will announce next week a 500GB external FireWire hard disk. Dubbed the LaCie Big Disk, the drive will be available in two configurations: a 500GB model and a faster 400GB model.
With the capacity of about 12 standard computers, LaCie says the 500GB hard drive can store two days of uncompressed Digital Video or the equivalent of 100 personal DVD-Video (MPEG2). The drive is targeted to people using 2D/3D imaging applications, photo databases, music and digital video professionals, but it can also be used as a network or local backup disk.
“Digital Content Creators, like video professionals, can store a whole project on single LaCie Big Disk and seamlessly transfer it from workstation to workstation,” said Olivier Mirloup, LaCie’s Hard Drives Senior Product Manager. “The drive is hot-pluggable and is instantly recognized by any FireWire equipped computer. Mac OS X or Windows XP users do not even need to install a driver. Forget about network clogging or risks of quality loss as with traditional network transfers. Previously the only solution to obtain such a capacity was to build a RAID configuration. Now you get half a Terabyte in a portable format and it’s much more affordable at about 2$ per GB.”
The new models use an upright aluminum design introduced on earlier drives, which dissipates heat from the drive and prolongs drive performance, according to the company. LaCie also designed the power supply with an external AC adapter thereby keeping the drive cool without the necessity of a noisy fan. The drives offer a physical security feature that allows the use of Kensington compatible chain locks.
The Big Disk is stackable or can be positioned upright in the included stand. LaCie also offers an optional rackmount kit that enables placement in a standard 19-inch rack or in a LaCie Desk Rack and the drives can be configured for Mirroring (RAID1) or Striping (RAID0).
LaCie will begin shipping the drives in mid-December at a cost of $US999 for the 500GB FireWire 5400RPM drive and $899 for the 400GB FireWire 7200RPM drive.
The drive is compatible with Mac OS X 10.x and higher; Mac OS 8.6 and higher and various flavors of Windows.