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QNAP TS-453A NAS Review

QNAP isn't a stranger to specialty NAS systems, but the new TS-453A introduces an entirely new feature that will have you singing with joy.

Four-Corner Performance Testing

Product Comparison

Several four- and five-drive NAS products go up against QNAP's karaoke-optimized TS-453A, some of which are bound to outperform it. Asustor's AS7004T has a faster host processor, but also costs more. On the other hand, Western Digital's My Cloud DL4100 sports the slowest CPU and lowest price. Everything else falls somewhere in between.

Sequential Read

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These systems perform similarly when we hit them with sequential reads. As you might expect, throughput is also higher when we test with large blocks of data. And the queue depth benchmarks reveal very little scaling as we intensify the load.

Sequential Write

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Aside from the Core i3-powered Asustor AS7004T, most of these machines are on fairly equal footing when we write to them sequentially. They utilize low-power SoCs from Marvell and Intel, so this isn't much of a surprise. Fortunately, every platform we're testing delivers exceptional single-workload performance that's likely limited by the upper bound of gigabit Ethernet. 

Sequential Sweeps

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The sweep tests start with 100 percent sequential reads and end with 100 percent sequential writes. The numbers in the middle come from mixing the workloads in 10 percent increments. Our charts show how these systems slow down when they're asked to juggle reads and writes together, even though Ethernet is a full duplex technology.

QNAP's TS-453A follows a slightly different curve than the other systems, which comes from unique tuning. We've noticed the same pattern with the latest QTS firmware on other QNAP appliances. The TS-453A's optimizations result in more performance anywhere from 10 to 70 percent reads when we isolate 128KB blocks.

Random Read

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The TS-453A also performs well in the random read tests, beating competing platforms at a queue depth of one. Asustor's entry fares particularly well at higher queue depths thanks to programming that caches more data in RAM. That speed-up makes it hard to see QNAP shine, though. Fortunately, our exploration into application performance later in the review will give us another opportunity to observe this.

Random Write

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QNAP's latest NAS employs a modern Intel SoC, so we were expecting high random write throughput. But the synthetics don't bear that out. Sure, you can use an SSD to improve these numbers (QNAP enables caching on almost all of its products these days), but then you lose a drive bay for mechanical storage.

Random Sweeps

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Despite the low random writes we observed, the TS-453A handles mixed workloads adeptly. Again, our sweep tests reflect different combinations of reads and writes, in 10 percent increments. Following the line graph, we see random performance increase as more writes hit the buffer. At 100 percent small-block writes, the systems all demonstrate big increases thanks to large DRAM buffers.

  • Confusias1
    "We found the QNAP TS-453A available from several online resellers for $60." Please tell me where this reseller is....
    Reply
  • Lulzon
    Did you mean $600? Not $60?
    Reply
  • Confusias1
    17891974 said:
    Did you mean $600? Not $60?

    They did indeed mean $600.
    Reply
  • littleleo
    "We found the QNAP TS-453A available from several online resellers for $60." Please tell me where this reseller is....

    You need to read the entire sentence:
    "$60 less than Asustor's AS204T."
    So it's $60 less then the AS204T, it's not selling for $60.
    Reply
  • Confusias1
    17893394 said:
    "We found the QNAP TS-453A available from several online resellers for $60." Please tell me where this reseller is....

    You need to read the entire sentence:
    "$60 less than Asustor's AS204T."
    So it's $60 less then the AS204T, it's not selling for $60.

    I am quite aware of what I read, my comment was accurate. The article has since been corrected.
    Reply
  • jasonelmore
    I wish QNAP would just sell their Nas OS with Visualization Features.

    I wanna build a skylake DDR4 nas, with their top flight os on top, but its a pipe dream. Their upcoming skylake ddr4 nas's are coming out in a few months but even the i3 version will costs $1500 diskless I guarantee it.
    Reply
  • littleleo
    17893950 said:
    17893394 said:
    "We found the QNAP TS-453A available from several online resellers for $60." Please tell me where this reseller is....

    You need to read the entire sentence:
    "$60 less than Asustor's AS204T."
    So it's $60 less then the AS204T, it's not selling for $60.

    I am quite aware of what I read, my comment was accurate. The article has since been corrected.

    Well that explains it. I guess I read it all after it was corrected. Cheers!.
    Reply
  • Confusias1
    I wish QNAP would just sell their Nas OS with Visualization Features.

    I wanna build a skylake DDR4 nas, with their top flight os on top, but its a pipe dream. Their upcoming skylake ddr4 nas's are coming out in a few months but even the i3 version will costs $1500 diskless I guarantee it.


    That would indeed be awesome. There are several NAS manufacturers that I would love to be able to install on top of my own hardware. I'd even consider a software licensing fee to be able to use QNAP's or Synology's OS... It'll only take one to start doing it and the rest will follow.
    Reply
  • CRamseyer
    I have not tried this yet but here you go.

    QNAP - https://sourceforge.net/projects/qosgpl/

    Reply
  • Confusias1
    17894607 said:
    I have not tried this yet but here you go.

    QNAP - https://sourceforge.net/projects/qosgpl/

    Awesome, now if only I were savvy enough to compile a build from source... My *nix skills is that area are rather lacking.
    Reply