QNAP TS-459U-RP Turbo NAS Reviewhardnrg - July 22, 2010
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Although I have long since migrated away from Windows XP, I could not defeat the write-caching that is built into Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. I was therefore getting erroneous results during testing to the order of thousands of MB/s for certain stages of each benchmark, as some of the tests that write to the NAS were apparently caching to RAM first. I tried to limit the RAM available to the OS, and observed that the tests with impossible results fell dramatically to more believable and realistic numbers, but there was still no way to tell if OS caching was skewing the results. So, I went ahead and tried Windows XP Professional SP3, as it is not as enthusiastic about caching everything to RAM, and the erroneous results disappeared.
The next notable choices I made were for the networking side of things. Instead of using the supplied Cat-5e Ethernet patch cables, I opted to use Cat-6 cables. At first, I started testing using the two onboard Marvell 88E8056 Gigabit Ethernet controllers, but after failing to get throughput of more than 1 Gbps in LACP mode, I decided to use a dual port Gigabit Ethernet server-class NIC by Intel. The performance was marginally better, but still did not break the 1 Gbps barrier. For a more motherboard-independent result, I carried out the testing using the dual port Intel NIC instead of the onboard Marvell controllers.
As this is the first NAS review on the i7 test platform, there are no comparison NAS devices, and so the performance of the TS-459U-RP itself will be shown, with a comparative look on the performance of the different RAID modes available for four drives.
- Processor: Intel Core i7 920 @ 150x20 3GHz
- Motherboard: Asus P6T Deluxe V2
- Memory: 3x2GB Corsair XMS3 PC3-10666 9-9-9-24 1333 MHz
- Video Card: BFG GTX260
- Video Card: XFX GTX260
- Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling 750 Silencer
- Hard Drive: 4x Hitachi T7K500 250GB SATA2 (Highpoint RAID-10)
- LAN Controller: Intel Pro/1000 PT Dual Port (Intel 82571)
- Ethernet Cable: 2x 6' Category 6
- OS: Windows XP Professional SP3
- NAS: QNAP TS-459U-RP (Firmware 3.3.0 Build 0512T)
- SiSoft Sandra 2010
- Intel NAS Performance Toolkit 1.7.1