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Thecus N3200XXX NAS Server Review

Nemo    -   October 6, 2011
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Testing:

Content Creation (Higher is better)

This test simulates content creation on the NAS 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not all units come away from the content creation test with their pride intact. However, The N3200XXX has nothing to be ashamed of. Picking up where it left off on the previous page with the HD Playback and Record test, the N3200XXX comported itself quite well, coming in second in the RAID 0 test behind the Synology DS408, but walking away with first place honors in all other categories, turning in its best performance when set up as a RAID 5 volume.

 

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 Office Productivity test is the longest and most abusive of all the tests in the NASPT suite. It is here where the true measure of a NAS is taken and the N3200XXX held up well against the competition, although the margin over its Thecus counterparts narrowed substantially. In The RAID 0 test, the N3200XXX came in a distant second to the Synology DS408, while it managed a narrow victory in the RAID 1 test and lost out on the RAID 5 and JBOD tests by a narrow margin. All-in-all, it was a pretty good showing on an incredibly brutal test.

 

File Copy to NAS (Higher is better)

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

 

 

 

 

Writing a single large file to the NAS resulted in fairly consistent numbers of 26-27 MB/s across the four configurations. Pure writes are not the strong suit for the N3200XXX, as it only came out ahead the the N3200PRO in the RAID 5 test, but fell behind the more powerful units from QNAP and Synology.

 

File Copy From NAS

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

 

 

 

We see a stronger performance from the N3200XXX with the direction reversed and the file being read from the NAS. In RAID 0, it puts up a good showing although it was slightly behind the Synology unit for a third-place finish. In RAID 1 and JBOD, it came out first and also finished second in the RAID 5 setup, again turning in a consistent performance with numbers ranging from 41-42MB/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.

 

 

 

Remember how we said writing to the NAS wasn't the the N32000XXX's strong suit? Well, here we see the worst performance of any of the tests with throughput of only 5-9MB/s, which provided mixed results against the other Thecus units, but certainly put it behind the Synology and QNAP servers.

 

Dir Copy From NAS (Higher is better)

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

 

 

 

 

Copying the directory of files provided better throughput for the N3200XXX, but the same can be said for the other units. Against the N3200PRO, our test unit managed to win one, lose two, and come in dead even on the fourth.

Photo Album (Higher is better)

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

 

 

 

 

We finish up the testing with another stressful test and maybe we should just call this the equalizer test, as all the units returned similar results with throughput ranging from 7.5-10MB/s.

This concludes all the performance testing on the N3200XXX, so it's time to take stock of the results. The N3200XXX was tested using the EXT4 file system and Seagate Constellation ES.2 ST33000650NS 3TB hard drives. This is a step up from our previous testing configuration, which we need to point out before comparing results. The N3200XXX is designed for SOHO/home use as its predecessor, the N3200PRO, was. The other units sport four and five drives, as opposed to the three drives in the N3200-series. The N3200XXX showed improvement over the N3200PRO in many of the tests, with some tests going the other way. It also managed to put up a good performance against the the larger QNAP-TS509 and Synology DS408 units, and even pulled out a few wins over those boxes. The N3200XXX proves that it can serve as a good performing file server for home and small office use. It could even be pressed into service as a light-duty server for a small workgroup.




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