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MicroNet MaxNAS 2.5TB Server Review

Nemo    -   November 27, 2009
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Testing:

After looking at the performance numbers it's time to examine some of the other performance characteristics of the MaxNAS such as cooling and power consumption.

Cooling

The MaxNAS is cooled by a rear-mounted 92mm fan as well as a 40mm fan used to cool the internal power supply. The fans are audible but not overpowering, although it probably isn't well-suited for an HTPC setup where noise is a concern.

I used the NAS Performance Toolkit to run a full series of tests in a RAID 5 configuration and monitored the S.M.A.R.T. drive temperature readings as well as temperatures inside the enclosure. To monitor the interior case temperatures I inserted a digital temperature probe into the case with the probe positioned in the center of the case at the rear of the drives. Temperature readings were taken prior to the run with the hard drives spinning and then throughout the test.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Idle Test
Ambient Room 21 C 21 C
Case Interior 26 C 27 C
S.M.A.R.T. Drive 1 28 C 31 C
S.M.A.R.T. Drive 2 28 C 33 C
S.M.A.R.T. Drive 3 30 C 34 C
S.M.A.R.T. Drive 4 31 C 35 C
S.M.A.R.T. Drive 5 29 C 33 C

 

As you can see from the results, average drive temperatures increased about four degrees C over the course of the measurement period, which is certainly acceptable given the stressful nature and length of the test. The interior case temperature rose only one degree during this time.

Power Consumption:

When comparing a NAS server to a standard server or PC one of the benefits is the generally lower power requirements of a NAS device. In addition, most NAS servers have the ability to place the drives in a low-power state after a certain period of inactivity. With the MaxNAS you can set the drives to hibernate from 30 to 300 minutes.

I tested the various power usage levels of the MaxNAS at idle with the disks spinning but no activity, during a full RAID 5 test with read and write activity and finally in power management mode with all drives set to power down after the minimum 30 minute period. All measurements were taken with a P3 International P4400 Kill A Watt power meter.

State Watts
Power Mgt. Mode 44
Idle 55
RAID 5 Test 66-75

 

With five drives in a RAID 5 configuration under heavy load, the MaxNAS managed to use 75 watts or less and only 44 watts in power management mode. The MaxNAS came equipped with Western Digital Caviar Green drives that helped contribute to the lower power usage. Overall I was impressed with the numbers, especially with the idle and power management power levels.




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