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Synology Disk Station DS408 Review

Nemo    -   March 3, 2009
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Testing:

Now that we've taken a thorough look and run through some performance tests, it's time to check out the practical aspects of the DS408 in terms of operation.

Cooling:

The unit comes with a 80mm exhaust fan mounted in the center of the rear of the case. The fan guard is not overly restrictive and the fan spins fast enough for you to feel a decent amount of air movement, but not so fast as to be annoying in terms of noise. Synology claims a noise level of 26dB(A) for the fan. Cool air is provided by a pair of generously sized vents on the front of the case so the air flow should be across the motherboard and through the hard drive cage. Each drive has approximately ¼ inch spacing between them to allow for air movement.

During the testing the case didn't become warm. With the all steel shroud that forms the top and sides of the case you would be able to feel any increase in temperature. To test how well the system cools itself, 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 the system temperature reported on the Information Status page of the management UI. To monitor the interior case temperatures I inserted a digital temperature probe into the case with the probe positioned directly to the rear of the drives in the center of the case. Temperature readings were taken prior to the run with the hard drives spinning and then throughout the test.

 

 

 

 

  Idle Test
Ambient Room 19 C 19 C
System 41 C 46 C
Case Interior 28 C 30 C
S.M.A.R.T. Drive 1 31 C 35 C
S.M.A.R.T. Drive 2 30 C 34 C
S.M.A.R.T. Drive 1 30 C 33 C
S.M.A.R.T. Drive 1 29 C 31 C

You can see the highest temperature was reached by the drive at the top of the case, but the deltas were all quite respectable, even during the extended activity posed by the NAS performance testing.

Power Consumption:

One of the benefits of using a NAS server like the DS408 is lower power consumption. With the ability to put the drives in hibernate after a period of inactivity. You can set the drives to go into hibernation using the management UI. It's a simple matter of picking a setting from a drop down list and is easy to set. The unit can be set to hibernate the drives from 10 minutes to 5 hours.

I tested the various power usage levels of the DS408 at idle with the disks spinning but no activity, during a full test with read and write activity with the drives configured in RAID 5 and finally in power management mode with all drives set to power down after 10 minutes. All measurements were taken with a P3 International P4400 Kill A Watt power meter.

State Watts
Power Mgt. Mode N/A (fail)
Idle 41
RAID 5 Test 46-48

Even with heavy usage the DS408 manages to use less than 50 watts even in a four-drive RAID 5 array. However, over an extended period I only observed the system going into a low-power state on a single occasion, which is why the table shows N/A for the power management mode entry. I even disconnected the Ethernet cable to ensure there was no communication going on between the test computer and the unit. The one time I did manage to see it in a low-power mode the meter measured a miserly 20 watts. The rest of the time the unit was not being used the power usage stayed right at 41 watts.




  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Installation
  3. Configuration: Initial Setup
  4. Configuration: Volume Creation
  5. Configuration: Web UI & Information
  6. Configuration: System
  7. Configuration: Privileges
  8. Configuration: Storage
  9. Configuration: Network Services
  10. Configuration: Backup
  11. Configuration: External Devices
  12. Specifications & Features
  13. Testing Setup
  14. Testing: SiSoft Sandra
  15. Testing: Intel NAS Performance Toolkit
  16. Testing: Operation
  17. Teating: Features
  18. Conclusion
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