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Features

Buffalo has spiffed up its admin GUI a bit in its latest Buffalo OS. But it still lacks the ability to add apps / modules like Synology, QNAP and some others. You can see a screenshot of the "Easy Admin" landing page below.

TeraStation Easy Admin landing page

TeraStation Easy Admin landing page

Craig Ellison reviewed the Features of the TeraStation NAS System back in July, so hit that excellent review for a more in-depth look.

In addition to Craig's review, when researching the Buffalo as a potential purchase, you can also look at the TeraStation NAS System section of Buffalo's website and also the TS5200's data sheet.

Performance

The TeraStation 5200 was tested with 2.40-1.28 firmware, which was upgraded after receiving the product. We used our standard NAS test process with RAID 0 and 1 volumes.

Windows File Copy tests show slightly lopsided read and write throughput across RAID 0 and more consistency with RAID 1. Highest write throughput measured was 87 MB/s for RAID 0 and highest read was 101 MB/s for RAID 0. RAID 1 was lower, but more consistent with 73 MB/s for write and 79 MB/s for read.

Buffalo TeraStation 5200 benchmark summary

Buffalo TeraStation 5200 benchmark summary

Intel NASPT File Copy results were significantly higher for write and consistently lower for read. Highest NASPT write throughput of 118 MB/s was in RAID 0; highest read was 81 MB/s, in RAID 0 as well.

iSCSI performance was 35 MB/s for write, with a read throughput of 45 MB/s. No rsync numbers are shown because Buffalo still doesn't support rsync to non-Buffalo products.

Attached backup tests were run with our standard Startech USB 3.0 eSATA to SATA Hard Drive Docking Station (SATDOCKU3SEF) containing a WD Velociraptor WD3000HLFS 300 GB drive. Best backup throughput of 39 MB/s was obtained using USB 3.0 and an NTFS-formatted drive. Coincidentally, the drive formatter won't format USB drives, so you'll need to prepare your drive before attaching to the TS5200.

The best way to get a competitive view of the TS5200's performance is with the NAS Ranker. Selecting the Atom-2 (dual-core Atom) class shows the TS5200 tied at #14 rank with NETGEAR's ReadyNAS 312 out of 29 products ranked. Comparing rankings of only dual-bay NASes in this class, the TS5200 ties with the NETGEAR for a #4 rank out of six products ranked, beating only Thecus' new N2560 "Berryville" Atom based NAS.

Digging a little deeper into the results, we can see that the TS5200 actually looks to have reasonably high results when configured in RAID 1. But RAID 0 performance (and iSCSI in RAID 1) really pushed it down in the rankings.

Buffalo TeraStation 5200 NAS Ranker Performance Summary

Buffalo TeraStation 5200 NAS Ranker Performance Summary

Closing Thoughts

At about $425 on Amazon and configured with two 1 TB disks, the TeraStation 5200 is one of the most cost-effective dual-core Atom class NASes out there. However, the performance of the TS5200 is up to 30% lower than some of its competitors in some benchmarks. With the Buffalo you also won't get a flashy NAS user interface and ability to load application packages like you get with some other NASes.

If bells and whistles or the best absolute performance are what you are looking for, you may be better served looking elsewhere. But for basic RAID1 storage at a nice price, the TS5200 could be a decent option.

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