Qnap TS-559 Pro+: Familiar Network Storage With A New CPU

Sticking With What Works

If you're hoping to find new features on the front of the devices, we have to disappoint you. As with the rear of the device, the design of the plastic-covered front is reminiscent of the TS-559 Pro. The new model also comes with a USB 2.0 port and a one-touch copy button. The power button at the lower-left is also in the same location as on the previous model. Ditto for the status, LAN, USB, and SATA LEDs, along with the LCD display and its Enter/Select button, which switches the information shown on the LCD and allows for basic input, such as IP address configuration.

Qnap's deliberate reproduction of the TS-559 Pro's exterior design indicates that the manufacturer intends only to refresh and not to overhaul the product line, as can also be seen with the lockable drive bays. These are also installed vertically into the TS-559 Pro+, following the design of the TS-559 Pro model. Accordingly, the solid disk tray accommodates not only 3.5" hard drives, but also 2.5" drives.

The Interior Is New

If you're looking for fresh features on the TS-559 Pro+, you have to look inside. As already mentioned, the Intel Atom D525 dual-core processor is new. The TS-x59 Pro series used the somewhat older Intel Atom D510 with its clock rate of 1.66 GHz, while the TS-x59 Pro+ series runs at 1.8 GHz thanks to the upgraded processor. A glance into the interior reveals that the TS-559 Pro+ uses the same DDR2 memory as its predecessor. Qnap doesn’t highlight this fact; the product description on its Web site speaks only of 1 GB of RAM, omitting to mention which type of RAM this is. To avoid creating false hopes, we would appreciate a little more transparency in this matter.

However, the question of whether DDR3 RAM would have had a significant effect on data transfer rates is an unresolved one. From a business standpoint, it is fully comprehensible that Qnap does not opt for DDR3, as it would have required a redesigned motherboard. Aside from the fact that DDR2 and DDR3 are supplied with different voltages, they are not pin-compatible. In the end, a new board may have resulted in a more substantial redesign of the NAS system, incurring development costs, which would have probably driven the device beyond its already-steep $1000+ price tag.

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  • I remember a time when teh Internet was going to have hyperlinks embedded in articles for clowns like me to look stuff up with.

    C'mon! I'm a knuckle-dragging FPS-player: I don't know what "SMB/CIFS protocols" stands for, let alone good for! Isn't there at lest a related article?
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  • Ok, I don't get it. Can someone explain to me why this $1000 device that comes with no storage is better than a $500 Linux box you can build yourself that will do everything this does and more plus it will come with tons of storage too...
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  • Did you do Gbit Link Aggregation for the tests? Seeing as it has 2 of'em?
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  • barmaleyOk, I don't get it. Can someone explain to me why this $1000 device that comes with no storage is better than a $500 Linux box you can build yourself that will do everything this does and more plus it will come with tons of storage too...


    Ease of use. Very few users have the time, will and knowledge to build a NAS.
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  • barmaleyOk, I don't get it. Can someone explain to me why this $1000 device that comes with no storage is better than a $500 Linux box you can build yourself that will do everything this does and more plus it will come with tons of storage too...

    First off, it isn't better than a $500 Linux box. Linux requires Linux knowledge and you have to provide the software you need yourself - that costs small businesses money. This also offers failover and load balancing with its dual NIC card that you wouldn't have in a $500 Linux box.

    The main thing is ease of installation. You don't need a highly technical person to get this box up and running and quickly backing up your companies data, whereas a Linux machine will require additional staff that a small business normally would not have on hand and have to pay to come onsite.

    For $1000 I'd like one just to play around with myself, though it clearly is not targeted for home users.
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  • Oops, I meant to write this is better than a $500 Linux box
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  • I am not aware of any 5 bay hot swap itx case that could be used as a basis for a diy project with comparable functionality. Chenbro can get you to 4 at the cost of no pcie support. No pcie means no esata with a supermicro atom itx board.

    There are ways to go with ATX cases, but that is not really comparable.
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  • but with that $500 linux box you will force yourself to learn something.. and in the end isn't it all about the pursuit of knowledge! haha well I admin a few linux servers so I'd save the cash and make my own for myself/work instead. On that note if you want I will make them for $999 and free shipping with initial phone setup!!! save a dollar!
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  • How can you compare them when you are using different hard drives than the earlier tests?
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  • Sharpless78Ease of use. Very few users have the time, will and knowledge to build a NAS.


