Performance - File Copy
I left the results for the Vista SP1 1000 Mbps RAID 5 file copy write chart (Figure 6) unfiltered so that you could compare the 439 with five and six drive competitors. The 439 actually holds its own pretty well, even beating out the NETGEAR NVX by a few MB/s, which I would not interpret as a significant difference.
Figure 6: 1000 Mbps LAN Vista SP1 File Copy Write
Figure 7 shows the 1000 Mbps RAID 5 File Copy read. This time NVX significantly outperforms both the 439 and 639.
Figure 7: 1000 Mbps LAN Vista SP1 File Copy Read
Use the NAS Charts to further explore performance.
To test iSCSI performance, I set up a four-drive RAID 5 array on the 439 and allocated 10 GB of it as an iSCSI target. I then configured the Windows iSCSI initiator on the NAS Testbed machine to connect to the 439 and ran my standard Vista SP1 filecopy test. Both machines connected via Gigabit Ethernet with no jumbo frames used. I measured 64.9 MB/s for write and 87.5 MB/s for read.
The HD Tune Pro write benchmark plot in Figure 8 shows speed in MBytes per second, plotted across all sectors of the array. The average speed of 29.9 MB/s is significantly slower than the Vista SP1 filecopy test result, which is what I typically see with the other NASes that I have run this test on.
Figure 8: HD Tune Pro Benchmark Write Test
The HDTune Pro Benchmark read results are shown in Figure 9. The average this time is 55 MB/s, still below the Vista SP1 filecopy results.
Figure 9: HD Tune Pro Benchmark Read Test
The HDTune File Benchmark test in Figure 10 writes and reads a test file of selectable size (I used the maximum 512 MB) using block sizes ranging from 0.5 KB to 8192 KB (x-axis). If we concentrate on the typically-used 64 KB block size, we can eyeball around 55 MB/s for write and read, virtually the same as obtained with the 639 Pro.
Figure 10: HD Tune Pro File Benchmark Read Write Test
Now that I have tested both the TS-439 Pro and NETGEAR's NVX, you have the data to drive yourself crazy trying to decide between them. Both have many features and are well-matched in performance, although with the advantage going to the NVX, particularly for its read speed, which can approach 100 MB/s.
Pricewise, however, it's no contest. A 439 Pro equipped with two Seagate 1 TB ES.2 drives will run you $1120 ($800 + $160 / drive) vs. $1215 for the least expensive 2 TB RNDX4210 NVX. And if you want to downgrade to consumer grade drives like the WD Caviar Green, you can push that down to $980 for the 439. But you don't have that option with the NVX, which NETGEAR shows no signs of producing a BYOD version of.
In the end, both are pretty nice examples of the current state of the NAS art. Decisions, decisions...