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The NAS was tested with firmware using our standard NAS test process. Since the NAS-2 uses the same processor, RAM and Ethernet components, all testing was done using the NAS-4 review sample. The NAS-4 tests used four drives configured in single RAID 0, 5 and 10 volumes. The NAS-2 tests used two drives in single RAID 0 and 1 volumes.

The NAS-4 Benchmark Summary below shows Windows File Copy writes ranging from a low of 39 MB/s in RAID 5 to a high of 51 MB/s with RAID 0 volumes. Lowest File Copy Read was 74 MB/s in RAID 10 and highest was again RAID 0 at 94 MB/s. NASPT results followed the same pattern, but with different results as they usually show. The NAS-4 clearly likes reading better than writing.

Seagate NAS-4 Benchmark Summary

Seagate NAS-4 Benchmark Summary

The NAS-2 results showed the same preference for read with a two-drive RAID 0 volume in the large file Windows Filecopy and NASPT File Copy tests. The only exception was RAID1 NASPT File Copy where write and read were about the same at 60 MB/s.

Seagate NAS-4 Benchmark Summary

Seagate NAS-2 Benchmark Summary

Attached backup results were very similar between tests with two USB 3.0 connected drives in RAID 1 and four in RAID 5. With no built-in formatter, we got results only for FAT32 and NTFS formatted drives with the former coming in around 50 MB/s for both volume types and the latter close to 60 MB/s from a RAID 5 volume and 54 MB/s for the RAID1. For rsync tests, I could get a connection, but no backup when testing from a RAID1 volume. But when I tried it again with RAID5, it ran and yielded 36 MB/s throughput.

iSCSI reads and writes were different for both RAID1 and 5 volumes. Lowest performance was 38 MB/s for writes to the RAID 5 volume and highest was 58 MB/s reads from the same volume.

Comparative Performance - Four Bay

At the current price of $360 for the diskless STUC100 version, the Seagate NAS-4 is the fourth least expensive four-bay NAS we have reviewed and beats the three less expensive NASes with a performance rank of 45 vs. the next best rank of 54 for QNAP's TS-420 (lower rank is better).

But for $20 more, you could get a Thecus N4560, which is ranked significantly higher at #34 and powered with an Intel Evansport Atom. My little calculator says buying diskless would be better, too, since buying the Seagate ST4000VN000 4 TB drives from Amazon at $165 a pop totals $1020 (including $360 for the naked NAS) vs. the $1180 Amazon is showing (at time of review) for the 16 TB STCU16000100.

NAS Ranker - 4 bay NASes by ascending price

NAS Ranker - 4 bay NASes by ascending price

Comparing the Ranker Performance Summary below shows details of the performance sub-ranks that go into the total rank. Strengths (low numbers) include Video Playback and small folder read/writes (NASPT Office Productivity). Worst sub-rank (highest number) is NASPT RAID 5 File Copy Read even though the 81 MB/s throughput itself isn't too shabby.

Ranker Performance Summary - four bay

Ranker Performance Summary - four bay

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