Performance - Comparative
To put the 7510's performance in perspective, I created a set of custom performance charts using the NAS Finder to compare a group of D2700 Atom-based products with the N7510, i.e. Synology's DS1512+ and DS412+, QNAP's TS-569 Pro and Thecus' own N4800. I widened the group beyond seven-bay NASes, because only Thecus makes those.
The performance spread is relatively small among the group, with the widest range found in the Windows File copy benchmark. For both this and its NASPT equivalent, the N7510 landed at the bottom of the heap. This doesn't indicate a bad performer; just the weakest in a group of high performance NASes. Unless you were doing an awful lot of large file reads and paying close attention, I doubt you would be able to tell the difference in performance among this group.
RAID 5 file copy performance comparison
Performance - Encryption
As I have been doing recently, I checked the performance hit for encryption. Thecus doesn't support folder-level encryption and doesn't allow you to encrypt an already-created volume. So I had to kill my RAID 5 volume and re-create it. Fortunately, Thecus' Quick RAID option took less than five minutes to create an AES-256 encrypted volume with four 1 TB drives.
I was surprised by the pop-up that said that the encrypted volume could not be created without inserting a USB flash drive. But when I restarted the system the next day, I saw the benefit with a log message that told me that the encrypted volume had automatically been remounted. This method would allow an administrator to control access to an encrypted volume simply by inserting and removing the flash drive vs. having to log in and check a box.
The results are summarized in Table 2 below and show the serious toll that encryption takes on performance.
|Win File Copy Write||100.28||15.68||-84%|
|Win File Copy Read||89.88||30.72||-66%|
Table 2: Encrypted folder performance comparison
Use the NAS Charts to further explore and compare the N7510's performance
Thecus is marketing the N7510 as "The World's 1st High-Value 7-bay NAS". Although its performance is pretty good, I don't see the "high" value. According to Pricegrabber, the 7510's pricing currently ranges from $722 to $903. The next step up in 7 bay NASes is the Intel Core 2 Duo powered N7700PRO that sells for between $789 and $1042.
Since the 7700PRO was tested with my previous process, I don't have any data to directly compare. But unless Thecus has really screwed up, it should perform better or equal to the 7510, comes with twice as much RAM and supports an optional 10 GbE adapter. I'd say either one is a pretty good value in a seven-bay NAS.