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Test System And Details

Atom-Powered NAS: Thecus N4200 And QNAP TS-459 Pro
By

Test Configuration

System Hardware
Platform
Asus P5E3 Deluxe, Rev.1.03G; Intel X38, BIOS: 0810 (02/11/2007)
CPUIntel Core 2 Duo E6750 (65 nm Conroe core) @ 2.26 GHz
RAM2 x 1,024MB Crucial Ballistix DDR3-1600
eSATA ControllerJMicron JMB363
System Hard Drive
Seagate Barracuda 7200.9, 160GB
7,200 RPM, SATA 3 Gb/s, 8MB Cache
Test Hard Drives
4 x 3.5" Samsung Spinpoint HD321KJ
320GB, 7,200 RPM, SATA/300, 16MB Cache
DVD-ROMSamsung SH-D163A , SATA150
Video Card
Gigabyte Radeon HD 3850 GV-RX385512H
GPU: 670 MHz; Memory: 512MB DDR3 (830 MHz, 256-bit)
Network Card
Marvell Yukon 88E8056 PCIe Gigabit Ethernet Controller
Sound Card
Integrated
Power Supply
Cooler Master RS-850-EMBA, ATX 12V V2.2, 850 Watt  
System Software
Operating System
Windows Vista Enterprise SP1
DirectX 10DirectX 10 (Vista-Standard)
DirectX 9Version: April 2007
Graphic Drivers
ATI Radeon Version 7.12
Network Drivers
9.0.32.3 (Vista Standard)
Intel Chipset DriversVersion 6.9.1.1001 (20/02/2008)
JMicron Chipset Drivers
Version 1.17.15.0 (24/03/2007)


Intel NAS Performance Toolkit 

We tested the NAS devices using the Intel NAS Performance Toolkit. For a more detailed description of the benchmarks, see the article Benchmarking With Intel's NAS Toolkit.

The Thecus N4200 used the firmware version 3.00.12 in our tests, while the QNAP TS-459 Pro used the firmware version 323 (0209T).

Power and Noise (Subjective)

Both NAS devices consume about the same amount of power, which should come as no surprise considering their almost identical hardware. The noise of both units was subjectively measured, and while they seem rather equal, the QNAP TS-459 Pro didn't do quite as good a job at dampening hard drive vibrations. This resulted in a slight but annoying humming sound. Gently pressing on the hard drive housing made the humming go away permanently. The plastic rails used in the Thecus N4200 drive bays are the better solution. Both NAS units are quiet enough to keep next to you while you work without being a bother.

 Thecus N4200QNAP TS-459 Pro
Off1.7W0.7W
Peak105.6W110.5W
Sleep23.7W24.4W
Idle45.7W45.1W
Rebuild56.5W52.2W
Display all 23 comments.
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  • 1 Hide
    pletopia , April 30, 2010 7:34 AM
    ummm .. why would i pay that much for 4-bay NAS ?? i have 2 thecus N7700's and i got them for ~$900 nearly a year ago
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 30, 2010 9:13 AM
    performance I would wager
  • 0 Hide
    fatedtodie , April 30, 2010 10:50 AM
    I have a thecus 4100pro with 4 drives it was less than 800 bucks
    not sure what the advantage of the 4200 is over that except for the battery and that is what a UPS is for.
  • 3 Hide
    cknobman , April 30, 2010 12:53 PM
    $700-$950!!! Holy cow those are expensive. While I see the purpose for these I just cant justify spending that kind of cash for one.

    I just built me a data/media server with exponentially more power for only $533 tax/title/license and no freaking rebates.

    My build may consume more power than these but it is much more versitle than these NAS boxes and at least a few hundred bucks cheaper. Plus I it will be suited to use as an HTPC or workstation if ever needed.

    FTR the build is: LiteOn dvd burner, MicroATX tower case (6 3.5 bays), 2 Samsung EcoGreen 2tb hd (will be raid 1), AMD athlon x2 250 (65w), Gigabyte ga-ma785gm (5 sata2, 6 usb, 1 esata, radeon 4250 integrated graphics, dvi-hdmi-dsub out), Antec EarthWatts Green 380w power supply, 4gb RAM.
  • 2 Hide
    snarfies , April 30, 2010 1:30 PM
    I build my own Atom-based mini-ITX NAS about a year ago. It cost less than half of this. What I used: MSI IM-945 (at the time the only Atom miniITX board with four SATA connectors), Travla C138 case, Minibox picoPSU-120, A thin Sony Optiarc DVD-RW, a pair of Western Digital Caviar Blue notebook drives in RAID1, and the OS (FreeNAS) boots off a 1gb CF card.
  • 3 Hide
    tommysch , April 30, 2010 1:33 PM
    NAS are indecently overpriced.

    I build my ''NAS'' with a low end PC and 2 SATA controllers. I have 8x 1.5 TB HDDs in 2 RAID-5 config.

    Seriously a 4 bay NAS cost like 900$ w/o HDDs...
  • 5 Hide
    ipp , April 30, 2010 2:31 PM
    More super expensive NAS evaluated at tomshardware. Woo!
  • 3 Hide
    jeffunit , April 30, 2010 3:01 PM
    NAS without ECC is foolish.
    These are foolish and expensive.
  • -3 Hide
    zelannii , April 30, 2010 3:24 PM
    How does the TS459 directly compare to the previous generation, the 459 pro, or even the 439 Pro II? Both run the Atom as well, with the 459 Pro using a Dual Core Atom 1.66GHz.... Both also can run the latest qNap OS as well.