    A NAS is a computer. Heck you can even build a PC put Windows 7/XP Home edition on it and turn it into a NAS all for ~$500 (and thats even with 2tb storage in raid 1, heck that is what I have done and it works great and I am even using a low power AMD CPU that is powerful enough to actually be useful rather than a pathetic atom cpu).

    There is no ease of use factor or amount of time on earth that is worth $500+ dollars.
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  • Would be good to see tests with encryption enabled (another article showed it as a NAS Achilles heel). Hopefully benchmarks should show the strenghs of the CPU when encryption is on. What surprised me, is the 150W peak power... The reason of buying dedicated NAS hardware (and not reusing / building a desktop computer for that) should be cost, cost of maintenaince (power bill for a 24x7 device must be taken into account). For that matters, I agree that a properly setup desktop computer should do the job (as well as others that the NAS device won't) and with all that numbers in hand is hard to choose the NAS device.
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  • barmaleyOk, I don't get it. Can someone explain to me why this $1000 device that comes with no storage is better than a $500 Linux box you can build yourself that will do everything this does and more plus it will come with tons of storage too...


    Agreed - I have been running a NAS based on an Atom processor for about two years now (but it's also a RADIUS server, SVN server, etc). However not everyone is technically capable and they are sometimes willing to pay for something off the shelf rather than putting it together themselves.
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  • Would have been great to see comparisons involving encryption. A recent article here on Toms compared the performance of a bunch of NASes using data encryption, and noted that performance was terrible when it was turned on. The article even went on to say that a faster CPU should improve performance, and one with AES-NI should improve it dramatically. No test to confirm this? Opportunity missed.
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  • @reviewer: since when is DDR2 faster than DDR3 ?
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  • Based on what I see on their web site, this box could replace every aspect of the functionality of my home, atom d510, headless debian server with software raid 5. It costs a lot more, but only because my time has absolutely no value. It looks like a real easy path to the benefits of Linux from my perspective. The fact that you know it works and is supported is an added bonus.
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  • I've built OpenFiler (linux) NAS servers... affordable and powerful (and a good option for cost sensitive storage). I used one for a little while to play with VMWare clustering as I waited for an EMC iSCSI box to come in. But at the same time, when I needed to buy storage for a platform I'd be deploying to an end user (manufacturing plant) for online storage, I chose to go with an integrated NAS solution (I went with Thecus N7700Pro rather than Qnap... more slots for the same money) to avoid the management need that in my experience even a well implemented Linux box will periodically require.

    It's IMO a choice between fire and forget (if one of the thecus boxes fails the plant can replace it themselves) and an ongoing support need. For me that's worth the incremental cost.

    Additionally, you'll be going with software raid if you roll your own (hardware raid cards would blow any cost advantage entirely) and then you're going to have to be really conscious of processing power required for solid performance. That means time spent tweaking, optimizing, and in component selection that will more than overtake the hardware cost differential if you cost your time at a reasonable rate.
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  • aaron88_7This also offers failover and load balancing with its dual NIC card that you wouldn't have in a $500 Linux box.



    This can be solved by purchasing a $20 NIC and adding it to the Linux system.
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  • Well I'd suggest a better quality card than $20... but you can get a decent intel dual gig-e card that support jumbo frames for $150.

    The important thing to note is that if you've got the time and inclination to learn to setup and administer the system, a Linux box will give you more bang for the buck compared to systems like the QNap or Thecus. the N7700's work great as a single host box (or for archive use), but I've not seen the kind of performance that could support even a 2 host cluster. You could get that out of an Openfiler box with some tweaking (though an Openfiler box with that performance would probably cost a grand or so with required peripherals like a dual nic and hot swap SATA chassis).
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  • I wonder why people just not simply buy a mini atx computer with raid capability and an Atom processor?
    You may find them under $300!
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  • You can cut some of the noise down by disabling the 120mm fan, and closing the hole. The air exhaust of the power unit is big enough to cool down the drives and the rest of the system!
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