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LaCie begins shipping first sub-$1000 Thunderbolt hard drives

post #1 of 71
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Storage manufacturer LaCie on Tuesday began shipping the first sub-$1000 external hard drives to take advantage of the high-speed Thunderbolt ports introduced across Apple's Mac product family this year.

Previously, the cheapest Thunderbolt storage solution was the 4TB, $999.99 Promise Pegasus which debuted in June.

Developed in collaboration with Intel under the codename "Light Peak", Thunderbolt I/O technology has the potential to reach transfer speeds of 10 Gbps over electrical or optical cables.

Until now, consumer-oriented Thunderbolt peripherals have been virtually nonexistent in the marketplace, curbed by the combination of high overhead costs for manufacturers and limited marketability -- both of which stem from the technology's relative infancy, having been introduced just six months ago.

As such, the single offering from Promise has been used mainly by media professionals as scratch drives and for high-speed video storage. This week's introduction of a smaller, less costly option from LaCie offers the first opportunity for average consumers to begin adopting the technology as a means of high-speed data transfer in their homes.

Since July, nearly all of Apple's Mac models incorporate Thunderbolt connectivity, with the exception of the ailing Mac Pro and legacy white MacBook lines, the latter of which remains available only to educational institutions.



LaCie's new external storage devices feature a pair of 2.5" drives in Mac OS RAID configuration, boasting read speeds of up to 190 MB/s. The RAID drives are available with either two 500GB 7200 RPM or two 1TB 5400 RPM hard disk drives, each featuring two connectors. According to LaCie, users can daisy chain several Little Big Disks to maximize Thunderbolt's capabilities and reach transfer rates of 800 MB/s.

As previously reported, LaCie will be releasing an SSD version of the drive in October that increases read speeds to over 480 MB/s.

The Little Big Disk is available for pre-order at the Apple online store for $399.95 for 1TB or 499.95 for 2TB of storage. In addition, a few units have been shipped to brick-and-mortar Apple retail stores ahead of broader distribution through Lacie.com and the device maker's reseller channel.
post #2 of 71
How is a drive affordable if it costs 5X as much as any other external drive? by my calculations the drive will cost $450 to install before anybody pays taxes. That is for a 1 TB magnetic drive. So relative to other drives on the market how is that affordable?

Is LaCie about to contract for some advertising space on Appleinsider? I'm just looking for a reason for the terribly misleading headline. It would almost be understandable if their where money involved.

DAVE!
post #3 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

How is a drive affordable if it costs 5X as much as any other external drive? by my calculations the drive will cost $450 to install before anybody pays taxes. That is for a 1 TB magnetic drive. So relative to other drives on the market how is that affordable?

Is LaCie about to contract for some advertising space on Appleinsider? I'm just looking for a reason for the terribly misleading headline. It would almost be understandable if their where money involved.

DAVE!

Affordable is relative and when you consider the first announced TB drives were over $1,000, these are affordable.
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post #4 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Storage manufacturer LaCie on Tuesday began shipping the first sub-$1000 external hard drives to take advantage of the high-speed Thunderbolt ports introduced across Apple's Mac product family this year.

Previously, the cheapest Thunderbolt storage solution was the 4TB, $999.99 Promise Pegasus which debuted in June.

Isn't $999.99 also "sub-$1000"?

Are there any AI employees who are competent writers?
post #5 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Is LaCie about to contract for some advertising space on Appleinsider?

There's no reason to post insulting, baseless comments like this.

They're not my definition of "affordable," either, but they're RAID drives.

If you aren't in the market for that, wait for OWC or someone else to ship theirs, but there's no call for attacking AI over covering a news item.
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post #6 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

How is a drive affordable if it costs 5X as much as any other external drive? by my calculations the drive will cost $450 to install before anybody pays taxes. That is for a 1 TB magnetic drive. So relative to other drives on the market how is that affordable?

Is LaCie about to contract for some advertising space on Appleinsider? I'm just looking for a reason for the terribly misleading headline. It would almost be understandable if their where money involved.

DAVE!

Note these are 2.5" drives, not 3.5". That makes a big difference in cost. For instance, for bare HDDs from Newegg, a 1TB @5400RPM that is 2.5" is $120-140, but for 3.5" it's $55-60.
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post #7 of 71
Really depressing to see that the first few comments are from people who seem to get off on criticizing.
post #8 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Note these are 2.5" drives, not 3.5". That makes a big difference in cost. For instance, for bare HDDs from Newegg, a 1TB @5400RPM that is 2.5" is $120-140, but for 3.5" it's $55-60.

