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NAS Reviews

Performance - more

Normally, we compare products using processors of the same class. However, since the DS415+ is currently the only NAS in our charts with a quad-core Atom processor, I decided to compare it with two NASes with the closest price we've reviewed using our current performance testing technology. As you can see from the File Copy Write results, the processor doesn't seem to have much impact on the performance for this test, as the results are virtually identical.

Comparison of three similarly priced four-bay NASes

Comparison of three similarly priced four-bay NASes

I generated a table comparing attached and network backup performance for these three products. For USB 2.0 performance, the DS415+ trailed the QNAP for all file formats, but was ahead of the DS415play. For USB 3.0 performance, the Synology DS415+ again bested the DS415play, but trailed the QNAP for all file formats except NTFS, which it tied at 114.5 MB/s. Neither of the other two NASes had an external eSATA port, so no comparison could be made. For network backup, the DS415+ outperformed the other two NASes.

  Synology DS415+ Synology DS415play QNAP TS-453 Pro
Backup to USB Drive - FAT Format 35.7 23.3 44.6
Backup to USB Drive - EXT3 Format 36.6 23.7 42.5
Backup to USB Drive - NTFS Format 38.2 23.1 44.6
Backup to USB3 Drive - FAT Format 101.4 89.3 114.5
Backup to USB3 Drive - EXT3 Format 84.2 85.8 93.0
Backup to USB3 Drive - NTFS Format 114.5 79.7 114.5
Backup to eSATA Drive - FAT Format 99.2 N/A N/A
Backup to eSATA Drive - EXT3 Format 79.7 N/A N/A
Backup to eSATA Drive - NTFS Format 108.9 N/A N/A
Network Backup 57.2 50.2 36.9
Attached drive and network backup performance comparison (MB/s)

For File Copy comparison, I filtered the charts for four drives, dual and quad-core Atom and general purpose quad-core processors for products tested with the current test process. The three composite shots below show how the DS415+ stacks up for RAID 0, RAID 5 and RAID 10 write and read operations.

For RAID 0, the top four products turned in virtually identical scores with a range of 109.2 to 109.8 MB/s for write and 107.0 to 109.3 MB/s for read.

Atom-2, Atom-4 and up-4 processor, 4-bay RAID 0 File Copy Write and Read Comparison

Atom-2, Atom-4 and up-4 processor, 4-bay RAID 0 File Copy Write and Read Comparison

For RAID 5, the only surprise was that the DS415+ was at the bottom of the charts with 93.0 MB/s.

Atom-2, Atom-4 and up-4 processor, 4-bay RAID 5 File Copy Write and Read Comparison

Atom-2, Atom-4 and up-4 processor, 4-bay RAID 5 File Copy Write and Read Comparison

Atom-2, Atom-4 and up-4 processor, 4-bay RAID 10File Copy Write and Read Comparison

Atom-2, Atom-4 and up-4 processor, 4-bay RAID 10File Copy Write and Read Comparison

For all six testing scenarios, the QNAP TS-453 Pro topped the charts. The DS415+ snagged second place on three of the tests and the Seagate NAS Pro 4-bay (STDE100) had two second place wins. For RAID 5 file copy read performance, the DS415play was second best.

Update 12/16/14

Synology said the DS415+' quad-core Atom processor's hardware encryption provides improved encrypted folder performance and asked us to check it out. We don't normally test encrypted folder performance, since past experience showed typical throughput reduction of 50% or more. The last time we looked at encrypted folder performance was with Synology's Freescale-based DS413.

So I created an encrypted folder on the previously-tested RAID5 volume and ran the benchmark suite. The table below summarizes the results, along with those for the DS413. Although it's clear that encryption can still impose a stiff performance penalty, the penalty is significantly less on the DS415+. And sometimes there is no penalty at all! I may have to start checking encrypted performance more often.

  DS415+ DS413
  Normal Encrypt % Diff Normal Encrypt % Diff
FileCopyToNAS 114.8 79.4 -31 99.84 30.66 -69
FileCopyFromNAS 97.8 99.5 2 92.51 42.53 -54
DirectoryCopyToNAS 16 8.8 -45 16.62 4.66 -72
DirectoryCopyFromNAS 15.6 17.8 14 19.91 13.70 -31
ContentCreation 10.5 8.2 -22 9.27 3.02 -67
OfficeProductivity 53.9 53.5 -1 46.27 32.56 -30
HDVideo_1Play_1Record 104.1 51.4 -51 92.31 46.68 -56
HDVideo_4Play 96.1 97.2 1 106.04 46.68 -56
             
Win File Copy Write 109.3 82 -25 70.19 22.2 -68
Win File Copy Read 93 93 0 95.75 42.63 -55
Encrypted folder performance comparison - RAID 5 volume

Performance - Ranking

If you look at the NAS Ranker and filter the results for four drives and current test version results, you'll see that the DiskStation DS415+ ranks as the # 4 four-bay NAS. Looking at pricing, there are no other better ranked NASes that cost less than the DS415+, and two of the three that are ranked higher are significantly more expensive i3-based products. Obviously, the i3 processor makes a huge difference in both performance and price.

NAS Ranker - four bay

NAS Ranker - four bay

I created a composite Ranker Performance Summary, once again comparing the DS415 plus and play and QNAP TS-453 Pro. Compared to the #4 Total NAS QNAP-TS-453 Pro, the #9 ranked DS415+ had three category wins (Write benchmarks, Video, and Backup). However, looking at the individual results in the video category shows all three products were within a couple of MB/s of each other.

The QNAP held a clear advantage in Write, Read, Mixed read Write and iSCSI categories. Its loss in the Backup category was due to slower network backup performance.

Ranker Performance Summary comparison of the Synology DS415+, the QNAP TS453 Pro, and the Synology DS415play

Ranker Performance Summary comparison of the Synology DS415+, the QNAP TS-453 Pro, and the Synology DS415play

Closing Thoughts

The DS415+ is targeted towards business users, yet has a very competitive price. Currently priced at $600, it's $49 cheaper than the higher ranked QNAP TS-453 Pro, but $70 more expensive than the DS415play. The QNAP sports four Gigabit Ethernet ports and a total of five USB ports (three USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0). It features an LCD status display, missing on the DS415+ and its memory is expandable to 8 GB. The DS415+ only has two Gigabit Ethernet ports and a total of 3 USB ports (two USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0). The DS415+ does, however, have an eSATA external port. As a potential surveillance storage platform, the DS415+ holds an edge. It can support up to 40 cameras, while the TS-453 Pro is spec'd for 24 cameras.

Any of these differences could be a deal maker or breaker, depending on your intended use. From a business perspective, I'd probably spend the additional $49 for the QNAP. If you're thinking about using the NAS for virtualization, the ability to expand to 8 GB and not void your warranty is a huge plus for the QNAP. If your intended use is more for multimedia and for remote access to your library of multimedia content, I'd opt for either the DS415play or the DS415+, as I prefer Synology's current suite of mobile applications.

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