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NAS Reviews

Comparative Performance - Two Bay

Turing our attention to dual core Atom-based 2 disk NASes, the NAS Ranker below shows the filtered results. Ranking #10 overall, the Synology DS713+ Disk Station leads the pack. The ASUSTOR AS-202TE, ranking #28 overall, comes in fourth out of seven products in this filtered view. That's not too surprising, as both the performance leader, as well as the other two products ranked above the AS-202TE are using beefier versions of Atom processors running at higher clock speeds than the AS-204TE.

NAS Ranker for dual core Atom 2 bay NASes

NAS Ranker for dual core Atom 2 bay NASes

For the 2 bay comparison, I decided to compare the AS-202TE with the top-performing Synology DS713+ along with the Thecus N2560. The Thecus 2560, like its four bay sibling the N4560, has a slightly beefier processor (Intel CE5335) running at 1.6 GHz as compared to the Intel CE5310 running at 1.2 GHz that you find in the AS-20xTE NASes. While the Synology DS713+ is the clear winner in this comparison with a Total NAS ranking difference of 18 places between it and the AS-202TE, it also costs $242 more. The AS-202TE, on the other hand, is $81 cheaper than the Thecus N2560, but holds a total NAS rank one level above it. To drill down on the performance differences, I've compiled a NAS Ranker Performance Summary for these three products.

Looking at the sub-categories, the DS713+ easily beats both of the other two NASes in every category except for iSCSI where lower read performance on the DS713+ cost it a place in the rankings. Its write benchmarks are ranked #2 for all NAS products. The Thecus N2560 outranks the AS-202TE for both write benchmarks (#24 vs. #31) as well as read (#33 vs #41).

For a device that touts entertainment features, it was surprising to see that the AS-202TE was ranked #38 for Video benchmarks as compared to the Thecus N2560 (#19) and the Synology DS713+ (#15). The AS-202TE did achieve better rankings than the Thecus N2560 for backup (#21 vs. #39) as well as for Mixed Read/Write (#14 vs. #24).

Ranker Performance Summary comparison of the Synology DS-713+, ASUSTOR AS-202TE, and the Thecus N2560

Ranker Performance Summary comparison of the Synology DS-713+, ASUSTOR AS-202TE, and the Thecus N2560

Closing thoughts

ASUSTOR's AS-604T still sits at the top of the NAS Ranker if you filter results using an Atom-2 processor and 4 disks. At $588, the price has come down from when Tim reviewed it, but it's still the most expensive product in the filtered list. It's a high performance product and some people are willing to pay for to top performing model.

In its effort to reduce cost, ASUSTOR may have gone a bit too far in its choice of the least powerful "Berryville" CE5310. Although technically part of the Intel Atom family, the CE processors have more of a cost vs. performance focus, at least when it comes to NAS performance.

Looking at the NAS Ranker for both two and four drive NASes, the Thecus N2560 and N4560 both have a slightly lower ranking than their ASUSTOR AS-20xTE counterparts. But the N2560 priced at $339 is ranked #29 Vs. #28 for the AS-202TE at $258. But in categories that are most likely to be important to consumers, ie, Read, Write and Video performance, the less expensive N2560 holds a performance edge in all three categories.

For the four drive version, the $401 Thecus N4560's overall ranking is lower than the $428 ASUSTOR AS-204TE's (#34 Vs. #30). However, like the two disk models, the Thecus N4560 outperformed the AS-204TE in the Read, Write and Video performance sub-categories.

The bottom line is that a four bay NAS with dual core Atom-based processor, the Thecus N4560 is a better choice. But whether you choose the $401 Thecus or the $428 ASUSTOR AS-204TE, you'll have to spend quite a bit more to climb up the NAS ranker performance chart in this class.

For two bay devices, the choice seems fairly clear. If you want to save around $80, you could opt for the AS-202TE as compared to the lower ranked, but more expensive N2560. The price difference may be compelling enough to persuade some potential buyers. Alternatively, you could go to the top of the charts and purchase the Synology DS713+ but that's going to almost double your cost.

Updated 5/15/2014

If you opt for an ASUSTOR, keep in mind that they are still playing catchup on U.S. support. QNAP, Synology and Thecus all have US-based offices, with U.S. phone numbers you can call (check the "Contact US" links). Though ASUSTOR now has the "ASUSTOR College" populated with 39 "How To" articles, they have yet to establish US phone based tech support or an office to handle RMAs. Once they remedy this situation, they'll be in a better position to battle the incumbents.

Our previous caveats regarding the lack of U.S. support have been addressed. As of 15 May 2014, ASUSTOR has begun U.S. based phone and email support.

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