And I would like those claiming this to be way too expensive to offer a quote for a RAID enclosure alongside their quotes for bare drives.
Assume we can get 500 GB 2.5" 7200 rpm drives for $100 each, and a third-party dual-drive RAID enclosure for another $100, the price for TB (and the LaCie name maybe) is only $100. And compared to FW800 this promises to be at least twice as fast (and offering the option to add other fast peripherals at the end of the chain, which you cannot do if the first RAID already maxes out the FW800 bus).
post #9 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcgarza View Post

Really depressing to see that the first few comments are from people who seem to get off on criticizing.

Horrible, isn't it? Depressing as hell.
post #10 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Note these are 2.5" drives, not 3.5". That makes a big difference in cost. For instance, for bare HDDs from Newegg, a 1TB @5400RPM that is 2.5" is $120-140, but for 3.5" it's $55-60.

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I got a Western Digital 1TB (2.5" external) 5400RPM USB 3.0 (backwards compatible to USB 2.0) Passport Essential drive for $58.70 including tax from Staples in late August.

Works great with my 13" MacBook Air (2011)

http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3253919
post #11 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Isn't $999.99 also "sub-$1000"?

Are there any AI employees who are competent writers?

Only in marketing-speak. To humans, $999.99 means $1000.
post #12 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Are there any AI employees who are competent writers?

know.
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post #13 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

Affordable is relative and when you consider the first announced TB drives were over $1,000, these are affordable.

The pegasus 4TB enclosure was technically under $1000.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gmcalpin View Post

There's no reason to post insulting, baseless comments like this.

They're not my definition of "affordable," either, but they're RAID drives.

If you aren't in the market for that, wait for OWC or someone else to ship theirs, but there's no call for attacking AI over covering a news item.

This is just misleading. Lacie has done this little big disk thing for years. They use a cheap controller, minimal cooling, and are not serviceable. If one of the two drives died on previous models the thing was dead. Its pricing should in no way be on par with a raid enclosure when they're aren't marketing it as such anyway (and never have in the past). I've steered people away from these for years. Many people would buy their firewire versions, leave them on all day in spite of heat, and then they'd die just after the warranty expired. Lacie also makes an inconsistent line of displays, and their sales guys don't even know a thing about their product line.


Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Note these are 2.5" drives, not 3.5". That makes a big difference in cost. For instance, for bare HDDs from Newegg, a 1TB @5400RPM that is 2.5" is $120-140, but for 3.5" it's $55-60.

They chose 2.5" drives so that they could easily swap in SSD versions later. There's not much reason beyond this. Anyway it's 2x 500 GB drives so the cost difference shouldn't be so great in manufacturing because it's not using the highest density options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcgarza View Post

Really depressing to see that the first few comments are from people who seem to get off on criticizing.

We don't all have to be happy whenever something is announced. Frankly this company has made a lot of junk that just happens to match the all aluminum motif of macs. They don't even design half of their own products. They are simply rebundled/rebadged.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

And I would like those claiming this to be way too expensive to offer a quote for a RAID enclosure alongside their quotes for bare drives.
Assume we can get 500 GB 2.5" 7200 rpm drives for $100 each, and a third-party dual-drive RAID enclosure for another $100, the price for TB (and the LaCie name maybe) is only $100. And compared to FW800 this promises to be at least twice as fast (and offering the option to add other fast peripherals at the end of the chain, which you cannot do if the first RAID already maxes out the FW800 bus).

You should fact check yourself on pricing. They don't use retail packaged hard drives. They buy up whatever oem product they can, which can be purchased for more like $50-60 on newegg. Obviously these guys are buying them at wholesale rates. In my experience they have buggy controllers, and the terrible cooling sucks. If you want any kind of longevity from the device it's the kind of thing you turn on, use, turn off immediately as they don't have enough airflow to run the device for hours at a time.
post #14 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

How is a drive affordable if it costs 5X as much as any other external drive? by my calculations the drive will cost $450 to install before anybody pays taxes. That is for a 1 TB magnetic drive. So relative to other drives on the market how is that affordable?

Is LaCie about to contract for some advertising space on Appleinsider? I'm just looking for a reason for the terribly misleading headline. It would almost be understandable if their where money involved.

DAVE!

I paid $800 for my first 10MB HardCard back in 1985 or 86 or so.
post #15 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

You should fact check yourself on pricing. They don't use retail packaged hard drives.

I bought a 1 TB 2.5" bare drive for about $120 (incl. taxes) about half a year ago and it was the cheapest price I could find in my country.
post #16 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

How is a drive affordable if it costs 5X as much as any other external drive? by my calculations the drive will cost $450 to install before anybody pays taxes. That is for a 1 TB magnetic drive. So relative to other drives on the market how is that affordable?

