Should LaCie ever decide to exit the storage market, the company would surely have a bright future in the armaments industry. The LaCie Big Disk Extreme is built like the proverbial tank and would make an ideal tool for lobbing through a jeweller's window. This piece of hardware is big in just about every sense of the word.
Inside the attractively textured silver metal case are two 3.5-inch 250GB hard drives, strapped together in a hardware raid configuration. You plug the drive in and it appears on your Mac's desktop as a single 500GB hard drive.
There is a choice of FireWire 800 and FireWire 400 ports at the rear of the drive. Two 800 ports and one FireWire 400 port mean you'll have to daisychain accordingly. Also at the back is a sturdy Kensington lock slot for ensuring that the drive stays next to your Mac.
Most buyers of this drive will probably want to use the FireWire 800 interface. It's reasonably fast but not as fast as some others. That may have something to do with the choice of drive units or the FireWire chipset being used by LaCie. The FireWire 400 port is a handy addition if you want to use the drive on an older Mac system.
Read speeds were slightly better than the write speeds, but given LaCie's excellent reputation one somehow expects the performance to be just a little brisker. No matter...
What really impressed us here is the build quality and the relatively low noise levels from two drives in the unventilated aluminium case.
The Big Disk comes with a bolt-on stand that enables the drive to be used in an upright position. Given the amount of storage on offer we think the Big Disk is both petite and quiet - if not especially fast.