1GB Single-Disk Test Results
The bottom line for any storage device is the combination of capacity and transfer speed. For a network attached storage server, the differences are all about the infrastructure that is placed around the basic HDD array. Since capacity is something that’s easy to define and measure, the real question for any NAS product is how fast will it Read and Write data. For this reason, Benchmark Reviews primarily measures NAS performance as the bandwidth achieved during a file transfer test. The first tests we perform utilize a single 1GB (1000 megabytes / 1,000,000,000 bytes) file in a transfer to and from the NAS.
With all the NAS units operating in single disk mode, the performance of the NAS units is largely dictated by the choice of CPU and operating system. The TS-870U-RP puts in a very strong showing on the 1 GB Read tests, primarily due to the Celeron G540 CPU under the hood. The Intel Core i3-based TS-879 unit has about 50% more horsepower under the hood than the Celeron G540, but in this test the two QNAP NAS models perform about the same. Of course they both can sprint past most of the Atom-based units, and they in turn, the Marvell-based models. The EonNAS units have a measurable performance penalty due to their Solaris-based O/S and the ZFS file system that comes with it. It’s a tradeoff with data integrity, so there is a significant benefit to compensate for the slightly lower performance. Most people won’t use a single disk configuration, but it’s useful to get an understanding of any possible issues with the basic architecture of the system. In this case, none of them have issues, and they all turn in good performance numbers.
Moving on to the 1 GB write bandwidth test, our results suggest that while it may sometimes be faster to read files from a hard drive than it is to write files onto it, the opposite is often true for a NAS appliance. The good news is that the TS-870U-RP also turns in very strong numbers for Write performance, comfortably sitting in the top tier. Compared to most of the Intel Atom-based models and the Marvell-based units with the weaker CPUs, the top four performers have a distinct advantage. The Thecus and ASUSTOR models rise to the top of the Atom-based group, by virtue of their ICH10R Southbridge, which is optimized for disk I/O. The EonNAS 850X proved itself to be a much better performer in Write tests, and that’s reflected in these benchmarks. All the top performers are probably affected by the GbE cap on transfer speed, even with only a single disk loaded in the drive bays.
Next up is 10 GB (1000 metric megabytes / 10,000,000,000 bytes) file transfer testing. Using the single-disk configuration in each NAS, and a Gigabit Ethernet connection, network throughput will be put to the test, and the effect of any system or hardware caches will be minimized.
10GB Single-Disk Test Results
Examining 10GB basic file transfer speeds, the QNAP TS-870U-RP delivers top notch read performance, better than most of the two-bay or four-bay units. The ASUSTOR just nips it in combined results by 1 MB/s, which is really nothing to brag about. These small differences in single-disk performance aren’t going to make a huge difference to anyone’s day-to-day work, but they do show a clear, steady evolution of NAS infrastructure performance over time, and as you move up the product structure. Of course, you get none of the advantages of redundancy with a single disk or JBOD, so most NAS users will go for one of the many possible RAID configurations.
In our 10GB write performance tests, the performance of the TS-870U-RP sits firmly in the top tier again, offering clearly better performance than many NAS models in the test group. The Thecus and the ASUSTOR are still hanging in there, despite their reliance on the low-power Intel Atom CPU. They will have to put up a fight to remain competitive once we start RAID 5 testing, but for now they look very competitive. The EonNAS shows off its Write performance again, and its not bothered by large file sizes, for certain.
Next we’re going to look at RAID 5 performance, where the TS-870U-RP should have an easier time staying on top of the chart, based on the superior power of its Celeron G540 CPU. Since the QNAP TS-259 Pro and TS-219P+ don’t support the RAID5 configuration that we normally use to test large format NAS products, we won’t be able to include their results in this comparison.
NAS Comparison Products
- EonNAS 1100 NAS Network Storage Server
- ASUSTOR AS-604T NAS Network Storage Server
- EonNAS 850X NAS Network Storage Server
- Thecus N5550 4-Bay SATA NAS Server
- Netgear ReadyNAS NV+ v2 Gigabit 4-bay SATA NAS Server
- QNAP TS-879U-RP Gigabit 8-bay SATA NAS Server
- QNAP TS-219P+ Gigabit 2-Bay SATA NAS server
- QNAP TS-259 Pro Gigabit 2-Bay SATA NAS server
- QNAP TS-659 Pro II Gigabit 6-Bay SATA NAS server
- QNAP TS-419P II Gigabit 4-bay SATA NAS Server