Is LaCie about to contract for some advertising space on Appleinsider? I'm just looking for a reason for the terribly misleading headline. It would almost be understandable if their where money involved.

DAVE!

Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

Affordable is relative and when you consider the first announced TB drives were over $1,000, these are affordable.

As an alternative have a look at the Pegasus RAIDS:

http://www.apple.com/search/?q=pegas...=global&geo=us

You can get models from the 4TB @ $999 to the 12TB @ S1,999:


I bought the 12TB for $150 more than I paid for a 2 TB LaCie Disk in 2006 (yes, it cost $1,749).

I have 13 LaCie Drives 1 or 2 TB each. They are excellent drives -- no problems over 6 years. But the external power bricks fail within a year or so. I've had an 88% failure rate on LaCie power bricks.

After going back and forth with support for several weeks -- I through in the towel and bought the Pegasus.

I will use the LaCie drives for offline (on the shelf) or off site storage -- after all the replacements I have 5 working power bricks.

I normally would not post this sort of information (don't like to badmouth in public), except at $129-$149 a pop, every year or so, it becomes a major expense.
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post #17 of 71
It bothers me that peripherals manufacturers can't be bothered to include nicer looking power bricks and cables (if included at all) with their premium products.
post #18 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zandros View Post

It bothers me that peripherals manufacturers can't be bothered to include nicer looking power bricks and cables (if included at all) with their premium products.

From the product order page: "Thunderbolt cable sold separately". So, not only does the product cost $100 more than quad interface counterpart (FW400+FW800+USB 2.0+eSATA), which comes with 4 cables, you need to add $49 to the running total of this Thunderbolt drive.
post #19 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by filburt View Post

From the product order page: "Thunderbolt cable sold separately". So, not only does the product cost $100 more than quad interface counterpart (FW400+FW800+USB 2.0+eSATA), which comes with 4 cables, you need to add $49 to the running total of this Thunderbolt drive.

So don't buy one. Problem solved.

It amazes me that so many people do nothing but complain about the price of products. If the price is too high, buy something else.

It's a brand new product category and the price will eventually come down. There's a premium involved in being on the cutting edge.
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post #20 of 71
I have never had much faith in LaCie equipment, 2.5" drives either. Both seem like throw away disposable hardware. I'm getting 5+ years out of my WD caviars with soft RAID on Linux.

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post #21 of 71
I refuse to by a Thunderbolt cable until Monoprice.com sells them. And, I won't buy an enclosure for TB till it costs the same as the other interfaces. Not that anyone gives a poot what I think.
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post #22 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


How is a drive affordable if it costs 5X as much as any other external drive? by my calculations the drive will cost $450 to install before anybody pays taxes. That is for a 1 TB magnetic drive. So relative to other drives on the market how is that affordable?

It's also RAID 0 and fast as hell.

It's not a consumer drive
post #23 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post

It's also RAID 0 and fast as hell.

It's not a consumer drive

What part of the article did you not understand?

Quote:
LaCie offers the first opportunity for average consumers to begin adopting the technology as a means of high-speed data transfer in their homes.

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post #24 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

How is a drive affordable if it costs 5X as much as any other external drive? by my calculations the drive will cost $450 to install before anybody pays taxes. That is for a 1 TB magnetic drive. So relative to other drives on the market how is that affordable?

Is LaCie about to contract for some advertising space on Appleinsider? I'm just looking for a reason for the terribly misleading headline. It would almost be understandable if their where money involved.

DAVE!

LaCie is always expensive. This is nothing new. If they sell something for $400, you can bet some other company will offer a similar product for less.
post #25 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Isn't $999.99 also "sub-$1000"?

Are there any AI employees who are competent writers?

I hope he mean significantly less. I picked that up as well.
post #26 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post


What part of the article did you not understand?

I wasn't responding to the article... I was replying to someone who basically said: "this drive costs 5X more than any other 1TB drive"

I was merely pointing out one of the reasons... it's RAID 0 and fast as hell... with a new interface and the appropriate early adopter tax.

It's the same sorta comment people make whenever SSDs are discussed: "I can get _____ for way cheaper than that!"
post #27 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post

I wasn't responding to the article... I was replying to someone who basically said: "this drive costs 5X more than any other 1TB drive"

I was merely pointing out one of the reasons... it's RAID 0 and fast as hell... with a new interface and the appropriate early adopter tax.

It's the same sorta comment people make whenever SSDs are discussed: "I can get _____ for way cheaper than that!"

