Several months ago, Lacie upgraded their product range with some new external hard drives including their newest technology: USB 3.0
This new technology is comparable with the old and well-known USB 2.0, but it's a lot faster. Theoretically, the speed will be around 5Gb/s, whereas the USB 2.0 already reaches its limit at 480MB/s. Of course, as most of you might know, the theoretical speed will hardly ever be reached, but I’m interested to see what the practical speed is.
Together with the new external drives, Lacie launched a PCI-Express card for Apple Mac Pro or Powermac users to enjoy this new technology. These kind of computers don’t have USB 3.0 ports, but have several free PCI-Express slots.
On a grey, cold November morning, a driver from the express delivery stopped at my door with a large box with inside it a Lacie d2, the Lacie Rugged and the Lacie USB 3.0 PCI-Express card.
I had the opportunity to test them for one month and make an objective conclusion.
Unboxing and installation
About the unboxing, we can keep it very short: Lacie didn’t put any money in fancy boxes or nice little bags. Every hard drive is packed in hard mousse and all cables, ac-power cable and manual and cd-rom are packed together. The PCI-Express card is packed in a small white box with only a short manual and a cd-rom as guide.
The installation of the PCI-Express card was easy, just like the connection of the cables into the two external hard drives. The only part that took me some effort, was the way to find the correct driver for my operating system. On the Lacie website, I found the one I needed, downloaded it and got it installed.
With the test to determine the speed of the drives, I used the “AJA System Test”. With all tests I used the same settings (size of the transferred file: 128MB). The connection to the Mac Pro 8-core was a USB 3.0 cable (what else did you expect?) and connected to the Lacie PCI-Express card.
The first number after the model name is the write speed and the second number is the read speed:
Lacie d2: 62,2MB/sec – 63,5MB/sec
Lacie Rugged: 80,1MB/sec – 79,8MB/sec
To compare it with a USB 2.0 external hard drive (Lacie 4Big Quadra): 22,8MB/sec – 27,6MB/sec. With my last review of the Lacie 4big Quadra, I was already very pleased with the transfer speed (my own Drobo 2nd gen. doesn’t go so fast!), but this test proves it can be a lot faster with the new USB 3.0 drives. Up to 3,5 times faster!
The new Lacie external hard drives with the USB 3.0 technology and the PCI-Express card have pleased me a lot. For the Lacie d2 1TB, you pay 149€. The Lacie Rugged 1TB will cost you 169,90€ and the Lacie USB3.0 PCI-Express card costs 59,99€. The Lacie d2 and PCI-Express card can be bought together as a package, it gives you the card for 50%. (Prices are VAT included)