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The N8850 was tested with 2.04.01 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 well-matched read and write throughput across all tested volume formats. Highest write throughput measured was 106 MB/s for RAID 5 and highest read was 105 MB/s for RAID 0.

Thecus N8850 benchmark summary

Thecus N8850 benchmark summary

Intel NASPT File Copy results measured about 20 MB/s higher for write and about 10 MB/s lower for read. Highest NASPT write throughput of 133 MB/s was in RAID 0; highest read was 94 MB/s, in RAID 5.

Keep in mind the maximum theoretical throughput with a Gigabit Ethernet connection is 125 MB/s. So results higher than that have some write cache effect baked in. The file copy test results are so similar to the N10850 and even N6850's that they tell me we are looking at something limiting the performance. Some of this could be our testbed, but I suspect some is the single Gigabit Ethernet connection being used for the test. Unfortunately, the current testbed doesn't have 10 GbE test capability.

iSCSI performance of 101 MB/s for write rank the N8850 in the #2 position behind QNAP's TS-1079 Pro at 106 MB/s for uP-2 class NASes (based on dual-core general-purpose processors). Read throughput of 95 MB/s comes in also at #2, but behind iXsystems' FreeNAS Mini Plus at 97 MB/s. In real-world use, however, you probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference between any products in this class.

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. Best backup throughput of 115 MB/s was obtained using eSATA and a FAT-formatted drive and put the N8850 at the top of that chart for uP-2 class NASes.

Since Thecus doesn't have a drive formatter, I could not test backup for an EXT3 formatted drive. As we saw with the N10850, USB 2.0 results of ~40 MB/s were ususually high, but valid nonetheless.

Network backup to a DeltaCopy target on our NAS Testbed system measured 38 MB/s. For comparison, best network backup measured to date is still 44 MB/s with a NETGEAR ReadyNAS Pro 2.

The best way to get a competitive view of the N8850's performance is with the NAS Ranker. Selecting the uP-2 class shows the NAS in a three-way tie for #2 rank with QNAP's TS-1079 Pro and iXsystems' FreeNAS Mini Plus behind (surprise!) the Thecus N6850.

I pulled detailed Ranker Performance Summaries for the N6850 and N8850 and put them side-by-side in the graphic below. If you compare the numbers, you see that the ranking is very close and due only to minor differences in performance here and there.

Thecus N6850 & N8850 NAS Ranker Performance Summaries Compared

Thecus N6850 & N8850 NAS Ranker Performance Summaries Compared

Closing Thoughts

As noted in the N10850 review, our test process really can't push NASes as powerful as the N8850 to their true limits. To really take advantage of a NAS this powerful, you would need to use it with at least aggregated Gigabit NICs, or preferably one of the recommended 10 GbE adapters. And you would probably want to run multi-user benchmarks against it too.

Suffice it to say that if you're looking at powerful Intel-powered NASes that support optional 10 GbE connections, you should consider any of the Thecus Top Tower line.

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