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NAS Reviews

Performance

We tested using our four WD Red 3 TB (WD30EFRX) drives provided by WD. Power consumption was measured at 33 W in active mode and 20 W in power save mode. Fan and drive noise was rated as low (mainly occasional drive noise). Performance tests were run using our Revision 5 NAS test process on four-drive unencrypted RAID 0, 5 and 10 volumes with a 1 Gbps LAN connection. The firmware installed was 2.05.08.btl.

The comparative benchmark summary below shows the Thecus N5810PRO (left), ASUSTOR AS5104 (center) and QNAP TS-453 Pro (right). Looking first at the benchmark results for the N5810PRO, Windows file copy performance for all RAID levels was fairly consistent with all test results ranging from 105.2 MB/s (Raid 10 File Copy Read) to 109.6 MB/s (RAID 0 File Copy Write).

NASPT File Copy Read performance was consistent within a tight range from 84.2 MB/s for RAID 5 to 86.5 MB/s for RAID 0. There fastest throughput was achieved in the NASPT file copy write results, but still with fairly consistent results across all RAID types. NASPT File Copy To NAS (Write) ranged from 113.5 MB/s (RAID 10) to 117.6 MB/s (RAID 0).

Comparative Benchmark Summary

Comparative Benchmark Summary

All products had fairly consistent File Copy Write and Read results across all RAID configurations. However, on the N5810PRO, for each RAID level, the NASPT File Copy From NAS (Read) was consistently lower than the corresponding NASPT File Copy To NAS (write) performance. The other two products showed less variation between NASPT read and write within RAID levels.

Compared to the other two NASes, attached storage backup was not a bright spot. The N5810PRO turned in the slowest performance for both the USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 tests for all file formats. (FAT, NTFS, and EXT3). USB 3.0 / NTFS performance was particularly slow, which is disappointing for such a popular volume format. The Thecus also had the slowest iSCSI write performance at 92.2 MB/s, and middle of the pack iSCSI read performance at 95.2 MB/s.

NAS Ranker

To see how the N5810PRO stacked up against other RAID 5 NASes, I filtered the NAS Ranker for RAID5 class and Test Method Revision 5. The N5810PRO, with a Total NAS score of 6.5, came in ranked #10, tied with Seagate's NAS Pro 4 and 6 bay. That rank also includes four products tied at #2, two at #7 and two at #9. Note some of those ties include products where a four-bay product was tested and results copied to higher bay versions..

We usually sort by ascending price to find the best price/performance value. But in this case, the $769 N5810PRO ends up on the second ranking page (10 results per page), outpaced by much less expensive four-bay products such as ASUSTOR's #3 ranked AS5104T at around $490 and the #2 ranked QNAP TS-453 Pro at around $570.

For a more detailed look at comparative performance, I created the composite Ranker Performance summary below showing the Thecus N5810PRO (left), ASUSTOR AS5104T (center) and QNAP TS-453 Pro (right). The N5810PRO had its best category performance for Mixed Read Write, where it tied for #2 with the QNAP TS-453 Pro. It also edged out the ASUSTOR AS5104T with a #4 ranking for Write Benchmarks.

Not surprisingly, the relatively poor performance on the NASPT File Copy from NAS performance for all RAID types placed the N5810PRO far behind in the Read Benchmarks category. Looking at the individual test within the Video, Backup and iSCSI categories, it's easy to see why the N5810PRO trailed the other two NASes.

NAS Ranker Performance Comparison for Thecus N5810PRO (left),  ASUSTOR AS5104T (center) and QNAP TS-453 Pro (right)

NAS Ranker Performance Comparison for Thecus N5810PRO (left), ASUSTOR AS5104T (center) and QNAP TS-453 Pro (right)

Closing Thoughts

Equipped with five drive bays and five Gigabit Ethernet ports, the Thecus N5810PRO doesn't fit neatly into groupings of competitive NASes which generally, with the exception of single bay devices, have an even number of drive bays. Setting the NAS Finder drive number filter for 5 finds only one other product currently still for sale, Thecus' N5550.

When comparing the $769 N5810PRO to either the $566 #2 ranked QNAP TS-453 Pro or the $467 #3 ranked ASUSTOR AS5104T four bay NASes, you see a large premium for an extra drive bay, built-in UPS and Ethernet ports. (The TS-453 Pro has 4 Ethernet ports and the AS5104T has 2 Ethernet ports). If you can live within the storage capacity of a four bay NAS, either the ASUSTOR AS5104T or the QNAP TS-453 Pro offer more performance bang for the buck.

If you really need more storage capacity than a four bay NAS can provide or want a hot spare in addition to the capacity of a four bay NAS, the next competitive NAS would be the six bay QNAP TS-653 Pro. The TS-653 Pro is essentially a six bay version of the TS-453 Pro. Priced at $773 and ranked #2, you pick up the sixth bay for less than $10 over the cost of the Thecus.

Of course not all purchasing decisions are made strictly on on performance or hardware. The feature sets are also an important, but constantly-changing consideration. If you click on the Features tab embedded within the N5810PRO's product page, you might find some differentiating features that tip your purchasing decision in favor of the Thecus.

For example, the N5810PRO supports the BTFRS file system that enables volume snapshots—a feature we first talked about when reviewing NETGEAR's ReadyNAS OS6. The N5810PRO also includes a "mini" built-in UPS that gracefully shuts down your NAS and protects your data in the event of a power outage.

The bottom line is five-bay NASes are relatively rare, but useful. But Thecus' addition of lots of Gigabit Ethernet ports and optional mini-UPS may price the N5810PRO out of consideration by many RAID 5 class NAS shoppers.

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