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LaCie Rugged RAID PRO 4TB External Drive Review

LaCie are Seagate’s premium brand and the Rugged range of external drives sit under the company’s Professional banner. Instantly recognisable by their bright orange Neil Poulton designed protective enclosures, the Rugged series has been around for over a decade.

The range is constantly changing and updating to reflect advances in drive technology, i.e. SSD versions and interfaces, i.e Thunderbolt and USB-C connections,  the latter is the one that the Rugged RAID PRO drive uses.

There has been a small but significant design change with the Rugged RAID PRO in that the USB-C cable isn’t integrated with the drive so there is no need for the deep channel in the rubber case as with other Rugged drives. But on the flip side it does mean you have to remember to take the USB cable(s) with you if you use the drive on the move.

The drive is IP54 rated. The IP (Ingress Protection or International Protection Rating) rating is an international standard to define the sealing levels of electrical enclosures against dirt and water. The first digit indicates the level of protection against solids while the second indicates the protection against water. The first digit ranges from 0 (no protection) up to 6 for something that is dust tight. The second digit ranges from 0 (no protection) up to 8 – full protection from total immersion in water beyond 1m.

An IP54 rating means that the Rugged is protected from limited dust ingress and protected from water spray from any direction with limited ingress protection.

LaCie quote a file transfer rate of up to 250MB/s for the Rugged RAID PRO. In the ATTO benchmark when the drives were in a RAID 0 array, we confirmed those figures with scores of 259MB/s for reads and 266MB/s for writes. However with the disks built into a RAID 1 array, the read figure dropped to 131MB/s while writes came in at 133MB/s.

In our throughput tests when the drives were in a RAID 0 array the drive peaked at 354MB/s for reads and 318MB/s for writes. However for the whole test it averaged just 169MB/s for reads and 171MB/s for writes.

To make the most of the performance the USB-C connection offers, you really need to be using SSD’s but unfortunately at the time of writing there is no SSD version of the Rugged RAID PRO available.

We found the LaCie Rugged RAID PRO on Span.com for £302.40 (inc VAT) HERE

Pros

  • Psychical data protection.
  • RAID 1 data protection.
  • SD card reader.

Cons

  • Disk’s don’t make the most of the interface.

Kitguru says: LaCie’s Rugged products have always been popular with professional photographers and video makers who are constantly on the move and the Rugged RAID PRO does bring RAID data protection and a useful SD card slot to the table, but the choice of mechanical hard drives doesn’t make the most of the USB-C interface.

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Rating: 8.0.

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