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Performance

The My Book Live was tested with 01.02.03 firmware using our latest Revision 4 NAS test process. Tests were run using a 1000 Mbps LAN connection.

The new Benchmarks NAS Chart feature was used to generate the benchmark summary for the Live shown in Figure 11.

My  Book Live NAS Benchmark summary

Figure 11: My Book Live NAS Benchmark summary

As noted earlier, I couldn't get performance anywhere near the 100 MB/s that WD claims for reading. Highest read throughput was 78.4 MB/s from the Windows (7)-based File copy test, which is mostly large sequential file transfers. Win 7 has numerous file copy enhancements which usually show NASes in their best possible light. While 78.4 MB/s reads ain't bad, they aren't 100 MB/s, as WD claims.

Updated 11/1/2010

In a follow-up telcon, WD said it used Copymark to transfer single 5 GB and 22 GB test files to achieve the 100 MB/s read spec. The machine used was an i7, Windows 7 32 bit with the files coming from a WD Black 2 TB drive. WD also said that they got read performance very similar to my test results when they read smaller (1 GB) files.

So, that solves the mystery. If you have a machine with a fast CPU, Win 7 (or OS with equivalent file copy optimizations), PCIe based Gigabit Ethernet and a fast enough hard drive to support > 100 MB/s transfers, and you are transferring 5 GB + files, then you'll get 100 MB/s.

The Intel NASPT File Copy tests are usually lower than the Windows file copy results and are here, too. NASPT File Copy From NAS (read) clocked in at 70 MB/s.

I couldn't perform backup performance or iSCSI tests because the My Book Live doesn't support those features.

To see how the Live fares against other single-drive NASes, I ran Windows Write (Figure 12) and Read (Figure 13) File copy charts.

My Book Live File Copy performance comparison - write

Figure 12: My Book Live File Copy performance comparison - write

The Live is almost four times faster than the My Book World "white bar" for write and about 2.5 times as fast for read. But it also beats Buffalo's new Marvell-powered LinkStation Pro VL slightly on write and by a good 10 MB/s for read.

My Book Live File Copy performance comparison - read

Figure 12: My Book Live File Copy performance comparison - read

Use the NAS Charts to further explore performance.

Closing Thoughts

If you can live with the Live's simplified feature set and lack of USB ports, then it's a pretty good buy for a single drive NAS. The 1 TB version is currently selling for around $150 vs. the Buffalo LinkStation VL's $178. The 2TB version is a similar deal, only $199 vs. $230 for the Buffalo.

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