,400MB/s and 1,200MB/s respectively in a RAID 5 array on the specifiactions sheet, but it doesn’t state which capacity of the 12big these figures are for. In any case, under benchmarking and using the ATTO test,  the 96TB review drive couldn’t quite match either of the official read figures for the stated arrays scoring 2,287MB/s for RAID 0 and 2,231MB/s for RAID 5. Tested write performance was even further from the official figures at 1,579MB/s for a RAID 0 array and 830MB/s for RAID 5.

Even though we couldn’t match those official RAID 5 figures, 2,231MB/s for reads and 830MB/s writes is simply stunning thanks to that Thunderbolt 3 interface. Real life performance is equally impressive. In the default RAID 5 set up, a 100GB file took just over 3 minutes to write to the drive and 3 minutes 45 seconds to read the file back. A 60GB iso image took just under two minutes to write to the drive and just two minutes to write back while a 5GB 1.5bn pixel photo took just 8 seconds to write to the drive and nearly 9 seconds to read back.

It’s not the quietest drive platform to invest in – with twelve mechanical drives installed, that comes as no real surprise but when you first turn the unit on, the noises the unit makes would worry any one with a nervous disposition. It certainly lets you know it’s doing something!

The RAID Manager software, particularly the custom RAID creation part is superb. Icon driven, selecting a number of drives reveals which RAID array can be built with the selected drives, how much capacity will be available after the RAID is built, how much is being used for mirroring and how much if any space is reserved for drive parity. It has been very well thought through and designed.

We found the 96TB version of the 12big available for pre-ordering at Jigsaw24.com for £8,278.80 HERE

Discuss on our Facebook page, over HERE.


  • Capacity.
  • Performance.
  • RAID Manager software.
  • RAID options.


  • A a bit noisy if the drives are pushed hard.
  • Its quite an investment.

Kitguru says: Yes its a niche product but it does offer an enticing mix of huge capacity and blistering speed but it does come with an eye watering price tag.


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Rating: 8.5.

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