QNAP TS-470 Review (Page 7 of 8)

Page 7 - Performance and Power Consumption

So you think you got QNAP?

For our tests, the QNAP TS-470 is connected to our central home network with CAT5e wiring. Our test station is located two stories away from the NAS to simulate real world performance in a centralized networking environment. While this is not a very realistic installation, one Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB SSD is configured to ensure there is no drive bottleneck in the performance benchmarks. For the power tests, we have installed three Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB drives in RAID 5. The client computer is configured with the following specifications:

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K @ 4.50GHz
CPU Cooling: Thermaltake WATER2.0 Pro (Noctua NF-F12)
Motherboard: ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws-X F3-14900CL9D-8GBXL 4x4GB
Graphics: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7870 2GB OC
Chassis: Lian Li PC-B12
Storage: OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240GB; Western Digital Caviar Blue AAKS 500GB
Power: PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 1200W
Sound: Auzentech X-Fi Bravura
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1

Compared Hardware:
- QNAP TS-470
- QNAP TS-559 Pro II

Equipped with the uber fast Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB SSD, our QNAP TS-470 is ready to roll. According to the engineers at QNAP, and proven to be true in our performance benchmarks, Intel Gigabit LAN adapters -- at least on the client side -- perform much better than their Realtek and Marvell counterparts. Therefore, to prevent any bottlenecks on the client side, our ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution motherboard is connected to the network via its integrated Intel 82574L Gigabit LAN adapter. We also conducted the above test on our OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240GB solid state drive on the client side to ensure there is nothing limiting the performance of our QNAP TS-470 than the NAS itself. In turn, the results were pretty darn impressive. As you can see in our graphs above, the QNAP TS-470 is capable of doing 117MB/s for both read and write. In other words, it slaps the performance of the TS-419P II and TS-559 Pro II in the same configuration without a hint of remorse. I don't think anyone can reasonably expect more speed than this out of their network attached storage system over Gigabit LAN, since this becomes an interface bandwidth limiting issue. As far as RAID 5 using HDDs is concerned, you can definitely get 117MB/s in read, but do not expect much over 60MB/s in write, even if you own some performance 7200rpm hard drives like me. On the positive side, you can plug in an SSD on the side for caching purposes to improve file performance if you want.

ATTO disk benchmark provides valuable insight into evaluating disk performance; it is especially valuable since it is not local disk limited like Windows file copy -- but rather the network adapter itself. After first using it in our QNAP TS-559 Pro+ review three years ago, ATTO has been an integral part of our storage benchmarks; used in everything ranging from USB flash drives to solid state disks. Venturing in the area of 117MB/s in read and write for pretty much everything 64K and up, remember that the theoretical maximum of Gigabit Ethernet is 'only' 125MB/s (1000Mbps / 8) with overhead -- this is downright impressive. Also, write speed has also significantly improved compared to past QNAP devices we have tested. The read and write curve is almost identical, as you can see in our charts above. This means the QNAP TS-470 is limited only by the network interface, and not the performance of the NAS itself. If you have the cash and the equipment, fire up the 10GbE adapters, yo.

With three hard drives installed, power consumption is at a very reasonable 42W idling and 54W under load. It is important to note all my hard drives are performance oriented Western Digital Caviar Black 7200rpm disks, which are not exactly meant for saving power, rather than power saving units that is becoming ever more popular lately. Power consumption will drop even further if the hard drives are configured to turn off if they are not used. Power factor under this load is 99% across the board, which is excellent. Just for your curiosity and reference, startup peak power usage is 91W. All in all, the QNAP TS-470 is quite a power efficient network attached storage. We got all the performance, but none of the high power bill normally associated with one. Considering it is going to be running 24/7, every watt adds up!

Page Index
1. Introduction and Specifications
2. A Closer Look - Hardware (External)
3. A Closer Look - Hardware (Internal)
4. Configuration and User Interface, Part I
5. Configuration and User Interface, Part II
6. Configuration and User Interface, Part III
7. Performance and Power Consumption
8. Final Thoughts and Conclusion