Firmware version 4.2.3 was loaded onto the TS-431P and performance tests were run using the Revision 5 NAS test process. All tests were run using Western Digital Red 1 TB WD10EFRX (x4 SNB supplied).
The benchmark summary below compares the QNAP TS-431P and the Synology DS416. File copy Write and File Copy Read results were consistent across all RAID levels (RAID 0, 5, & 10) for both NASes. All results were close to 110 MB/s and approached the theoretical limit of single client testing on a single Gigabit connection. Similarly, the NASPT File Copy to NAS and NASPT File Copy from NAS scores were all within about 5% of each other for both NASes for all RAID levels.
Several sets of tests results stood out. For RAID 0, the TS-431P was almost 17% faster on the NASPT Directory Copy to NAS than the DS416. However, the TS-431P was 40% slower on the NASPT Directory Copy from NAS and 58% slower on the NASPT Content creation. Similarly, the TS-431P was almost 26% faster than the DS416 for NASPT RAID 5 Directory Copy from NAS and about 23% faster for the RAID 10 results on the NASPT Directory Copy to NAS.
For the USB 3.0 backup tests, the DS416 edged out the TP-431P on two of the three file systems tested (EXT3 and NTFS). The DS416 was quite a bit faster on the network backup tests turning in 58MB/s as compared to the 36.6 MB/s on the TS-431P. iSCSI read and write results on the two NASes were within 5% of each other.
QNAP TS-431P and Synology DS416 Benchmark summary comparison
To quickly highlight the major differences, I pulled the benchmark results for the two products into an Excel spreadsheet so that I could calculate the percent differences in performance compared to the TS-431P. A negative percentage means that the QNAP TS-431P is slower than the Synology DS416.
|Benchmark||QNAP TS-431P||Synology DS416||Percent Difference|
|File Copy Write Performance||110.2||109.7||0.5%|
|File Copy Read Performance||106.3||105.7||0.6%|
|RAID 5 File Copy Write Performance||109.4||108.4||0.9%|
|RAID 5 File Copy Read Performance||107.2||105.7||1.4%|
|RAID 10 File Copy Write Performance||109.8||108.1||1.5%|
|RAID 10 File Copy Read Performance||104.5||105.0||-0.5%|
|[NASPT] File Copy To NAS||113.9||111.8||1.8%|
|[NASPT] File Copy From NAS||110.6||110.8||-0.2%|
|[NASPT] Directory Copy To NAS||16.2||13.5||16.7%|
|[NASPT] Directory Copy From NAS||12.9||18.1||-40.3%|
|[NASPT] Content Creation||8.4||13.3||-58.3%|
|[NASPT] Office Productivity||60.8||57.9||4.8%|
|[NASPT] HD Playback & Record||111.6||107.7||3.5%|
|[NASPT] 4x HD Playback||112.2||112.6||-0.4%|
|[NASPT] RAID 5 File Copy To NAS||108.3||105.8||2.3%|
|[NASPT] RAID 5 File Copy From NAS||111.8||111.5||0.3%|
|[NASPT] RAID 5 Directory Copy To NAS||15.9||14.4||9.4%|
|[NASPT] RAID 5 Directory Copy From NAS||17.5||13.0||25.7%|
|[NASPT] RAID 5 Content Creation||10.1||10.5||-4.0%|
|[NASPT] RAID 5 Office Productivity||54.7||39.8||27.2%|
|[NASPT] RAID 5 HD Playback & Record||110.0||106.5||3.2%|
|[NASPT] RAID 5 4x HD Playback||112.7||111.4||1.2%|
|[NASPT] RAID 10 File Copy To NAS||113.4||113.0||0.4%|
|[NASPT] RAID 10 File Copy From NAS||109.7||105.3||4.0%|
|[NASPT] RAID 10 Directory Copy To NAS||16.3||12.6||22.7%|
|[NASPT] RAID 10 Directory Copy From NAS||17.1||16.5||3.5%|
|[NASPT] RAID 10 Content Creation||11.4||12.0||-5.3%|
|[NASPT] RAID 10 Office Productivity||55.5||56.5||-1.8%|
|[NASPT] RAID 10 HD Playback & Record||110.6||104.4||5.6%|
|[NASPT] RAID 10 4x HD Playback||111.7||110.2||1.3%|
|Backup to USB3 Drive - FAT Format||106.3||99.2||6.7%|
|Backup to USB3 Drive - EXT3 Format||87.5||89.3||-2.1%|
|Backup to USB3 Drive - NTFS Format||99.2||103.8||-4.6%|
|iSCSI Write to Target||90.4||89.0||1.5%|
|iSCSI Read From Target||90.4||94.2||-4.2%|
Table 2: Percent differences as compared to the QNAP TS-431P (MB/s)
The chart below shows the Total NAS Ranker scores for the eight least expensive four-bay NASes. The QNAP TS-431P has a Total NAS ranking of #9 as compared to the #5 ranking for the Synology DS416.
TOTAL NAS Rank for RAID5 test method Revision 5 NASes
Looking at the subcategories, the QNAP TS-431P had category wins for both the Write Benchmarks as well as Read Benchmarks. The relatively poor results for RAID 0 NASPT Content creation dragged the overall category ranking for Mixed Read Write to #9. It's worth noting, however, that the RAID 5 and RAID 10 NASPT Content Creation results were only 4% -5% lower than those of the DS416. Not surprisingly, the Backup category ranking for the TS-431P was dragged down by the relatively slow network backup results. Other categories, as you can see, were very close for many of the tests with the TS-431P often holding a slight edge.
Ranker Performance Summary comparison of the QNAP TS-431P and Synology DS416
It's rare to see two competing NASes that turn in so many results within our 5% tolerance for rankings. For all the major file copy read and file copy write tests, the results were nearly identical. So in practical terms, you probably wouldn't notice a difference in performance between the QNAP TS-431P and the Synology DS416.
Looking at the NAS Ranker, it would seem that the cheaper, #8 ranked Synology DS416j might be a better value. But both of the compared NASes in this review have dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, tool-less disk trays, and hot swappable drives - all of which are missing in the DS416j. And both have significantly faster processors that could yield even more performance in a link-aggregated configuration.
In the end,either one of these NASes would be a good choice for the Home/SOHO environment. You can save a few dollars by buying the TS-431P, but ultimately, your decision may come down to whether you prefer the features offered by QNAP's QTS or Synology's DSM operating systems.