February 3, 2023 at 3:47 am
That’s such a common mistake that on some LaCie Units, I have taped off the USB port so that someone doesn’t plug a Thunderbolt cable in it. LaCie hasn’t make it any easier by spacing the ports equally and having a small (non 40-plus eyes friendly) symbol below the port so its hidden once one connects a cable.
For this particular (2-bay RAID0) drive, its speed should be nearly the same over Thunderbolt 3 vs USB 3.1. Provided, one uses a Thunderbolt 3 cable with a Thunderbolt 3 port, and a USB-C cable with a USB-C port. The Mac’s Thunderbolt 3 ports double up as USB-C ports, but work as USB, and have optimal USB 3.1 speeds only with USB-C cables. Preferably the supplied USB cables.
February 4, 2023 at 1:54 pm
Helpful again! So speed should be the same if TB cables are aligned with TB ports and the same for USB. Did not know.
Of course, this STILL leaves me with questions. Don’t feel obliged to answer…mostly rhetorical questions…I might try to find answers on Google, though likely that will leave me more confused 😀
If the speed can be the same betweenTB and USB, why have two?
Difference between USB C and 3.1?
My MacBook tells me I have thunderbolt 4 ports. Does that make my TB connection faster than USB 3.1?
My MacBook ports doubles as thunderbolt and a USB if understand correctly. BUT for greatest speed, I should be using them exclusively thunderbolt? In other words if I went from my computer’s TB port WITH a USB cable to Lacie USB port (TB>USB>USB), that would be slower than going TB>TB>TB?
February 5, 2023 at 2:06 am
Not everybody has a thunderbolt connection…or a free thunderbolt connection…many pc users require usb.
February 7, 2023 at 3:06 am
Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) and USB 3 (5 or 10 Gbps) have different top speeds, but the 2×3.5″ SATA hard drives that you use inside this LaCie dock, as RAID0 would give you a top speed of 500 MB/sec, or 4 Gbps. Either port can manage this speed.
But both types of ports are provided because, as Glenn correctly pointed out, some systems may not have a Thunderbolt 3 port, or have one free, so the USB port can be used.
The other reason is, this is a dock. It also has CFast and CFExpress card readers built in. These can read at 500 to 800 MB/sec. And there’s a hub USB 3.0 port where you could have another drive or an SSD connected. And there’s a display port where you could have a monitor hooked up.
Assuming you’re using one or both these card readers and the drives, and another downstream drive/SSD, then the combined bandwidth would exceed USB, so then a Thunderbolt 3 port would be faster.
February 7, 2023 at 1:54 pm
Ah, now all of this is beginning to make sense. BUT if the SATA drives only deliver 500 MB/sec at RAID 0, then it shouldn’t have really mattered if initially I was plugged into the USB 3.1 rather than the thunderbolt, right? (assuming I wasn’t using any of the other ports, which I wasn’t)
For the last couple of weeks, I was doing fine with my thunderbolt to thunderbolt. And then, out of the blue yesterday, the drive was super-laggy. I had to wait for it to get up to speed and play over, and over, and over… There was even a delay while I waited for it to copy a puny little photo file from my desktop to the LaCie.
The fact that you are a frequent LaCie user makes me think:
1) you’ve never had lag problems with your drives; and
2) maybe mine is flawed and should be sent back for a replacement!
Beyond being a 4K project, the thing I’m working on is super-basic. Quicktime H264 and MXF files. Stringing together soundbites. That’s it.
April 13, 2023 at 9:27 pm
“For the last couple of weeks, I was doing fine with my thunderbolt to thunderbolt. And then, out of the blue yesterday, the drive was super-laggy. I had to wait for it to get up to speed and play over, and over, and over… There was even a delay while I waited for it to copy a puny little photo file from my desktop to the LaCie.”
This is interesting. Was the drives filled up?
Did you check the fragmentation?
May 17, 2023 at 9:27 pm
I’m having involuntary eye twitches thinking about this…
First and foremost, you didn’t say whether you’ve got a consistent, regular backup system. In a RAID0 configuration, any one drive failure in the set will cause all of your data to be lost, right now. If you’ve ever had a spinner fail, you know that RAID0 is only for disposable, don’t-care-if-it-dies-unexpectedly storage.
Second, volume format can play a significant role. For spinning disks on a Mac, I’d stick with HFS+, as APFS is optimized for SSDs and can bog down a mechanical disk. ExFAT and FAT32 don’t have robust journaling and can cause problems with databases and certain types of file metadata, so I only use those when I’ve got to share a drive with a Windows box.
In the Energy Saver pane of system prefs, there’s a toggle for spinning down when possible. If this is turned off, and you’ve done the terminal command, and it’s still spinning down, zapping PRAM and/or resetting the SMC could resolve it on an Intel Mac. No such options on the AS models.
I’ve had a several different RAIDs, and the most trouble-free experience was with an Areca 8-bay Thunderbolt 2 box loaded with 2TB spinners in a RAID6 config. Glad I had the 2-disk failsafe, because I had a drive fail and during the rebuild a second drive failed. Didn’t lose anything except a little time.
Right now, I’m using an OWC Thunderbay 8 loaded with SSDs, configured with SoftRAID. It hasn’t been quite so reliable, but it is always blazingly fast. I run nightly LTO backups, and do a weekly clone to another old box so I can sleep at night.
EDIT: As for the BMD Multidock, Disk Utility has the ability to take multiple attached disks and create a RAID, though it is fairly limited in its options.
May 17, 2023 at 10:17 pm
Hilarious…I sure do apologize for causing any unwanted eye issues! 😃
And not to worry – I DEFINITELY have back-ups of all media and data. All over the place.
Very interesting what you say about the format of the drive. Your energy saver idea seems to be related to Intel Macs, but I’m using an M1 PowerBook.
I will absolutely hold onto your suggestions for other drives.
And here’s a little update for anyone reading this post in the future who might be having issues similar to mine: make sure you plug into the thunderbolt 3 port rather than the USB-C one! As soon as I did that, my problems (mostly) went away. Every now and then, I’ll still get a little hiccup, or my media will be slow to load after I open a sequence, but for the most part things are working much better.
(The obvious follow-up question to my error: what the heck is the point of including a USB-C port on the back of the drive when there are already two thunderbolts, except to trip up dummies like me?)
June 2, 2023 at 8:18 pm
Geoff, I can certainly appreciate the USB vs TB whoops on Lacie drives. And I agree w/ Neil. Unsure why they thought that was a good design. But I digress.
The only reason I wanted to chime in here was the mention of the spin-down setting for M1 vs. Intel. It exists for the M1, but because of Ventura totally moving all the settings around, it’s kind of hard to find everything that was so familiar for so many years. Anyway, another digression (apologies–lol).
If you’re on a M1 w/ Ventura, look under System Settings -> Energy Saver. There I found the toggle option for “Put hard disks to sleep when possible.” Oh! And this is on a Mac Studio. Have no idea (but assume?) the setting would be the same on a M1/2 MBPr . . .
June 2, 2023 at 8:32 pm
For anyone interested:
On an M1 laptop with Ventura, the Energy Saver pane is replaced by a Battery pane.
In System Settings, go to the Battery pane, scroll down to the bottom, and hit the ‘Options…’ button. There you’ll find the disk sleep setting, wake for network access, and HDR to SDR video when on battery setting.