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LaCie 5Big 20TB Thunderbolt RAID Review

The LaCie 5Big 20TB Thunderbolt RAID is of the fastest external mechanical drive units we have ever tested.

It is capable of hitting sequential peak speeds of 840 MB/s read and 700 MB/s write. This is markedly faster than any single Solid State Drive connected via a SATA 6Gbps interface.

It is difficult to say whether the LaCie 5Big 20TB Thunderbolt RAID is worth the £1,599 inc vat asking price .. everyone will have a different demand. For most people this is an incredible amount of money to spend on a DAS, however if you are a serious editor working with multiple high definition video streams then it is actually very reasonably priced. You are also unlikely to run out of storage capacity, anytime soon.

We even see value in having a LaCie 5Big 20TB Thunderbolt RAID hooked up to a system if you frequently work with a plethora of RAW image files from a camera such as the 36.3MP Nikon D800/E. When we were editing a folder containing 300 RAW (NEF) files in DxO Optics Pro 9 for instance, the program interface was very responsive and automatic batch scripts progressed quickly.

There is no doubt that the Thunderbolt interface is extremely impressive and unquestionably ahead of USB 3.0, eSATA and FireWire. While companies such as ASUS and Gigabyte have several motherboards available which incorporate Thunderbolt, it would appear there are still high costs for certification and adoption so it may be only available on a handful of high end motherboards this year. This is a real shame.

The LaCie 5Big 20TB Thunderbolt RAID can be bought from Amazon for £1,599 inc vat although surprisingly Apple UK have it for £1,499.99 inc vat. Not often you can say that Apple are cheaper than Amazon!

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  • Extremely fast.
  • quiet.
  • doesn't get hot.
  • beautiful aluminum shell.
  • lockable bays.
  • high grade SeaGate 4TB Constellation drives.


  • Very heavy.
  • Only JBOD, RAID 0 and RAID 1.
  • £1,500+
  • Blue light is very bright, especially in a dark room.

KitGuru says: Extremely powerful and fast. Ideal for serious video and photo editors. Enough storage to last a lifetime.

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Rating: 8.0.

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