Why would anyone use RAID-0 for external storage? That seems incredibly stupid to me.
post #28 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


Why would anyone use RAID-0 for external storage? That seems incredibly stupid to me.

It's a performance drive!

Laptop video editing... or any other task that requires fast throughput.

You're right... this is not a drive for backups or long-term storage.

And neither are these:

http://www.caldigit.com/VR_mini/
http://www.g-technology.com/products/g-raid-mini.cfm
post #29 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

Why would anyone use RAID-0 for external storage? That seems incredibly stupid to me.


Maybe because the MTF is about 120 days.

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post #30 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Isn't $999.99 also "sub-$1000"?

Are there any AI employees who are competent writers?

Well, you have to buy a $50 TB cable unless you managed to get one for free...
post #31 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

I bought a 1 TB 2.5" bare drive for about $120 (incl. taxes) about half a year ago and it was the cheapest price I could find in my country.

$120 for a 1TB (not sure what your tax rate is so let's leave it at that) doesn't mean the 500 will be $100. I haven't even noticed any laptop/2.5" drives above 1TB. If they exist they aren't mass market items yet.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post

It's a performance drive!

Laptop video editing... or any other task that requires fast throughput.

You're right... this is not a drive for backups or long-term storage.

And neither are these:

http://www.caldigit.com/VR_mini/
http://www.g-technology.com/products/g-raid-mini.cfm

The caldigit will probably give you longer period of reliable service. Calling it a performance drive doesn't change much. The issue I've had with past models is that they're way too hot even when idling. Indicating that the drive is for performance doesn't mean much if you can't run it for very long at a given time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

LaCie is always expensive. This is nothing new. If they sell something for $400, you can bet some other company will offer a similar product for less.

Yes always expensive, but not necessarily produced or supported any better than other options. They just look pretty and somehow have a good marketing team. Pretty much every product they make is just OEMed from another manufacturer with little input on the Lacie end. Take their displays for example, samsung or NEC tech, oemed copy of coloreyes display, rebadged X-rite sensor, and display hood by whoever. I'd be fine with this if they actually did something to improve upon the combination and its usability as a whole. As it is they don't even have competent technical support. FYI I don't buy their products. I've merely had the unpleasant experience of using many of them owned by others.
post #32 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

The pegasus 4TB enclosure was technically under $1000.

This is just misleading. Lacie has done this little big disk thing for years. They use a cheap controller, minimal cooling, and are not serviceable. If one of the two drives died on previous models the thing was dead. Its pricing should in no way be on par with a raid enclosure when they're aren't marketing it as such anyway (and never have in the past). I've steered people away from these for years. Many people would buy their firewire versions, leave them on all day in spite of heat, and then they'd die just after the warranty expired. Lacie also makes an inconsistent line of displays, and their sales guys don't even know a thing about their product line.

They chose 2.5" drives so that they could easily swap in SSD versions later. There's not much reason beyond this. Anyway it's 2x 500 GB drives so the cost difference shouldn't be so great in manufacturing because it's not using the highest density options.

We don't all have to be happy whenever something is announced. Frankly this company has made a lot of junk that just happens to match the all aluminum motif of macs. They don't even design half of their own products. They are simply rebundled/rebadged.

You should fact check yourself on pricing. They don't use retail packaged hard drives. They buy up whatever oem product they can, which can be purchased for more like $50-60 on newegg. Obviously these guys are buying them at wholesale rates. In my experience they have buggy controllers, and the terrible cooling sucks. If you want any kind of longevity from the device it's the kind of thing you turn on, use, turn off immediately as they don't have enough airflow to run the device for hours at a time.


Amen. I will NEVER buy another Lacie product so long as I live. I owned 3 Lacie drives, all about 1 month old. One of the drives failed and almost started a house fire (melted the entire enclosure). The other two failed shortly thereafter.

These were premium priced drives, with a design that would have made a Hyundai look smart.
post #33 of 71
Like I'm going to buy another product from Lacie after its craptastic 1TB Big Disk drives. Good customer service though.
post #34 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

This is just misleading. Lacie has done this little big disk thing for years. They use a cheap controller, minimal cooling, and are not serviceable. If one of the two drives died on previous models the thing was dead. Its pricing should in no way be on par with a raid enclosure when they're aren't marketing it as such anyway (and never have in the past). I've steered people away from these for years. Many people would buy their firewire versions, leave them on all day in spite of heat, and then they'd die just after the warranty expired. Lacie also makes an inconsistent line of displays, and their sales guys don't even know a thing about their product line.

I don't really see how it's misleading — it IS a RAID 0 enclosure, in point of fact — but I certainly won't argue with you about them being any good or not.

