La­Cie d2 Thun­der­bolt 2

Now with an SSD up­grade

Mac Format - - CONTENTS - £379 (6TB drive); £229 (128GB SSD add-on) Man­u­fac­turer La­Cie, la­ Ex­tremely fast SSD read speeds

This drive pairs a Thun­der­bolt 2 con­nec­tion with a 3.5-inch hard disk that can’t come close to us­ing all of that in­ter­face’s 20Gbps band­width. How­ever, the drive has two such ports, so you can daisy­chain other de­vices or a 4K dis­play.

The disk’s se­quen­tial trans­fer rates are good enough, peak­ing at 223MB/sec and 227.2MB/sec, and av­er­ag­ing 186.9MB/sec and 178.7MB/sec when read­ing and writ­ing, re­spec­tively. But, like any sin­gle hard disk, trans­fer rates are lower for the ran­dom trans­fer of small amounts of data.

How­ever, La­Cie of­fers an op­tional SSD up­grade, which you in­stall as well as the 6TB drive. You buy it separately and it re­places the whole back panel with one that adds 128GB of flash stor­age.

La­Cie refers to the up­graded d2 as a hy­brid drive, but it doesn’t op­er­ate like one: the SSD isn’t used to cache used files from the com­bined stor­age. You get two vol­umes and man­u­ally pick what’s stored where.

La­Cie says the SSD can read data at up to 1150MB/sec. We mea­sured its peak trans­fer rate as 1170.2MB/ sec when read­ing se­quen­tially, and its mean rate as 850.8MB/sec – 206.6MB/sec quicker than the 2014 Mac­Book Pro. When writ­ing data se­quen­tially, the SSD peaked at 926.4MB/sec, av­er­ag­ing 477.5MB/sec. It also held up well when ran­domly read­ing and writ­ing small amounts of data.

As a plain hard drive, the d2 per­forms well enough but doesn’t war­rant the price tag. The SSD’s speed pushes the bun­dle’s score

to three. Alan Stone­bridge

The ba­sic 6TB d2 is a good drive, but pretty ex­pen­sive. The SSD add-on is very fast, but clunky and not cheap.

In our tests, there was no real dif­fer­ence in the SSD’s trans­fer rates when both

vol­umes were in use.

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