For most people, a few terabytes is more than enough to hold a lifetime's worth of photos, videos and music. Video professionals have slightly different demands, especially if they're working with footage filmed in 4K. LaCie's latest hard drive, the 12big Thunderbolt 3, is designed to make life easier for these power users by offering blazingly fast transfer speeds and up to 96 TB of storage.
The 12Big links together 12 individual 7,200 rpm hard drives, each of which are hot swappable, boast a 256 MB cache and are rated to run all-day, every-day. The housing designed by Neil Poulton features LEDs on the front to indicate drive health and RAID status, and four thermoregulated fans to pull heat away from the drives.
Thanks to a new hardware RAID controller, the hard drive setup is able to transfer data via Thunderbolt connection at speeds of up to 2,600 MB/s read and 1,700 MB/s write in RAID 0 mode and 2,400 MB/s read and 1,200 MB/s write in RAID 5.
In order to manage huge amounts of data, LaCie says the drive has a more user-friendly interface that lets users set up and monitor their storage systems, with wizards for tweaking CPU settings, auto rebuilding drives and providing diagnostic information.
Tim Butcher, LaCie Senior Vice President, says there are a number of factors driving the brand to create high-storage, high-speed products for video professionals.
"The combination of higher spatial resolution and 3D imagery, as well as higher dynamic range and frame rates, is driving the need for high-capacity and high-speed digital storage systems," Butcher says. "We purpose-built the LaCie 12big to have the speed, capacity and reliability to efficiently download and edit even the most demanding content."
All up the 96 TB 12Big can hold up to 100 hours of 4K footage, and there are also 48 TB and 72 TB units available. It's worth bearing in mind the storage capacity depends on whether you configure the drive in the default RAID 5, or seek extra security with a RAID 6 setup.
For that much storage capacity, the 12big offers a fairly small footprint – relatively speaking – with dimensions (W x H x D) of 161 x 447 x 237 mm (6.3 x 17.6 x 9.3 in) and a weight of 17.6 kg (38.8 lb). The drive has a Thunderbolt 3 and a USB 3.1 port and comes with cables included.
No pricing information has been released, but the LaCie 12big Thunderbolt 3 is due to launch in the Northern Hemisphere summer.