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Performance - Competitive

For a competitive comparison, I chose the four top-performing RAID 5 NASes tested on the new test platform: the NETGEAR ReadyNAS Pro, Thecus N3200 Pro and Synology DS508. I also included the Terastation Pro II even though it was tested on the old test platform, to contrast the Tera III's performance improvement.

Figure 8 shows the products' RAID 5 write performance. Unfortunately, the ReadyNAS Pro's unusually high cached performance compresses the plot and makes it hard to see the performance difference once you get out beyond caching at the 256 MB file size and higher. But if you look at the table below the plots, you see the ReadyNAS Pro coming in first with performance hovering around 40 MB/s, then the Synology around 30 MB/s and the Thecus and Tera III turning in about equal performance in the low 20 MB/s. The TeraStation Pro II is left in the dust with speeds in the low teens.

Competitive RAID 5 write comparison  - 1000 Mbps LAN

Figure 8: Competitive RAID 5 write comparison - 1000 Mbps LAN

Figure 9 compares the read performance, which is a bit harder to sort out visually, except for the TeraStation Pro II. You really have to look at the averaged values, which come in at 57.9, 53.3, 52.4 and 48.3 MB/s for the NETGEAR, Buffalo, Thecus and Synology, respectively.

Competitive RAID 5 read comparison  - 1000 Mbps LAN

Figure 9: Competitive RAID 5 read comparison - 1000 Mbps LAN

Closing Thoughts

As with the LinkStation Pro XHL and single-drive NASes, the TeraStation III puts Buffalo back into serious competition in the highly-competitive four-drive RAID 5 NAS field. With average RAID 5 and 10 read speeds in the 50 MB/s neighborhood, 2 TB of storage and a current price as low as $875 (although typical prices are closer to $1000), the TeraStation III is a pretty attractive choice for buyers looking for a high-performance business-focused NAS without "server" features that they don't need. And the 3 year warranty sweetens the deal even more.

Check out the slideshow See the slideshow for an admin interface walkthrough and internal photos

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