LaCie d2 Professional review: A monster USB-C external drive perfect for content creators

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The front of the d2 Professional is clean, save for an orb-shaped pulsating light which indicates when the drive is in use.

TA-ratings-98

Sometimes, in our review cycles, we get stuck in a rut reviewing laptop after laptop and smartphone after smartphone. So it’s nice to get something different to evaluate and review, like the LaCie d2 Professional desktop external hard drive.

We’ve reviewed a few external hard drives in the past but they don’t come through here as often as other tech products. The LaCie d2 Professional is geared toward content creators but regular consumers could benefit here as well. The LaCie d2 Professional is available with up to a monstrous 10TB capacity and is USB Type-C/Thunderbolt 3 capable. Read on for the full review of the LaCie d2 Professional and find out why it earns a well deserved Techaeris Top Pick award for 2019.

Specifications

The LaCie d2 Professional has the following features and specifications:

  • Capacities: 4TB, 6TB, 8TB, and 10TB
  • RPM: 7200
  • Enterprise Class: Yes
  • Interface Transfer Rate: Up to 240MB/s
  • Interface: USB 3.1 Type-C
  • Compatibility: USB-C, USB 3.0, and Thunderbolt 3 (Mac only)
  • HDD: Seagate BarraCuda Pro enterprise-class (7200 RPM speed and SATA 6Gb/s)

What’s In The Box

LaCie d2 Professional

  • Power cable
  • USB 3.1 (USB-C 5Gb/s) cable
  • USB 3.0 (USB-C to USB-A)
  • 1-month membership to Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Instruction manual and warranty
LaCie d2 Professional
Slim and fits on a desk nicely.

Design

This is the first LaCie drive I’ve used but looking back at some earlier models, the LaCie d2 Professional looks similar to previous models. That’s not a bad thing. While I’ve never owned a LaCie drive in the past, I have seen them many times.

The d2 Professional looks sleek and it’s fairly slim, considering it does have a full-size HDD inside. The design is still modern looking, I think LaCie has always been a design-forward company with Apple-like design philosophy.

The front of the d2 Professional is clean, save for an orb-shaped pulsating light which indicates when the drive is in use. The bottom foot of the d2 Professional has a very nice textured rubber foot. This really goes a long way in helping to keep the enclosure from sliding around and helps with vibration as well.

The sides of the d2 Professional are clean with not much to see but the aluminum casing. The rear of the LaCie d2 Professional has a single USB-C/Thunderbolt port, the barrel style power port, and a Kensington lock for securing the drive to your desk or desktop computer.

The enclosure is made of a single sheet of heat-dissipating aluminum and the build quality feels durable and rugged. This is no surprise as the LaCie drives I remember were always well-built and ready for some rough handling.

Overall, the LaCie d2 Professional is well-built, looks sleek and modern, and for an HDD takes up very little space on your desktop.

LaCie d2 Professional
Front and back of the LaCie d2 Professional.

Ease of Use

This hard drive is simple to set up as it’s basically plug-and-play out of the box. The included cables allow you to connect to a USB-C port, Thunderbolt 3 (Mac only) port, or a USB-A 3.0 port. I picked up a PCIe USB-C expansion card for my PC to make use of the USB-C cable included. Thunderbolt 3 will only work on Mac.

LaCie d2 Professional is delivered preformatted as exFAT for compatibility with both Windows and Mac computers. If you use the drive with only one type of computer, you can optimize file copy performance by formatting the drive in the native file system for your operating system. I chose to optimize the drive since it will only be used on my Windows desktop.

Once you’re plugged in there’s not much to do unless you want to optimize the drive for Mac or PC. If you choose to do this, you’ll need to download LaCie’s Toolkit which allows you to format the drive accordingly. The Toolkit allows you to:

  • Manage backup plans (Windows only).
  • Create mirror folders.
  • Optimize disk format for use with a specific operating system.

I only used the Toolkit to optimize the drive and nothing more. Once you have the drive optimized, or not, you’re ready to go. Overall, setup is dead simple, especially if you choose not to optimize for Windows and Mac.

Corel AfterShot 2

Performance

I tested the LaCie d2 Professional with CrystalDisk Mark and ATTO Disk Benchmark. The advertised transfer rate is up to 240MB/s. CrystalDisk Mark gave us slightly higher read speeds at 246.7MB/s but lower write speeds at 207.8MB/s. ATTO Disk results were 231.05MB/s write speeds and 227.76MB/s read speeds. Remember, data rates may vary depending on operating environment and other factors, such as chosen interface and disk capacity.

LaCie d2 Professional
ATTO Disk and CrystalDisk Mark

I also ran a few real-world tests. I copied my 256GB movie library from my Western Digital external USB 3.0 HDD to the d2 Professional. That operation took just under an hour to complete coming in at 56 minutes. I also copied a small 4GB folder of mp3s between the same drives and that took 20 seconds.

I also transferred files between my main internal Patriot SSD to the LaCie d2 and the speeds were considerably faster, which is to be expected when you throw an SSD into the mix. I also tested moving files from a USB 3.0 thumb drive and an internal HDD with mixed results but still staying within 200MB/s.

I have also been using the LaCie d2 Professional in my YouTube video workflow and it is fantastic. I record everything in 4K and rendering out to the d2 Professional from Adobe Premiere Pro happens at a decent clip. I’ve rendered out 15-minute 4K videos with graphics, sound, and overlays in under 15-minutes. The LaCie d2 Professional holds all of my working files for Adobe Premier Pro, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Lightroom.

Overall, the LaCie d2 Professional works amazingly great. It reads and writes fast enough for content creators to have a clean and fast workflow.

LaCie d2 Professional
Side view

Price/Value

The LaCie d2 Professional starts at US$219.99 for the 4TB model and goes up to US$429.99 for the 10TB model. You can find them for a few bucks cheaper on Amazon. While some may argue that an SSD is better, which I would agree with, the prices of SSDs are still pretty high. A 4TB external SSD can run you $749 and up. The d2 is priced fairly and gives you plenty of value for your dollar. I recommend hitting the Amazon link below as they have the 4TB priced at $199.94 and the 10TB is $349.94.

Wrap Up

The LaCie d2 Professional is a sleek-looking, well-built, fairly priced, and fast desktop storage device. Content creators and professionals will appreciate the performance as well as the capacities of the LaCie d2 Professional.

*We received a sample of the 10TB LaCie d2 Professional for the purposes of this review.

LaCie d2 Professional

Starting at US$219.99
9.8

Design

10.0/10

Ease of Use

9.5/10

Performance

10.0/10

Price/Value

9.5/10

Nailed it

  • Clean sleek design
  • USB-C/Thunderbolt
  • Quick speeds
  • Up to 10TB storage option
  • Windows and Mac compatible

Needs work

  • I don't really have any cons about this external hard drive

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