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Performance

As I mentioned earlier, testing was a bit of a struggle and I was only able to complete an iozone run for the TE100-MP2U using the NetUSB mode. But since that mode was the most equivalent to the only mode supported by the GUIP201, it's probably the fairest one to use.

Figures 10 and 11 show a summary of write and read throughput using my usual iozone test procedure for "large" file sizes from 32 MB to 1 GB. They show four cases:

  • Maxtor USB drive direct-attached to system running iozone (comparison baseline)
  • Maxtor USB drive network-attached to system running iozone via GUIP201
  • Crucial flash drive network-attached to system running iozone via GUIP201
  • Maxtor USB drive network-attached to system running iozone via TE100-MP2U in NetUSB mode

I also included the 12.5 MB/s 100 Mbps LAN plot for reference.

Write throughput comparison
Click to enlarge image

Figure 10: Write throughput comparison

Although these write numbers aren't the worst I have ever measured (that "honor" goes to Trendnet's TS-U200 Network Storage Server), they are nothin' to write home about either. While neither device approaches the speed of the direct-attached Maxtor drive, the IOGEAR GUIP201 does significantly better than the Trendnet, except for one thing.

You might notice that the 1 GB measurement is missing for the IOGEAR/Maxtor run. That's because I got a delayed write failure during the 1 GB test both times that I ran it.

Read performance in Figure 11 is really odd, with speeds far above the LAN connection's capability, indicating caching somewhere in the chain. I'm not really sure what is going on here, but both devices acted similarly.

Read throughput comparison
Click to enlarge image

Figure 11: Read throughput comparison

The only measurement that I was able to make of the Trendnet in its "Server" mode was via drag and drop. Writing a 272 MB folder of assorted content and sub-folders to the Maxtor drive attached to the TE100-MP2U took 398 seconds and reading it (after deleting it and emptying the trash to ensure that caching wasn't done) took 414 seconds, i.e. in both cases just under 4 minutes. Table 1 shows the results along with calculated throughput, which is even worse than the iozone measurement.

  Time Throughput
(MB/s)
Write 398 0.68
Read 414 0.66
Table 1: Trendnet TE100-MP2U file copy performance

Closing Thoughts

The old saying about getting something for nothing seems to apply to trying to cheap out on creating a NAS. While you can get a USB drive onto your LAN for under $60 with either of these devices, the results won't put a smile on your face. Either save your money toward a real NAS, or just keep using a share on one of your computers.

By the way, sharp-eyed readers will note that the lowest current price for the TE100-MP2U at the time of this writing is $63 from NewEgg. But since NewEgg is selling the the single-port TE100-MP1U for $48, I'd go that way (if you decide to get the Trendnet) and attach a USB hub if you need more devices.

If you still want to go this way and can put up with one-at-a-time access, then the IOGEAR gets the nod for ease of use and performance.

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