LaCie this week has introduced its first external solid-state storage solution using Thunderbolt. The Bolt3 uses two M.2 SSDs in RAID 0 mode to enable 2 TB of storage as well as up to 2800 MB/s data rate, which is the highest level of performance offered by an available commercial DAS device. The Bolt3 is being advertised for video professionals who edit 4K (and up) video.

The LaCie Bolt3 (STFF2000400) packs in two 1 TB NVMe SSDs in M.2 form-factor that work in RAID 0 mode to enable up to 2800 MB/s read and up to 2200 MB/s write speeds. Seagate, the owner of the LaCie brand, does not disclose which SSDs the device has under the hood, but the company states that the Bolt3 was designed with long-term reliability in mind. This might imply that the device uses drives with high endurance (although, we cannot say whether the maker uses datacenter-grade SSDs). The external storage solution can realize its whole potential when connected to a TB3-enabled computer using the active Thunderbolt 3 cable that is bundled with the device. The Bolt3 also has another TB3 receptacle so to daisy chain more Thunderbolt 3 devices (storage or display) or even charge them (the Bolt3 has its own external PSU).

LaCie Bolt3 Specifications
  STFF2000400
SSD Model 2 × SSDs
Controller unknown
NAND Flash MLC NAND
Form-Factor, Interface M.2-2280, PCIe 3.0 x4, NVMe 1.2
Sequential Read 2800 MB/s
Sequential Write 2200 MB/s
Random Read IOPS unknown
Random Write IOPS unknown
Pseudo-SLC Caching unknown
DRAM Buffer unknown
Security Software-based AES-256 encryption
Warranty 2 years
MSRP $1999

From an aesthetic point of view, the LaCie Bolt3 is designed to be seen on a desk. It is made of black aluminum, it features a blue LED on the backside and the enclosure is tilted by 45° to its stand. The mounting mechanism uses neodymium magnets that firmly attach the Bolt3 to its stand, but allow to quickly detach it and transport anywhere. Users can have the drive flat as well. To ensure long-term reliability of SSDs inside, the Bolt3 also has active cooling.

The LaCie Bolt3 belongs to the company’s limited edition series which are designed to promote performance as well as eye-catching design. This means it doesn't come cheap. The LaCie Bolt3 2 TB will be available this quarter for $1999, which is well beyond the price of consumer SSD storage and more than one would have to pay for a DIY 2 TB Thunderbolt 3 external storage solution. As the LaCie Bolt3 is the fastest off-the-shelf external storage solution available today, the manufacturer wants to charge a premium.

Source: LaCie

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  • takeshi7 - Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - link

    "Seagate, the owner of the LaCie brand, does not disclose which SSDs and/or RAID controller the device has under the hood"

    I think it would be safe to assume it uses Seagate's own enterprise M.2 SSDs. That's just speculation on my part though.
    Reply
  • digiguy - Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - link

    Would this work on a laptop with a USB 3.1 gen 2, but not thunderbolt, port, up to the 10Gb bandwidth? (which is virtually half the max speed of this RAID) Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Thursday, November 03, 2016 - link

    Doubt it, since this is a thunderbolt enclosure. Much like how plugging a thunderbolt 2 device into a displayport connector would do nothing. Reply
  • CharonPDX - Monday, November 07, 2016 - link

    No. While Thunderbolt *controllers* are downward-compatible with USB 3.1, Thunderbolt *devices* are not. That said, it is within the spec to allow for "dual-protocol" devices - it is possible for a Thunderbolt 3 device to be usable over USB 3.1, where the Thunderbolt aspect of it is optional; but I don't believe any devices have implemented that. (Where the device would only operate using the USB channel.)

    Personally, I wish device manufacturers would implement that - as well as DisplayPort+USB mode for "Thunderbolt displays", so that the Thunderbolt portion becomes optional.
    Reply
  • rocky12345 - Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - link

    So basically this is aimed at business sector because at $1999 US it is out of reach for about 90% of the consumers unless that 10% Pro consumer market will bite and buy these up. Would love to have this if they made something in the more affordable range for every one to buy up but keep the 2TB capacity Reply
  • c4v3man - Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - link

    Your prayers have been answered. You can get the Samsung T3 USB3 SSD in 2TB form for around $700, and get roughly 3-500MB/s of throughput, which is all any reasonable person could even use today. If you want ridiculous numbers-for-sake-of-numbers performance, then you gotta pay the big bucks... that's the way it has, is, and always shall be.

    Even 4K raw 24FPS is around 300MB/s, the CFAST card's you're likely recording to/copying from only read/write at around 3-500MB/s, so again, having the ability to read/write THE ENTIRE DRIVE in 17 minutes is basically pointless. Probably the only legitimate use for this drive would be somehow editing around 6+ 4K 24fps RAW streams simultaneously, or 2 4K 60FPS raw streams for a length of no greater than 20 minutes total. The industry doesn't care about you booting windows in 5.2 seconds off the $700 samsung vs 5.15 seconds off this monstrocity, so there's no incentive to bring down the costs or to get this into your hands.
    Reply
  • Valantar - Thursday, November 03, 2016 - link

    Scrubbing thorough raw 4k footage smoothly while editing requires some serious bandwidth - more than simple transfers or other ordinary usage. I wouldn't be surprised if this kind of use maxed out the bandwidth in bursts. Reply
  • Valantar - Thursday, November 03, 2016 - link

    Not to mention that professional cameras today shoot in far higher resolutions than 4k. RED has long had 6k sensors, and recently updated several of their camera bodies to 8k sensors. Reply
  • boeush - Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - link

    "Seagate states that the Bolt3 was designed with long-term reliability in mind. This might imply that the device uses drives with high endurance"

    - and yet, a pathetic 2-year warranty...
    Reply
  • etamin - Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - link

    I'm surprised 2x M.2 SSD's and a controller would require an additional power connection. It certainly detracts from the portability if power over TB is not enough. Reply

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