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
SSD Model 2 × SSDs
Controller unknown
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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  • etamin - Wednesday, November 2, 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.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Thursday, November 3, 2016 - link

    Consider that one samsung 950 pro can use 5.8 watt under heavy load. This thing has two drives, plus a raid controller. 12-15 watt TDP would be a rough estimate.

    Unless every USB C port on every machine can push 15 watt guaranteed, this thing will have an additional power connector just to keep customer support calls to a minimum.
  • m2inor - Thursday, November 3, 2016 - link

    While every Thunderbolt 3 port must be able to provide at least 15watts of power, here is why the LaCie Bolt must use an AC adapter.

    The Bolt has two Thunderbolt 3 ports to provide daisy-chaining capability, therefore, while it can be powered by the upstream port, the downstream port must be able to provide 15 watts to the next device in the chain if it is connected.

    Only if the device had a single port could it be power cable free, like other external portable drives in the past.

    Since LaCie had to provide an adapter, it makes sense that it also be able to offer the ability to charge connected devices as mentioned in the description.

    Here are the questions a review should ask:
    1. Can Bolt be used without the power adapter if there is no downstream device connected?
    2. How much power is made available to charge or power a connected laptop or other device, in addition to the required 15 watts?

    In summary, according to Thunderbolt connectivity rules, only devices with a single port can be solely bus powered. Dual port devices will always be required to provide an external power adapter, or power from the adapter.

    This raises a question about the new Macbook Pro computers:
    1. does the new low end MBPr supply the required 15 watts from each of the two included ports (30 watts total)?
    2. do the other MBPr laptops supply 15 watts from each of the 4 included ports (60 watts!) plus powering the laptop?
  • shelbystripes - Friday, November 4, 2016 - link

    Technically the high-end MBP needs to only power 3 TB3 ports while plugged in, since one TB3 port will be occupied with the MBP charger. (Similarly the low-end MBP only needs to power 1 TB3 port while plugged in.)

    Of course, the question of what happens while on battery is a good one... You could theoretically plug in 4 15W TB3 devices while on battery. I don't see why the MBP couldn't handle that, though you'd go through battery life REAL quick in that case...
  • zodiacfml - Wednesday, November 2, 2016 - link

    Just wow. For the price, one make a decent computer which includes the same drives.
  • slashbinslashbash - Wednesday, November 2, 2016 - link

    Funny how the photo with the unit on the desk looks soooo great and futuristic, but it doesn't show any cords running to/from the drive. Aesthetics uber alles I guess?
  • bill44 - Wednesday, November 2, 2016 - link

    Wonder why it needs RAID 0.
    With a Samsung 960 Pro, it should be able to reach 3.5GB/s without RAID. After all, it just PCIe 3.0 x4 in an external box (minus some TB3 overhead).

    Would like to see a review of Sonnet Fusion Thunderbolt 3 PCIe Flash Drive - 512GB.
  • shelbystripes - Friday, November 4, 2016 - link

    Probably because a (Seagate-owned) LaCie product won't have a Samsung 960 PRO inside?

    Just having PCIe 3.0 x4 available isn't enough, you need SSDs that can use all that bandwidth...
  • m2inor - Monday, November 7, 2016 - link

    LaCie has included Samsung M.2 PCIe SSD devices in previous products like their Thunderbolt 2 Little Big Disk, and other vendor SATA SSD devices in the Thunderbolt/USB rugged and Porsche Portable products.

    Seagate had a short lived 600 series SSD for consumers, but it was discontinued. They have other SSD devices for Enterprise applications, but their prices make the Bolt3 prices look inexpensive.
  • chipped - Friday, November 4, 2016 - link

    Jesus titty fucking!!! $1999?!?!!!

    They can shove it up their ass.

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