Even if you can’t quite conceptualize how you could ever fill 1 terabyte (1,000GB) of disk space, the LaCie Bigger Disk will put that much capacity on your desktop in seconds. If you happen to know that you need 1TB to back up your network or complete your video-editing project, this drive provides it in one enclosure — a new concept that has been very well executed.
The Bigger Disk can connect to your computer via FireWire 800, FireWire 400, or USB 2.0. The case holds four 250GB ATA/133 drives, but LaCie’s custom firmware spans the four drives, so your Mac sees them as one volume. You can’t see or format the individual drives, but you can partition the large volume.
Our tests revealed that the Bigger Disk’s performance was equivalent to that of a single ATA FireWire 800 drive. The array writes to the first drive; when that drive is full, it moves on to the second, and so on until it has used up all four drives. The drive performed best when it was connected to our Power Mac G5 via FireWire 800. The array was around 30 percent faster on FireWire 800 than on FireWire 400. Over USB 2.0, the Bigger Disk was almost twice as slow as FireWire 400.
You can secure the drive in a locked box or use it to transport large projects, but at 11 pounds, this drive is not light — and it’s rather bulky. If you want to attach the drive to a server, you can buy a mounting kit for a 19-inch network rack from LaCie, for $78.
Macworld’s Buying Advice
The Bigger Disk costs $1,199, which is approximately the same price as four 250GB FireWire 800 external drives. But if you need one huge volume to organize your data, the LaCie Bigger Disk is a clean, simple solution.