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Raidon GR5630-WSB3 4-Bay Desktop Storage System Review

Nemo    -   November 3, 2011
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Testing:

The Intel NAS Performance Toolkit is a set of tools used to test and analyze file systems and enable direct comparison of the performance levels of different network attached storage devices. It utilizes a set of tests based on real world applications, such as HD video playback and recording, office productivity, photo album manipulation, and file and directory copying. The toolkit uses a set of traces based on these applications and mimics the file system traffic generated and records the system response. In our evaluation, the toolkit was run in batch mode, which runs the series of tests five times in succession and the median throughput value is used to report the results. The GR5630-WSB3 was rebooted before each test was run.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HD Video Playback (higher is better)

 

The HD Video Playback series of tests involve streaming a 720p HD video file using Windows Media Player and 256kb reads. The tests play either 1, 2 or 4 files simultaneously using different percentages of sequential reads (99.5% for the single file, 18.1% for the 2x HD Video Playback, and 9.6% for the 4x HD Video Playback).

 

 

 

2x HD Video Playback (higher is better)

This test writes a single 720p HD video file to the storage device employing 99.9% sequential 256kb writes.

 

4x HD Video Playback (higher is better)

 

In the HD Video Playback test, with only a single stream being read from the unit, we actually get a bit of a surprise with the USB 3.0 connection on the GR5630-WSB3 edging out the eSATA connection by a small margin of 4.5MB/s. Both were faster than any of the NAS units. When the tests move to multiple streams, the GR5630-WSB3 manages throughput in the 33-34MB/s range on the eSATA and USB 3.0 connections, which is enough of a drop to come in fourth behind three of the NAS units.

HD Video Record (higher is better)

This test writes a single 720p HD video file to the storage device employing 99.9% sequential 256kb writes.

 

When we flip the switch and go the other way from the previous video test and write a single video file to the storage deice, the GR5630-WSB3 manages throughput around 30MB/s on the faster USB 3.0 and eSATA connections. While this puts it ahead of three of the NAS units, it barely beat two of them and trailed the QNAP TS-509 by a wide margin.

HD Playback and Record (higher is better)

The HD Video Playback and Record test combines the two previous tests and reads and writes a HD 720p video file simultaneously.

 

Content Creation (Higher is better)

This test simulates content creation on the storage device, such as might occur when rendering a video. There are 99 files used and is composed of 95% write operations with up to 64kb block sizes and consists of 39.1% sequential operations.

 

The GR5630-WSB3 met its Waterloo in the form of the Content Creation test, where the graph speaks for itself. One of the arguments you hear for DAS devices is the increased speed when working with large files, such as those found in rendering video. Well, you might want to reassess that, at least in terms of the GR5630-WSB3.

Office Productivity (higher is better)

The Office Productivity test is roughly evenly distributed between read and write operations, using 607 small files consisting of 1KB and 4KB reads, and mostly 1KB writes.

 

The GR5630-WSB3 gained a little redemption in the brutal Office Productivity test with eSATA and USB 3.0 throughput in the 21-23MB/s range. That was enough to keep it in the game, but not enough to take the lead from the Thecus N3200XXX or the QNAP TS-509.

File Copy to NAS (Higher is better)

The File Copy test copies a single large file to the storage unit using 100% sequential 64kb write operations.

 

Copying a single large file to the DAS unit results in throughput from 19-22MBs, or a little bit less if you only have a USB 2.0 connection available. That still leaves the GR5630-WSB3 trailing three of the four NAS units.

File Copy From NAS

This test reads the single large (1.4GB) file from the File Copy test from the storage device using 64kb read operations.

 

Copying that same large file from the DAS puts the GR5630-WSB3 clearly in the lead with the USB 3.0 connection racking up throughput of 87.6MB/s and the eSATA coming in around 63MB/s.

Dir Copy to NAS (Higher is better)

This test copies a directory structure with 126 files to the NAS device using predominantly 64kb writes, but also includes a wide distribution under 16kb.

 

Copying a directory of files to the DAS shows even performance across the three connection types, which at around 6MB/s or less, was not good enough to win against the top three NAS units.

Dir Copy From NAS (Higher is better)

This test copies the same directory structure of 126 files from the storage device using 64kb reads.

 

It seems as if reads are where the GR5630-WSB3 does best, as the DAS unit achieves up to 30MB/s via the eSATA connection. The USB 3.0 reached 26.5MB/s, which was enough to beat the comparison units. Even the USB 2.0 connection was able to beat two units and almost tie the Synology DS408.

Photo Album (Higher is better)

The Photo Album test simulates the viewing of 169 photo files of various sizes stored on the storage unit and consists of 100% read operations.

 

The Photo Album test consists of 100% read operations and the GR5630-WSB3 once again outperforms the competition.

The perception that direct-attached storage is generally faster than network storage was upheld when we ran the file systems benchmark in SiSoft Sandra. The same seems to be supported when we look at the NAS Performance Toolkit results – but only if you limit those tests to pure read operations. In mixed read/write tests and those tests involving heavy-duty writes, the GR5630-WSB3 clearly couldn't beat the top three NAS units on a consistent basis. Nowhere was that more obvious than in the Content Creation test, where the GR5630-WSB3 turned in the lowest scores we've seen on any unit we've tested.




  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Installation & Configuration
  3. Specifications & Features
  4. Testing: Setup
  5. Testing: SiSoft Sandra
  6. Testing: Intel NAS Performance Toolkit
  7. Testing: Operation & Features
  8. Conclusion
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