Setting up the hardware RAID isn't very difficult. The drive comes pre-formatted as a fast (RAID 0) for the best performance and storage capacity. However you can also choose safe (RAID 1), or JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks) using the RAID selection buttons located in the hidden compartment.
In our real world tests, the 2big Thunderbolt 2 marginally outperformed its predecessor when it came to writing, but reading from the drive was largely the same. AJA System Test showed more improvement, especially when reading from the new drive. To take advantage of faster Thunderbolt 2 bandwidth, you need more than two mechanical drives. Having Thunderbolt 2, however, lets you daisy chain other Thunderbolt 2 devices.
Reading and writing to and from the 2big was consistently slower when using USB 3.0 as compared to Thunderbolt 2, even with just two drives. Still, it's nice to have both interfaces, especially considering the ubiquity of USB 3.0.
The addition of a hardware RAID is nice, and the drive feels much less top heavy than before. I'm not a huge fan of the removable panel in the rear, but if you don't need to fiddle with the ports very often, it shouldn't affect your purchasing decision. Since the 2big Thunderbolt 2 only has two drives, it doesn't really benefit from Thunderbolt 2's higher 20Gbps throughput capabilities.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.