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Performance and Closing Thoughts

As with all our NAS testing, iozone was used to check out the file system performance on the V2 (the full testing setup and methodology are described on this page). Tests were run with 100 and 1000 Mbps LAN connections and also with USB. The gigabit-connected tests were run with both jumbo frame capability disabled and with 4k jumbo frames.

To ensure connection at the intended speeds, the iozone test machine and the V2 were manually moved between a NETGEAR GS108 10/100/1000Mbps switch for gigabit-speed testing and a 10/100 switch for 100 Mbps testing.

NOTES:

  • Firmware version tested was 1.0.6
  • Keep in mind that the maximum raw data rate for 100Mbps Ethernet is 12500 Kbytes/sec and 125000 Kbytes/sec for gigabit

I generated comparison plots of the iozone test results including the Synology DS-106e, WD NetCenter, Buffalo Technology Gigabit Linkstation, Qnap TS101 and original EDmini.

What I found is that the V2's performance is greatly improved over the original EDmini, even with a 100 Mbps LAN connection. The Marvell processor is also speedy enough to take advantage of jumbo frames—at least the 4k size that I tested—to provide an additional speed boost. Figures 6 and 7 show write and read performance, respectively, with a gigabit LAN connection.

LaCie Ethernet disk mini Write performance - gigabit LAN

Figure 6: Write performance - gigabit LAN (click image to enlarge)

LaCie Ethernet disk mini Read performance - gigabit LAN

Figure 7: Read performance - gigabit LAN (click image to enlarge)

A negative surprise, however, was the performance when the V2 used a USB connection. Figure 8 shows a comparison of write performance using different operational modes. The original EDmini's USB-connected speed is right up there with the V2's when it is connected using gigabit Ethernet w/ 4k jumbo frames. But the V2's USB-connected speed is only slightly better than the original EDmini's using a 100 Mbps LAN connection.

LaCie Ethernet disk mini Write performance - mode comparison

Figure 8: Write performance - mode comparison (click image to enlarge)

Figure 9 shows read performance, which is better across the board than write, but still has relatively slow USB-connected throughput. Note that I didn't include the original EDmini data because its speeds indicated cached rather than from-the-NAS reads.

LaCie Ethernet disk mini Read performance - mode comparison

Figure 9: Read performance - mode comparison (click image to enlarge)
Check out the slideshow A full set of performance plots can be found in the slideshow.
And don't forget to use the NAS Charts to see how the V2 stacks up against all the NASes we've tested.

In all, LaCie has done a great job of updating the EDmini with greatly improved performance, support for attaching external USB drives, a UPnP AV server and the unique ability to support both Ethernet and USB network connections.

It's too bad that the changes made to make it easier to switch between network and USB connection had such a negative effect on USB-attached performance. But given that the networked performance imiproved so much, the V2 is still worth considering if you're in the market for a speedy single-drive NAS.

Note!Note: The V2 won't reach U.S. stores until next month (February 2007), although it's been available outside the U.S. since October. In the meantime LaCie is clearing inventory of the original EDmini's and NewEgg has the 250 GB model on sale for $100.

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