QNAP TS-470 Turbo NAS Server Conclusion
Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. As Albert Einstein said, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusions, as they represent our product rating for the sample received which may differ from retail versions.
The performance of the QNAP TS-470 Turbo NAS server was very impressive, especially when the 10GbE-capable feature is enabled. Timed file transfers reached 368 MB/s Read and 321 MB/s Write in RAID 5 with all four disks in service. The results in ATTO Disk Benchmark were even faster, with 551 MB/s in Read mode and 514 MB/s in Write mode. These are disk access speeds that are in line with the best SSD products out there, and the TS-470 did it with 7200 RPM desktop drives that are a tad slower than the latest generation of HDDs. Areal density keeps going up and my Western Digital 750 Black drives are a couple years old now. The combination of a 2.6 GHz Celeron CPU and 10GbE networking really puts the TS-470 Turbo NAS on solid footing that can hold its own in almost any SMB environment.
The small, four-bay form factor of the QNAP TS-470 is not the sort of thing you would expect to see in a data center, but many SMBs operate out of more mundane environments. Remote or branch offices are also a likely application for a smaller device like this. Remember that there are six and eight bay versions in this series, that have the same features and performance, but with more capacity. The front panel has a familiar face, consistent with previous high-end tower models from QNAP. Status LEDs for activity on each HDD are located above each drive bay; the indicators for Status, USB, and LAN are just above that. There is no front door, or cover on the front of the unit, but the exposed drive trays are nicely finished and blend well with the remainder of the front panel. The brushed aluminum outer cover for the top and sides is subtle and classy, much better than an all-black unit, IMHO.
The construction quality of the TS-470 reflects a device that is built to run 24/7 indefinitely, plus look good doing it. I couldn’t find any place where cost had been reduced at the expense of quality, despite the fact that this represents a very mature platform for QNAP. There has been plenty of time for them to revisit the design and do a little value engineering to reduce costs, but they haven’t done it, as far as I can see. QNAP has an enviable reputation for quality and reliability, both very important qualities for a NAS server, and the TS-470 design doesn’t mess with success.
The QNAP TS-470 Turbo NAS network storage server is clearly aimed at small and medium businesses. There are dozens of models in the QNAP storage product line, and this one has been tailored for a specific application. It’s not that it can’t be used in the home, but almost no home network is going to be able to effectively take full advantage of all four of the GbE connections. A business class switch with plenty of I/O is needed to utilize all of the capabilities that come standard with the TS-470. So for the home user, it’s a matter of why pay for features that don’t provide any benefits… On the flip side, the HDMI output probably won’t see much use in the business environment. The addition of an IR receiver on the front panel does make all the multimedia features easier to access though, just in case you do need them. The breakout move, of putting a Celeron-class CPU in a small NAS benefits almost all users, and it’s a welcome relief from the Atom-based models that continue to dominate the market. The large number of apps that are available and the cloud services that extend the reach of NAS storage, all contribute to a versatile system that does more than you could ever imagine a NAS server was intended to do. Some of the high-end routers are attempting to edge their way into this solution space, but for the moment the prize for the most functionality in one small net-centric box goes to the Turbo NAS server.
Before we discuss the pricing in detail, remember that these systems are not discretionary items for most businesses, they are a necessary expense. The tragic and inevitable costs for not having a robust data management system in place are 10-100 times higher than any of the prices you will see in this paragraph. As of December 2013 the diskless TS-470 model was listed for $968.99 (NewEgg | Amazon | B&H). Six and eight bay models are available for those that need additional capacity, and they will have slightly better performance with similar RAID configurations. It’s that higher level of performance that pushes the cost of the TS-470 in the kilobuck range. Keep in mind that just recently this kind of performance used to cost more than $2,000. I’m not immune to sticker shock, but the amount of performance and functionality that the TS-470 brings to the table is impressive, and most businesses will consider the cost to be completely reasonable.
Benchmark Reviews has enjoyed testing all of these network storage solutions, and with the wide range of products on offer from them, anyone in need of a NAS server can find one to fit their current and future needs. The biggest problem is choosing one; that’s why we go into so much detail in our reviews, to help you figure out what level of performance and features is right for you. The TS-470 Turbo NAS server may be overkill for the enthusiast at home, but it looks like a great fit for the SOHO market. Just make sure the networking infrastructure is in place to maximize the overall performance.
+ 551 / 514 MBps best read/write performance
+ System software is SOTA and continually updated
+ Support Apps available for multiple cloud services
+ 10GbE NICs supported, from Multiple Vendors
+ iSCSI certified for several virtualization platforms
+ Storage pools in a Linux environment
+ Flexible RAID error recovery
+ 4x Gigabit Ethernet ports with teaming and failover
+ SSD cache configurations at the $1,000 price point
+ Two eSATA and two USB 3.0 ports on rear panel
+ High quality construction
– 4x GbE interfaces are most useful on business class LAN
– 10GbE NICs are still an expensive upgrade
– Non-business users will compare to consumer devices (<<$$$)
– USB port on front panel is not SuperSpeed (USB 3.0)
Final Score: 9.4 out of 10.
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.