First Look: LaCie’s FireWire Hard Drives

Wayne N. Kawamoto
Managing Editor,

LaCie announced two new Giga-capacity external hard drives that transmit data to computers at a sustained transfer rate of nearly 35MB/s. With the ability to provide a constant data stream, LaCie says that its 120GB 7200 rpm and 160GB 5400 rpm FireWire drives virtually eliminate the possibility of corrupt data or lost video frames

According to the company, its LaCie 120GB drives can store more than 30 hours of MPEG-2 video or 10 hours of uncompressed DV. The LaCie 160GB drive should store more than 300 hours of CD-quality audio. Both drives may be connected to the native FireWire ports that are standard with Macintosh G3, G4 and iMac DV systems as well as PCs incorporating Windows 98 Second Edition, Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

LaCie’s new FireWire controller is a 400 Mbps interface that is based on a 1394 to IDE bridge dual chipset. The higher transfer rate of the latest-generation FireWire digital link should make the LaCie external hard drives ideal for users storing large-volume video and graphic files or capturing video from DV camcorders. The compact drives may also provide content developers with added security because complete projects can be stored on the drives, removed and locked up when they are not being used.

With latest-generation FireWire support, the drives are hot-pluggable. Users can plug a LaCie drive in, remove it or swap it with others without shutting down or rebooting the computer. The drive mounts automatically as soon as it is connected. There is no need for terminators, device IDs or elaborate setup.

Pricing and Availability
Available in February through LaCie authorized resellers and mail order partners, the suggested retail prices for LaCie’s new FireWire hard drives are $399 for the 120GB 7200 drive and $449 for the 160GB 5400 rpm drive.

Small Business Computing Staff
Small Business Computing Staff
Small Business Computing addresses the technology needs of small businesses, which are defined as businesses with fewer than 500 employees and/or less than $7 million in annual sales.

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