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QNAP TS-459U-RP Turbo NAS Review



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 used to report the results. The hard drives were reconfigured, and both the TS-459U-RP and test system were rebooted before each test was run.


HD Video Playback

The HD Video Playback series of tests involve streaming a 720p HD video file using Windows Media Player and 256 kB 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).

Higher is better


2x HD Playback

Higher is better


4x HD Playback

Higher is better


There is a slight performance penalty for running four drives in RAID (0, 5, or 6) vs JBOD, probably just due to the processing overhead of RAID. However, the difference is only 5-9 MB/s less, and more importantly, RAID-0 and RAID-5 essentially give the same performance, while RAID-6 has a negligible performance hit. I was surprised to see that there was consistent performance between each test, so the TS-459U-RP delivered consistent data transfer whether it was serving 1, 2, or 4 files at once.


HD Video Record

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

Higher is better


As this is a write test, it usually batters the performance of RAID configurations, due to the overhead of write operations. But, not here! I really expected that as the TS-459U-RP has an Intel ICH9R RAID controller, it would fall to its knees in the write tests, but it barely batted an eyelid, and continued to deliver solid performance even in RAID-6 configuration.


HD Playback and Record

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

Higher is better


When asking more from the TS-459U-RP, in this case both reading and writing at the same time, it actually performed better than when only testing either reads or writes. This indicates that the NAS is capable of heavy load, and the previous tests didn't present enough of a challenge. The trend for RAID configurations to perform worse than JBOD continues, with RAID-6 incurring a 21% drop in performance compared to JBOD. It should be pointed out that the lowest rate here of 54.8 MB/s is higher than any of the results for the plain read tests, and bodes well for the TS-459U-RP's performance in multi-user environments.


Content Creation

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 64 kB block sizes and consists of 39.1% sequential operations.

Higher is better


The strength of RAID-0 finally comes through in this test, attaining a rate of 29.1 MB/s, a massive 151% higher than JBOD and RAID-5. RAID-6 really takes a beating here with the extra parity calculations pulling its performance down to a mere 8.4 MB/s. I think this is one of the tests that shows the Intel Atom is not a miracle worker, and using this low power CPU does have some drawbacks.


Office Productivity

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 1 kB writes.

Higher is better


I really expected the NAS to struggle with the bombardment of so many small files, but it came through with some very consistent results in the 35-39 MB/s range. Even though the performance is some way off of the more sequential HD Video tests, I was impressed how the TS-459U-RP held up.


File copy to NAS

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

Higher is better


As with the 100% write HD Video Record test, the performance is a very solid 50-57 MB/s. This time, however, the 64 kB block size (vs 256 kB in HD Video) gives RAID-0 an advantage over JBOD.


File copy from NAS

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

Higher is better


There is really only about 1-2 MB/s difference in performance between this and the previous File copy test. The exception here is RAID-0, oddly scoring almost 10 MB/s lower when transferring the large file from the NAS. This is a 17% drop in performance, and ends up just marginally worse than RAID 5 and 6.


Dir copy to NAS

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

Higher is better


Recreating a directory structure with many files really seems to hammer the performance down, but at least it hammers it flat! The NAS manages to deliver ~14 MB/s, no matter which drive configuration is used for the four drives.


Dir copy from NAS

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

Higher is better


With performance at 20 MB/s for all configurations bar RAID-6, I think the TS-459U-RP redeems itself here, scoring 24-44% higher than the previous Dir copy test.


Photo Album

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

Higher is better


This final test in the Intel suite really has no mercy and will always batter a NAS, but with rates just above 10 MB/s the TS-459U-RP soldiers on, delivering consistent speeds in any disk configuration.

  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look: PSU
  3. Closer Look: Internals
  4. Installation
  5. Configuration: Initial Setup
  6. Configuration: Web UI & System Administration
  7. Configuration: Disk Management
  8. Configuration: Access Right Management
  9. Configuration: Network Services
  10. Configuration: Applications
  11. Configuration: Backup
  12. Configuration: External Device
  13. Configuration: System Status
  14. Additional Utilities
  15. Specifications & Features
  16. Testing: Setup
  17. Testing: SiSoft Sandra
  18. Testing: Intel NAS Performance Toolkit
  19. Testing: Operation
  20. Testing: Features
  21. Conclusion
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