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Performance - Competitive Comparison

The 4100P doesn't rank near the top of the current NAS charts, which are dominated by products with Intel CPUs, more memory and RAID 5 write speeds in the 40 - 50 MB/s range. Instead, it sits near the top of the RAID 5 middle group that has speeds in the mid to high teens.

So the comparison products I chose came from that group and include the QNAP TS-409 Pro, Synology DS408 and D-Link DNS-343. The DNS-343 is closest to the 4100P in price, with both coming in around $420. The Qnap and Synology pricing reflects their abundance of features and premium product positioning with prices around $580 and $850 (!) respectively.

Figure 9 shows the DS408 clearly outperforming the 4100P and other products for RAID 5 write with a gigabit LAN connection. The other products are pretty evenly matched for filesizes from 64 MB on up.

Competitive comparison - RAID 5 write, 1000 Mbps

Figure 9: Competitive comparison - RAID 5 write, 1000 Mbps

Figure 10 compares RAID 5 read performance under the same conditions with the DS408 once again taking the top position. But the 4100P makes a better showing this time, coming in at second place.

Competitive comparison - RAID 5 write, 1000 Mbps

Figure 10: Competitive comparison - RAID 5 read, 1000 Mbps

So the Synology DS408 is the clear winner in this comparison, but at almost twice the price of the 4100P!

Closing Thoughts

The 4100P brings Thecus' four-drive offering up to date hardware-wise with the refreshed quad-drives from QNAP and Thecus. In terms of features, however, it ranks above the D-Link DNS-343, but below the QNAP and Synology products, both of which seem to be in a steel-cage death match to cram the most features into their NASes.

Thecus' product line still has a web GUI that only an engineer could love; a quality that QNAP's GUI seems to share. In contrast, Synology has clearly broken away from the trio with its AJAX-based DSM2.0 GUI. But in the end, all three interfaces will let you get the job done and probably won't be the deciding factor in your choice.

If you have been thinking about a D-Link DNS-343, but are looking for a bit more in the feature department, you might want to add the 4100 Pro to your short list. But only if you're comfortable with a smaller company and don't mind hunting around and dealing with lesser-known etailers to find product.

The 4100 Pro's U.S. MSRP is $435. But at the time of review, the N4100 Pro has limited U.S. availability with the etailers who are carrying it, primarily offering it bundled with drives. So if you must have it now, you're going to pay a premium price!

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