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The StorCenter ix4-300d was tested with firmware using our standard NAS test process.

The Benchmark summary below shows a good deal of variation between Windows Filecopy write tests. Best throughput of 76 MB/s was with RAID 10, worst was 55 MB/s with RAID 5 and RAID 0 landed in the middle at 65 MB/s. Windows Filecopy reads also had a good deal of separation, but best results of 89 MB/s were with RAID 5 and RAID 0 and 10 were the same at 76 MB/s.

NAS Benchmark Summary

Iomega StorCenter ix4-300d Benchmark Summary

Intel NASPT File copy writes were much higher than Windows file copy with 101 MB/s vs. 65 MB/s for RAID 0, 82 MB/s vs. 55 MB/s for RAID 5 and 90 MB/s vs. 63 MB/s for RAID 10. NASPT reads tracked more closely with Windows File copy results for RAID 0 (72 vs. 76 MB/s), RAID 5 (86 vs. 89 MB/s) and RAID 10 (77 vs. 76 MB/s).

iSCSI performance of 66 MB/s for write and 72 MB/s for read placed the ix4-300d in mid-chart for all four-drive NASes compared.

Attached backup tests had to be hand-timed due to log time-stamps with only one-minute resolution. Since there is no built-in formatter, we tested only FAT and NTFS formats, with best case of 49 MB/s obtained with the test drive connected via USB 3.0 and NTFS formatted.

Rsync backup to the NAS Testbed running DeltaCopy acting as an rsync target came in at a ho-hum 28 MB/s. We previously were not able to test rsync backup. But this time Iomega clued us that it works only if the target rsync server has a username of rsync with no password. You don't actually enter this on the ix4, because you can only enter login credentials if you enable SSH rsync. The screenshot below may help to explain this a little better. You also need to enter the IP address of the rsync server in the To: box. The ix4's network browser won't find it.

Iomega ix4-300d rsync configuration

Iomega ix4-300d rsync configuration

Because of the change in test process, we can't directly compare the -300d to its ix4-200d predecessor. So we compared it to other Marvell-based 4-bay NASes that were tested with the current benchmark methods, namely the Synology DS413j and QNAP TS- 412.

The plot composite below shows Windows and NASPT RAID 5 file copy write and read results for the group. This is first time since we've been doing these composite comparisons that the rankings came out the same in all four benchmarks. So Iomega's choice of the Armada SoC looks like a good move since it takes top place in all four benchmarks.

RAID 5 File Copy Performance Comparison

RAID 5 File Copy Performance Comparison

For fun, now let's compare the ix4-300d against some Atom-powered products. Remember that some Intel-based NASes without any drives cost about as much as the Iomega with 4 2 TB drives.

Iomega StorCenter ix4-300d RAID 5 File Copy Write Comparison against Intel models

Iomega StorCenter ix4-300d RAID 5 File Copy Write Comparison against Intel models

For RAID 5 Windows File Copy...ouch! The ix4-300d has about half the throughput of the Synology DS412+. But, with loaded with four Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 2 TB, drives, the Synology is about 40% more expensive than the Iomega.

For RAID 5 Windows File Copy Read, however, the 300d fares much better, lagging behind the new ASUSTOR AS-604T by only a few MB/s. Not too shabby. But there is still a 20 MB/s gap between the 300d and the top-ranking Synology DS412+.

Iomega StorCenter ix4-300d RAID 5 File Copy Read Comparison against Intel models

Iomega StorCenter ix4-300d RAID 5 File Copy Read Comparison against Intel models

Use the NAS Charts to further explore performance.

Closing Thoughts

The ix4-300d is a higher-performing replacement for the ix4-200d and has current street pricing half as much as its 8 TB dual-core Intel Atom based px4-300d sibling ($780 vs. $1450). You don't have to pay such a high premium to step up to an Atom-based NAS, however. You could do better for performance, features and price with the top-ranking Atom-based Synology DS412+, currently street-priced around $625 and adding in $384 for four equivalent Seagate 2 TB drives.

But if your budget doesn't allow for the Intel premium and you're just fine with a single-volume NAS, Iomega has finally brought its performance level up to where you can focus your decision on features.

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