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Features

Firmware at test time was 3.8.1 Build 20121205. When I first hit the 469L's IP address, I thought QNAP had made some major changes in the admin GUI given the view below that greeted me. But it turned out to be just a bit of window dressing. Once I clicked through to the Administration option after logging in, the same familiar interface was there.

New login look

New login look

The big addition in 3.8.1 is support for the previously-mentioned HD Station. This is QNAP's entry into the use-your-NAS-as-a-HTPC sweepstakes that some NAS makers are running these days.

HD Station is a collection of modules that can be loaded to support various media playback features. The current modules are shown in the screenshot I pieced together below (that's why the two scrollbars), which appears when you mosey over to the Applications > HD Station section of the admin GUI.

HD Station modules

HD Station modules

As he has with ASUSTOR and Thecus, Scott will soon be putting QNAP's media playback features to the test in another article.

You can explore the V3 firmware's features in the review or online demo. We also covered MyCloudNAS in the TS-112 review.

Performance

The TS-469L Pro was tested with 3.8.1 Build 20121205 firmware using our standard NAS test process.

The Benchmark Summary below shows pretty consistent Windows File Copy performance for RAID 0, 5 and 10 modes. RAID 0 write shows the highest results at 108 MB/s, with 98 and 102 MB/s for RAID 5 and 10, respectively. File Copy read has a little more variance, but is still consistent at 104, 102 and 100 MB/s for RAID 0, 5 and 10, respectively.

QNAP TS-469L Benchmark Summary

QNAP TS-469L Benchmark Summary

NASPT File copy results are higher than their Windows File Copy counterparts for write (133, 130, 128 MB/s) , but lower for read (96, 93, 93 MB/s) for RAID 0, 5 and 10 respectively.

iSCSI target write performance to target created on a RAID 5 volume came in at a very respectable 101 MB/s, with read much lower at 82 MB/s. As a test, I ran the full suite of benchmarks against an iSCSI volume, with surprising results described here.

Best attached backup performance of 112 MB/s was obtained with eSATA / NTFS and USB3 / FAT. The speed of the USB 2.0 connection limited the performance with all three formats to 27 - 28 MB/s.

Rsync backup to the NAS Testbed running DeltaCopy acting as an rsync target came in at a typically-measured 38 MB/s.

For a competitive look, I ran RAID 5 File Copy charts filtered for dual-core Atom processors and selected three other Intel Atom D2700-based NASes for comparison, i.e. the ASUSTOR AS-604T, Synology DS412+ and five-bay QNAP TS-569 Pro. Since all RAID 5 and 10 tests are run using four-drive volumes, the TS-569 Pro has no advantage (or disadvantage)

Although the competitors change positions from benchmark to benchmark, results are close enough that it would be difficult to detect a significant performance difference among the group in real-world use.

RAID 5 File Copy Performance comparison

RAID 5 File Copy Performance comparison

Conclusion

QNAP seems to sprout new NAS models faster than dandelions in a spring rain. But this sometimes this can lead to buyer confusion. If you're considering a four-bay QNAP NAS, you have the five options shown in Table 2 to choose from.

Model Processor Price
TS-469 Pro Intel Atom D2700 @ 2.13 GHz $794
TS-469L Intel Atom D2700 @ 2.13 GHz $629
SS-439 Pro Intel Atom N270 @ 1.6 GHz $491
TS-419P II Marvell Kirkwood 88F6282 @ 2 GHz $468
TS-412 Marvell Kirkwood 88F6261 @ 1.2 GHz $370
Table 2: Four-bay desktop QNAP NASes

Unless you really, really, really want lockable drive trays and a display screen, at least among this group, the TS-469L is the obvious choice.

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