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Performance

My main interest in reviewing the LX195 was mainly to see how WHS ran on an Intel Atom platform. Testing was done with latest 2.1.12.27366 firmware and file duplication disabled. I tested with a gigabit Ethernet connection between the 195 and testbed machine and did not test with a jumbo frame connection since HP / WHS don't support enabling it. I also didn't test with a 100 Mbps connection because the gigabit-connected results showed using 100 Mbps would severely limit performance.

Figure 8 shows plots of the write and read performance vs. "large" file sizes from 32 MB to 4 GB with a 1000 Mbps LAN connection. As with the EX MediaSmart, there is significant write cache boost.

Performance benchmarks

Figure 8: Performance benchmarks

However, average performance over the 32 MB to 4 GB file sizes, even with cached results above 125 MB/s removed from the average, comes in at a chart-topping 85.9 MB/s for writes, which beats out both the EX487 at 74 MB/s and the second-place NETGEAR ReadyNAS Pro at 82.6 MB/s.

The results were different for reads, however, with the 195 measuing a significantly lower 61.5 MB/s, vs. 69.7 MB/s for the EX487.

Competitive

For the competitive comparison, I chose a few recently-reviewed high-performance single-drive NASes, the Synology DS109+ and Buffalo LinkStation XHL. I also included the 195's bigger sibling, the HP MediaSmart EX487, even though it has multiple internal drives, because I wanted to see how the Atom stacked up against the 487's Intel Celeron. Since WHS essentially accesses only one drive at a time in real time anyway, the 195's single drive vs. the 487's multiple drives shouldn't matter.

Figure 9 shows the unusually high caching in both HPs, with the 487's effect even higher than the 195's, most likely due to its 2 GB of RAM vs. the 195's 1 GB. From file sizes 512 MB on up, however, the 195's throughput holds up pretty well, staying above both the Synology and Buffalo NASes.

Competitive write comparison  - 1000 Mbps LAN

Figure 9: Competitive write comparison - 1000 Mbps LAN

Figure 10 compares the read performances, where rankings are similar. But note the EX487's extreme throughput fall-off above the 1 GB file size. The Buffalo, with its new Marvell Kirkwood processor still comes in last, with PowerPC-powered Synology and Atom-based LX195 duking it out for second and third places.

Competitive read comparison  - 1000 Mbps LAN

Figure 10: Competitive read comparison - 1000 Mbps LAN

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