LaCie starts shipping industry's first 5 TB external hard drives

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LaCie's 5big Thunderbolt Series, 2big Thunderbolt Series and d2 Thunderbolt Series external HDDs are now available in 5TB, 7200 rpm hard–drive capacities

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Digital movies, music and multi-megapixel photos have an annoying way of eating into your once ample external storage. LaCie has responded to such storage woes by upping the top end of its d2 Thunderbolt Series single hard disk drive systems to 5 TB at 7200 RPM, and its 2big and 5big Thunderbolt RAID units to 10 and 25 TB respectively.

The 2.3 x 6.6 x 7.2 in (60 x 168 x 183 mm) d2 offers USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt connectivity for read speeds of up to 170 MB/s and write of 165 MB/s, and its heat-sink-like solid aluminum casing is designed to dissipate heat quickly and quietly. The new d2 addition carries a US$449.99 price tag.

The 2big Series can hold two of the new 5 TB HDDs in RAID 0, 1 or JBOD configurations. Users are promised 327 MB/s read and 319 MB/s write speeds, and there's a low power mode and dual Thunderbolt ports for daisy chaining up to six compatible devices. It also features a similar fan-free housing design as the d2. A 10 TB 2big unit measuring 3.5 x 6.7 x 7.8 in (91 x 172 x 200 mm) will set you back $899.

The 6.8 x 8.6 x 7.7 in (173 x 220 x 196 mm) 5big Series model offers up to 25 TB of HDD storage spread over five bays in RAID 0, 1 or JBOD configurations, and blistering 785 MB/s read and 695 MB/s write speeds.

Though the housing is also fashioned from cool aluminum, a quiet Noctual magnetic levitation fan and large heat exhausts help to keep the 5big's drives from running too hot. This flavor is priced at $2,499.

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