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LaCie Network Space 2The LaCie Network Space 2 has been added to the NAS Charts.

The Network Space 2 (NS2) is an improved version of LaCie's original single-drive Network Space, which was notable as one of the slowest NASes with a Gigabit Ethernet port that we've tested.

In addition to much-improved performance, the NS2 sports some handy new features including the ability to function as a direct-attached USB drive or a NAS. You do, however, need to parition the single volume into dedicated space for each of these modes. Other new features include Apple Time Machine support and built-in BitTorrent downloader.

The NS2's monlithic black plastic cabinet makes it look identical to its predecessor, including a downward-facing LED and ports as shown in Figure 1.

LaCie Network Space 2 front and rear panels

Figure 1: LaCie Network Space 2 front and rear panels

The cabinet is so monolithic that I couldn't open it without risking cracking the plastic. And since the processor has a heatsink over it this time, I couldn't positively ID it. But I suspect that a Marvell Kirkwood is in there, probably the 800 MHz flavor.

The NS2 is very quiet with its single 1 TB drive and no fan. It draws only 10 W with the drive spinning and 6 W with the programmable "Eco Mode" kicked in to spin the drive down.

Tests were run with 1.0.2 firmware using our standard test process. Write and read performance with a Gigabit LAN connection are plotted below. Cache boost at lower file sizes is moderate, but performance falls off considerably at file sizes 256 MB and higher. Read speeds also fall off, but not as much as write.

LaCie Network Space 2 Throughput vs. file size

Figure 2: LaCie Network Space 2 Throughput vs. file size

Average write performance using a Gigabit Ethernet connection averaged 40.3 MB/s for file sizes between 32 MB and 4 GB, with cached behavior not included in the average calculation. Average read performance was slightly higher, measuring 43.4 MB/s. This performance is in line with other Marvell Kirkwood based single drive NASes including the Buffalo LinkStation Pro LS-XHL.

File copy write performance of 14.7 MB/s using our Vista SP1-based test was much lower and more reflective of the speeds for larger file sizes indicated in the iozone-based tests in Figure 2. Read file copy was also reflective of the iozone results, coming in at 46.9 MB/s.

File copy write ranking

Figure 3: File copy write ranking

Since the NS2 can do manual backups to an attached USB drive, I copied the file copy test folder over to the NS2's internal drive, then ran backup (Copy) jobs. With the USB drive formatted in NTFS and FAT32, I measured 4.87 and 4.92 MB/s respectively—not very impressive.

Read the full review.

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