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Performance

SmallNetbuilder's performance charts can provide an almost infinite variety of performance comparisons. But to give you a head start, I chose a few other midrange, two-drive Bring Your Own Drive (BYOD) NAS devices for comparison: the Thecus YES Box N210; Qnap TS-209 and the D-Link DS-323. The TS-209 is quite a bit more expensive than the others, but I threw it in as a high-end comparison.

What I don't show are some of the two-drive products that come with drives included, because it's hard to do a price comparison with these. If you want to do this comparison yourself, check out the NAS charts and include them in your run.

NotesNOTES:

  • The maximum raw data rate for 100Mbps Ethernet is 12500 KBytes/sec (12.5 MBytes/sec) and 125000 KBytes/sec (125 MBytes/sec) for gigabit
  • Firmware version tested was V2.10(AFB.0)
  • Drives used were WDC WD2500JS-60MHB5 Caviar SE 250 GB, 3 Gb/s, 8 MB Cache, 7200 RPM (vendor supplied)
  • The full testing setup and methodology are described on this page
  • To ensure connection at the intended speeds, the iozone test machine and NAS under test were manually moved between a NETGEAR GS108 10/100/1000Mbps switch for gigabit-speed testing and a 10/100 switch for 100 Mbps testing.

100 Mbit LAN, comparative read test

Figure 15: 100 Mbit LAN, comparative read test

You'll find that the 220 outperforms these devices in many cases. But the Qnap TS-209 has the performance edge among this selected group, as it should since it's almost twice as expensive as the 220!

100 Mbit LAN, comparative write test

Figure 16: 100 Mbit LAN, comparative write test

1000 Mbit LAN, comparative read test

Figure 17: 1000 Mbit LAN, comparative read test

The more interesting comparison is against the D-Link DNS-323, which has consistently generated the most interest among SmallNetBuilder readers. A look at the 1000 Mbps performance charts shows that the 220 holds its own against the DNS-323. But the 220 has the added advantage of supporting up to 9K jumbo frames, which provides a performance edge over the 323.

1000 Mbit LAN, comparative read test

Figure 18: 1000 Mbit LAN, comparative read test

For a "real-world" test, I did a simple drag-and-drop test moving files back and forth to the 220. For this, I used my MacBook Pro, 2 GHz Intel Core Duo with 1.5 GB of RAM running a native copy of Windows XP SP2. The directory tree I copied contained 4100 files using just over a gigabyte.

1000 Mbps LAN 100 Mbps LAN
Write to NSA220 ~ 155 sec (6.45 MB/s) ~ 255 sec (3.9 MB/s)
Read from NSA ~ 205 sec (4.9 MB/s) ~ 230 sec (4.3 MB/s)
Table 1: NSA220 Windows XP Drag-and-Drop Filecopy times

Table 1 shows that the gigabit connection is a big help for write, but not so much for read.

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