    Keep in mind to all the home-NAS and custom guys out there, these units are PROFESSIONAL, not SoHo class units. The qNap 410 and 419 are small business/home units, and even those still include native AD integration, and more, and not only operate as NAS systems, but backup systems, media servers, and more (dozens of features). These still are not even in the "personal" NAS class most home users can build on their own for about the same money.
  • -2 Hide
    zelannii , April 30, 2010 3:28 PM
    TommySchNAS are indecently overpriced. I build my ''NAS'' with a low end PC and 2 SATA controllers. I have 8x 1.5 TB HDDs in 2 RAID-5 config.Seriously a 4 bay NAS cost like 900$ w/o HDDs...


    These are professional class systems, with iSCSI, Native AD support, IP multipathing, load balancing, VMWare certification, and more. These are not cheap "file share" NAS systems like you might want for a media server in your house, or simple storage and backup. Simply features like online data migration to larger disks, archive by file age automatically, IP camera support, iTunes servers, TimeMachine support, and more make these very different from what you can do with a mini-NAS or FreeNAS setup on old PC hardware (not to mention the savings in electricity). qNap does sell "home" system that are less capable, but still FAR more than most people need. If all you want is a bid gisk and media server, get a WHS or a home-built solution. if you;re hooking servers or VMs up to it, using it in a high bandwidth or office environment, and care about the NAS ability to protect itself, back itself up, and migrate data to larger drives later, that's what the $300 price difference covers.
  • 2 Hide
    70camaross396 , April 30, 2010 3:44 PM
    these NAS devices are way over priced. that 900 dollars with out the drives. if you add 4 WD Cavier Raid Edition 1 TB sata drives, you can tack on another $640 to the price tag. that nearly $1600 for a NAS. just for compairison, you can buy a Dell Poweredge T110 with a hardware accelerated raid card and 2 250GB sata drives, a Xeon Processor, and 2gb of ram for $528 after instant rebate. granted it doent come with an OS, but you can download OpenFiler NAS/SAN OS or Ubuntu Server and have somthing that has way more capabilities than either of these NAS Cubes both of these OS's offer far morn that either of these NAS cubes. even if you stripped out both 250 GB drive and replaced them with 4 the WD's you would still save ove $500 compaired to the cost of these nas devices. the only way these would make sense is if the price was around 150-200 dollars with out drives.
  • 0 Hide
    milktea , April 30, 2010 3:48 PM
    No Superspeed USB 3.0? I think I'll wait.
  • -1 Hide
    ta152h , April 30, 2010 5:36 PM
    I wonder why they chose Atom over the Nano. Nano is considerably faster, doesn't use a lot more power, and can support more than two SATA ports on the chipset.

    Also, cats don't normally chew on wires. Dogs are much more likely too. A cat might knock it off the desk, or spill a glass of water near it, but chew wires? That's what dogs do, not to mention eat homework.
  • -2 Hide
    jblack , April 30, 2010 5:46 PM
    I think these systems do have a place. I would never buy one for myself. However at work we had a remote location needing a file server. They weren't big enough, and I don't trust them enough for a full-blown server (And the location is far enough I can't drive).

    We purchased the Qnap TS-239 Pro for the location. I was able to install BIND on it as well to handle DNS. I was quite impressed with just how flexible the units are.
  • 4 Hide
    psychosomatic , April 30, 2010 5:58 PM
    zelanniiThese are professional class systems, with iSCSI, Native AD support, IP multipathing, load balancing, VMWare certification, and more. These are not cheap "file share" NAS systems like you might want for a media server in your house, or simple storage and backup. Simply features like online data migration to larger disks, archive by file age automatically, IP camera support, iTunes servers, TimeMachine support, and more make these very different from what you can do with a mini-NAS or FreeNAS setup on old PC hardware (not to mention the savings in electricity). qNap does sell "home" system that are less capable, but still FAR more than most people need. If all you want is a bid gisk and media server, get a WHS or a home-built solution. if you;re hooking servers or VMs up to it, using it in a high bandwidth or office environment, and care about the NAS ability to protect itself, back itself up, and migrate data to larger drives later, that's what the $300 price difference covers.

    And so which of those features are unavailable from the open source FreeNAS operating system, and thus validate the $300 hike?
  • -2 Hide
    MattPenner , April 30, 2010 6:25 PM
    Like jblack, these are definitely for a specific space. I could easily see them being used in off-site locations where the extra few hundred dollars easily offsets the need for a dedicated IT technician. Even if I have a dedicated IT tech on-site, if he spends more than a day building a server and installing/configuring the software, and then troubleshooting any weird hardware/software issues in the future (rather than calling support or warranting a unit) then I've already expended the $300 savings over building my own.

    If I had to put a few of these in place I'd probably do it just to have my IT guy (or me) put them all out in a day and be done with it.

    It's just the nature that these types of articles on Tom's Hardware are read by us types that like to do it ourselves. No, most likely these would not find a place in our homes or small businesses that we intimately manage. But I don't think that's their target group.
  • -1 Hide
    lauxenburg , May 1, 2010 12:22 AM
    I thought it was Pine Trail not Pineview....
  • 0 Hide
    NeeKo , May 1, 2010 12:47 AM
    Build one yourself and save quite some cash!!
  • -1 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , May 1, 2010 1:03 PM
    Definitely not designed for a personal pc.
  • 0 Hide
    spoofedpacket , May 2, 2010 12:42 AM
    milkteaNo Superspeed USB 3.0? I think I'll wait.


    It is a really bad idea to run a RAID box off USB 2 or 3. One bus reset and you stand to have some corrupted data. Stick with Ethernet and iSCSI if you care about your data.
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