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NAS Reviews

Performance

I tested the DS413 with DSM 4.1-2657 firmware, using our NAS test process with RAID 0, 5 and 10 volumes. As is our standard practice, four drives were configured in each volume type.

Windows File Copy tests show read throughput significantly higher than write and lower throughput for RAID 5 and 10 than for RAID 0 when writing. When reading, throughput is essentially the same for the three modes at around 100 MB/s. Lowest write throughput was 70 MB/s, measured in RAID 5.

Synology DS413 DiskStation benchmark summary

Synology DS413 DiskStation benchmark summary

Intel NASPT File Copy results were about 25 - 30 MB/s higher for writes across the RAID modes, but only about 5 MB/s lower for reads. Highest NASPT write throughput was 114 MB/s for RAID 0 write and lowest read was 93 MB/s in RAID 5. Despite the variation in benchmark results, this is a pretty high performance NAS for one not based on Intel Atom!

iSCSI performance of 61 MB/s for write and 65 MB/s for read is pretty good, but no match for its DS412+ Atom-powered sibling that performs 20 to 30 MB/s higher.

Attached backup tests were run with our standard Startech USB 3.0 eSATA to SATA Hard Drive Docking Station (SATDOCKU3SEF) containing a WD Velociraptor WD3000HLFS 300 GB drive. Throughput via the USB 3.0 port was disappointing since results were closer to those with the USB 2.0 connection. Best backup throughput of 78 MB/s was obtained using eSATA and a FAT-formatted drive.

Network backup to a DeltaCopy target on our NAS Testbed system measured around 32 MB/s, which is not that much different than the 35 MB/s measured for the DS412+. But it significantly out-performs the Marvell-powered DS413j's 17 MB/s.

Performance - Comparative

To put the DS413's performance in perspective, I created a set of custom performance charts using the NAS Finder to compare Synology's latest three four-bay NASes, i.e. the DS413, DS413j and DS412+.

The plot composite below shows Windows and NASPT RAID 5 file copy write and read results for the group. Except for NASPT read, the rankings come out as you might expect, Atom-powered DS412+ on top, Marvell-powered DS413j on the bottom and the Freescale-based DS413 in the middle.

RAID 5 file copy performance comparison

RAID 5 file copy performance comparison

I also compared NASPT directory copy performance for this group of products. The rankings again sort out Atom, Freescale, Marvell. The results, however, are so close that it's doubtful that you would detect a difference among the products in real-world use.

RAID 5 NASPT directory copy performance comparison

RAID 5 NASPT directory copy performance comparison

I checked the performance hit for encryption, creating a test folder on a RAID 5 volume, then running our standard benchmark suite using the folder as a mapped drive. The results are summarized in Table 2 below. As we found in our recent EonNAS Pro 500, review, using an encrypted folder definitely takes its toll on performance.

  Normal Encrypt % Diff
FileCopyToNAS 99.84 30.66 -69
FileCopyFromNAS 92.51 42.53 -54
DirectoryCopyToNAS 16.62 4.66 -72
DirectoryCopyFromNAS 19.91 13.70 -31
ContentCreation 9.27 3.02 -67
OfficeProductivity 46.27 32.56 -30
HDVideo_1Play_1Record 92.31 46.68 -56
HDVideo_4Play 106.04 46.68 -56
       
Win File Copy Write 70.19 22.2 -68
Win File Copy Read 95.75 42.63 -55
Table 2: Encrypted folder performance comparison

Use the NAS Charts to further explore and compare the DS413's performance

Closing Thoughts

If you're looking at Synology's latest crop of four-bay NASes, but want to spend $100 less than the Atom-powered DS412+, the DS413 would be a logical choice. The main risk I see is Synology's long term commitment to the Freescale platform. If they decide it's not worth keeping up three versions of their NAS OS, development is going to stop on one. And I'm betting it won't be Intel's.

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