Performance - Ranking (more)
The RN314 and RN316 don't do nearly as well as the RN312, tying at #21. This rank has them beating only the older Buffalo TeraStation Pro Quad and ZFS-based Infortrend 500 EonNAS Pro. Perusing the Ranker Performance Summary below, it's hard to eke out any strong points. Its highest rank is 8th for rsync backup (21 MB/s), followed by a few #9 ranks for Video Playback (111 MB/s), RAID 5 Windows File Copy Read and RAID 10 Windows File Copy Read (both 98 MB/s).
NAS Ranker Performance summary NETGEAR RN314
But it's always good to double-check the Ranker results with a look at the benchmark charts. After flipping through a few of them, a different competitive picture emerges. We find that it's not that the RN314's performance is so bad, but more that there are so many other slightly better products in the ranking.
The RAID 5 File Copy Read chart below is typical, showing the difference between the RN314 and top-of-chart Synology DS1512+ as only 8 MB/s. In contrast, the difference between the lowest-performing Infortrend Eon NAS Pro 500 is 27 MB/s, a much more significant difference!
RAID 5 Windows File Copy Read - Atom-2 class
Performance differences seem most pronounced for mixed read/write and small file handling. The mixed Content Creation benchmark shows the RN314 at only 5 MB/s vs. the top-ranking Synology DS1513+ and 1813+ at 15 MB/s. The gap in the NASPT RAID 5 Directory Copy To NAS (write) benchmark is as broad as it can get with the RN314 at the bottom of the chart with 5 MB/s vs. the Synology DS1513+ / DS1813+ at the top at 21 MB/s.
NETGEAR has packed a lot into the ReadyNAS 300 platform with a revamped user interface, unlimited snapshots, flexible backup and many other features. Unfortunately, chart-topping performance didn't come along for the ride. As noted above, the competition in this class is fierce and the offerings from Synology, QNAP and Thecus just do a better job of tuning for performance.
On the other hand, you'd be hard-pressed to get a four-bay dual-core Atom based NAS that supports an optional expansion cabinet for under $500 or a two-bay for under $400 from those other guys. So if your budget is tight and you still want a good mix of features, performance and the option of future expansion, the ReadyNAS 300 series should stay on your radar.