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Thecus N3200PRO NAS Server Review

Nemo    -   June 14, 2009
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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 record, 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 hard drives were reconfigured and the N3200PRO was rebooted before each test was run. The RAID 1 array contained two drives, the maximum you can have, with the other configurations tested using three drives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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)

 

 

 

 

4x HD Video Playback (higher is better)

 

 

 

 

The N3200PRO provided very good throughput rates ranging from 31.8-39.6MB/s across all the HD video playback tests with the best rates coming from the RAID 0 configuration which easily beat out the DNS-323 and CAND3001T0 in all categories. The greater number of spindles used in the TS-509 and DS408 put the Thecus unit at a disadvantage in the RAID 0 and RAID 5 tests where it consistently trailed those units. However, the N3200PRO was not ready to concede all categories as it turned in the best rates in all tests when configured in RAID 1 and JBOD volumes.

HD Video Record (higher is better)

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

 

 

 

 

Here the N3200PRO again performs admirably with throughput rates ranging around the 31MB/s mark except in the RAID 5 test where it dropped to around 22MB/s where the added CPU load required for the parity calculations took its toll. This time around it beat out the smaller units but yielded all the other tests to the more powerful units from Synology and QNAP.

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.

 

 

 

 

The N3200PRO's strengths are highlighted here with rates ranging from 31-41MB/s with the video record again pulling down the RAID 5 scores. The RAID 0 score of 41MB/s was the highest throughput rate achieved by the N3200PRO in any test although it wasn't enough to beat the DS408 or the TS-509. That's not to say the N3200PRO was weak in this test as its RAID1 and JBOD scores were the best of the lot.




  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Installation
  3. Configuration: Initial Setup
  4. Configuration: Web UI & Status
  5. Configuration: Storage
  6. Configuration: Network
  7. Configuration: Accounts
  8. Configuration: System
  9. Web User Interface
  10. Specifications & Features
  11. Testing: Setup
  12. Testing: SiSoft Sandra
  13. Testing: Intel NAS Performance Toolkit
  14. Testing: Intel NAS Performance Toolkit (continued)
  15. Testing: Operation
  16. Testing: Features
  17. Conclusion
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