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The Thecus N2560 was tested with OS6.build_195 firmware. We used our standard NAS test process with RAID 0 and 1 volumes.

Windows File Copy tests show highest read and write throughput across RAID 0 and lower with RAID 1. Highest write throughput measured was 74 MB/s for RAID 0 and highest read was 94 MB/s for RAID 0. RAID 1 was lower with 66 MB/s for write and 51 MB/s for read.

Thecus N2560 benchmark summary

Thecus N2560 benchmark summary

Intel NASPT File Copy results were comparable for both write and read. Highest NASPT write throughput of 91 MB/s was in RAID 0; highest read was 88 MB/s, in RAID 0 as well.

Network performance to an rsync target was 36 MB/s for write. The N2560 does not support iSCSI.

Attached backup tests were run with our standard USB 3.0 drive with best throughput of 39 MB/s obtained using USB 3.0 and a FAT-formatted drive. There is no eSATA port for eSATA backup.

The best way to get a competitive view of the Thecus N2560's performance is with the NAS Ranker. Selecting the Atom-2 (dual-core Atom) class shows the Thecus N2560 at a #16 rank out of 29 products ranked. It's #16 out of 24 places if you look at tied rankings in front of it. Comparing rankings of only dual-bay NASes in this class, the Thecus N2560 is in last place.

Thecus N2560 NAS Ranker Performance Summary

Thecus N2560 NAS Ranker Performance Summary

Given all its low rankings, it is more helpful to concentrate on the N2560's strengths, which include rsync backup and its RAID 1 benchmarks, both read and write and Windows File Copy and NASPT.

Closing Thoughts

Updated 8/27/2013

The single-chip Berryville / Evansport platform is an interesting animal. Although it still bears the Atom moniker, its single-chip architecture and integrated graphics processor make it more like something from Marvell's Armada family than other dual-core Atoms like the D2550 and D2700 that power NASes that tend to top our NAS Charts. But as long as Intel refers to this device as an Atom, so will we and treat it as such.

However, the chart below shows the N2560 can sit well below the performance of two-chip (CPU & Companion / Southbridge) Atom products, while at the same time not distancing itself from other single-chip (SoC) NASes. In other words, the CE5335 may bear the Atom name, but it behaves more like SoCs from other makers.

RAID 1 NASPT File copy write

RAID 1 NASPT File copy write

So is the $339 MSRP a good deal or not? On one hand, the OS has some nice features and there are digital audio and video out ports. Those ports open up its potential uses to things like an HTPC or digital music storage/player, which some other NASes, such as the Buffalo TeraStation 5200 and Synology DS713+ do not have the hardware for. I haven't revisited the Thecus-as-HTPC since the review back last November, but back then it was still very much a work in progress.

If you're willing to forego possible use as a media player and looking for performance, the Buffalo TeraStation 5200 sells for only $60 more, with two 1 TB disks. And the Synology DS713+ sells for $100 more, but with much better file copy performance and many more useful apps.

If price is more your focus, the Buffalo LinkStation 420, currently around $230 with two 1 TB drives, performance ranks only slightly behind the N2560 if the Thecus were ranked as a single-core SoC NAS, which it's not. If ranked with the few dual-core SoC NASes we've tested, the N2560 is currently around $30 cheaper than Synology's DS213+, but generally lags behind it in performance, sometimes significantly.

If you're looking for a NAS to double as a work-in-progress media player, the N2560 may fill that void. But if you're looking a RAID 1 NAS with high performance at a decent price, you may be best served looking elsewhere.

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