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Performance

As noted above, I tested with 5.01.00.8 firmware using our standard NAS test process to run tests with RAID 0 and 5 volumes using all five drives. Since RAID 10 requires an even number of drives, those tests were configured using only four drives.

The Benchmark summary below shows Windows File copy write with a RAID 0 array measured 91 MB/s, rising to 95 MB/s for RAID 5 and rising again to 100 MB/s for RAID 10. File copy read for RAID 0 was lower at 84 MB/s, about the same as write for RAID 5 at 96 MB/s and lower than RAID 10 write at 94 MB/s.

Thecus N5200XXX Benchmark Summary

NASPT File Copy write benchmarks were all higher for RAID 0, 5 and 10 at 112 MB/s, 117 MB/s and 123 MB/s respectively. NASPT File Copy reads came in lower in all cases at 75 MB/s, 83 MB/s and 83 MB/s for RAID 0, 5 and 10, respectively.

As usual, the tougher NASPT Directory Copy tests couldn't break out of the mid teens.

I installed the optional USB / eSATA backup module to run attached backup tests. Since there is no external drive format capability built-in, I ran tests only with the RAID 0 test array formatted in FAT32 and NTFS. Best performance of 52 MB/s was with FAT32 and eSATA and was worst at 15 MB/s with NTFS and USB.

Rsync network backup capability was installed on the N5200XXX by default and clocked in at a respectable 38 MB/s to the NAS testbed running Delta Copy.

iSCSI write and read to a 10 GB volume created on a RAID 5 array produced 35 MB/s and 79 MB/s, respectively. This is toward the bottom of the iSCSI write chart and toward the top for read.

The RAID 5 File Copy Write and Read charts below are filtered to show only five-bay NASes. The only other D525 Atom NAS I've tested is the QNAP TS-459+, which is four-bay, so not shown. But the N5200XXX ranks number 4 against all tested RAID 5 NASes for this benchmark.

RAID 5 File Copy Write Comparison - five bay products

RAID 5 File Copy Write Comparison - five bay products

RAID 5 filecopy read is a similar story for five-bay NASes. But the XXX ranks lower at number 7 against all tested RAID 5 NASes.

RAID 5 File Copy Read Comparison - five bay products

RAID 5 File Copy Read Comparison - five bay products

Conclusion

Thecus tends to price its products lower than QNAP and Synology and the N5200XXX follows that pattern as shown by the price vs. performance plot below. Current lowest pricing is $705, while you'll pay almost $1100 for a D525-based QNAP TS-559 Pro+ (not reviewed), while a D510-powered Synology DS1010+ is closer in at about $800.

RAID 5 Price vs. performance

Thecus has traditionally led the pack on performance, with the tradeoff being a less-sophisticated admin GUI, smaller feature set (especially in downloadable modules) and weaker support. I think they have closed the gap with the competition on the first two points, but still have a way to go on support, especially their Forums. Increasing their warranty from two to three years as some of their competition has, couldn't hurt either.

Still, if you want performance equal to or better than more expensive systems and leave your wallet a bit fuller, Thecus may be the way to go.

There won't be a full review of the N5200XXX. Use the new NAS Finder and NAS Charts to compare it with other products.

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