As others have said, RAID 0 doesn't make a lot of sense for long-term storage or back-up, and I've had tons of bad experiences with LaCies. I had a bunch of external enclosures from them from before I knew better, and they were pretty, but garbage. Their power supplies in particular failed left and right. (Over half of mine failed just outside of warranty.)

I swear by OWC enclosures and Western Digital Caviar Blacks now. (And if I could afford them, I'd get OWC's SSDs.) I'm sure someone else has had bad experiences with them, too, but I've had zero problems with either company's products… so far…
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post #35 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

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I got a Western Digital 1TB (2.5" external) 5400RPM USB 3.0 (backwards compatible to USB 2.0) Passport Essential drive for $58.70 including tax from Staples in late August.

Works great with my 13" MacBook Air (2011)

http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3253919

Not at 190MB/sec it doesn't.

Not sure about this product as it seems to offer poor TB performance but still at a premium price. Perhaps using hybrids would have made sense for this one.
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post #36 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmcalpin View Post

I don't really see how it's misleading — it IS a RAID 0 enclosure, in point of fact — but I certainly won't argue with you about them being any good or not.

They just market it as a large disk, and they've done this for a long time. Not everyone who buys them even understands/recognizes it as a raid enclosure. I don't really see this as a feature when the company who sells them doesn't even lay claim to it. In this case it does offer you more throughput, but (from past experience) at the cost of a stable device. All hard drives offer some risk of crashing but Lacie has just been too erratic in the past to write it off as a performance model. If you're in need of such performance you might be running it hard for several hours at a time. After that I can't even pick one of these up with how hot it gets. Yes that means the aluminum is pulling away heat from the internals, but not enough, and it's not always a hard drive that dies. More commonly it's one of the controllers. In the case of the single disk options from Lacie if a drive dies you can often just force open the case and mount the actual hard drive in a mac pro, drive dock, etc. to retrieve any data that was not yet backed up.

Edit: That trick doesn't work with the raid 0 type drive enclosures lacie makes.
post #37 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Isn't $999.99 also "sub-$1000"?

Are there any AI employees who are competent writers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcgarza View Post

Really depressing to see that the first few comments are from people who seem to get off on criticizing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Horrible, isn't it? Depressing as hell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkgm View Post

Only in marketing-speak. To humans, $999.99 means $1000.

Umm, besides post #1, me thinks he was referring to you, also, Conrad, my friend.

Isn't one penny under a larger price (in this case 4 digits to make it 3 digits) stated for psychological (marketing purposes) reasons? Anyway you slice it, it's still a grand.

Just like those who say Apple should split their stock. What difference does it make if one buys or owns 1 share @ $400 or 2 shares @ $200? I shake my head at people that say they'd rather wait until the stock splits before the buy in so they can afford more shares. No matter how many share one owns, if the stock rises 10%, one still realizes the same 10% gain.
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post #38 of 71
Pardon my ignorance here but do current SATA II drives max out their bandwidth yet? Just wondering if there is anything to gain here with this technology.
post #39 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

Yes that means the aluminum is pulling away heat from the internals, but not enough, and it's not always a hard drive that dies. More commonly it's one of the controllers. In the case of the single disk options from Lacie if a drive dies you can often just force open the case and mount the actual hard drive in a mac pro, drive dock, etc. to retrieve any data that was not yet backed up.

Many times with these cheap externals it is the power brick that is the first to go. You think the hard drive or controller is shot so you take it apart to mount as you suggested in a Mac Pro but you should first try replacing the brick with another one that you probably already have laying around from the last cheap drive you bought that went belly up. Even though the lights come on, you may hear some clicking noise, that could indicate low voltage. Not enough voltage to spin the drive but enough to turn on the LEDs.

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post #40 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by McDave View Post

Not at 190MB/sec it doesn't.

Not sure about this product as it seems to offer poor TB performance but still at a premium price. Perhaps using hybrids would have made sense for this one.

I was more referencing his comment about 1TB 5400rpm 2.5" HDDs costing between $120 and $140.

If I can get a 2.5" 1TB 5400rpm HDD (not to mention the extra manufacturing cost of the enclosure, + USB 3.0 interface + cable + packaging) for less than $60 RETAIL, I'd think that these manufacturers like LaCie are getting bare drives way the hell cheaper than that.

Even if you were to figure $50 a piece their cost for 5400rpm 1TB drives, you're still looking at $100 in hard drives plus $400 for the enclosure/controller (if we're talking the $499 2TB version). Something just doesn't add up. Not to mention, you still have to add in $50 for the Thunderbolt cable.
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